REVISED 11 a.m., Sept. 21–Today B.A.S.S. announced that the organization and Nate Wellman have come to an agreement that Wellman will not be competing in the 2012 Bassmasters Classic (actually, no B.A.S.S. event until March of next year).

REVISED 10:15, Sept. 8–The revisionists are at it already. Today published accounts of all parties, and notice the edge is missing. I know this, those working hard to make the Classic are not pleased with Wellman or the B.A.S.S. response. Maybe this is another reason to utilize “shared weight.” I dunno.

True to the heightened politics of the day, Michigan bass pro Nate Wellman (click here) just did his best Richard Nixon impression (“I am not a crook”). After being fined and placed on a year’s probation for soliciting a 4-pounder from his co-angler during his “win” in Bassmaster Open, Wellman produced the statement today (Sept. 8): “I am not a cheater.”

If you haven’t heard the story, Wellman’s co-angler had an enviable 4-pound fish in his catch on the final day, and according to that angler, he told tournament officials that his pro partner (Wellman) made comments that almost certainly could be construed a willingness to pay $1000 for his partner’s bass.

Now I don’t know the individual involved, but his peripheral, regional status, his calamitous bad judgement and his bar room sense of humor (he said he was just “joking”) says to me: This guy doesn’t belong on the big stage.

In fact, given this allegation was taken seriously and penalized as it was, there should be one more punitive step: No automatic Bassmasters Classic qualification.

Clearly this should be the proper disposition of the case, but don’t expect B.A.S.S. to do much more. After all, they gave the guy his trophy and his cash, and it looks like he’s going to get to keep those. It will be hard for them to then argue that Wellman should lose the biggest portion of his prize.

But I’m not so sure.





11 Responses to “BASS pro Wellman sounds like Nixon”

The co-angler should have said “OK” lets do it, received the money and immediately taken it to the BASS officials, turned it in, and told the story to bust the guy for life.

They should have DQ’d him pending an official ban. How does anyone know how many times he tried this before and got away with it? Can’t trust him anymore.

Thaank you for the great article on wellman. thats why I read your Blogs,nofish tales or exagerations just facts. If Nate Welman doesn’t fish the third Northrern won’t he be
removed from the classic list?

Art: From the BASS website I read: “Following the Elite format, each of the nine Open event winners will receive automatic spots in the 2012 Classic.” However, there is the following stipulation: “The Classic field will increase to 54 — assuming all competitors are in good standing…”

If there are other issues, such as a requirement of full Open tour attendance, I did not find them.

Funny how FLW chimed in….The same FLW that let A. Martin keep a win on Guntersville when he had no fish’n permit….and swept the whole Angler X deal under the rug.

Did BASS do right? Did BASS do enough?? I don’t know but at least they did something publicly. LOL It’s good for “chatter” anyway. LOL

While I have little expectation that a new set of “universal tournament rules” will be put into place, the fact is not every infraction should be punished the same. They don’t take your driver’s license away for double parking. There are tournament infractions that have a degree of impact on the contest, and others that may put future events at risk. Despite protests to the contrary, this acknowledged act shows at the very least, a degree of willingness to cheat, even if no actual cheating occurred. It should be treated accordingly.

I think everyone misunderstands the finding by BASS. They obviously DID NOT feel he was trying to cheat or solicite money or he would have been DQ’d.
Does anyone really think that it would be a good plan to meet up with dad and then make the money exchange in the middle of the lake. That is obviously just a bad joke.

So, this was a penalty about bad jokes? 🙁

Drama, drama, drama………

I like what Ray Scott said on BassFan. Roughly he said ‘When it comes down to what one angler says vs. another angler you give him/them a polygraph test.’


It figures Rick. LOL

“Always… Always take the money.” by Rick Grover at any Bass-a-thon
(OK so it’s a bit of an inside joke for us Socal folks) LOL

Yes George, Art is correct. He must fish the entire circuit to be able to fish the classic. IE Tommy Biffle isn’t fishing the classic because he missed the first event.

Yes BASS Should of Dq’d him for the rest of the season which would have not allowed him to fish in the BASS MASTERS CLASSIC.

Tony, thanks for jumping in. You’re right, it makes the B.A.S.S. position even less tenable.