B.A.S.S. disqualified two anglers who tussled following Day 2 of the Lake Toho Bassmaster Southern Open tournament on Lake Tohopekaliga, Fla. Ish Monroe, and Keith Poche, were disqualified from the Open based on an investigation of an incident. Additional penalties for both anglers may be imposed pending the outcome of additional investigations that are ongoing. Based on the initial investigation supported by witness accounts Monroe was arrested and charged with battery.
I wanted to take a moment to issue an apology to B.A.S.S., the fans of the sport, my sponsors and the industry that supports professional bass fishing and the sport as a whole. I want everyone to know that the last thing I intend to do at any time is shed a bad light on the industry that has afforded me the opportunity to do what I love.
I reacted poorly in the situation after the collision and the subsequent verbal altercation that ensued. Arguments happen on the water in our business a lot, but I took it a step too far in putting myself into my competitor’s boat when provoked. Although I did not strike him, I know that I stepped over the line with an unwanted touch, and regret doing so.
I am a passionate, competitive person, and that drive is what has helped me be successful on and off the water. But, as can happen, there are times that competitive nature can get carried away as it did on Friday. To make it perfectly clear, I am not making an excuse for the way I reacted, I just want everyone to know that I care deeply about the sport, and doing very well in tournaments.
I wish to offer my sincerest apologies to the organization that has provided me a venue to perform, the sponsors who have provided me the equipment and resources with which to pursue my career, and the fans of the sport who provide the audience for all of to perform for.
I will now begin to move forward, repair the damage to my boat, as well as apply my competitive nature to doing the best job I can on and off the water. I realize that this incident has put a bump on my career path, but with the ongoing support of my sponsors, my friends and family – and the fans of bass fishing – I will return to the path I have long hoped I would travel.
Thank you all for your time.