Every time we hear about some kind of cheating incident in fishing, the Internet world goes ballistic. The players are stunned, the organizations are embarrassed and cries for capital punishment go off the charts. But how about we look a little closer around us and recognize what it is we are looking for?

My Dad used to say, “A Con Man doesn’t look dangerous or dishonest. If he did, he couldn’t fool anyone.” In other words he is likable, possibly respectable–and that’s how he gains our confidence, (the root of con in con man.) He’s not some scary guy that requires a sketch artist.

The con is the great manipulator and his methods are diverse. He gets you to think he is something else or that reality is something else to keep you from digging deeper or even trying to make you appear as the suspicious one. But in case you didn’t realize it, these manipulative personalities are in every walk of life–and that includes bass fishing–and a great deal of study has been directed at the matter.

Dr. George K. Simon, if you need a source, wrote In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People. From what I’ve read, this guy fingers many of the past as well as current bass cheaters still at large.

From a much longer list of  manipulative techniques (click here for the whole list) I pulled out some that are absolutely spot-on.

Lying by omission: This is a very subtle form of lying by withholding a significant amount of the truth. This technique is also used in propaganda.

Denial: Manipulator refuses to admit that he or she has done something wrong.

Diversion: Manipulator not giving a straight answer to a straight question and instead being diversionary, steering the conversation onto another topic.

Evasion: Similar to diversion but giving irrelevant, rambling, vague responses, weasel words.

Covert intimidation: Manipulator throwing the victim onto the defensive by using veiled (subtle, indirect or implied) threats.

Shaming: Manipulator uses sarcasm and put-downs to increase fear and self-doubt in the victim. Manipulators use this tactic to make others feel unworthy and therefore defer to them. Shaming tactics can be very subtle such as a fierce look or glance, unpleasant tone of voice, rhetorical comments, subtle sarcasm. Manipulators can make one feel ashamed for even daring to challenge them. It is an effective way to foster a sense of inadequacy in the victim.

Seduction: Manipulator uses charm, praise, flattery or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and give their trust and loyalty to him or her.

Projecting the blame (blaming others): Manipulator scapegoats in often subtle, hard to detect ways.

Brandishing anger: Manipulator uses anger to brandish sufficient emotional intensity and rage to shock the victim into submission. The manipulator is not actually angry, he or she just puts on an act. He just wants what he wants and gets “angry” when denied.

Okay. Now do you see him out there?


12 Responses to “Tips on spotting the ‘bass cheater’”

SO, what are you trying to say George? LOL

Sounds like the description and tactics of a celebrity politician. Anybody come to mind?

The old Gold Miners had a way to deal with this promptly. It was quite effective once the word got out. That’s why the “PCs” name changed the town to Placerville from HANGTOWN. = Yes Rich, I live in Chicago, and I can think of several celeb scumbags that are referred to as “politicians”.

Chicago has been a petri dish of political pollution, a bastion of bastardized bacteria breeding base of bad butt-heads

by Derrek Stewart

GK is not talking about a politician.

Are all fishermen liars or are all liars fishermen?

Hmmmmm Deep

Rich, stick to bass fishing – you don’t know [anything] about public policy.

@cc- Bass fishing is vulnerable to Public policy.
“The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men”

Is that like refusing to take a lie detector test in bass fishing?


It seems like you are victim of the very same people the article is talking about. That, or you are one of “them”. As you know, the article has been debunked so many times and even ESPN apologized for the article. This was a propaganda article written by an obvious right wing individual. Who in their right mind would ban recreational fishing? The black man in white house (sarcasm)!!!!

PS, I’m neither a republican or a democrat. Just an individual looking for the truth.

Forgot one George… Ray Scott points out “I’ve been chided for my remark that ‘people will cheat for the sake of honor’ – the way to boast that they’re the best bass fisherman – a macho thing.”

Ray Scott–early on–recognized the risk of those trying to maintain a reputation…. 🙁