I went to Hickory Creek (Alton Bridge) on Sunday to check out the water and try my luck for crappie. 10 minutes after getting there, I see 6 Hispanic guys (not prejudice – I’m Hispanic) cross the pipe to the other side and notice that they didn’t have any fishing poles but are carrying coolers and buckets. Hmmmm… better keep an eye on them but it wasn’t that hard when they stopped 40 yards upstream of me, pulled out their cast nets and started throwing them. First cast they managed some fish which went straight in the buckets. Damn it, I left my phone in the car!!! I borrow one from a fellow fisherman who had witnessed the same and called Operation Game Thief who was going to have a local Game Warden give me a call so I walked back to the car to retrieve my phone. The GW called me back and told me that it would take him some time to get there but he was on his way. Worried that these guys would leave the area, I decided to try to get some video of their actions so back to the creek I go and me and another guy walk up towards them and start talking to them while I am secretly rolling video. We leave after a minute and the other guy goes upstream to keep an eye on them and to let me know if they started to leave or went further upstream and I went to the parking lot to meet the GW. I review the video and realize that it is not very good when I notice the main guy popped up from under the bridge and is watching me and the parking lot. Worried that he will know something is up, I start talking to a guy who was headed to the creek to fish and told him something is up so act like we know each other and let’s talk about fishing and pretend that we don’t even see the guy watching us. After a couple of long minutes (4-5) he makes a call and within 30 seconds, two guys pop out from under the bridge carrying a bucket of fish and a cooler (looked heavy for some reason
). Worried that they were going to jump in their car before the GW could get there, I stopped one guy and asked him (in my broken Spanglish) if I could take some pictures of the nice hybrid that was sticking out of the bucket. I even got him to hold up the fish to make sure I got a good picture of his face. How's this for potential pieces of evidence?
I blurred the face to protect the guilty.
The ring leader told him to hurry up and put the fish in the car and as he was headed across the parking lot, I see the GW coming down the road so I start flagging him down and pointing to the three guys and their car which he pulls up to and sees the bucket of fish and cooler. BUSTED!!!! Then I told the GW that three more were still in the creek cast netting so he calls in a Denton Sheriff to watch the three while he tries to find the other ones. Turns out that the other three are headed back over the pipe with one holding a bag of fish and the other two each holding a cast net. BUSTED!!!! Here is a picture of all six of them having a nice chat with the GW and LEO.
I later find out that they had 86 Sandbass, 4 Hybrids, 1 Crappie and 4 catfish and the GW gave them a ticket for each fish. Ouch, that has to cost a few grand in fines plus none of them had a fishing license.
Thank You to the two guys that helped me out during 'Operation Drag-Net'. Also Thank You to the Game Warden and LEO in teaching these guys a very expensive lesson.