BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — B.A.S.S. officials announced today that, after an extensive investigation and appeals process, Keith Poche’s Day 1 catch disqualification from the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Toledo Bend has been upheld.
The disqualification was handed down based on a violation of Rule 15 of the Bassmaster Opens Series rules, which reads in part: “Boats must remain in tournament waters during tournament days. Competitors must leave from and return to official checkpoints by boat. Anglers must remain in the boat at all times except in case of dire emergency or with permission from the Tournament Director.”
Poche’s appeal was heard today by a three-person panel which included a Bassmaster College Series angler and Bassmaster Opens angler — neither of whom competed in the 2023 Toledo Bend Open — and a B.A.S.S. employee who is not part of the Tournament Department.
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.