Two Iowa men faced theft charges after they allegedly cheated to win a state-sponsored fishing tournament on Clear Lake.
Aaron Lauber, 23, of Clear Lake and Jason Schuttler, 25, of Manly, won the 2015 Clear Lake Yellow Bass Bonanza with a catch of 50 fish that weighed 15 pounds 14 ounces, according to official tournament results. Teams paid a $75 entry fee to compete in the tournament held February 8. The prize package for first place was valued at $1,500 according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The prize package was cash plus a $1,000 Cabela’s gift package.
“Acting on a tip, DNR Conservation Officer Matt Washburn along with the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department, investigated whether fish caught outside of the tournament’s hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. had been added to Lauber and Schuttler’s total,” the DNR statement said.
“We are very disappointed that this great event has been over shadowed by the DISHONESTY of these 2 individuals,” said a post on the tournament’s Facebook page. Tournament organizers said they contacted authorities as soon as the allegation of possible cheating was brought to their attention.
Lauber and Schuttler were each charged with one felony count of theft by deception according to the DNR. Jail records showed both men had been released after they were booked into the Cerro Gordo County Jail.