If you're going to fish on a private lake, you better make sure you have permission.
Earlier this week, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police posted photos of heap of dead bass—114 to be exact—all of which were taken illegally.
According to the Facebook post, wildlife officials began a formal investigation, which led them to four total suspects in Jackson County.
Officials first received leads on three suspects who were allegedly fishing in the Burning Star Fish and Wildlife area, and began driving around in search the area the suspects were fishing. Then, going off nothing but a description, they were able to find a nearby private lake that fit the bill.
After checking with the landowner, they discovered these anglers didn't have permission to fish the lake, so they started conducting interviews.
Officials cited three subjects for unlawfully taking 76 largemouth bass, as well as fishing without the landowner's consent.
Further investigation revealed a fourth suspect who was ultimately cited for unlawfully taking 38 bass.
It's hard hearing a story like this, because there are so many nice bass in these photos that no one will catch again, and they were all caught illegally. As outdoorsmen and women, it's our responsibility to hold each other accountable, which is why I'm happy to see they were able to catch these guys.
The four are currently facing potential civil charges for restitution of the bass, which are currently valued at $456.