New developments have surfaced in regard to a rules issue at last weekend's Kentucky Lake FLW Tour.
Remember that Mike Hawkes and Sean Hoernke were penalized by tournament director Bill Taylor for "following" BASS pros on the final day of the Kentucky Lake Elite Series (which was the first day of the FLW Tour practice). After Hawkes and Hornke were
alerted that they might be in violation of the rules, they contacted Taylor themselves the day before competition. Taylor issued a ruling that forced them to fish only Lake Barkley. (For the Hawkes/Hoernke story, click here.)
At the time, the anglers noted there was another pro who might also be penalized, but declined to name him.
Turns out that pro was Alvin Shaw. However, a fourth pro also became involved. Here's what happened.
After the conclusion of day-1 competition, pro Jerry Green returned to his accommodations and logged onto his computer. His homepage is BassFan.com, he said, and immediately he saw BassFan's story about Hawkes and Hoenke.
"I'd actually done the same thing followed one of the BASS guys," Green said. "I had no idea that was a rules violation. I understand it now. I've read it, and it states it fairly clearly, I guess."
The rule that Green referenced is FLW Tour Rule 4, which states in part: "Beginning with practice and extending through competition, pros may not obtain fishing patterns or locations from co-anglers or fishing information from noncompetitors or follow a noncompetitor's boat or participate in the practice of 'hole sitting' or the placing of markers by anyone."
Green said he immediately called Taylor to self-report his rules violation.
"They zeroed my weight for that day and I was relegated to fish Barkley the next," Green said.
Specifically, Green said he followed BASS pro Britt Myers "about 4 miles downriver to the mouth of a creek." Green's son was along with him in the boat.
"I just thought it was public knowledge," Green added, meaning he didn't at the time believe he was breaking a rule. "We'd fished Wheeler (for the Stren) and I drove into the night to get to (Kentucky Lake). I always fish around Paris there. I got in about 12:30 that night, got up the next morning and there was a fog delay (for the Elite Series). Nobody had shot off and we were all hanging around. There were several other boats there.
"I guess from being up all night driving from Wheeler, it never crossed my mind that I was breaking a rule."
Alvin Shaw says he can't yet comment on what happened.
What About Shaw?
As noted, Shaw was also in the fray perhaps as early as the day before competition. At this point though, it's not clear whether he was penalized and relegated to Barkley. Official standings for the event show him at 97th with 11-02 on day 1 and 13-03 on day 2. He fell nine places in the points to 84th.
Curious is that, according to several sources, Shaw was given a polygraph after competition on day 2. It appears no action was taken, which would seem to hint that Shaw passed the polygraph.
Sources also report a lengthy meeting after the reported polygraph examination between Taylor, fellow tournament director Chris Hoover, FLW Outdoors president and CEO Charlie Evans, Shaw and an unidentified man perhaps, sources speculate, the examiner himself.
Shaw told BassFan that he can't comment on the issue at this time, as he's awaiting a final resolution from FLW Outdoors.
Green Disappointed, Apologetic
Green caught 16-06 on day 1 and was in 37th place until his day-1 weight was DQd. He caught 10-12 the next day in Barkley and finished 124th (out of 155 boats).
The effect on his points standing was disastrous. He fell 33 spots in the FLW Tour points to 69th. The Top 40 in the points get a Forrest Wood Cup berth, but due to double-qualifiers, the Cup cutoff is expected to be somewhere around the Top 48 or Top 50.
Green now feels he needs a finish of perhaps 15th or better at the final Champlain stop to make the Cup. He therefore isn't sure yet whether he'll make the trip to Champlain.
"I turned myself in and feel better because of it," Green said. "I couldn't live with myself if I didn't. Some guys, I'm afraid, are going to have to live with their decision. I just have a feeling there are more of them out there than us four."
Green said he largely spent the practice day in the back of a creek and "never saw anybody else follow anybody." He said he told that to Taylor.
"It probably ruined my year to be honest," Green added. "It's nobody's fault but mine. I have no idea what I was thinking. But other than the terrible disappointment, I still have this bad feeling where I just wish something would have been said at the meeting. Everybody knew what was going on, but I had no idea I broke a rule until I read it on BassFan after day 1. I would have loved to have the chance to go to Barkley and had my weight count (both) days.
"I wish there would have been better communication about the whole incident, but like I said, I have nobody to blame but myself. I just want to apologize to my fans and sponsors and family and friends."