Integrity: sincerity; completeness, wholeness; an unimpaired condition.
What I want to share with my fellow anglers is an incident which happened by shear accident this weekend and how my fishing partner and I handled it. It is not an easy report to write but one that I feel I should share incase you ever find yourself in a situation like this. As an angler and Tournament Angler my reports and what I do or don’t do reflect on who I am to other anglers. So here goes.
For the last past week my partner Lund Pro Staffer Craig Salmonson and myself headed to Geraldton Ontario to pre fish for the up an coming Walleye Tournament that was to be held on June 23 and 24 on beautiful Kenogamissis Lake. During the week of pre fishing we had covered a lot of water and figured out a pattern for the tournament. Saturday saw us starting off at our number one spot. With no wind at all and only one weighable fish after an hour we decided to head to a place were we knew we could catch our limit while we waited for the wind to blow. After arriving at the spot we had our limit in the boat within twenty minutes. They weren’t monsters by any means but a limit none the less. Craig snagged for the third time and had to retie jigs onto his rods. We notice a boat heading our way. No big deal right? As the boat drifted and I was still casting, suddenly wham, a better fish hit. It found it’s way into the landing net and then into our live well. The boat saw us catch the fish and turned around, heading away from us. We kept casting to the spot were the fish I just caught with no luck. As we started heading up the shoreline the same boat was coming back down. The boat got closer, we noticed that the team was a grandfather and his grandson. Craig cracked a joke to them that we were leaving the area so the fish were theirs now. As we all got a chuckle out of it, the grandfather asked us if the boundary line was just right there. We commented that we weren’t sure and left to our next spot, still waiting for the wind to blow. When we arrived at our third spot Craig looked up the tournament boundary lines. Craig had a look on his face when he showed me where they were. It was like getting the wind knocked out of you. We were a hunderd to two hundered feet past the tournament boundary lines. We new what we had to do after trying to fish some more and talking about it. As a team, the decision was made, without any doubt in our minds we were on plane heading back to weigh in.
When we arrived at the weigh in we asked to speak to the Tournament Chair Person. The volunteer went for the Chair Person , bringing her to our boat. We starting explaining what just happened and showed her on our plot trail were it happened. The Chair person asked us how many fish we had caught past the boundary in which I replied, only one our largest. The Chair person then told us to release it, weigh in our other five fish and call it a day but we could fish Sunday . After loading the boat, on our way back to the cabin we talked about the chair persons decision about fishing on Sunday. Once at the cabin and talking for awhile, I could see how we were both feeling and we made the decision that we would disqualify ourselves from the tournament. On our ride over to weigh in, both of us were feeling better about what we were going to do. After talking to the chair person that we were diqualifing ourselves for breaking the rules, she shook our hands and asked if we would be back next year. Without hesitation, at the same time we replied definetly. A smile came upon our faces as we turned and walked away.
On our way home we talked about how easy the decision was to make and it was the only one to make. I hope you enjoyed reading this report as it was not written for any other reason but to just share my experience with my fellow anglers
Author David Reid
This article was previously posted by our friends at National Prostaff