Also Saturday, B.A.S.S. issued the following statement:
“Based on an investigation of an incident Friday during the tournament on Lake Tohopekaliga, B.A.S.S. today disqualified two anglers from the event. Pursuant to B.A.S.S. rules, Ish Monroe of Hughson, Calif., and Keith Poche of Pike Road, Ala., were disqualified from the Open. Additional penalties for both anglers may be imposed pending the outcome of additional investigations that are ongoing at this time. Because of those investigations, B.A.S.S. will not comment further on the decisions.”
Friday reports and several witnesses we spoke to corroborated a story that Keith Poche of Louisiana and Ish Monroe of Florida were involved in an altercation that lead to Monroe falling in the lake and Poche falling on another boat. According to eye witnesses in the canal leading to the lock, Monroe was tied off to a fellow competitor’s boat waiting to enter the lock in the next flight or two. Poche was reported to have come off plane just outside of the boats at the mouth of the canal. As he neared the mouth of the canal, he reached for his lock card to show the lock master. Poche’s boat struck Monroe’s boat very forcefully.
From there a verbal altercation began, and boats at the front of the lock could hear the obscenities repeatedly come from Poche’s and Monroe’s boats from hundreds of yards away. Monroe attempted to enter Poche’s boat, and eyewitnesses said in an instant, Monroe was in the water and Poche was on another competitor’s boat half in the water.
The lock master attempted to break up the two over the loudspeaker and demanded Poche leave the locking area. Poche returned to the launch ramp where he reported the incident to B.A.S.S. and called the authorities and an ambulance.
Monroe went on to fish and caught 15-12. He ended up finishing 18th and making a check before later being DQed. Authorities followed Monroe through the weigh-in and then took him to Osceola County Jail for booking.
We’ll post more as BASS’s investigation and judgements are passed along or further information is reported and corroborated.