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In Texas, Your Fish Tale Could Soon Be Illegal

If you're telling it to win a tournament, that is
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2011 11:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Who doesn't love a good fish story? Apparently the Texas state Senate—at least when it comes to fishing tournaments. The Senate unanimously passed a bill that would make it illegal to lie about the size, weight, or provenance of a fish caught during a tournament, the New York Times reports. The bill is meant to address high-level cheating, such as the 2009 case of a man who won a $55,000 fishing boat by stuffing a one-pound weight inside a 10.49-pound bass's stomach.

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Senator Glenn Hegar, who sponsored the bill, says colleagues have joked that he must be bitter about losing a fishing tournament. “The harassment has been pretty deep over this one,” he says, though he fishes just recreationally. If signed by Gov. Rick Perry, the bill will make misrepresentation a misdemeanor, or a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison if the prize offered is worth more than $10,000. “Everybody is just telling stories, that’s fishing,” says one fishing guide. “But to cheat, that’s another thing. That’s just not right.” (Read more fishing stories.)

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