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The Worst Way to Lose $100K? Champion Bass Angler DQ’d for Not Having a License

A professional bass fisherman's internet mishap cost him the victor's podium at a Texas tournament last weekend.

a bass jumps out of a lake after a lureIt doesn't matter how big your fish is if you don't have a license; (photo/Shutterstock)
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Any angler will tell you that for all the skill, experience, and gear in the world, there’s still a degree of luck involved in fishing. Unfortunately for professional bass fisherman Barron Adams, his luck ran in the wrong direction at a National Professional Fishing League (NPFL) tournament on Wright Patman Lake in east Texas last weekend.

The problem wasn’t the fish — Adams brought his 5 years of professional bass fishing experience to bear and was the clear victor at the weigh-in on Sunday, April 23. But in a startling turn of events, tournament organizers discovered that Adams, a Georgia native, lacked a valid Texas fishing license. According to information released by the NFPL, the angler had filled out most of his online permit but forgot to finalize the application.

“During the post-tournament polygraph, Barron was asked if he had a valid fishing license, which he replied, ‘yes,'” the NPFL wrote in an April 23 Facebook post. “He passed the polygraph. However, when asked to physically provide a copy or proof of his official license, he realized that after entering all of his information online (before fishing) he never fully completed the process.”

It was “a simple, honest mistake,” the post also read.

Adams was disqualified, and runner-up Ryan Satterfield became the tournament’s new champion. Outdoor Life reported that Satterfield, a Texarkana local, finished with a “combined three-day weight of 50 lbs. 4 oz.” The prize? A cool $100,000.

The NPFL followed up with a formal press release in which the organization clarified that Adams wouldn’t face further penalties for his mistake.

“The League is confident that this was an inadvertent and unintentional rules violation on Barron’s behalf, and this is in no way a reflection of his integrity as an angler,” Brad Fuller, president of the NPFL, said in the statement. “Barron is a great person and a phenomenal angler, and we are proud to have him as a competitor in the National Professional Fishing League.”

As for Satterfield, the NPFL wrote that he “has dreamed of winning a national event here on his home lake but never imagined it would happen this way,” on another April 23 Facebook post.

GearJunkie wishes Barron Adams better luck next time, and wants to remind anyone reading this article to click “submit” next time you apply for anything online. It just might save you $100K.

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