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The Day 2 weight of Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, has been disqualified in the Bassmaster Elite Series event on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis.

Palaniuk had been the leader for the first two days of the event.

Friday evening after the day’s results had been published, an official, written protest presented to B.A.S.S. officials stated that Palaniuk may have been culling in Minnesota waters. Minnesota law prohibits culling from a limit of bass in state waters, or any culling in Wisconsin-Minnesota border waters.

The fishery for the event includes Pools 7, 8 and 9 of the Mississippi River, including all rivers, creeks and canals connecting to the Mississippi River.

“We discussed the protest with Brandon Palaniuk, and we determined that he did in fact cull from a five-fish limit while he was in Minnesota,” said Chris Bowes, B.A.S.S. senior tournament manager. “We recognize that he did not realize he was in Minnesota waters, and his error was completely inadvertent. In dealing with a river system like the Mississippi and its numerous channels, it’s easy to become confused about the state lines on the water.”

Bowes added, “When his mistake was pointed out to Brandon, and he was referred to a map, he acknowledged that he must have culled in Minnesota, but was not aware of it at the time.”

The penalty imposed was loss of his Day 2 weight.

With Palaniuk’s second-day weight of 19 pounds, 3 ounces disqualified, he fell out of the Top 50 cut. Bill Lowen, formerly in 51st place, moved up into 50th place, and will advance to Day 3.

Aaron Martens, in second place after Friday’s weigh-in, was declared the leader of the event with 31 pounds, 7 ounces.

Palaniuk gave this statement: “I had no idea today that I ever broke a rule. I signed off on the rule sheet. One hundred percent in my mind, I believed that south of the I-90 bridge, the main river channel was the state boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin, until we went south of the takeoff and went into the West Channel. I knew one of my areas was in Minnesota and I could not go back to that when I caught five.

“I made one cull today — just one — in Minnesota, in an area that I believed was in Wisconsin. It was only in Minnesota waters by less than 100 yards. I had 18 1/2 pounds before I made that one cull that just cost me, possibly, $100 grand and a Classic berth,” Palaniuk said.

9 thoughts on “Palaniuk’s Weight Disqualified at LaCrosse, Falls Out of Top 50

  1. While this is a really unfortunate turn of events in the tournament for him, I so appreciate his honesty and integrity in dealing with the situation. What an outstanding role model not only for other fishermen, but also for kids like my sons. Sure he probably won’t win the tournament, but his integrity in my book is nothing short of priceless.

  2. Which is why I hate the regulations in this state! Some of the regs are absurd, his mistake, of culling, is one of them! How can it be okay in one state and in the neighboring state, Minnesota, be a problem? Countless scientific surveys and research have shown that proper culling shouldn’t be a problem. Now Palaniuk could be out of check this tourney…

  3. , I applaud Brandon for being a true sportsman and owning up to what happened. He proves a great example for all of us. But at the same time, I am truly disappointed in the regulations that Minnesota has set forth. An innocent individual could make this honest mistake. This is a regulation that needs to be changed. If this is to be changed, it is up to the citizens to force the change. These fish are being released back to live another day, not taken home to eat. I believe the state should be required to mark all state lines on the water, every small creek, every lake, every river, and have a clear boundary on this crazy rule. It could have been me getting turned around and missing an unmarked state line.

  4. This is such a good kid. I had the opportunity to spend some time with him and his sister while they were in my area a few years ago. He was at our house when he made his first classic. i admire his honesty and integrity and in my eyes this even makes him more of a man behind the fisherman. It’s great to see the human side of star athletes. He comes from a good family, he was raised with these values…and because of this we will see more and more of Brandon. it may have cost him in monetary value of 100 grand but in the long run of things he gained a higher ground of respect that will pay him more in the future. It is unfortunate.

  5. I really don’t get it. Our state limit is 6. Brandon only had 5. Thus he was not culling from our “Minnesota” state limit. I see no problem. We cull fish ALL the time in our tournaments. This is one of those stupid grayline laws that really should be sent out the door. I’ll admit, the MN DNR can’t get anything right and is so backwards on its thinking that they make congress look good. The MN DNR is so against bass tournaments and how beneficial to the economy it could be its not even funny.

  6. This is not a problem of Brandon or the state but B.A.S.S. Why hold a tournament on a body of water where there could be a problem for anglers. There are ample bodies of water to hold tournaments that problems such as this would not occur. Get your head out B.A.S.S. and rectify this problem!

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