Kevin Short

The fine info line

by Kevin Short

K-Pink-head-shot-bass-fishing-160317Another Elite event and what do you know? More drama. Gotta have drama, baby. Drama gets eyeballs. Whatever.

This time we have Luke Clausen DQd after making the top 12, apparently for failing a polygraph question pertaining to the No Info Rule. Uh-oh.

Allegedly, Clausen says he failed the truth verification test because one of his buddies was, allegedly, deciphering locations based on photos and descriptions seen in the blog. This dissemination of information by Clausen’s friend, a north Alabama resident, was, allegedly, unsolicited by Clausen in any way.

The way I read it on (how DID they get the story within minutes of the DQ going down?), Luke was having dinner with his bud Thursday evening, and bud starts in on where some of other Elites are fishing based on photos, descriptions, etc. on the blog.

We have no idea if this lasted a few seconds and a sentence or if it lasted 30 minutes with GPS waypoints (which I doubt).

Two takeaways from this, however it went down:

1) Clausen didn’t stop the bud from talking about the locations, however brief the convo was.

2) I guess he thought somewhere deep in his brain that he was at least flirting with the Off Limits Rule in some way, otherwise why would he have had a reaction to that particular question?


That’s right: What Would K-Pink Do, or What Would I Have Done?

First, I’m always cynical of Elite anglers who stay with “buddies” during events, especially when those “buddies” have extensive knowledge of the fishery that the event is being held on. I’m in no way insinuating that any Elite angler has ever done what I’m about to throw out there, but I think an angler is foolish to even put himself in the following situation:

Angler X is staying at Bud’s house on Lake Y, site of the current Elite event. Bud has just finished a Saturday derby on Lake Y when Angler X arrives. Bud has all his rods and baits still rigged and laying on the front deck from the day’s fishing as he and Angler X lean over Buds boat and chat.

Is Angler X getting info during the off-limits period? Sure, it’s just baits on the deck of the boat, but is it info that no other Elite angler is privy to? Could X have an advantage from seeing the baits? It’s a really, really fine line.

I’m not a fan of the Live Blog and I never have been. As an angler, you go out there and bust your butt to figure out a pattern, technique or area where you think you can win the tournament. Derby day comes, you whack the poodoo out of them and suddenly everything you figured out is plastered all over the WWW for all 107 of your NOT closest Elite friends to see.

Trust me, the smart Elite anglers look at every one of the pics and read every word of the blog each and every day. They know the area you fished, what you caught them on, what color Underoos you wore that day. All that stuff is great for dude sitting at his desk eating Cheetos during lunch, but it sucks as an angler.

The argument from the press box is: “…well it moves the sport forward. Your sponsors will like it.”

If “moving the sport forward” involves changing the game to fit the media, then we have a problem here. The freaking cart can’t pull the horse, boys and girls, at least not one that I’ve ever seen.

The media should not control THE GAME. Media should not change the outcome of THE GAME. It’s the media’s job to report on the game. Nothing more, nothing less.

We realize, Dear Media, that you feel the need to add drama to the stories surrounding THE GAME. Fine. Don’t inject drama where none exists, though. Above all, don’t inject yourself in THE GAME to the point where you change the outcome. That’s the issue that I have with the present running blog and photo galleries – they change the outcome of the game. Not a fan.

As for “your sponsors will like it” I say this: Yeah, well, they would like it a heck of a lot more if I could keep a lid on what I’m doing for a day or two and WIN THE FREAKING DERBY. What a crazy idea, huh?


So Clausen is DQd, which moves Big Red Crochet up to 12th place. Clausen immediately appeals his DQ, which means he competes on day 4 and will see what happens later in the week with his appeal. Okay, that’s the rules. Here’s where it gets whacky:

Big Red fishes on day 4 and it seems like his 7th-place finish and $20,000 check may or may not stick, depending on the outcome of Luke’s appeal. If the appeal is denied, the Big Red gets his points and pay for where he finished on day 4. If LC’s appeal is granted, then Big Red spent another day on the water for nothing more than he started the day with – 13th place and $10,000.

Yeah, they might need to think about a rewrite on that one.

I’m thinking if Cajun Baby finishes 7th, then he should get 7th place points and pay – regardless of how the appeal plays out. A call on the part of the tournament director shouldn’t penalize the angler’s efforts for the day. Just a thought.

The moral

The moral to today’s version of “As The Elites Whine” is this: Don’t put yourself in any situation where you could get outside info, no matter how trivial the info might seem.

I have several friends who live close to Elite events who thought I was an ass for not staying with them or having dinner with them before or during events. When I explained the fact that I didn’t want to put myself in this very situation, they totally understood. We could get together after the event.

There’s just too much on the line and it’s too easy to cross that fine the line without thinking about it.

That’s why I like the MLF format so much. The anglers are told to go to this hotel in this town and don’t talk to anyone about fishing. MLF will pick us up and take us to the water. We find out where when we get there. Put the boat in the water and go catch ‘em. No info.

I like it.




  1. larry crouch

    May 6, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I heck of an article and there’s a lot of thinking there that bass needs to really look at. But your correct on the media and so forth and if bass cannot figure this one out then there in more trouble than what people think.

  2. Randy Sherrick

    May 7, 2016 at 12:27 am

    I have watched every elite event this year including the classic on Bassmaster Live and watched all of the First Take segments by Davy Hite and there have been several Elite anglers who said they shared information during practice and during the tournament. Some were staying together and some weren’t. This doesn’t seem fare either or much different than what Luke Clauson did. It’s not fare to the other anglers that don’t have a buddy to share information with.

  3. Mark H

    June 11, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Hard to know exactly what did or did not go down as far as the facts of this case go.

    One thing is for sure though every sport that has media covering it is effected by that media. Whether it’s a TV time out just in time to put the breaks on an NBA teams 12 pt run or some guy calling the PGA after Tiger Woods makes an incorrect drop on a hole and he incurred an additional penalty once a sport decides to accept advertising income the sport gives up some amount of control.

    As far as Kevin’s concerns about the blog and the live coverage giving up the info to competitors that is easily policed with the vsa test and actually I think anyone that gets a check should have to take one. Yeah this cost money but it’s not like BASS or FLW are spending any or very little of their own money on these tournaments since most tournament are funded by the prize money.

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