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Bigtrout

Cheaters at Sturgeon Tournament???

19 posts in this topic

I'm not the one that usually likes to blow the horn like this but I witnessed it first hand and would feel awful for all the people that played by the rules and didn't know what was going on. The supposed winner who coincidentally took 1st and 3rd Place at this past weekend's Tournament should feel pretty low about himself after pulling a stunt like that.

My partner and I prefished the day before the tournament on 4/27 around the marker 8 area. While fishing we noticed a boat fishing below Marker 8 approximately 100 yards downstream from us. The boat was a small aluminum with a Mariner outboard. One of the young men had a Sturgeon on and after a good fight finally got it in the boat. We hollered our congratulations to the young men and asked how big it was. One of them said 56". Shortly thereafter the two left and headed downstream a little bit further. We really didn't pay to much attention to them after that.

The day of the tournament myself and my two partners fished the area just down from the mouth of the Littlefork. We didn't have any action so we moved to the Marker 8 area. While fishing there we noticed the same small aluminum boat with the Mariner outboard fishing in the same spot they had been fishing the day before, about 100 yards down from Marker 8. It was about 12:15pm when we saw the boat take off and head downstream around the bend and out of sight. I thought that they must not be fishing in the tournament because they were well out of the designated boundary area. Two reputable gentleman who were fishing in the marker 8 area noted the same thing that I had. They even commented to me after the tournament that they did not see the two with the Mariner outboard catch a thing.

My partners and I eventually moved back upriver and caught a couple of fish which were 48.5 and 55.25. While measuring the first fish, two of the officials commented how the leader had measured a 62" that he had illegally transported upriver. I realize the officials are sometimes not readily available, but the law is the law. The officials also said that the same party had measured a 56.5" Sturgeon. At the awards presentation after the Tournament the winner was announced as a party from Littlefork.

In fairness to other fisherman, I think it is wrong that someone who fishes outside of tournament boundaries, who transports a fish not in the slot, and there is doubt as to when and where the fish was caught it should be looked into furhter. I wouldn't even say anything if the two fisherman were only 100 yards down from the boundary area because it has never been strictly enforced in past tournaments, but when they take off and go down river out of sight that is suspicious.

If the winner caught those two fish legitimately within the boundary areas and on the day of the tournament then I am truly sorry for writing this, but there is just too much doubt.

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Hmmmm, maybe this should have been brought up at the tourney?

Bigtrout could you kindly edit out the guys name please?

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I would have gladly brought it up but did not know who was in charge of the tournament.

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Thanks eh. Does sound fishy btw also. I would've raised a ruckus for sure!!!

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I was witness to this situation on the day of the tourney... I believe this should be brought up to the board or whomever is in charge of the tourney because if that is the case then that would technically be theft by taking the prize money. It's no different then fixing an ice fishing contest when people bring in fish they caught prior to the tourney and hid them until it is weigh in time. Who knows if they didn't land those fish during the week and leave them just down from mile marker 8 to go get them during the tourney.. you can keep a sturgeon alive for 2-3 days. I agree with you BigTrout... Iam not one to sound off a horn but this was definatly unfair and unsportsmans like if that's what they did. If we are misunderstood and don't have all the facts then I also appoligize to those individuals. Have a great day! confused.gif

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Wow! Sure hope that isn't true! Kudos to the Rainy Lake Sportfishing club and there members for being such a thankless asset to this community! One would hope that greediness wouldn't clog the brains of individuals, but...

I guess I would question leaving the designated area in a 4 hour tournament also. Seems a bit fishy! If I'm fishing a 8 hour tournament I barely take time to take a drink of pop! Hope all is ironed out one what or another!

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Hope it's not true.

My personal feeling is that the DNR is doing a great job of protecting these sturgeon. I have been fishing the Rainy several times every spring now for about 8 years. We continue to catch bigger and bigger fish every year, more numbers, and there is some great recruitment going on as well. All those one and two footers are showing some good spawning success.

Sturgeon fishing is getting more and more popular, and it is great to see everyone enjoying it so much. But I have also heard talk in past years about catch and release season being controlled harder, or even closed. So far so good on that, but it would be really disgusting to see some bad eggs spoil it for all of us.

If this really did happen, we need to put the hammer down on these guys! None of the sturgie fishermen I know would tolerate this.

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Tim,

I agree that the DNR has been doing a great job on the river of protecting the Sturgeon. I know first hand because I used to work for them.

I can tell you that this event really did take place and there are plenty of witness' to it. Pretty disgusting isn't it?

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Diehard,

Do you know who is on the Y Sturgeon Tournament Board? I think there are some issues that should be addressed.

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DNR officials have been alerted to these posts so I would hope they would follow up on this. If the havest levels continue to stay where they are or climb I would look for a stricter set of rules for that. Catch and release will probably stay the same. I have noticed alot of fish pictures of vertical holds by the gills which can't be good for the larger fish. I hope the word spreads on this that it is hard on the fish and they should be held hortizontally. Bear hugs are probably pretty bad too.

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Quote:

I have noticed alot of fish pictures of vertical holds by the gills which can't be good for the larger fish. I hope the word spreads on this that it is hard on the fish and they should be held hortizontally. Bear hugs are probably pretty bad too.


I made a big post about this earlier this year and I think people listened as there is not one vertical hold picture out of the group of guys that were up for the FM Sturgeon Excursion Gathering. Gotta keep beating this idea into people though as they won't figure it out on their own... don't gill hold these fish!

