A bill that would make it a misdemeanor — and in some cases a felony — to misrepresent the size, weight, or provenance of a fish in a fishing tournament has arrived on Texas Gov. Rick Perry's desk after passing the State Senate in a unanimous vote, reports the New York Times. Senator Glenn Hegar, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said it was intended to address cheating in high-level bass fishing tournaments, some of which offer tens of thousands of dollars in prizes.
In one notorious case, an angler who entered a Dallas tournament put a one-pound lead weight inside the stomach of the 10.49-pound bass he had entered to win the grand prize, a $55,000 fishing boat. “Some people are literally taking scissors and cutting off the tail of a fish to make it fit into a certain category,” Hegar said. “Unfortunately, they're not playing by the rules.” Tommy Hagler, a fishing guide, said cheating in tournaments had “gotten out of hand” because of the large prizes and a difficult economy.