Dakota Ebare, in sixth place with 20 pounds, 12 ounces after Day 1, had that weight disqualified after self-reporting violation of B.A.S.S. Rule #8 Tackle and Equipment.
The rule states: "Use of landing nets and grippers for landing bass is prohibited during tournament competition."
Ebare self-reported the violation after realizing his mistake following the weigh-in. Coincidentally, Ebare is an FLW Tour pro, and landing nets are allowed during competition.
Ebare hopes to recover from the tough start based on the strength of his pattern. He is fishing a rotation of offshore areas where roaming largemouth feed on baitfish.
"It's all about the timing, and there are so many variables in play," he said. "Later in the day the wind picks up, and the wind-driven current is a key in setting the fish up."
Beau Brinson, his co-angler, also had his weight disqualified. Brinson caught two largemouth weighing 3-7 while fishing with Ebare.