Men Charged with Cheating at Bass Tournament

Shutterstock image

The men are accused of cheating at bass tournament held at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas

Two Texas men are facing felony fraud charges after they allegedly deceived a bass-tournament event to win prize money.

According to published reports, Joe Carl Loftin, 58, of Doboli, Texas, and Tanner Neal, 23, of Chester are each charged with third-degree felony fraud in a fishing tournament with a prize of $10,000 or more.

Shutterstock image

The men were arrested by Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens last week.

The charges stem from a March incident in a BassCashBash tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, in which investigators said Loftin,, who was entered in the tournament, tried to claim a prize with a bass caught by Neal, who was not entered,

The tournament offered cash and prizes to anglers catching tagged bass at Sam Rayburn from Jauary through April, according to its website. The entry fee was $50.

The Lufkin Daily News reported, citing the arrest warrant, that officials became suspicious after Loftin took two polygraph tests, and apparently showed signs he was lying. Subsequent investigation included Loftin admitting the two men allegedly agreed to split the money, the newspaper reported.

It was unclear how much the fish was worth.

Loftin admitted to the deception in April, according to news reports.

BassCashBash made a statement about the incident on Facebook, including:

"As long as anglers are enjoying our format we will not allow one incident spoil things for our other participants and we will continue to polygraph all of our winners just as we've done these last two years."

Visit the organization's Facebook page

Both men posted $1,500 bail, and have been released from the Angelina County jail, according to KTRE-TV. Neal was released on June 23; Loftin was released June 23.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Fishing How-To

Why You'll Lose Your Next Big Bass

Larry Larsen

Now that you know you might screw it up the next time a big fish bites, let's fix it.


New TRUGLO Bowfishing EZ•Rest

May 23, 2019

Brush-style bowfishing arrow rest and kits designed for simplicity and reliability.


MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

G&F Online Staff - May 20, 2019

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

See More Recommendations

Trending Stories


Record-Sized Walleye Was Foul-Hooked, Agency Says

G&F Online Staff

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record.


Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

Wild Game

10 Memorial Day Recipes for Your Outdoor BBQ Staff

Celebrate the start of summer with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these...

See More Stories

More Bass

Fishing How-To

Why You'll Lose Your Next Big Bass

Larry Larsen

Now that you know you might screw it up the next time a big fish bites, let's fix it.


California's Overlooked Bass Fishing

Bill Schaefer

Get away, off the beaten path, and explore the bass fishing you are missing across the Golden...


Chicago's Smallmouth Bass Hot Spot

Tim Holschlag - June 17, 2019

Want to get after smallmouth near the city? Hit the Kankakee River south of town.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.