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Old 07-26-2022, 07:29 PM   #1
SC-001
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Default High school fishing cheaters in DFW

Anyone else hear about this??!

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I've had a lot of calls regarding the incident that happened at our Eagle Mountain Tuesday Night Tournaments on June 14th when we caught a young man cheating. I want to explain everything that happened and what's happening with the investigation so that there is no misinformation circulated through rumors.

On June 14th, I received word that someone found laundry baskets tied together and placed in the water with fish in them. It was early in the day (prior to our tournament) and the game warden was notified but unable to get to the lake before the fish were released by the person who found them. We had no idea who placed the basket but assumed that it might be from someone fishing the tournament that night. Ryan Dusek agreed to wait in the tree line and watch once the tournament started to see who, if anyone, would go look for those fish. Just a few minutes after the start of the tournament, I received word that there was a boat with a young man (unknown who he was at that time) who was looking at the basket. He pulled the basket up and saw that the fish were missing. However, there was a second basket of fish that the game warden (and whoever found the first basket) missed. My guy hiding in the trees was able to video this person pull the basket up and dump the fish into his boat and then he idled out a little ways and began placing the fish on his cull tags and placing them into his live well.

Monte Coon and I immediately went to this boat and personally saw him picking up the fish in his boat and when he noticed us, he started throwing the bass back out into the water. I called out to him and then pulled up next to him and confronted him about the fish. He denied cheating and stated that he "just happened to find a basket with bass" and that he was "going to keep them in his live well to release them later back into the water." I requested that he submit to a polygraph, and he refused.
I suggested that he dump the fish and leave immediately. Our rules state that anyone who refuses to take a polygraph can be disqualified so I made a decision for the current tournament based on that.

I followed up with the game warden who had been notified that same day. She took my information and spoke with everyone who witnessed what happened. For their investigation, we turned over the video and pictures of this guy pulling up the baskets and getting the bass. I let her know his name, Josh Phillips, and that him and his partner, Joe Zimmerman, had placed 2nd in our tournament the week before and drew a check, and may have been cheating then as well. She agreed and started an investigation.

I followed up with the game warden later and she let me know that she spoke with both boys and they both confessed to catching the bass the day before and placing them in the baskets for the purpose of cheating in the tournament. She had their confessions, as well as video and picture evidence, so she would be prosecuting them.

A couple of weeks later I received a phone call from the game warden to let me know that her captain had requested that she drop all charges. I was confused and she stated that he felt like it would be best to just drop all charges and not prosecute at all since they were minors. I was shocked so I requested a phone call with her captain to discuss the matter, especially since these boys admitted to the cheating and had cashed a check in the tournament the week before. I stood my ground that these boys needed to be punished at some capacity and have some consequences, but her captain refused and told me that they did receive a citation but said that he couldn't disclose what it was for. I just think it's odd that I was told they were going to drop all charges but then the captain said a citation was given to them but couldn't tell me what it was for. I honestly do appreciate everything that TP&W does to protect our resources, but I think that these boys should be held accountable, at some capacity, for their actions

I have spoken with other tournament directors in the area and with THSBA but I'm not sure what their decisions will be. As for me and my organization, these guys will never be able to fish any TTO event or anything affiliated with TTO.
I think that since TP&W is doing very little, if any, we should at least do all we can to get their names out there and let everyone know the facts about what happened and how they had a deliberate and premeditated plan to cheat.
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:34 PM   #2
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I didn't hear about that one but I've heard of it happening before on Conroe.

My good friend has a kid who just won nationals. The stories I hear about the parents and captains associated with the high school bass stuff is ridiculous.

