Clausen Disqualification From Lake Wheeler Tournament Upheld

The disqualification of Luke Clausen of Otis Orchards, Wash., from the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament at Wheeler Lake, Alabama, last week, has been upheld by an appeals panel.

Clausen was disqualified from the event on the third day of competition for violating Elite Series Rule C3, which outlines a number of restrictions on practicing and obtaining information during off-limits periods, among others. At the time, he was in seventh place and had qualified to compete on Championship Sunday.

Clausen quickly appealed the disqualification decision when it was announced.

Under a new rule for this year, Clausen was allowed to continue competing while the decision was being appealed. According to the rule (C23), the 13th-place angler, Cliff Crochet of Pierre Part, La., was permitted to compete on Sunday, as well, with the understanding that, should Clausen win the appeal, Crochet’s catch, ranking and winnings would revert to his Day 3 totals.

A three-member panel consisting of two tournament anglers not competing in the Elite Series and a B.A.S.S. employee not associated with the tournament department heard the appeal Friday afternoon and upheld the disqualification.

With the appeals panel’s ruling, Clausen’s total catch of 59-9, initially good enough for eighth place, is erased, dropping him to 108th in the tournament. Crochet, who finished seventh with 59-10, will remain in that position, and each angler below seventh will move up one position.

Official, updated standings, points and payouts will be posted on on Saturday.

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (, television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.