Two Bass Fishermen Accused of Using Previously Caught Fish in Tournaments

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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.

L to R: Gary Minor, Jr. and Robert Gillaspie (Photos: Marshall County Sheriff's Office)

L to R: Gary Minor, Jr. and Robert Gillaspie (Photos: Marshall County Sheriff's Office)

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:

Photo of the two men holding a big catch (, from one of the men's Facebook pages)

Photo of the two men holding a big catch (Courtesy:, 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.


  • Scott A

    That’s not enough, their boat & tackle need to be confiscated and sold, then say a 10 yr. ban on ALL Tourney’s. How shameful can one be, skumbags

  • bubbalaw

    They didn’t break any of the tournament rules, even if they did what their charged with. Guess whoever wrote the rules needs to go back to school. Whoever runs this tournament will have fun on the stand when this thing goes to trial.

    • Nuclear Mike

      The Lake is a big lonesome place where someone may enforce “bubbalaw” on these two…

    • Jtmbass

      Bubba law are you serious? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard you must be as stupid as these men. I’m guessing you are one of these sue happy morones.

    • really dude?

      Think you can show up a day early to the Daytona 500 and run 499 the day before. It’s a unwritten rule pretty sure it’s against the law with fish and game and they should charge him with every law that will stick to it’s fullest extent. Its a code of honor thing, some people don’t understand.

    • Terry Harrison

      It’s defined as Fraud, or Fraudulent Practices. It doesn’t need to be a “sport”. All it needs is a prize or cash that meets a set level (say, $1,000) to be a theft.

  • lukebandit

    How much was the bond? It had to be higher than the guy from Arab that beat the baby, slapping the baby playing the victim game. An infant. His bond is 25K. These guys here will go to Federal Prison, you watch. In the End Times, people, babies and children will be treated with less respect than animals. I love animals, especially dogs, but animals over babies and children, no.

    • Jack

      Are you stupid? This case isn’t about babies or animal cruelty. Its about fraud. They cheated to win money. I’m sure the fish were well taken care of. A dead fish is worth nothing in a tournament.

  • Nuclear Mike

    This is not NEW and long ago the lie detector tests were required of each winner to re-assure, to some degree, this “pen-fishing” by tournament winners was not happening.

    Sometimes, these “holding pens” for previously caught fish would be out in the lake with cam-floats or a retrival line to the pen full of winning weight fish.

    It happens all the time, just like the out-of-staters quietly paying local guides to “put-them-on-the-fish”…or have a friend fish a few days ahead to mark the best fish concentrations for them.

    At one time the winning fish were X-rayed to ensure no lead shot or heavy metal objects were inserted into the fish so the fish weighed heavier at weigh-in.

    Bass tournaments & cheating have gone hand-in-hand for sometime with the bigger payouts & new boats the goal!!!

  • bubbalaw

    I was told they will be fishing next weeks tournament. Nothing to stop them and they can’t change the rules to discriminate against someone who has not been convicted.

  • Choo choo

    They cheated in the Buckhorn tournament and won 1,000 is that not enough winnings to convict them of a felony? We all need to contact the DA and assure he charges them with the absolute most he can. He is a public servant and should hear our voice.

  • Linda Oswalt

    Personally, I THINK ….These low lifers STOLE money from EACH and EVERY other tournament fisherman in that tournament.. IF each one would press charges of THEFT on them, THEN it would add up to WELL OVER a thousand dollars and be enough for a FELONY CONVICTION!!!!!

  • bubbalaw

    Good luck on proving all this stuff guys. I have the rules sitting here on my desk. I hope the tournament people have a lot of money or a lot of insurance. This does not meet the legal definition of a sporting event. I suggest you read the rules, if you can read, before you throw your money down to fish.


      Code of Alabama

      Title 13A: Criminal Code

      Section 13A-11-140 – Definitions

      The following definitions apply to Sections 13A-11-140 through 13A-11-143:

      (1) SPORTS CONTEST. Any professional or amateur sport, athletic game or contest, or race or contest involving machines, persons or animals, viewed by the public, and for which admission is charged.

      The contestants were charged an entry fee or “admission”.

      The viewing public does not necessarily have to be charged to constitute a sporting event.


      Code of Alabama
      Title 13A: Criminal Code
      Section 13A-11-140 – Definitions

      (1) SPORTS CONTEST. Any professional or amateur sport, athletic game or contest, or race or contest involving machines, persons or animals, viewed by the public, and for which admission is charged.

      The viewing public may not be charged an admission BUT THE CONTESTANTS ARE.

  • Wayniac

    Taking money by deception is against the law almost everywhere. It does not matter what the tournament rules say.

  • bubbalaw

    If you enter the tournament, you subject yourself to the rules. If you were to lazy to read or understand them, then it’s not their problem. No crime and certainly no fraud because they didn’t break the rules to win.


      2012 Code of Alabama
      Title 13A – CRIMINAL CODE.
      Section 13A-11-143 – Tampering with sports contest.

      Universal Citation: AL Code § 13A-11-143 (2012)

      Section 13A-11-143

      Tampering with sports contest.

