PARIS, Tenn. (June 29, 2014) – Braxton Setzer of Auburn, Ala., was declared FLW Tour Co-angler of the Year early Sunday morning, just one day after the title appeared to have slipped through his grasp on Kentucky Lake.
On Saturday Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., was declared the winner over Setzer after finishing 11th in the tournament, matching Setzer’s 1054 points for the season and winning the title by a tiebreaker. To win the tiebreaker Johnson needed to weigh-in at least 11 pounds, 14 ounces. He brought 14 pounds, 3 ounces to the scale. Unfortunately for Johnson, who has fished the FLW Tour as a co-angler since 2012, that all changed when it was discovered that he had fished from the front deck of Cody Meyer’s boat Saturday, a clear violation of FLW Tour rules.
“This is an unfortunate situation,” said Tournament Director Bill Taylor. “Video from the day shows a single incident where Johnson stepped onto the front deck to net a fish for Cody Meyer. Johnson then makes a cast from the front deck and works his lure while waiting with the net. It was clearly an innocent mistake, but it is a violation nonetheless.”
The video can be seen on FLW’s YouTube channel here.
As a result of the infraction, Johnson’s catch for the day has been disqualified, giving Setzer the Co-angler of the Year title.
“Obviously I hate that this happened,” Johnson said. “It was just a reaction to keep fishing. I know fishing from the front deck is not permitted by co-anglers. I’d been casting to the front of the boat for most of the day due to the wind conditions, and I was just trying to keep the school fired up. I just never once thought about it during the heat of the moment. I made the cast, dropped to get the net and was not thinking when I made the cast from the front. Winning Co-angler of the Year would have been incredible, particularly since it was such a close race, but I’m not going to let this set me back. I’m still looking forward to fishing the FLW Tour as a pro next season.”
Setzer will be recognized on stage during today’s final weigh-in in Paris, Tenn., as the 2014 FLW Tour Co-angler of the Year.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2014 over the course of 229 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.