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Georgia tournament anglers bought their bass to win

Ronnie Eunice and Brandon Smith it takes all kinds. Fishing tournaments are attracting more and more people to them for the money prizes. Last spring two anglers were caught cheating in a Lake Guntersville tournament. For a $305 prize, the two anglers want to win, but doesn’t everybody who enters a tourney? The story according to them is; they were approached by a couple, Dustin Miller and Sarah Demott who were fishing and caught a lunker they needed to weigh, all this during the tournament, so the story goes.

A marshal in the boat, Bassmaster with big money at stake, has another party in the boat just to keep an angler honest. “Cheating is a concern,” says Ray Scott founder of Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society B.A.S.S., “it’s a major worry. People intent on breaking the rules can be very cunning. The true judgment of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he wouldn’t be caught.”

Strict rules, draws, invitational formats and professional polygraph tests. “Buddy tournaments leave me on edge,” says the B.A.S.S. owner,” At my first tournament in Arkansas in 1967 on Beaver Lake, I put a third man an observe on the boats of anglers who were leading, changed the partners each day, to diminish the chances of cheating. But the fishing tournaments where partners already know each other is dangerous.” Each man polices the other. The polygraph acts as a deterrent.

At the heart of the exasperated scam is a deception Lie detector tests given at a tournament last 30-minutes by an off duty police officer. Scott says to insure the integrity of his tournaments three polygraphs are given, to the winning team-just one person is suffice, the big winner, and random selection determined by the tournament sponsor or promoter.

The story sounds like one of those Beavis and Butthead stories, someone with too much time on their hands. Chances are everyone was involved at the start. The couple had just landed a fish which turned out to weigh some eleven-and-a-half pounds. The couple says they want to know what it weighs and sked the two men Eunice and Smith during their fishing tournament, if they might borrow their fishing scale to weigh the big one.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources law Enforcement Division had their own reasons for getting involved Is it breaking new ground to ask a fisherman to tell the truth? The tournament anglers said they bought the fish from the couple. Dustin Miller is the said angler to have caught the mighty, mighty fish. Oh and he just happened to be fishing without a license, a big ticket item as far as the state of Georgia is concerned. Everyone involved got a fined for illegal sell and purchase of said fish.

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