Gutierrez Steps Away From BASS Elite Series
For the past several years I have maintained my position as a Fire Captain with CAL FIRE while I competed on the Bassmaster Elite Tour, and believe me, balancing the busy schedule has been very challenging. I maintained that schedule for several reasons, one reason was to live the dream that so many working men and women have dreamed, "To be a Bassmaster Pro".
I have competed on several tournament circuits over the years and feel I have reached the pinnacle of bass fishing by competing with such a professional organization such as BASS, and against some of the best anglers in the world. My family has grown with and has become part of the BASS family.
It is with great sadness that I must issue this release to my fishing family.
My wife Bobbie of 21 years was recently diagnosed with two masses in her lungs one on the left and one on the right, we don't know what they are but with her history as a long time cancer survivor we are being very aggressive with this. We are unsure at this time if the surgery will be followed with other known cancer treatments.
I am Bobbie's only care giver and she will need me to be there for her, as she has always been by my side for my fishing. With the upcoming surgery and recovery time in the hospital and at home, and with the medical hardship this will cause. I see no possible way to continue competing on the BASS Elite Tour and provide the care she needs.
Stepping down from finishing the tour brings about several additional complications, and my only hope is BASS will recognize my need to care for Bobbie's medical needs are necessary and unavoidable, and hopefully BASS will allow me to qualify for a medical exemption and allow me to return back to the Elite Tour at a later date.
I know I have made promises and signed contractual obligations to meet but I don't know if I will be able to meet those expectations right now, maybe I can participate in some type of event to generate some good positive press for BASS and my sponsors.
I'm sorry I can't continue the Tour, but 21 years ago I made a promise to Bobbie in front of God, my family and friends, that in "sickness and in health" I would care for her and be there for her, I intend to keep that promise.
I'll try to keep you informed. Hug your family and keep us in your prayers.
Greg, Bobbie and Gregory Gutierrez