I know there are guys here who compete and I'm sure they have stories as well. It's crazy really and I'm glad my kid went to the shooting team and not the fishing team

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Old 07-26-2022, 07:37 PM   #3
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Heard about this one. THSBA has banned them from competing!
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:46 PM   #4
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Chicken ***** move by the captain not to prosecute them. Sounds like the good ole buddy system. Those boys probably know someone with influence.
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:53 PM   #5
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They should be held accountable to some standard, but seeing as it's a high school kid tournament is there not an adult to captain the boat in these tournaments? I would assume one of their fathers is responsible, ****ty behavior like this starts at home lots of times. Also yes they most likely know someone and that's why they had the balls to cheat in the first place.
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:56 PM   #6
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Sounds like the parents got in touch with the captain and convinced him to let their poor little babies off with just a slap on the wrist. We live amongst an entitled and inherently privileged society where accountability is now a cuss word.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:06 PM   #7
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I can't stand thiefs, cheats, and liars, all are in the same basket, no pun intended.

I am also shocked that the names of the minors, not convicted of a crime, are being released to the public.
I could see a defamation law suit paying for these two cheats college costs and more, including suing the OP. The names should have been blocked out.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StickFlinger View Post
They should be held accountable to some standard, but seeing as it's a high school kid tournament is there not an adult to captain the boat in these tournaments? I would assume one of their fathers is responsible, ****ty behavior like this starts at home lots of times. Also yes they most likely know someone and that's why they had the balls to cheat in the first place.
This did not happen at a high school tournament. It was a weekly working manís tournament. No captains, just the two kids fishing, I mean cheating.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:25 PM   #9
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Prolly grow up to be politicians.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Electrican View Post
This did not happen at a high school tournament. It was a weekly working manís tournament. No captains, just the two kids fishing, I mean cheating.
This is the story I heard. I donít bass fish so no clue but when money is involved folks will eventually cheat. Iíve heard some horror stories on the high school kids bass fishing. Sad stuff.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:31 PM   #11
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Captain is a POS. He is intertwined somewhere.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:31 PM   #12
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I can see some young whippersnappers pulling this. We were all young and stupid. The full grown adults....different story.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:32 PM   #13
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Man my boy (8yr old) is still suffering the consequences of cheating at rock paper scissors with his little sister the other day. Parents are the source of all our societal problems.

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Old 07-26-2022, 08:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Slew View Post
This is the story I heard. I donít bass fish so no clue but when money is involved folks will eventually cheat. Iíve heard some horror stories on the high school kids bass fishing. Sad stuff.
I've seen video of one dad ramming (via troll motor) another boat to get to a bedded bass

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Old 07-26-2022, 08:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
I can't stand thiefs, cheats, and liars, all are in the same basket, no pun intended.

I am also shocked that the names of the minors, not convicted of a crime, are being released to the public.
I could see a defamation law suit paying for these two cheats college costs and more, including suing the OP. The names should have been blocked out.
Lots of irony here.


What grounds for a defamation suit? Because someone stated the facts? That wonít hold up.


They need to be held liable with more than a slap on the wrist. Nothing that will change their futures in a horrible way, but something that will let them know thatís not ok.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
I can't stand thiefs, cheats, and liars, all are in the same basket, no pun intended.

I am also shocked that the names of the minors, not convicted of a crime, are being released to the public.
I could see a defamation law suit paying for these two cheats college costs and more, including suing the OP. The names should have been blocked out.

Defamation requires the statement made to be falseÖ.sounds like they have plenty of proof it is true.


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Old 07-26-2022, 08:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by trophy8 View Post
Lots of irony here.


What grounds for a defamation suit? Because someone stated the facts? That wonít hold up.


They need to be held liable with more than a slap on the wrist. Nothing that will change their futures in a horrible way, but something that will let them know thatís not ok.
The two minors should be punished and fined. The lawsuit is an easy one, there is a reason minor's names are not reported in almost all cases, even slam dunks. Just the trouble of going through a lawsuit is enough to do the prudent thing and not mention names of people not convicted of the crime, especially minors. How can you disagree with that?
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by trophy8 View Post
Lots of irony here.


What grounds for a defamation suit? Because someone stated the facts? That wonít hold up.


They need to be held liable with more than a slap on the wrist. Nothing that will change their futures in a horrible way, but something that will let them know thatís not ok.
I agree completely with you. We all should not give two ****tz about their names being released. Wanna be a big boy then get treated like a big boy.

