Pro Bass Angler Forfeits $100K in Winnings When It’s Discovered He Didn’t Have a Fishing License

A “simple, honest mistake” cost Barron Adams a first-place finish
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mistake costs bass angler 100k

Professional angler Barron Adams boats a bass during a tournament. Barron Adams Fishing via Facebook

Last Sunday was a sad ending to what should have been a banner weekend for professional bass fisherman Barron Adams. The 41-year-old angler from Mineral Bluff, Georgia, was competing in a National Professional Fishing League tournament on Wright Patman Lake in East Texas, and he fished well throughout the three-day event. Going into the final weigh-in on April 23, Adams had the heaviest total weight of bass and was looking at a $100,000 payday.

But the devil is in the details, as they say—and fishing is no exception. Because when NPFL tournament organizers did their due diligence after the weigh-in, they discovered that Adams did not have a valid Texas fishing license in his possession. Adams was disqualified as a result.

“A simple, honest mistake cost Barron Adams $100k,” NPFL explained in a Facebook post. “During the post-tournament polygraph Barron was asked if he had a valid fishing license, [to] which he answered, ‘yes.’ He passed the polygraph. However, when asked to physically provide a copy or proof of the official license, he realized that after entering all of his information online (before fishing) he never fully completed the process.”

With Adams out of the running, local Texarkana angler Ryan Satterfield was named champion of the tournament. Satterfield had a combined three-day weight of 50 lbs. 4 oz.

“Ryan has dreamed of winning a national event on his home lake,” NPFL added, “but [he] never imagined it would happen this way.”

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In a press release, NPFL official Brad Fuller spoke positively of Adams and said that the league does not hold the honest mistake against him.

“The League is confident that this was an inadvertent and unintentional rules violation on Barron’s behalf, and this is in no way a reflection of his integrity as an angler,” Fuller said. “Barron is a great person and a phenomenal angler, and we are proud to have him as a competitor in the National Professional Fishing League.”