      (a) A person commits the crime of tampering with a sports contest if, with intent to influence the outcome of a sports contest, he:

      (1) Tampers with any sports participant or sports official, or with any animal, equipment or other thing involved in the conduct or operation of a sports contest, in a manner contrary to the rules and usages purporting to govern the sports contest in question; or

      (2) Substitutes a sports participant, animal, equipment or other thing involved in the conduct or operation of a sports contest, for the genuine person, animal or thing.

      (b) Tampering with a sports contest is a Class A misdemeanor.

      (Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §4215.)

  • Jeanne

    This very thing happened several years ago at a high stakes tournament at Kkentucky lake. So this is not a new idea by any means. Makes people wonder how many times it worked in the past. When the prizes go above twenty thousand dollars in value it could increase the temptation.

  • richard garner

    a tx director can deny any entry. these guys won’t be able to fish another tx. if they did i would not enter nor would anyone else. they are mud now

  • Better then those guys

    These guys cheated beause they can’t win any other way. I won many tournaments and never cheated to do it. It’s obvious they are no good at fishing tournaments and need to find something else to do. Un sportsman like, and a disgrace to the whole bass fishing community. They will be remembered as these types of people for life. Good job guys!!! Idiots… I’m sure there fines will be more then the winnings. Wayyyy worth it. LOL cheaters…

  • bubbalaw

    Rules say “entry fee” not admission. Game Over. I’m their lawyer and look forward to trying this case. Alan Jackson Attorney at Law 256- 281-9589. feel free to call if you have any questions. The tournament has now stated they are not aware of any written rules being broken and my guys are welcome to fish anytime. See you at next weeks tournament.

    • rueust




      noun: admission; plural noun: admissions

      1.a statement acknowledging the truth of something.
      “an admission of guilt”

      synonyms: confession, acknowledgment, mea culpa, acceptance, concession, disclosure, divulgence More
      “a written admission of guilt”

      2. the process or fact of entering or being allowed to enter a place, organization, or institution.
      “I had some difficulty securing admission to the embassy”

      synonyms: admittance, ENTRY, entrance, right of entry, access, right of access, ingress; More

      I am glad YOU are theri lawyer. Now I can rest at ease that they are surly to be convicted.

    • rueust

      The irony is priceless. Around here BUBBALAW is when we forget about the law and just whoop his butt ourselves.

  • jgf

    Alan nor his criminal counterparts will be at browns creek this week I am pretty sure. These guys may escape “the law” but they will never fish another tourny in Guntersville. There is a very interesting post on “aldeer” where one of them was ticketed for a game violation while hunting, and he posts many times about how he broke the letter of the law but it would be dropped because “his intent” was not in doing wrong. Cant wait untill he turns a 180 here and says his intent was all wrong, but he did not break the letter of the law!! Mr Jackson can post anything he wants, just like anybody else, but all he is doing is trying to make a dollar because that is his job. Nothing wrong with that, but he knows, as well as anyone else familiar with this, that his clients are absolutely done when it comes to tournament fishing at Guntersville. They cant even go out on public right now, shameful for all involved, especially their families. How embarrassing!!!

  • bill

    Not only were these guys stupid enough to cheat their friends but they doubled down on stupid when they hired an attorney that is attempting to try this case in social media. Not only is here not winning anyone to his side but his condescending attitude is tainting future potential jury pools. His clients don’t stand a chance in the court of public opinion and he is sabotaging their future chances in a court of law. The attorney should co start beside his clients in the next episode of America’s Dumbest Criminals.

  • Jeff

    whats funny is that one of the guys own a business so if he cheats at fishing to win a little money imagine what he does to his customers at his business

  • royearl

    Its not enough that these two allegedly cheated, but based on mr. jacksondoesntnts ‘ i hope the tournament people have a lot of money or a lot of insurance” they apparently plan on suing the folks putting on the tournament. it’s a sad day when someone would break the rules like this written or not to cheat people (many of whom i’m sure considered them as friends) just to win a couple hundred bucks and a few pats on the back. i feel bad for their families, there’s nothing about this that’s not sad.

  • bill

    These guys weren’t only stupid enough to cheat they’re friends, they doubled down on stupid and hired the most incompetent, fool to ever pass the bar, to defend them. He isn’t winning any one over to his dude and is only tainting future jury pools.

  • pat

    Well it wasn’t the people who put the tournament on that arrested the dumbasses it was Alabama game and fish, and apparently they got word of the scheme and decided to do something about it, so I wonder how far will a law suit with game and fish will get in court. Where I’m from something that stupid would cost you your fishing license permanently for life(which is what needs to be done to them

    • Rick

      It is amazing to read how some are coming to the defense of these two thugs. Same kind of people that bless the teachers out for failing a kid who didn’t do his homework. These men and those that defend them didn’t listen or didnt have parents that taught them right from wrong. Sad condition.

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