On most of the open party boats that I ride, you have an opportunity to pay in and win a jackpot if you catch the biggest fish (sharks, rays, and troll-caught fish excluded) for the trip. Jackpots can reach hundreds of dollars. Naturally, some people will try to cheat to get that money. I remember one trip out of Point Loma Sportfishing; an angler dropped a 10-oz. weight down the gullet of his fish. When they weighed up for jackpot, the deckhand noticed the bulge in the fish’s stomach and caught the cheater. He was banned from ever riding again and suffered the ridicule of everyone calling him “Ten Ounce” on the way in.

With even bigger prize money, tournaments offer even more allure for cheaters. Find out what happened to a Minnesota angler who had long been suspected of cheating.

Jackpot weigh-in
Jackpot weigh-in

A Minnesota fisherman long suspected of cheating at tournaments has reportedly hooked an unwanted catch — a week in jail.

The Park Rapids Enterprise reports that Alfred Mead, 72, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft by swindle on May 20 for bringing two previously captured fish into the Park Rapid American Legion Community Fishing Derby on Feb. 2.

“Your conduct had a major impact on these [fishing tournaments],” Judge Robert Tiffany told Mead. “I hope you realize the seriousness of your conduct.”

Cheating, Tiffany said, “takes the enjoyment and joy out of it for those who bring their kids” and honest participants.

Photo credits: SoCal Salty

Previous articleAmazing Photos of Record-Breaking Python Skin
Next articleTracking Elk on an Idaho Bow Hunt
Joe Sarmiento
Joe is an avid saltwater angler. He grew up in Washington State on the south end of Puget Sound where he first started fishing as a boy catching perch, flounder, rockfish, and occasionally salmon. Today, Joe lives in Southern California where he fishes off beaches and jetties, kayaks, and sportfishing boats. Joe writes about his saltwater adventures in the SoCal Salty blog, and for Western Outdoor News.