Prize-Winning Bass Ends Up Being Fish Tale

By Randy McIlwain
|  Tuesday, Nov 3, 2009  |  Updated 8:10 PM CDT
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Prize-Winning Bass Ends Up Being Fish Tale

Texas Parks and Wildlife

The right way to handle a fish "get a grip on the tail and the lip."

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Prize-Winning Bass Ends Up Being Fish Tale

A Garland angler is accused of telling a whopper of a fish story during a bass tournament at lake Ray Hubbard.
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A Garland angler allegedly tried to tell the mother of all fish tales at the Bud Light Trails Big Bass tournament on lake Ray Hubbard a couple of weeks ago.

The competitive Fisherman turned in what judges initially thought was a prize winning bass.

“It was sitting at the bottom of the holding tank, not swimming, they inspected the fish and discovered a 1lb lead weight in the fish,” said Texas Game Warden Garry Collins.
    
Talk about cheating at fishing tournaments and specifically what happened at lake Ray Hubbard are viral. A thread on the topic at the Texas Fishing Forum’s Web site has had nearly 48,000 hits with respondents calling for everything from a lifetime ban for the accused angler to criminal charges.

“I say ban him for life, you can never trust him again,” said Mark Werner who fished in the same tournament, “In the fishing world it's the highest level it gets because I think we're here on (a) trust basis.”
 
Other people, like bass fisherman Chris Maddux are taking things a step further.
“I think they ought to be prosecuted to the fullest,” Maddux said.
 
His wish may come true, game wardens investigating the incident are looking at possible charges of rigging a competition, which could mean a misdemeanor or possibly a felony charge in the case.
 
Maddux said big cash prizes and tournament grand prizes like the $55,000 bass fishing boat won at the tournament is what’s causing people to attempt to cheat.  

Maddux said he recently watched a competitor chop part of the tail off a fish so it could qualify as a winner. He said the incident has made him decide to quit competitive fishing.

“Some people love it, I'd rather fish just to catch some fish,” he said.
 
Officials with The Bud Light Trails tournament issued a statement acknowledging what happened and said an investigation is under way.   

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