BASS officials announced today that after a thorough investigation and appeal process, the disqualification of Drew Gregory from the Bassmaster Kayak Series at Pickwick Lake has been overturned. Gregory won the tournament – his third win of the season – and also won the Kayak Series Angler of the Year award.
Gregory’s appeal was heard by a three-person panel that included a kayak angler, an angler who competes in the Bassmaster Opens and a BASS employee.
“I am so impressed with the level of professionalism and detail Bassmaster demonstrated throughout the appeals process to ensure the integrity of the sport was upheld,” said Gregory, a resident of Kent, Ohio. “Now that this has been resolved I can finally look back and appreciate all the hard work and what a special season it has been to accomplish my main goal which was to win the first ever Bassmaster Kayak AOY Series.
“As a kid, I grew up following all things BASS, and to me, there’s no title better than ‘Bassmaster’.”
Initial protests alleged that the area where Gregory fished during the event was outside legal tournament waters. The Pickwick Lake 2022 information sheet and competitor briefing stated: “Only water accessible from the main body of Pickwick Lake will be considered accessible.”
Based on the photos submitted with the protests, Gregory was initially disqualified from the tournament; however, Gregory presented video evidence to the appeal panel showing that the 12-mile route between the main body of Lake Pickwick and his fishing area was accessible.
“BASS is committed to maintaining the integrity of our tournaments by requiring every angler to play by the same rules while providing a means to review all evidence when a rules issue arises,” said Chris Bowes, vice- president of the BASS tournaments. “We appreciate the professionalism that Drew – and all of our competitors – have shown throughout this process.”
Gregory won the Kayak Series tournament in Pickwick Lake, Tennessee with a two-day total of 175.5 inches. His other wins in 2022 came on Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida and Grand Lake in Oklahoma.