After receiving numerous complains about Ernest Johnson taking bushels of fish out of Lake Watson, the Department of Natural Resources sent an undercover officer to investigate. Jim Dotson, arrived in town and went into the local American Legion and joined in on the banter about how the fish were biting on the lake.
It was several hours later when Ernest Johnson and Jim Dotson struck up a friendship after Dotson bought several rounds. The long and short of their discussion ended with Johnson inviting Dotson to come fishing with im the next day.
They met at the small boat launch in an isolated part of Lake Watson, where Johnson kept a small boat chained to a tree. After loading their tackle boxes, Johnson took a wooden box out of his truck and put it gently in the middle of the boat. They went to the cove in the big pines and dropped the anchor. Ernest lifted the wooden box and sat it down in front of his feet. After opening the lid, he took out a stick of dynamite, lit it and threw it into the lake. Instantly it exploded, causing a gush of water to shoot over their heads and into the boat. When the water settled down, Ernest scooped up a dozen fish that were now laying unconscious on top of the water and put them in a gunny sack.
Dotson couldn’t believe it. He instantly blurted out, “I’m a Game Warden, and you’re under arrest for the illegal taking of fish.”
Ernest had taken another stick of dynamite from the box, lit it and threw it over the side with the same results.
Jim Dotson was speechless. Regaining his composure he blurted out again, “I’m a Game Warden, and you’re under arrest.”
Ernest didn’t skip a beat. He took out another stick of dynamite from the box, lit it and handed it to Dotson. “Now,” he said. “Are you going to talk, or fish?”