Everyone tiptoeing around with things like this only feeds their desire to continue. You wanna sue, go ahead and sue.
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
The two minors should be punished and fined. The lawsuit is an easy one, there is a reason minor's names are not reported in almost all cases, even slam dunks. Just the trouble of going through a lawsuit is enough to do the prudent thing and not mention names of people not convicted of the crime, especially minors. How can you disagree with that?
You said defamation. The article states they were charged. But not for what. The person in the article who runs the tournament has every right to speak up and itís highly likely they signed waivers covers their ***. You claim you hate lawyers. Now you want them to sue for chicken **** stuff that they actually committed? Youíre a real piece of work lol.
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:14 PM   #20
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To hell with the not naming minors. Laws need to be changed. If you are charged with a crime, minor or not your name should be out there for everyone to know.
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:16 PM   #21
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I’ve never had a boss tell me what to “prosecute” in 29 years….that’s up to a county and or district attorney
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Pedernal View Post
To hell with the not naming minors. Laws need to be changed. If you are charged with a crime, minor or not your name should be out there for everyone to know.
I agree completely.
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:30 PM   #23
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Man you guys are quick to burn someone down
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:39 PM   #24
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Sad stuff. Hope the kids learn something from it. Bass fisherman are crazy!
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:42 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
I can't stand thiefs, cheats, and liars, all are in the same basket, no pun intended.

I am also shocked that the names of the minors, not convicted of a crime, are being released to the public.
I could see a defamation law suit paying for these two cheats college costs and more, including suing the OP. The names should have been blocked out.
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Originally Posted by Pedernal View Post
To hell with the not naming minors. Laws need to be changed. If you are charged with a crime, minor or not your name should be out there for everyone to know.
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Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
I agree completely.
You are making this way too easy. Yet you hate liars. But here you are. Again.
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:57 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
I can't stand thiefs, cheats, and liars, all are in the same basket, no pun intended.

I am also shocked that the names of the minors, not convicted of a crime, are being released to the public.
I could see a defamation law suit paying for these two cheats college costs and more, including suing the OP. The names should have been blocked out.
Haaaaaaa! I cannot believe the announcers at a high school football game announce the name of the kids involved in a play. The travesty of it all.
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Old 07-26-2022, 09:58 PM   #27
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Crazy story, I guess I’m very naive about cheating in a bass tournament.

On another note, I got a warning the other day from Michael and I have never said stuff that has been said all over TBH as of late…. Thought it was strange
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Old 07-26-2022, 10:01 PM   #28
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You said defamation. The article states they were charged. But not for what. The person in the article who runs the tournament has every right to speak up and itís highly likely they signed waivers covers their ***. You claim you hate lawyers. Now you want them to sue for chicken **** stuff that they actually committed? Youíre a real piece of work lol.
Well done, grasshopper!

For those calling for prosecution by TPWD, what is the crime? Is it illegal to keep legal size bass in a container if under bag limit? Is there a penal code provision regarding cheating in a tournament? Very well could be, I just have no idea.
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Old 07-26-2022, 10:03 PM   #29
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Crazy story, I guess Iím very naive about cheating in a bass tournament.

On another note, I got a warning the other day from Michael and I have never said stuff that has been said all over TBH as of lateÖ. Thought it was strange
Itís because youíre a psycho that likes this hot weather!


Iíll take my licks for what I say if given. No problem. Needs to be said.
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Old 07-26-2022, 10:08 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by trophy8 View Post
Itís because youíre a psycho that likes this hot weather!


Iíll take my licks for what I say if given. No problem. Needs to be said.
LoL I do enjoy a little heat!!!! Changed shirts 3 times today.
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Old 07-26-2022, 10:42 PM   #31
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Do they run high school tournaments in the summer? Seems like Slew is probably more right on the Working Man Tourney.....either way, not a good deal.
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Old 07-26-2022, 11:09 PM   #32
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Anybody know the captains name?

