UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Give Gagliardi a break

Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi broke down the lake with Chris Jones prior to takeoff. Gagliardi lives on Lake Murray and is as local as local favorites come.

It didn’t take long for the knives to come out.

Anthony Gagliardi didn’t even have time to savor his Forrest Wood Cup victory on Lake Murray before the naysayers started showing up. He isn’t a good sportsman, say some. His victory should be nullified, say others.

The smear campaign started soon after an alleged incident on the water that was reported on a couple of Web-based bass forums. People jumped to conclusions without knowing the facts, but these days that’s pretty standard operating procedure for some who have nothing better to do than put a negative spin on everything.

Sunday, at the start of the championship round, Gagliardi ran to the same large cove near the dam that he had fished the day before and from which he had caught keeper bass. Another boat, with a local angler, was there ahead of him. Gagliardi started fishing, and the other angler continued fishing, though obviously he was disturbed by all the boat traffic that followed Gagliardi, and he expressed his displeasure. He wasn’t mad that Gagliardi was fishing there. He was mad that Gagliardi was showing the world “his” fishing hole. Gagliardi was deferential – to a point. But he caught three keepers there the day before, and there was no way he was going to make the long run all the way from Dreher Island State Park to the dam and not fish.

That was it. The man wasn’t fishing a dock or a brush pile. He was doing the same thing Gagliardi was doing: casting to bass busting blueback herring on the surface in what is regarded by locals as a community hole. Sometimes the fish came up astern, sometimes off the bow, sometimes to port or starboard. Gagliardi and the local moved around, the anglers casting in different directions and sometimes at the same targets. All in all, it was pretty peaceful other than the verbal jabs lobbed in Gagliardi’s direction.

I was part of the FLW On The Water coverage teams at Pickwick Lake and Kentucky Lake earlier this summer. If fishing close to somebody who isn’t anchored or who doesn’t have a place staked out is grounds for disqualification, a third of the field in both those ledge tournaments would have been disqualified.

Jeff Samsel was among the media covering Gagliardi that final day at the Cup. I was a few hundred yards away covering Scott Martin. Guess what: Martin was doing the same thing, and there were other boats around him as well. He was casting at targets of opportunity, and so were they. Nothing was said by anyone. Fishing the jumps is not a restrictive activity.

“Fish were coming up, and people were casting at them,” recalls Samsel, a Georgia writer. “Anthony stayed pretty quiet, which is normal for him. He was moving around, and the other guy would turn with him. It was like he was chasing Anthony. He was totally the aggressor, and apparently the guy has a reputation on the lake for that sort of thing. He wanted to aggravate Anthony. I could tell from his posture and boat positioning. I think others who were there had the same perception. The people commenting about the situation aren’t commenting on facts, just assumptions. I thought that through it all, Anthony was pretty professional about it.”

Mark Rose, who didn’t make the final round, was sitting in his wife’s car nearby, sipping on coffee and watching Gagliardi fish. He says he was so infuriated by the man’s actions that he almost decided to go launch his boat, return to the spot and give the angler a “respectful piece of my mind.”

“It made me so furious to see that guy cast over Anthony’s line. I wanted to tell him what a bad sport he was about it,” says Rose, who placed ninth in the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray.

Martin had a confrontation with the same fisherman the day before, on Saturday. He arrived in the cove early in the morning, and found the angler there ahead of him.

“I pulled up there first thing, and he was sitting there,” Martin says. “I put my trolling motor down, and before I even cast I hollered at him, ‘Good morning, sir, mind if I make a cast or two across the point?’ He said, ‘Might as well. It’s not going to do any good anyhow.’ So I started casting away from him. Then he started coming at me fast. I hollered ‘Hey, man, we’ll be out of your hair after tomorrow,’ just trying to be friendly. All the while he’s coming at me and cursing under his breath, but loud enough that I can hear him. Then I asked him where he wanted me to fish, meaning where did he want me to get to be out of his way. He waved his hand around and said, ‘I’m fishing all this.’

“I decided to make a big loop around him and fall in behind somewhere. But he turned with me and headed right at me,” continues Martin. “When he got about 20 yards away, I said to him, ‘Dude, are you going to ram me?’ He was like a dog guarding his yard, but he finally turned around and went back. I moved on, thinking that I’d go back and fish that part of the cove when he left. By the time he got ready to leave, a few spectator boats had showed up. He got up on half-plane and ran between them and me. Then Anthony showed up and started fishing by himself. He beat me there the last morning, but there wasn’t anything wrong about that.”

Martin insists that he was courteous to the local angler the whole time. He asked permission – though none was required – planned to maintain a minimum distance of 60 yards from the man and did not cast toward him. Even then, the fisherman displayed an aggressive attitude.

“He definitely wasn’t some angel out there enjoying his day on the water,” says Martin. “He just didn’t want anybody anywhere around him. It was pretty weird.”

By all eyewitness accounts, as well as a review of video from the encounter, Gagliardi was the utmost professional. He was courteous and polite despite having a difficult situation thrust upon him. In the end, both Gagliardi and the local angler shared the water, chasing bass busting on the surface, without any real incident other than the one imagined by those trolling the bass-fishing forums looking to muddy the waters with half-truths.

Don’t miss the FLW Podcast that was posted today for a first-hand account of the encounter from Gagliardi.

Tags: colin-moore  article 

/tips/2016-02-12-fishing-the-all-american

Fishing the All-American

My wish is that everyone who competes in BFL tournaments will get to experience the All-American. It truly is an amazing experience, and a goal that everyone who competes on the weekends should strive to achieve. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-eric-jackson-q-a

Eric Jackson Q&A

We caught up with Jackson just prior to his Tour debut on Lake Okeechobee to learn more about his background in the outdoors and how he got started in tournament fishing. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-flw-podcast-111-bradley-hallman

FLW Podcast 111 - Bradley Hallman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-05-an-ill-wind-at-okeechobee-

An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-04-aquatic-plant-id

Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-03-flw-podcast-110-jt-kenney-and-kyle-monti

FLW Podcast 110 - JT Kenney and Kyle Monti

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-poche-services-set

Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-time-to-shine-for-setzer

Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-01-ambassador

Ambassador

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-29-glenn-browne-s-timeout-is-over-

Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-flw-podcast-109-mike-surman

FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-john-cox-gives-himself-a-makeover

John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-austin-felix-is-ready-for-the-big-time

Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-flw-canada-sets-tournament-sites-dates

FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-26-jigging-spoons-for-winter-bass

Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-24-how-bryan-thrift-got-to-be-so-good

How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-high-school-fishing-makes-the-grade

High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-flw-mexico-at-the-starting-gate

FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-making-the-case-for-haynes-as-aoy

Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-21-flw-podcast-108-jason-lambert

FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert

READ MORE »