Two Men From Alabama Got Arrested Trying To Fix A Bass Fishing Tournament…Yes, A Bass Fishing Tournament
Gary Lee Minor Jr. and Robert Scott Gillaspie were convicted by a jury and sentenced to 30 days in jail for FIXING A BASS FISHING TOURNAMENT. Bro or not bro?
First of all, I’d just like to point out that while this is a real news story I read this book by Carl Hiaasen when I was still in college. The book ‘Double Whammy’ is the story of a local PI who’s out to catch a man who’s known for fixing bass fishing tournaments. One Amazon review describes part of the book:
Private detective R. J. Decker is hired to prove that TV host Dickie Lockhart cheats to win fortunes in Florida bass-fishing tournaments.
But like I said before, this story is real, not a fictional book taking place down in the swamps of Florida.
Gary Lee Minor Jr., 37, of Albertville and Robert Scott Gillaspie, 45, of Boaz each were convicted in a non-jury trial in Marshall County court of theft by deception and tampering with a sporting event, according to Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall.
Each man was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay $1,000 and court costs. After their release they will serve two years on probation and perform 400 hours of community service, Marshall said. They also had their fishing and hunting licenses revoked and were banned from participating in fishing tournaments.
Minor and Gillaspie were arrested in May after a man in the tournament reported he saw them remove fish from a net that was planted near the dock. The witness told officers with the Alabama Department of Conservation that the men were keeping fish in a pen in the water and using those fish for the tournament weigh-in. The officers conducted an investigation and got “enough evidence to be confident of a conviction,” according to conservation officer Lt. Jim Kirkland.
The prize for catching the largest bass and winning the tournament was a pot into which each competitor placed a fee for entering.
Marshall said competitors became suspicious after the men won six tournaments in a row.
BOOK SPOILER ALERT!!!!!
For those of you that were ever planning on reading ‘Double Whammy’ I’m about to spoil the end for you, because it mirrors this story. Via Wikipedia:
The “secret weapon” of Skink’s plan is his “partner,” a gargantuan bass named “Queenie,” who Skink has raised in secret behind his cabin, and, at 29 pounds even, is easily the largest bass in the world. Skink’s original plan is to have Jim Tile and Al Garcia enter the tournament, posing as brothers, and win by catching Queenie.
So what we’ve really seeing his is a classic case of life imitating art. And with the massive prize pools in bass fishing tournaments these days one can certainly see the allure of trying to gain a competitive edge…but fixing a goddamn bass tournament? How pathetic does a person have to be in order to hide fish in a net and have ZERO FAITH in your angling abilities.
So much of tournament fishing is left up to chance, but soooooo much of it is tied to preparation: scouting out structure in the lake, depth, water temperature fluctuations, factoring in the weather, etc.
But instead these two boys from ‘Bama decided it was in their best interest to completely disregard the sanctity of fishing and hide some bass in a net….FOR SHAME!
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