This post was updated as the story broke, please read through for complete details regarding this incident.

Well here we are, someone has been caught using a modified Hawg Trough to cheat at a Catch, Photo, Release (CPR) tournament. The bump board had been modified to be 4″ shorter, allowing the cheater to post fish that appeared 4″ longer than they actually were. CPR Tournaments require the angler to submit photos of the fish on an approved measuring device, such as the Hawg Trough. By modifying the trough in this way this individual was able to make his fish seem larger. When many tournaments are one and lost with 1/4″ this represented a huge advantage. The Kayak Bass Series official Facebook account released a statement today announcing that this had been discovered at that the investigation is ongoing. Here is the full statement:

This was discovered during the Dale Hollow Lake Open, several competitors messaged the judges regarding the photos. The cheater has been disqualified from the event and stripped of his title and winnings.

The KBS staff is reportedly looking into additional action to be considered against this angler. I know this was a tough decision for the KBS staff, but the kayaking community needs to stand by them in shutting down this cheater. Thanks to the KBS staff for all their hard work uncovering this.

Update 4/19/2016 1:36 p.m.

Chad Hoover and the Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament series have released a statement stating that this individual also cheated in several KBF sponsored events.

KBF will be pursuing legal action against this angler.

Update 4/19/2016 at 2:07 p.m.

chadAn emotional Chad Hoover went live on Facebook to deliver a full statement regarding this incident. Chad revealed that the cheater, Andrew Shepherd, used 3 Hawg Troughs; one that was unmodified, one that was 2″ shorter, and one that was 4.25″ shorter. This not only allowed him to gain inches, but also submit single fish multiple times. For example, a 15″ fish could be submitted as a 15″, 17″ and 19.25″ using each of the three measuring devices.

Chad stated that this amounted to “felony theft and grand larceny” across “multiple venues…and competitive platforms.”

Chad closed his live broadcast by encouraging everyone to remain positive and focus on the positive aspects of the sport.

I reached out to KBF staff member Joe Haubenreich for comments regarding this incident.

Q. How do you think this incident will affect the future of the sport?

Joe: “Cheating is, sadly, part of the human condition. As long as people are involved in any enterprise, there will be cheaters. 

One guy posted something like, “I got out of tournament fishing and had about decided to jump back into kayak bass tournaments, but this settled it for me… I’m not getting into something like this where people cheat. Anyone who wants to fish just for fun, call me.

Happily, most people fight the temptation to cheat others, to steal, and to lie…not always successfully, but at least most of the people we enjoy spending time with are those we learn we can trust.”

Q. How will this incident affect the future of Kayak Bass Fishing competition?

Joe: “When it happens in other bass competition, it’s disappointing but not shocking. When the cheating comes to light and justice is administered, it causes everyone to be more disciplined, more vigilent (sic). In the long run, how we handle these things have a much greater impact than the infraction itself….and that can be a positive thing.”

Update 4/19/2016 at 7:30 p.m.

Since the original post and social media reaction Andrew has returned some of the winnings from a local club series, KY-YAK.

To my knowledge, Andrew has not made similar attempts at restitution with the other three national clubs he defrauded; Kayak Bass Series (KBS), Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF), and Angler Combat.

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