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The Easy Way To Win A Bass Tournament: Stick A Lead Weight In The Belly Of Your Fish

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Wily criminal minds never sleep. Luckily for the forces of good and justice, neither do the dedicated men and women of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Robby Rose, 45, a competitive fisherman from Garland, was playing (fishing?) in a bass tournament in Rockwall County last October. Apparently the big ones weren't biting, so he decided to give Mother Nature a little help.

According to the TPWD, he stuffed a one-pound lead weight in the belly of one of the teeny, tiny fish he managed to catch.

The agency says:

Halfway through the competition, Rose turned in a fish. While Rose went to the polygraph area, weigh-in officials noticed that the bass had settled near the bottom of the tank it had been placed in. After examining the fish and finding a lump in its belly, they located Rose and told him they intended to cut it open.

The problem for Rose, besides being exposed as someone who would cheat in a bass tournament, was that the grand prize for winning was a $55,000 boat. That meant he could be charged with attempting theft of between $20,000 and $100,000, a state jail felony.

"We took this case very seriously," said Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney Kenda Culpepper. "As far as we were concerned, the case was about a $55,000 bass boat, not a ten-pound fish."

Rose pleaded guilty yesterday to the charge, and received five years probation and 15 days in jail. Even worse -- he has to give up his fishing license while on probation.

"Cheating is cheating," said lead prosecutor Alex Imgrund, "and neither the fishing community, nor this office, will tolerate it."

The fishing community -- a shining beacon of justice. Think of that the next time you try to game the Bud Light Trail Boss Big Bass Tournament on Lake Ray Hubbard.

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