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Old 07-26-2022, 11:14 PM   #33
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Once a cheat always a cheat. Good to have their names out there to protect the guys doing it right.
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Old 07-26-2022, 11:17 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by RR 314 View Post
Well done, grasshopper!

For those calling for prosecution by TPWD, what is the crime? Is it illegal to keep legal size bass in a container if under bag limit? Is there a penal code provision regarding cheating in a tournament? Very well could be, I just have no idea.
Fraud
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Old 07-26-2022, 11:21 PM   #35
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Im in same boat as RR 314 (no pun intended).

What crime should they be prosecuted for?
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Old 07-26-2022, 11:33 PM   #36
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Im in same boat as RR 314 (no pun intended).

What crime should they be prosecuted for?
Fraud
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Old 07-26-2022, 11:36 PM   #37
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Either under the Penal Code or TPWD Code.

Remember that ignorance is not a defense to prosecution.
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:02 AM   #38
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Either under the Penal Code or TPWD Code.

Remember that ignorance is not a defense to prosecution.
Is there money involved in high school fishing tournaments? I am ignorant about such things. Obviously if there is prize money, fraud charges could be appropriate. All fraud crimes Iím aware of, and level of the offense, must involve $. If caught in a tournament with prize money in play I can see fraud, but it would be interesting to prove the monetary value prior to weigh in etc.
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:05 AM   #39
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Either under the Penal Code or TPWD Code.

Remember that ignorance is not a defense to prosecution.
Is there money involved in high school fishing tournaments? I am ignorant about such things. Obviously if there is prize money, fraud charges could be appropriate. All fraud crimes Iím aware of, and level of the offense, must involve $. If caught in a tournament with prize money in play I can see fraud, but it would be interesting to prove the monetary value prior to weigh in etc.

Edit: Just read and saw they ďdrew a checkĒ in prior tournament/cheated. That would do it. I guess Iím getting old, I always thought that you lost your amateur status if you received money. Well, prior to NIL swamp.
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:23 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by RR 314 View Post
Well done, grasshopper!



For those calling for prosecution by TPWD, what is the crime? Is it illegal to keep legal size bass in a container if under bag limit? Is there a penal code provision regarding cheating in a tournament? Very well could be, I just have no idea.
Straight from the TP&W code:

Sec. 66.023. FRAUD IN FISHING TOURNAMENTS. (a) In this section, "fishing tournament" means a contest in which a prize is to be awarded to one or more participants in the contest based on the weight, length, number, or type of fish caught by the participants or based on any other criteria applicable to the fish caught.

(b) A person commits an offense if, with intent to affect the outcome of a fishing tournament:

(1) the person provides, offers to provide, sells, or offers to sell a fish to a participant in the tournament for the purpose of representing that the fish was caught by the participant in the course of the tournament;

(2) the person, as a participant in the tournament, accepts or agrees to accept a fish from another person for the purpose of representing that the fish was caught by the participant in the course of the tournament;

(3) the person, as a participant in the tournament, represents that a fish was caught by the person in the course of the tournament when in fact the fish was not caught by that person or the fish was not caught in the course of that tournament;

(4) the person alters the length or weight of a fish for the purpose of representing that the fish as entered in the tournament was that length or weight when caught; or

(5) the person enters a fish in the tournament that was taken in violation of any provision of this code or a proclamation or regulation of the commission adopted under this code.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person sponsors or conducts a fishing tournament and knows of the occurrence in the tournament of activity prohibited by Subsection (b) of this section and does not immediately notify a law enforcement officer commissioned by the director of its occurrence.

(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that if the offense occurred during a tournament in which any prize or combination of prizes to be awarded for any one category for which an award is given, whether the prize or prizes are to an individual or a team, is worth $10,000 or more in money or goods, the offense is a felony of the third degree.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Parks and Wildlife Code, Section 66.119 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 114 (H.B. 1806), Sec. 1, eff. May 21, 2011.



