BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — B.A.S.S. officials announced today that, after an extensive investigation and appeals process, Drew Gregory’s disqualification from the Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series at Pickwick Lake has been overturned. Gregory won the tournament — his third victory of the season — and also claimed the Old Town Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year title.
Gregory’s appeal was heard today by a three-person panel which included a kayak angler, an angler who competes in the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens presented by Mossy Oak Fishing and a B.A.S.S. employee.
“I'm so impressed with the level of professionalism and detail Bassmaster displayed during the entire appeal process to ensure the integrity of the sport is upheld,” said Gregory, a native 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's been to accomplish my main goal, which was winning the first-ever Bassmaster Kayak Series AOY.
“As a kid, I grew up following all things B.A.S.S., and to me, there is no greater title than ‘Bassmaster.’”
Initial protests alleged that the area where Gregory fished during the event fell outside of the legal tournament waters. The 2022 Pickwick Lake competitor information sheet and briefing stated: “Only water accessible from the main body of Pickwick Lake will be considered accessible.”
Based on photos submitted with the protests, Gregory was initially disqualified from the tournament; however, Gregory presented video evidence to the appeals panel showing that the 12-mile route between the main body of Pickwick Lake and his fishing area was accessible.
“B.A.S.S. is committed to maintaining the integrity of our tournaments by holding every angler to the same rules while also providing a means to review all of the evidence when a rules question does arise,” said B.A.S.S. Vice President of Tournaments Chris Bowes. “We appreciate the professionalism Drew — and all of our competitors — have exhibited throughout this process.”
Gregory won the Kayak Series tournament on Pickwick Lake, Tenn., with a two-day total of 175.5 inches. His other 2022 victories came on Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes and Grand Lake in Oklahoma.