Illegal Bass Bust

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Illegal Bass
These are just some of the undersized bass wildlife officers say they confiscated from two men illegally cast-netting on Nickajack Lake. (Photo: Courtesy TWRA)

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Wildlife Officers arrested two men for the illegal  taking of largemouth bass from Nickajack Lake, near Running Water Creek. The two men were charged with taking bass under the legal 15-inch size limit, and with taking more than the daily creel limit.

Coronado Lopez Vail and Manuel Baltazar Apolonio, both from Hamilton County, each paid a cash bond of $900 in Marion County.

Wildlife Officer Russell Vandergriff said he received a phone call from a concerned fisherman on July 15. His partner, Wildlife Officer Marty Griffith responded and before reaching the water’s edge, he could see the men casting a net, which is illegal for taking game fish species.

When Griffith looked into a bucket sitting with the men’s gear he discovered 72 fish. He said 71 fish were largemouth bass, all under the 15” minimum length limit. There was also one crappie, also under size limit.

“Even if the men were keeping legal size limit fish, they still would have been 56 fish over their limit” said Griffith. “We’ve worked hard to bring Nickajack Lake to a new standard of fishing. We’re glad to put a stop to this behavior.”

“We tell citizens all the time to call us” shared Wildlife Officer Vandergriff. “If it hadn’t been for a concerned sportsman’s call, we wouldn’t have caught them. We’re grateful and encourage people to keep calling should they see anything unusual”.

To report illegal or unusual activity in the Dayton region (TWRA’s Region 3), call 1-800-241-0767 or 1-800-262-6704.

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