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Cheaters getting caught

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Virginia Conservation Police Notebook

To increase awareness of the activities of our dedicated Conservation Police Officers, previously called game wardens, the "Virginia Conservation Police Notebook" provides an overview of the variety of activities encountered by our officers who protect natural resources and people pursuing outdoor recreation in the fields, woods and waters of Virginia.

Region 3 - Southwest

Bass Tourney Cheaters Caught and Reeled InOn April 25, 2008 Officers Jeff Pease and Roland Cox received a request to contact a Claytor Lake bass fisherman who wanted to report finding a bass tied by string to the bank. After meeting with the complainant the officers and complainant went to the cove where the bass was reported to be tethered. Upon arrival the complainant could not find the bass he had called about. Officers Pease and Cox then began to search along the sides of the cove in the attempt to locate other tethered bass. The officers eventually found four bass that had been tethered to the bank at the very back of the cove. The officers were aware there was a major bass tournament schedule for the next day April 26, and it was decided to leave the bass where they were and to place them under surveillance the next day. Officer Cox fin clipped each bass to assist in identification and returned them to the water.

On April 26, Officers Billings and Cox arrived at the cove by vehicle at 0600 and placed the area where the bass were located under surveillance. At approximately 0740 a bass boat entered the area and two subjects began to fish toward the back of the cove. When the subjects got to the rear of the cove they waited until all other boats had left the area and motored to where the bass were tied. One subject began to retrieve the tied bass by hand and as he pulled them from the water he cut the lines near the tie off points, placed the fish in a live well, cut the fish from the line and through the lines back into the water. Officer Billings video taped the subjects retrieving two bass and place them in the live well as well as return two fish that had died overnight back into the water. After the boat had cleared the area the officers retrieved and photographed the two dead bass, as well as took the remainder of the strings used to tether the bass as evidence. Officers Billings and Cox ran the boat number through dispatch and found it was registered to a man from Dickenson County. The officers then begin to check local boat ramps and found a vehicle registered to the boat owner at the VDGIF Hidden Valley boat ramp. The officers also found several other vehicles from Dickenson County at the ramp and suspected that a bass club from that area was holding a club tournament on the lake. Officers Cox and Billings launched a patrol boat and checked fisherman until they located two from Dickenson County and learned they were participating in a club tournament and the weigh in was scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at the Hidden Valley ramp.

Officers Billings, Cox, and Wensel arrived at the ramp as the boats were taking off and videoed the weigh in. After the suspects weighed their 10 bass limit, the officers approached and questioned the fishermen about the tethered bass. Both admitted to catching the bass the day before and to retrieving the fish on the morning of the tournament. Inspecting the fish, two were found to be among those Officer Cox had marked the previous day. Officer Billings then asked if there were any more fish on board and the suspect answer "I don't think so". Further investigation revealed an additional bass located in a forward live well, making a total of 11 bass on board the boat, an additional bass still tied to the bank in the cove for a total of 13 bass in their possession. The younger subject will be charged with possessing over the limit of bass and littering. The older subject will be charged with exceeding the daily limit on bass. More severe charges will not be placed because this tournament was not for money or trophies. For more information contact Lt. Rex Hill at (276) 783-4860.

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Why would you cheat in a tournament that wasn't for money?  

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Why would you cheat in a tournament that wasn't for money?

Pride and competition.

Some people are so worried about there image and there standing within a group of people that they will stoop to low levels.

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How often does this stuff go on?  I have been interested in entering some tournies, like a BFL, ABA American Fishing Tour, or Weekend Series, but in the back of my mind, I have always worried about cheaters in the sport.  I don't want to pay $70-$150 for these lower level tournies, only to throw my hard earned money to the cheaters...

My gut tells me that every tourney probably has a cheater in it, no?  Or does the random draw of the angler/co-angler format cut down on the shenanigans?  

Do officials inspect all the livewells before the tourney starts?  What keeps these scum from storing pre caught lunkers in other sections of the boat?

Basically, if I enter a tourney, will I be playing on fair ground?

thanks!

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They DO check livewells before every tournament. Many of the tournaments like the BFL have a non boater. So they would see the boater cheating. Of course there are ways to cheat. There are always ways of beating any system.

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Unfortunately some will cheat you for a plaque.

*****DISGUSTING*****

Father was setting a great example for his son. He will probably be in prison before he turns 21.

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I saw this in golf tournaments ALL the time, which is why I don't enter golf tourneys anymore.

I used to tell everyone, "You can tell what a man's made of by watching him play one round of golf." If someone cheats at golf (or bass fishing) that's just the type of scummy piece of garbage they are in life. AND THEY DON'T CHANGE!!!!!

AJR

PS

I wish there was a website that listed people that got caught cheating during BASS tournaments all over the country so that their faces and true selves could be revealed to us all.  >:(

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The higher level tournaments (BFL, BASS WE's, etc...) are draw tournaments. You don't know who you are fishing with until the day or night before and 99.9% of the people who you might draw out at those tournaments aren't cool with cheating.

It happens in regular 'ol clubs though.....I've been in 2 different clubs in the past that people were caught cheating. One club was a team format and a team of brothers got popped getting fish out of a basket.