The thing I can't figure out is why on earth would someone want/need to cheat at a sturgeon tournament? confused.gif I don't get it. Its not the Bassmaster Classic. Its not the PWT or FLW. The reward cannot justify the risk. It just doesn't make sense.

What is their to gain from cheating in a local sturgeon tournament?

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Just from the Rumor Mill supposedly they sold up to 300 tickets, and if I stand correct (I've been wrong a few different times!! LOL ) each ticket is worth $15.00, the winner gets part of the proceeds from ticket sales. So that equals out to $4,500 in sales so they would get a nice little chunk of that change, and being the individual took 1st and 3rd they got majority of prize money. The good sportsman like you and I cheating has no prize or worth. To those that cheat, it's worth all they can get ya know? I fish the tourney for fun, I could care less if I win 2 dollars, it's the satisfaction of being out there with my family and friends doing what I love to do. Good luck fishing!

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I posted about how terrible this tourney was run last year. I was not in the tourney,just fishing, but multiple times during the day the guys in my boat witnessed fish being out of the water for atleast a half hour and sometimes as long as an hour. Fisherman fishing the tourney were supposed to waive a flag to get the measurers attention, what a joke. How was the Tourney run this year? Still just one boat measuring?

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Bigtrout do you have hard evidence this is true. Your claims stand pretty powerful if true. Could you just be upset cause you were not able to place? I fished the trny in front of the little fork and saw very few sturgeons caught. After the trny I met and chatted with the guys who caught the fish. He showed us a picture on a camera phone of the fish he caught. By the way it was a BIG sturgeon and he was a little guy. He seemed like he was not lieing and had the same sun burn as the rest of us. He also won $789 because of his first and third place winnings. He also bought people drinks and celebrated at the Y-bar like everyone else after dinner. If they cheated why didn't the two guys each take a sturgeon a piece instead of having just the one guy turn in both? Cheating is illegal no matter where one stands. I caught no sturgeon so I have no real say to the winnings but just would like people to be truthful. Sturgeon fishing the trny is a little in location and a lot about luck.

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Hawgeye, this year the trny was totally different in respects on number of fish caught. There were fewer sturgeon caught this year, espically up by the mouth of the little fork. There were a couple measuring boats this year. The fishing was so slow up by us that the measure boat had nothing to do for long periods of time. Last year was one of the best fish caught years ever. I know a local that lives on the Rainy River within walking distance of the Y-bar, landing and little fork. I spent the weekend talking about the fishing and past trnys with this local all weekend long. Things are run a little different up there.

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Troyfideldy,

Yeah I personally witnessed these guys travel downstream with my own eyes and I would testify to it in court. There are a couple more boats that saw it as well. Also the Officials who measured our fish were the ones who brought up the fact that they had transported an over slot sturgeon illegally. They're the ones that said the fish shouldn't have counted and I wish that would have stuck to their guns. In fact I talked to a Warden yesterday who confirmed that what those two did is a big no no. Spells it out pretty clearly in the 07 Fishing regulations that all fish over slot need to immediately returned to the water.

In all of the tournaments that I have fished in the past any illegal act would mean an automatic disqualification. Why should this tournament be any different? Not only the fact that he did something illegal, but he was fishing outside of the Tournament Boundaries. Don't know where you were fishing at but a saw a number of Sturgeon caught on Saturday. One girl who looked to be about 8 to 10 years old caught five herself.

I'm not going to cry over spilled milk, but cheating is B.S! What if that 10 year old girl could have placed in the top three but these A-holes registered a couple fish that they shouldn't have been allowed to. To me the experience of catching a Sturgeon and spending time with my friends outweighs any monetary amount that may be won. If it was money or notariety I was after I would be fishing the PWT or FLW Tour.

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BigTrout,

If you are willing to testify in court of law, I respect what you have stated above. Just wanted to clear things up. Hopefully someone will bring the wrongful to justice. If what you have said is true what these guys did, that is cheating.

Being a small town area I met at the Y-bar after the trny was complete the father of the 8 year old daughter who caught the five sturgeon. A man was walking around asking for donation for the young girl. During the prize drawings and checks were given, the young girl was presented with a large wad of cash for her bravery in tackling five of the beasts. Her fish would not have been big enough to qaulify. Still a strong young girl.

This year the total number fish caught was down. Last year the whole river produced fish, causing problems with measuring last year. This year fish were caught but not as many.

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There is no room for cheaters in any kind of tournament fishing, some fishermen aren't worth then skin they wear. As owner of Rainy River Adventures i only have one thanks to give for the sturgeon coming back, Rainy River First Nations they are the only ones putting sturgeon fry back in the river. We had to stop DNR from taking our fish out and putting them in the Red River and some other lake. Now the DNR and other MNR and countries buy our fry from Rainy River. Before anyone says, we natives only use sturgeon nets to catch females for the hatchry. You should really put the guys name up here and really make him the man he reallly is.....no good fisherman.

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Just wanted to make sure that this issue was resurfaced before the Y's upcoming Sturgeon Tournament on April 26th. I hope the rules will be more strictly enforced this year and that any fisherman caught violating any state laws will be automatically disqualified from the tournament. Just want to see everybody have fun without worrying about someone trying to pull a stunt like that again.

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