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Old 07-27-2022, 12:29 AM   #41
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Straight from the TP&W code:

Sec. 66.023. FRAUD IN FISHING TOURNAMENTS. (a) In this section, "fishing tournament" means a contest in which a prize is to be awarded to one or more participants in the contest based on the weight, length, number, or type of fish caught by the participants or based on any other criteria applicable to the fish caught.

(b) A person commits an offense if, with intent to affect the outcome of a fishing tournament:

(1) the person provides, offers to provide, sells, or offers to sell a fish to a participant in the tournament for the purpose of representing that the fish was caught by the participant in the course of the tournament;

(2) the person, as a participant in the tournament, accepts or agrees to accept a fish from another person for the purpose of representing that the fish was caught by the participant in the course of the tournament;

(3) the person, as a participant in the tournament, represents that a fish was caught by the person in the course of the tournament when in fact the fish was not caught by that person or the fish was not caught in the course of that tournament;

(4) the person alters the length or weight of a fish for the purpose of representing that the fish as entered in the tournament was that length or weight when caught; or

(5) the person enters a fish in the tournament that was taken in violation of any provision of this code or a proclamation or regulation of the commission adopted under this code.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person sponsors or conducts a fishing tournament and knows of the occurrence in the tournament of activity prohibited by Subsection (b) of this section and does not immediately notify a law enforcement officer commissioned by the director of its occurrence.

(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that if the offense occurred during a tournament in which any prize or combination of prizes to be awarded for any one category for which an award is given, whether the prize or prizes are to an individual or a team, is worth $10,000 or more in money or goods, the offense is a felony of the third degree.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Parks and Wildlife Code, Section 66.119 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 114 (H.B. 1806), Sec. 1, eff. May 21, 2011.



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And you can see in (d) it says a prize worth goods or money. I cannot see where it defines prize so I would think that a first place trophy would be considered a good.

It doesnít become a felony until the prize or money is over $10,000 but cheating in any fishing tournament where even trophies are given, appears to be at least a class A misdemeanor.
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Old 07-27-2022, 04:19 AM   #42
Snowflake Killa
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They want to fish with grown men they should be treated like grown men. One thing is for sure they have ruined fishing for money ever again.


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Old 07-27-2022, 06:58 AM   #43
BTLowry
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Been a long time since I fished any bass tournaments but seems like a few of the bigger ones had a clause along the lines of "if you have ever cheated in any other tournament you are not eligible to compete"

Looks like an open records request would reveal what if any charges/citations were issued
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Old 07-27-2022, 07:09 AM   #44
SETXbowhunter22
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I saw this yesterday, with photos of the kids smiling holding their fish. How do people knowingly cheat and then have no remorse? "Just smile for the picture boys they dont have a clue"

Just doesnt even register with me
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Old 07-27-2022, 07:10 AM   #45
Gumbo Man
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Play stupid games and you should win stupid prizes. Hopefully the youngsters have learned a lesson at the very least.
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Old 07-27-2022, 07:18 AM   #46
ACbob
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Bigger story to me is the captain sweeping it under the rug.
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Old 07-27-2022, 07:25 AM   #47
Statton48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake Killa View Post
They want to fish with grown men they should be treated like grown men. One thing is for sure they have ruined fishing for money ever again.


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Agree with this!! I started when I was 16 trying to compete with locals and cheating was a heavy thing in the Etx area at the time. Saw a few guys get ran off and their name ainít worth crap around here anymore.

No one needs to let these kids fish for a couple of years at at least. If they do, that TD fixing to get some heat and lose about 1/2 the field overnight.
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Old 07-27-2022, 07:39 AM   #48
175gr7.62
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I just want to know who is crazy enough to sit out in the heat this time of the year to catch a bass.


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Old 07-27-2022, 07:50 AM   #49
jdg13
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Anything for a buck. Teach em early that rules don't matter and then wonder why we have so many worthless adults. BuT tHeYRe JuST kiDs.....
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Old 07-27-2022, 08:02 AM   #50
AgHntr10
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They should have been prosecuted. In hind site the TD shouldn't have confronted him in the act and instead let them weigh in the fish first. Would have made for a stronger case and possibly more charges.
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