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Authorities say Louisiana man weighted his catch in $100K fishing contest

A Louisiana man was busted for putting weights into fish during Big Bass Splash fishing contest in Toledo Bend. Aaron Moreau tried to enter fish in the contest with 2.59 pounds of lead weights in them. Photo courtesy of Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries
1 of 2 | A Louisiana man was busted for putting weights into fish during Big Bass Splash fishing contest in Toledo Bend. Aaron Moreau tried to enter fish in the contest with 2.59 pounds of lead weights in them. Photo courtesy of Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries

May 24 (UPI) -- A Louisiana man was arrested for allegedly placing weights in fish during the recent Big Bass Splash fishing contest on Toledo Bend.

Aaron Moreau turned himself in after the alleged fraud.

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"After catching the fish, he put lead weights down its throat and attempted to weigh in the tournament," Wildlife and Fishery agent Dustin Nash said.

Officials at the fishing tournament held the fish and notified Wildlife and Fishery agents. Moreau fled the scene but an arrest warrant was issued.

He then turned himself in.

The contest had hourly weigh-ins, paying prize money to those who caught the biggest fish.

Fishing fraud is punished with up to a $3,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

The grand winner in the contest was slated to get a $100,000 prize package. Prizes included a boat and a truck.

However, the agents allegedly found 2.59 pounds of weights in a fish caught by Moreau.

The weights were shaped like fish, authorities said.

The alleged use of weights in a fishing competition isn't necessarily a new idea.

Two men were sentenced to 10 days in jail and a year of probation in 2023 for weighting fish during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail contest.

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Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky had won a series of fishing tournaments that led up to their efforts to deceive the Lake Erie contest judges.

In that case, tournament director Jason Fischer noticed that the fish weighed more than expected for their size and found 10 weights inside the walleyes, eight weighing 12 ounces and two weighing eight ounces.

Walleye fillets were also stuffed into the fish to make them even heavier, authorities said.

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