In the first event of the inaugural Texas Kayak Trail season last weekend at Lake Fayette one angler was caught cheating, which led to a disqualification and ban from the trail.
Forty nine anglers competed as the tournament director, Xander Cremente, monitored the results throughout the event using the website TourneyX.
For those not familiar with the website, a competing angler can submit a photo immediately after he/she catches the fish, or at a later time in the tourney.
But the angler caught cheating didn’t alter his measuring device as others have before. He submitted the same bass twice while trying to account for two instead of one.
“He caught all four of his fish between 6:29-7:49 a.m.,” Xander said.
“And then submitted all of those fish between 7:51-7:55 a.m. The first fish of those was nowhere near the bump wall was well short of 14 inches. The next fish submitted was a 16.75 inch bass that was caught at 7:33 a.m. and submitted at 7:54 a.m. However, that fish was submitted after the first four he uploaded, so I didn’t think anything of it. The angler then submitted his fifth fish at 12:59 p.m. that was caught at 7:49 a.m., the 15.75 inch bass.”
After the tournament ended, Xander went home to investigate the suspected fish.
“This is when I decided to go back and go over his photos and this is when I noticed his limit contained duplicates of the 15.75 inch fish,” Xander said.
“It wasn’t only the same fish, but it was also the exact same photo. I privately messaged him to ask about the picture and told him I was going to remove the photo from the tourney standings. He told me he didn’t have another score able fish picture. So that answer gives me reason to question why he even submitted a fish at 12:59 p.m. while knowing he had only caught four score able fish.
“There is no way to get that confused and there is no mistake that was made. That was a blatant attempt to falsify a fifth fish for the tournament. That, to me, is cheating and that is why I chose to ban that angler from future events.”
Other kayak trails have been informed of the situation, so the angler can’t compete in any events in the surrounding area. Kayak tournament fishing has had its ups and downs with cases of cheating, yet as a whole the community continues to support the growing sport.
And as kayak tourney anglers we must all uphold the most important characteristic on the water- integrity.