LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Three days before a fishing tournament, a Kentucky angler had nearly $15-thousand worth of personal equipment stolen from his truck.
Matthew Robertson is a professional angler and came to town last week to begin practicing for the Bassmaster Central Open on Lake Sam Rayburn this week. Monday morning his wife dropped him off at the lake and went to Walmart. Robertson said when she returned to the house they are staying at she noticed all of his gear missing from the vehicle.
“Fishing for a living is something I’ve been working at since I was eleven years old and for somebody to… you know, almost take your livelihood from you, it feels like, it’s pretty detrimental,” Robertson said.
Twenty years worth of gear was taken, Robertson said, from bait to a trolling motor, and more.
“There was a large Swimabait collection, old Basstrix swimbait, some Japanese swimbaits, Henkel trouts, Scottsboro tackle swimbaits,” Robertson said. “Those are kind of some of the items that would be recognizable. And there was an abundance of Strike King product.”
Everything Roberston owns now is in his boat, however he has been able to stop in local tackle shops and get what he needs, and more.
“Tackle Addict up the road here, they really helped me out and there was an anonymous donor who gave me a gift card,” Robertson said. “But that tackle store really helped me out and got me the stuff I needed to get, to get by this weekend.”
The tournament begins tomorrow morning and after the loss, Roberston wasn’t sure he’d participate.
“At first it was pretty, I was kind of in panic mode and I’d actually thought about going home,” Robertson said. “But I consider myself fairly mentally strong and I know something good always comes from something bad. And so that’s why I’ll keep on, keep on going.”
He said that everyone on the lake has been checking in with him and making sure he has what he needs for this weekend.
Lufkin PD is working with management to retrieve parking lot video to help identify a possible suspect or suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Department at 936-633-0356 or Crime Stoppers at 936-639-TIPS.