Oh the horror! Our own Kevin Stewart, disqualified for fishing in an off-limits area in Thursday’s FLW Tour event. What’s wrong with that guy? Surely this will cast a pall over every Westerner who wants to try professional bass fishing!

Or will it? Do I have time to list every professional angler who has violated a tournament rule and had all or at least part of his catch disqualified?

Let’s see: Dean Rojas, casting into land that was flooded, but posted for no trespassing. He was leading the tournament–boom, DQed. Mike Iconelli, casting in off-limits water, DQed. Kevin Van Dam, with batteries dead, letting his partner run the big motor so he could fish. DQed. Scott Nielson, a former U.S. Open winner, casting in an obscure off-limits area. Day’s catch DQed. Gary Klein, six fish in his bag. Boom, DQed.

There are plenty more. Plenty.

So here’s what your proper response to this should be and it comes from a line in the movie, Good Morning, Viet Nam. While one officer wanted to categorically censure Adrian Cronaur (Robin Williams) for his improper military behavior, General Taylor said: “No, no, no, no. The man made a mistake.”

Like Stewart this week, and so many others before him, there were rules violations, but no cheating. As Gary Klein told me last night, “I’ve seen many anglers make bonehead mistakes. I’ve done it. If you fish enough, under the various stipulations on so many different waters, it’s going to happen. It’s part of the game.”

As Stewart wrote on Facebook, “I unintentionally fished inside the off limits area. I thought I was outside but did not check for the sign. I feel sick to my stomach for ruining my co angler’s day and for FLW to have to deal with an unfortunate situation.”

So here’s the next step. You put the boat on the trailer and you drive to your next venue.

And try not to make the same mistake twice.





One Response to “Nobody was ‘cheating’ this week. Got it?”

by Guy Williams

That sucked for Kevin and sounds like an honest mistake which cost him dearly. It happens from time to time and will make him a little more aware from here on out. Go get them at the next one, Kevin!