WCF TAKES HIATUS. The B.A.S.S.-sanctioned World Championship Fishing competition series will not return this summer and fall after an inaugural season that was both controversial and highly successful.

          B.A.S.S.. officials staged five WCF events in 2000, but recently canceled plans for a 2001 season without an official announcement.

          “No events are planned for this summer,” said George McNeilly, B.A.S.S. director of communications. “As you know, our core business is the B.A.S.S.MASTER Tournament Trail. ESPN and B.A.S.S.. are in the process of finalizing some very exciting plans in order to make this summer’s B.A.S.S. Masters Classic and next season’s BASSMASTER Tour the best ever.

          “B.A.S.S. and ESPN remain committed to concepts like WCF that grow the sport and entertain fans, while allowing sponsors to build their brand awareness to consumers. But our entire focus is on making this summer's 31st B.A.S.S. Master Classic the best event possible.”

          Look for the 2002 WCF season to come back stronger than ever, After all, it was the WCF that reportedly first attracted ESPN officials to B.A.S.S.. ESPN purchased the Alabama-based tournament giant in April. And both fishing fans and corporate America have responded to WCF events in a big way.