Posted by BlueWater on June 26, 2003 at 10:20:06:
In Reply to: bASS Tournaments posted by BlueWater on June 25, 2003 at 08:32:46:
Well, if this article isn't quite timely! This jerk WON the tournament AND was breaking the law in our state!!! Oh, and he is a "professional"! They should have stripped him of the win and tossed his butt it jail... after all - he CHOSE to be in the public eye and should set an exempary example to all the fans... RIGHT?
"Aaron Martens of California practiced for and fished in two major bass tournaments in the state within the last three months, including last week's Wal-Mart FLW Tour Forrest Wood Open on Wheeler Lake, while violating state law by not having a non-resident Alabama fishing license.
Enforcement officer Chris Champion of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources gave Martens a citation last Saturday morning during the final day of the Forrest Wood Open. Martens won the tournament by less than a pound over Tim Horton of Muscle Shoals and earned $200,000.
Champion said about 10 a.m. he pulled alongside Martens, who was fishing in the mouth of Flint Creek, for a routine license check. Martens said he had one, but Champion discovered it had expired Jan. 31. Martens then reportedly said he had called the automated license purchasing number and had gotten one, but Champion could not ascertain any license in Martens' name.
"As best as I can determine, if he had a license he did not have it in his possession," Champion said. "But as best I can determine he had no state license."
A nonresident license costs $31. Martens has an Aug. 8 arraignment in Morgan County Circuit Court. He can pay the fine and mail it in, according to Circuit Court Clerk John Pat Orr, without having to appear in court.
Martens could not be reached for comment. FLW Outdoors spokesman Dave Washburn said the organization has no specific rule requiring anglers to purchase a license or disciplinary action for anyone who is cited for not having one. Because of that Martens will be recognized as the tournament winner.
"You can see how these anglers, who travel all over the country, could make an oversight like that," Washburn said. "He was treated like any other angler (by the game warden). He was given a citation and a fine."
Washburn said licenses are available for purchase at the Tuesday night tournament registration for anglers who need one.
Champion said there is no law requiring anglers who are fishing without a license to release any fish they have caught."
Written by Alan Clemons 6/25/03, The Huntsville Times.
Post a Followup