If you’re looking for a longterm payoff, you’re most likely not going to find it by cheating.

It was discovered that Terry Long had trimmed the tail of a bass to get it under the slot limit size for Sealy Big Bass Splash in September.

A grand jury found the Bridgeport man to be guilty and charged him with third degree fraud of a fishing tournament.

Long had initially brought the bass in to be weighed during the tournament on Lake Fork. It was discovered he had altered the bass in order to make it qualify under the guidelines of the competition.

Fish needed to be between 16 inches and 24 inches to qualify. Long’s was just over 24 inches, so he decided to fix that.

“Further investigation revealed that his fish had been altered with its tail trimmed to fall within the [lake’s] slot limit,” Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Aubry Buzek said.

Image: newsobserver.com

Long was arrested Friday, March 9, 2019 with $25,000 bond as a result of his actions.

Texas Parks and Wildlife has very specific guidelines as to what constitutes as fraud in fishing tournaments under Sec. 66.023:

(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.

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