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Let me start by saying that it's a damn shame that some people have made accusations (whether direct or indirect), to the integrity of the NWB circuit and to those teams that did well, specifically the winning team, who are stand out guys and have weighed bags of that sort in previous years, for cheating after this was found. It's really sad that guys put in hard work and instead of talking about the incredible bag 25+lbs that was weighed in, we are talking about a cage that more than likely was misconstrued as a tool for cheating at the NWB tournament. 

On to the main subject here. Here's the statement from Northwest Bass:

Caging Issue: Northwest Bass Tri-Cities Qualifier

It has come to the attention of Northwest Bass that a cage found within official tournament waters has raised concerns about potential fish tampering during the June 11th qualifier on the river.  Tournament officials, upon notification of the cage, conducted all necessary investigations to ensure the integrity of all competitors and their catch for the day in question.

Officials for Northwest Bass have over forty years combined experience in operating fishing tournaments and contests and do not take these matters lightly.  Our goal is always to direct the events with integrity and attention to detail.  Our officials conduct weigh-ins with extreme scrutiny for signs of fish tampering.

In the days following the discovery of the cage we conducted an investigation into this issue.  No signs of tampering were found.  Because there was no evidence, probable cause or protests directed at any competing team, no further investigation was deemed necessary.  Northwest Bass has great respect for our angler base and therefore will not take part in a proverbial “witch hunt” without proper evidence of wrong doing.

Anglers are also strongly encouraged to review and maintain knowledge of current Northwest Bass rules and regulations.

Moving forward, we remind all competing anglers that fish tampering is prohibited by Northwest Bass.  Any infraction of this rule will result in disqualification.

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Replies to This Discussion

Ron,

Maybe it was.  Who knows? That's part of the reason I took it personally, along with many others!  You just never know.  I have offered to raise funds for a polygraph myself, and I've offered to do a polygraph myself, in case that were the truth.  I prefer to see no one and no circuit accused.
 
Ronald Hobbs, Jr. said:

Probably used in Columbia basin club tourney
It's not being used to cheat, unless the cheater really sucks!

I need to correct my earlier post...It was Jason Bryan who called me furious out of nowhere, not Boomer.  I apologize.

I have heard it said recently guys do not want polygraphs because it will decrease purse size, or decrease profits in the Circuits.  Fine...

I have experience setting up non-profits.  I would be more than willing to start up a non-profit, or organization, that administers funds to directors who don't have the funds to pay for this kind of stuff.  From what I've gathered, there's lots of guys that would chip in so that directors would have the funds to do polygraphs.  It could be called the "Warmwater Ethical Anglers Association"  or something, and could also have funds for fighting WDFW in a separate account.

Ron, I wouldn't say CBBC anglers suck.  Some had bigger bags than most NWB guys on the river a few weeks back.  But who cares?  Conditions were tough at the NWB tourney.

If you feel implicated that I posted, 5 or 6 days AFTER any tournaments were over, a cage,  I'm sorry!  Again, I have not mentioned any names publicly.  Guys across the state contact me on a pretty regular basis when they want awareness brought to an issue. 

This will be my only post on this topic, but I have to clear a couple things up. 

First, it wasn't Boomer who call Ben upset, it was Jason Bryan.  We were both made aware of the "private" accusations from very honorable sources.  We have the transcripts, so we know what was going on.  It really never bothered us, until we were asked if we wanted to take a polygraph to "clear our names."  Jason is an honorable, trustworthy, passionate character, and he wasn't impressed that his integrity was called into question, because he won a bass tournament.  His reaction was his own, but I don't blame him for it. 

Seems funny to me that we're so easily united over things like WDFW, but we're just as easily divided by things like this.  I don't have the balls to call Northwest Bass's integrity to the carpet for sure.  I do believe people cheat, but definitely don't believe that nothing is being done about it.  Just because we're not all strapped to a polygraph machine doesn't mean that everyone is loading cages up with 6blers. 

If we want to have an exercise in being united, I suggest we all take a moment and pray of the Percifield family.  They have taken it on the chin over the last few weeks, and all this other stuff just doesn't matter when you fathom their situation.  Just a suggestion.

Like I said, I won't be posting anything else on this matter.   I wasn't on the debate team in highschool, and I don't intend to participate on a public forum.  I am always willing to discuss matters over the phone if need be.  208-659-7697.  

P.S.  Jay and I are very appreciative of the support from our friends for sure.

NW Bass will be doing polygraph tests at the championship, this was just confirmed with NW Bass Officials.

I am going to throw in my 2 cents.