The other was a Top Gun format and we had another guy pull the 'ol basket trick.....losers!  

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If someone is caught cheating around here the results are very bad. He might as well just sell his house and move to another area. He wouldn't be welcomed into the tackle shops. He would loose most of his friends and he better not try to fish another tournament within 200 miles because people will know who his is and stop him from entering.

That's usually enough deterrent for most people.

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We had two guys here in Missouri back in the early 90's who got caught.  There was a pretty big club around 150 boats that had weekly tournaments on Lake Wappapello .   Anyway a guy is fishing a crankbait on friday and hooks a steel cage . He goes over to undo his lure and realizes there is 3 3lb bass in it.  He calls the water patrol and they set up cameras and sure enough SAturday morning two guys fishing the tournament come pick up those fish.   There boat took a little beating after the cops hauled them away in the middle of the weigh in. 8-)

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I wish there was a website that listed people that got caught cheating during BASS tournaments all over the country so that their faces and true selves could be revealed to us all. >:(

Thats a good idea!! If i knew how to make a website I would start one up.

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Arul - You will not have to worry about cheating in the tournament trails that you listed.  Where you would have to worry is in the small "open" tournaments or what some people call "fruit jar" tournaments.  These are usually ones that are not affilliated with larger organizations (BASS, FLW, ABA, etc).  

Should we start a list here on BR for those caught in cheating? or would that start a witch hunt?   ;D

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I fish is some local big money tourneys and if someone got caught cheating, well, it would not be pretty.  Us redneck boys from florida did not get a bad reputation for nothing.

I have caught a basket before on lake Istokpoga, let the fish go and cut the basket.

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Should we start a list here on BR for those caught in cheating? or would that start a witch hunt? ;D

That probably wouldn't be a very good idea although it is a good idea to start somewhere else.  ;D

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You canot be sure that you are not being cheated in ANY tournament. There are so many ways it can be done that it is impossible to eliminate. I fished a tournament one lousy day in March. The wind was 25 MPH, the tempearture falling to near 20 degrees with sleet. This was on the same lake that was mentioned in the KFVS article above. An area club was hosting the draw type tournament and guaranteeing 1st place prize of $1,500 and 2nd place $1,000. Because of the lousy weather there were only 30 entrees at $50 each and at least 1/3 were members of the sponsering club.

To make a long story shorter, at the end of the day I weighed in my 6 bare keepers. Two guys I knew talked to me at noon and one told me he had 3 keepers and the other one had 2. At the weigh in one has 6 keepers and the other decided not to weigh his catch.

Then one of the sponsers club members stepped to the scales and has 6 fish also but the weighmaster failed to measure them. Then someone (not me) said "Aren't you going to measure hose fish?" By this time the VP had walked away and one of the fish is obviously just plain short. The President of the club walks over and says "Ah! They are OK." and picked up the fish in question and tossed it into the holding tank.

Bottom line, they got $1,500 and $1,000 respectively while I finished 3rd and my "prize" was $35 and a spool of Stren line. I have seen late entries allowed as well as other examples of misdeeds. Personally I think 5 years hard time is appropriate for anyone caught in the act. >:(

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Why would you cheat period? Wether it's for money, points or anything. Bass fishermen/women are under the glass enough as it is. People don't need to be going out and making more reasons for lakers to hate us and make it more difficult to hold tournaments. Keep it honest all. Lets get our good name back.

Tight lines all,

Snag

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i for one love cheating when it comes to balderdash and taboo, and maybe a little scrabble now and then.  only when, of course, im clearly outmatched.  

but certainly when money was on the line at a tourny, id never do it....

but i can conceive of a scenario, and i know you will probably not like this, that i would stash a fish or two in a "friendly" buddy "tournament" and would use them, and then let everyone in on the gag.  lets say on my local pond, i go out the night before and i know that a few of my friends and i are going to have a friendly competition the next day.  i catch a huge fish, i might wrap a little netting around the dock and toss a fish inside it, and then scoop her up the next day just to wow the crew.   if youll notice the charge was for possession over the limit.  i guess i dont see the harm if you dont harm the fish.  tethering them to the bank seems like high stress and mortality possibility, so itd have to  be a better method of containment.

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We had two guys caught cheating in a Bass-N-Bucks tournament several years ago. One of the partners was cheating and the other did not know about it. He was not charged. Here is how it was done.

Lake is off limits from Sunday night until Friday morning practice

One team member lived close to the lake and the other lived several hours away.

The member that lived at the lake was fishing during the off limits.

When they would come in with a large sack the member that had been on the lake would tell his partner to go weigh the fish and take the polygraph if they won while he loaded the boat(The weighin and the ramp were at different locations)but you could not trailer. He would drop the partner off and motor around to the ramp and then tow the boat to the weighin. . they did and he did.

the partner that took the polygraph passed it as he had no idea that his partner had fished all week.

What did them in was a fellow that was not fishing the tournament happen to see the cheater on the water during the week. No one knows how long this went on. first place in these tournaments are new boats(Rangers this year) and they pay out well over 100,000.00 each tournament.

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