UTPA Coastal Studies Lab to host fishing tournament seminar

News Center 23
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POSTED: Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 4:10pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 7:20am

It's fishing season, which means it's time for  competitors to break out their lines. This Saturday, the University of Texas-Pan American Costal Studies Lab is hosting a fishing  tournament seminar. The workshop will certify weigh masters, who are the people that judge the fish at fishing tournaments.

"They key out the species, or they determine the species, they weigh the fish, and they measure the fish to determine whether they're legal or not, and they look for any alterations that might be made to the fish."

Lately, as Tony Reisinger pointed out, judges have had to keep a particular eye out for potential changes that could have been made to one or more fish.

"Because the size and weight of the fish may be the determining factors in who wins a fishing tournament, it is not uncommon for some fishermen to cheat in order to make it seem like they got a bigger catch than they actually did."

In mass fishing tournaments, it has become increasingly popular for people to stuff their fish to get a higher score.

"We've seen fish that were altered, like cut tails, smashed noses, to make them fit within the slot that is required for those fish to be legal. We've seen them stuffed with different things like ice. We've seen them stuffed with other fish."

Aside from teaching the basics to judges and officials, the UTPA seminar is designed to reduce cheating so that the tournament can be considered a fair one.

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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