Congratulations to Rod Yoder for winning the Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest with his correct answer! Read below for the answer.
Aaron Martens took home the champion’s trophy after the 2009 Bassmaster Elite Series Southern Challenge on Lake Guntersville. He was the top dog among four anglers who topped the century mark that week, beating runner-up Skeet Reese by a little over 3 pounds. Had Reese prevailed, he might now be known as the king of the Big G, since he won the following year’s tournament there with another 100-pound-plus catch.
While Martens earned the hardware, the big headlines at this event were caused by someone who finished outside of the money. In fact, the angler in question earned just a little more than $150,000 over 57 career events at BASS, finishing in the top ten on two occasions. The Big G was his last event with the circuit, though.
Do you remember what the fuss was about?
The angler who got the headlines was North Carolina pro Kevin Langill, whose Day Two catch was DQed after a dispute with Boyd Duckett over a fishing spot that both wanted to fish. The two anglers had crossed paths there on Day One, leading Duckett to file a protest against Langill. On Day Two, the tensions escalated, and Duckett claimed that Langill, “came flying in on pad and almost hit me coming off plane. He came ready to fight.” Langill admitted that their boats touched, but said the contact was minor and inadvertent.
Langill did not finish last (he was 98th out of 99 with 20-14), but the spat and the resulting DQ cost him a shot at the money. It would have been his first check of the season. Duckett earned a check, finishing 30th, but he too claimed to have suffered as a result of their disagreement, telling BassFan that his frustration led him to abandon the contested spot prematurely.
If it had ended right then, perhaps Langill would still be on tour today, but he took it a step further, first confronting Duckett on the docks, and then following and harassing him on the water on Day Three.
“(Langill) circled my boat and ran over my line, and just prohibited me from fishing,” Duckett told BassFan. “I had to go back to the dock and call (tournament director Trip Weldon), and finally they got the sheriff’s department to take him off the water. Once the sheriff had him, then I went fishing.”
As a result of those further actions, BASS announced shortly thereafter that Langill was suspended for the remainder of that Elite Series season. He was deemed eligible to participate in BASS’ other tournament trails in 2009 and eligible to rejoin the Elite Series in subsequent years, pending qualification.
Langill tried to save face by saying that the chain of events might actually benefit his business: “This is closing a window, but it’s opening a door on Langill Lures,” he told BassFan. “It’ll allow me to spend all my time on my lure company. I’m not going to do any tournaments right now. We’re going to be set up at ICAST, and we’ve got some new concept baits coming out that should go all the way to the top.
“This actually comes at a good time,” he added. “It’s a decision I’ve wanted to make for awhile, and this happening made it that much easier. It’ll be huge for me – I’ll save up my money and come back even stronger.”
The comeback has yet to be realized but Langill Lures can be viewed and purchased on his website.