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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

Best post on this topic Ron.  Obviously a few folks have an axe to grind and its complete bullshit. 
 
Ronald Hobbs, Jr. said:


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.

I"m a serious bass fisherman, but I've never fished tournaments.  Maybe some day. From an outsiders viewpoint, it seems like these cheaters get caught pretty quickly.  Somebody placing really high that hasn't before if a big clue.  Any tournament angler that gets caught gets a lifetime ban of shame.  With all the money we invest in our equipment that's a risk I think the vast majority would never take, and that's not even taking in the ethical aspect of not cheating that the vast majority wouldn't even consider.  Be really observant, catch the cheaters if there even are any, and continue having a great time.

Another 25+lb bag was brought in saturday at ABA. Any more doubts that the river can kick out bags like that in the spring/early summer or does anyone want to call for a polygraph again? #witchhunt

Hopefully Ben and his gang are sweeping the river for cages today...
 
Jordan Doucet said:

Another 25+lb bag was brought in saturday at ABA. Any more doubts that the river can kick out bags like that in the spring/early summer or does anyone want to call for a polygraph again? #witchhunt
Seems about time this thread should take a different path. There has been a ton of criticism towards the guys who think it was a cage used for cheating. This forum seems to be built of a group of intelligent individuals who all share a common interest that we all want to protect. How about we agree to disagree but let's hear some thoughts rather than criticism. I would love to hear from the group that thinks the cage was for something else. What else could this cage be used for???
The cat that keeps on shitting in my flower beds would fit nicely in that cage

Chris Lambert said:
Seems about time this thread should take a different path. There has been a ton of criticism towards the guys who think it was a cage used for cheating. This forum seems to be built of a group of intelligent individuals who all share a common interest that we all want to protect. How about we agree to disagree but let's hear some thoughts rather than criticism. I would love to hear from the group that thinks the cage was for something else. What else could this cage be used for???
That cage took a lot of time and energy away from the real issues of warm water fish management.

There should be MASSIVE criticism, since there was no evidence, just casting doubt.....

The cage could have been used as described, but without evidence, by whom and when? Ron made great points on this.

And if said "guys" are so confident in their theories, why didn't they "name - names"?
 
Chris Lambert said:

Seems about time this thread should take a different path. There has been a ton of criticism towards the guys who think it was a cage used for cheating. This forum seems to be built of a group of intelligent individuals who all share a common interest that we all want to protect. How about we agree to disagree but let's hear some thoughts rather than criticism. I would love to hear from the group that thinks the cage was for something else. What else could this cage be used for???

I'm certain people cheat in bass tournaments. I'm also certain that Jake and Jason haven't.

All that I fish these days are Federation tournaments so I honestly don't keep track about other tournament dates and schedules. Cheating goes on constantly in other parts of the world and we would be ignorant to think our state is immune to it. The top sticks in the state (federation, club, NW, whomever) are stellar and, when I have fished against them, they have made me a better angler. In no way am I saying it is any of them or anyone in particular for that matter. I want to make that extremely clear. I honestly want to know what people think this cage could be used for if not cheating. Not trying to stir up any drama. Just curious what you guys think. Ron did have some good points about possibly storing panfish or catfish.
Or it could be used for craw fish or it could be used for Bass that are headed to the fryer, let's not forget there is no limit on them, a guy could be storing fish there over the weekend to keep them alive and fish Saturday and Sunday to have the "money shot" on the fillet table. That shot would undoubtedly hang on the wall at Sportsmen Warehouse (wholesale sports) in Kennewick. That guy is no different then the guy holding big prespawn or spawning fish in his livewell for no apparent reason other than to see if he can catch another and take a "money shot" Even though the only legal water to do this on is the Columbia or a WA State permitted event.br/>
Everyone knows both the "Money Shots" I am referring to.

Chris Lambert said:
All that I fish these days are Federation tournaments so I honestly don't keep track about other tournament dates and schedules. Cheating goes on constantly in other parts of the world and we would be ignorant to think our state is immune to it. The top sticks in the state (federation, club, NW, whomever) are stellar and, when I have fished against them, they have made me a better angler. In no way am I saying it is any of them or anyone in particular for that matter. I want to make that extremely clear. I honestly want to know what people think this cage could be used for if not cheating. Not trying to stir up any drama. Just curious what you guys think. Ron did have some good points about possibly storing panfish or catfish.
I tried to poach a spot off bess last week, he was acting suspicious, so when he pulled off the spot I pulled in and here is what I found...... I was suprised! Bass but without the B
My only question, How do you catch one of those?
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