Tulsa-based Major League Fishing announced Thursday it will acquire the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, Fishing League Worldwide.

In a news release, MLF said this sets in motion the most significant brand merger in competitive bass fishing history.

MLF, which is headquartered in Tulsa, started as a TV show in 2011 and has grown into a sports league. In January 2019, MLF launched its Bass Pro Tour featuring the top professional anglers in the world.

The FLW is a grassroots organization that puts together more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments each year for thousands of anglers from high school and college to weekenders and tour pros. 

“We’re thrilled about welcoming FLW to the MLF team,” said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “FLW shares our commitment to creating tournaments and opportunities centered on the success of the angler. Through this acquisition, we are better positioned to support anglers and sponsors at all levels.”

“By joining forces with Major League Fishing, the sport of professional tournament fishing will be taken to new heights for anglers across the world at all level,” said FLW Marketing President Trish Blake.

Major League Fishing and Fishing League Worldwide anticipate to close on the deal at the end of October.

MLF says the acquisition signifies a historical shift in the landscape of competitive bass fishing, it lays out the changes here.