I do not believe there is any cheating occurring in the circuits in our area. I will speak only to NWB as this is the one I fish.  I have fished against the team being accused of possibly cheating and I will say I do not accept anyone making false accusations against this great Christian man I call friend. The team being accused of cheating I have been in awe of since my first NWB tournament in 2015. This team is the one I work hard to beat as they have respect in this industry and my respect.  Both of the anglers I am referring too are the real deal and wouldn't need to cheat. I just heard NWB will be having polygraph test starting in 2017. My hats off to Jeff and the NWB crew for continuing to make NWB the top tournament circuit in the Pacific Northwest.

I'm extremely confident that I received my whoopin at Tri-Cities fairly and my hat is off to those teams who figured it out. Life's too short to be concerned with the integrity of others as those kinds of issues always sort themselves out. I believe our tournament fishing "community" is full of highly ethical and talented individuals and I for one will pay no more attention to this pot if it continues to get stirred.

If you guys think this is a witch hunt...just wait until Elijah Kim fishes a NWBass tourney and weighs 25lbs before a cage gets found.  2 words:  Korean BBQ

Jokes aside, how NWB handles this is important, because if that scenario did play out, it would be discrediting to handle it differently based on who caught the big bag.  Precedent is a big deal.

I'd like to see guys not building up this myth that there is a town full of villagers carrying pitchforks, burning crosses, vats of tar and pillows full of feathers toward Spokane, WA.  It's an extremely small number who are questioning the integrity of any one in particular.  As I read the thread it seems like there's some huge divide here, and I don't believe that is the case.

Hobbs suggesting that Columbia Basin Bass Club member is to blame...well that is interesting.  I hadn't thought of that.  Since I won that tournament, I suppose that puts my fish in question.  I'm willing to do a polygraph as long as Mike Bess has to do one, and I get to ask the questions.

I have been fishing and LOSING tournaments for about 20 years - I've NEVER even considered that the Top Teams had been cheating - still don't. I'm lucky enough to call some of the best anglers in the State my friends. I know how much work they put in - and it shows. It's always seems that these type of accusations come from the "back of the pack".

Dana Steiner - spot on!

I got a few of my own!

Jake Anderson said:

I'm willing to do a polygraph as long as Mike Bess has to do one, and I get to ask the questions.


I have seen you fish I am suprised you could catch a fish let alone a cold..... In all seriousness I pointed out the club tournament just to make a point, why is the scrutiny towards NW Bass? If someone was planting a cage who is to say it wasn't for a club event or the upcoming ABA event this weekend? The cages found at Potholes were found after ABA NW Bass and BBT the Open and club events were already there. So why is all the negativity directed toward NW Bass? They could have been used for any one or multiple events (under the premise they were used at all to cheat). Please tell me? There isn't a time stamp on these cages the intent of when and how they were or are going to be used or even used at all for what everyone is suggesting.

So NW Bass gets to feel the brunt of this and is stepping up to the plate, yet BBT (probably the easiest to cheat 1 fish is a healthy paycheck) And ABA easier to cheat than NW Bass(less boats less eyes) club tournaments ( even less boats even less eyes and even less suspicion that someone would cheat) get off scott free with no one calling to arms that they also need to do something about it. I think it is unjust, unfair, and rediculous just like accusations and people implicating certain teams that must be cheating. Both are B.S
I am down with however the organizations want to handle it.I am naive enough to believe that no one is cheating and if they are that I can still beat them. Obviously if there are cheaters they aren't very good at it!
.

We shouldn't put blame on one organization or certain individuals, we should take it for what it is a cage was found on super popular tournament waters where multiple events are held every month, nothing tying it to any one circuit, event, or competitor.

Jake Anderson said:

If you guys think this is a witch hunt...just wait until Elijah Kim fishes a NWBass tourney and weighs 25lbs before a cage gets found.  2 words:  Korean BBQ

Jokes aside, how NWB handles this is important, because if that scenario did play out, it would be discrediting to handle it differently based on who caught the big bag.  Precedent is a big deal.

I'd like to see guys not building up this myth that there is a town full of villagers carrying pitchforks, burning crosses, vats of tar and pillows full of feathers toward Spokane, WA.  It's an extremely small number who are questioning the integrity of any one in particular.  As I read the thread it seems like there's some huge divide here, and I don't believe that is the case.

Hobbs suggesting that Columbia Basin Bass Club member is to blame...well that is interesting.  I hadn't thought of that.  Since I won that tournament, I suppose that puts my fish in question.  I'm willing to do a polygraph as long as Mike Bess has to do one, and I get to ask the questions.

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