Drew Gregory came into the season finale on Pickwick Lake needing a high finish to nail down the Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year title. He won the tournament. And the AOY title.
Well, not yet.
In the wake of a protest against Keith Poche in a recent Bassmaster Open event, someone has lodged a protest against Gregory.
The Poche protest was found to be unfounded and Poche was vindicated. He was targeted by competitors for accessing shallow waters with an aluminum boat – something any contestant could have done. It’s hard work. Poche used a push pole and elbow grease to take the win.
Details have yet to emerge and we here at Kayak365 don’t want to speculate too much, but at this point, it sounds as if those protesting Gregory have the same problem with shallow thinking as those who found fault with Poche.
“If I broke a rule, then I should be disqualified,” said Gregory via a video post on his Instagram account. “I don’t feel like I did. Obviously, there’s some rules that need to be clarified a little bit, but I have a different skill set and I get that, but that’s no different than any other sport. Jason Christie has a skill set. He can drive an Xpress boat 60 or 70 miles up the Sabine River and avoid all of the logs and whatnot to get there. Not every Elite angler has that skill set.
“Keith Poche, obviously, the most recent one. Total different skill set. Not everybody can do what he does.
“Even in kayaks, you’ve got the same thing.
“Cody Milton and Eric Sidiqi, one time, they paddled all the way from the New York side of Champlain, when we were limited to launching from New York, all the way across to Vermont. It’s insane that they can do that in a kayak! I cannot do that. That is not my skill set. I have a different skill set.”
Gregory has a clear conscience. “I didn’t intentionally do anything. All my fish were caught, I’ve got them on my GoPro. I never got out of my boat.”
Gregory reiterated that further clarification may be needed to further define the rules.
How does he feel about being protested?
“I have no problem with that whatsoever. That is the only check and balance we have in this sport – the other anglers. If you ever deem that somebody has done something illegal – intentionally, unintentionally – you should look into that protest process so we can keep the credibility of the sport up there.
“So, anyone who protested, no problem with you guys whatsoever. Doesn’t change a thing. Whether we’re best friends or not, doesn’t change a thing. If I broke a rule, then I should be disqualified.
“If I were disqualified, that would suck for sure. I’d be the first to drive, as fast as I could, the trophy to Guillermo Gonzalez, who was 2nd place, and then the AOY trophy to whoever that would go to.”
For now Gregory and the rest of the bass fishing world will have to wait and see. “We’ll let the process play itself out. There’s a process. It’s going to take a little time.”