Bass Fishing photo

A Texas angler won’t be fishing any tournaments for a while after getting busted stuffing a one-pound weight down the gullet of a nine-pound bass in hopes of winning the tournament’s big bass pot – a $55,000 bass boat.

From the story in the Dallas Morning News:

_”Robby Rose, family man, business owner and bass tournament competitor, admits he put a 1-pound lead weight down the gullet of a fish he caught in an event last October at Lake Ray Hubbard. At stake that day was the tournament’s top prize, a $55,000 boat.”

_On Tuesday Rose pleaded guilty to a felony that will cost him 15 days in jail, a $3,000 fine, five years probation and a loss of his fishing license while on probation. Ouch. But it gets better. According to Rose, he really wasn’t cheating… _

“But he insists he wasn’t cheating to win the prize, which was the charge he pleaded guilty to in a Rockwall court Tuesday…Rose says that the fish was big enough for second place before he weighted it and that adding the illegal pound didn’t make it a winner. “Second place was mine to do with as I pleased,” Rose said….”

“Rose, 45, insists he was just trying to make a point. “It was a right cross to their jaw,” Rose said. “I wanted to embarrass the sport.” Rumors about how he had won other tournaments in his 10-year fishing career are all based on jealousy, he said. “I’ve been bullied by tournament officials for the last eight years,” he said. “I’ve passed more polygraphs than any other fisherman.” Rose said he passed four tests in 2009 alone. “I have never done anything like this in my fishing past,” he said. “I do apologize. I snapped. I lost my mind.”

_Unsurprisingly, tournament officials and the law didn’t quite see it that way… _

“Tournament officials, game wardens and Rockwall County prosecutors beg to differ. They say the added weight would have won him the boat if it had gone undetected. “Cheating is cheating,” said lead prosecutor Alex Imgrund. “And neither the fishing community nor this office will tolerate it.”_

So how did tournament officials actually catch Rose? Because when they put the fish in a livewell it sank straight to the bottom like a…well…a lead weight.
After Rose turned in his fish, tournament officials noticed an irregularity. Instead of swimming around in the tank like other caught fish, his bass sank to the bottom. “With a weight that’s one-tenth of the fish, it’s going to go down,” Collins said. “It’s not going to be able to swim.”_

So I guess the moral of the story is: if you’re going to cheat in a bass tournament, don’t use so much lead that your bass actually sinks. And when you get caught, just claim it really wasn’t cheating…