Elite Angler Violates Rule 12 During Practice Period

CELEBRATION, Fla. -- Kevin VanDam, the top-ranked angler on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index, has been disqualified from the third stop of the 11-event CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series, “The Santee-Cooper Showdown Presented by MotorGuide”, for violating rule 12, BASS announced today.

BASS officials were notified that VanDam’s co-angler, Jim Stawiarski, was driving VanDam’s boat while the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion was on the front deck looking for beds on Santee-Cooper Reservoir Monday, the first day of the official practice period for the tournament.

According to rule 12, “Non boaters are only allowed to drive the boat in emergency situations in both practice and competition with the exception of loading and unloading from trailers.”

Additionally, Stawiarski is disqualified from the tournament for his part in the rule violation. Co-anglers are sent rules in advance of any tournament and Stawiarski confirmed receipt.

The tournament will take place March 30-April 2 and daily weigh-ins will begin at 3 p.m. at John C. Land III Landing on Greenall Road in Summerton. Coverage of the event will air on The CITGO Bassmasters on ESPN2 on Saturday, April 8 at 10 a.m. ET.

Local sponsors include the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advanced Auto Parts and Theraseed®.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry’s widest array of services and support to its nearly 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208. To join BASS, call 1-877-BASS-USA or visit