GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - An investigation in Marshall County is sending ripples throughout the competitive fishing world. It involves two bass fishermen accused of using previously caught fish in tournaments on Lake Guntersville.
The charge is one most people may not have heard of, "tampering with sport contest." It's a misdemeanor in the court system, but is a much more serious offense to those who make their living out on the lake.
Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall said Gary Minor, Jr. of Albertville and Robert Gillaspie of Boaz were arrested Thursday by Alabama Department of Conservation officers. They were both booked in the Marshall County Jail and were later released on bond.
This is a picture from the online sportfishing blog Wired2fish -- allegedly taken from one of the men's Facebook pages:
According to the published report on Wired2Fish, the arrests came after a sting operation at a dock. Investigators had gotten a tip that the men had been holding bass in a pen at the dock and using those fish in a tournament on Lake Guntersville.
Guntersville is one of the most famous sport fishing waterways in the country with dozens of tournaments each year. Even the smaller tournaments offer pretty large purses.
With so much on the line, this isn't the first time allegations of cheating have surfaced. And unfortunately, fishermen say it probably won't be the last.