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Photo of the cheating angler weighing in his largest bass this weekend at Lake Wylie BFL

It’s been confirmed that FLW not only disqualified an angler in this weekend’s BFL on Wylie Lake in North Carolina but they also banned him for life. The angler in question, John Hoyle, also known as Brian Hoyle, of Rutherfordton, N.C. was caught weighing in a bass that had a hand-poured, 11-ounce lead weight in its gullet. FLW has been taking extra precautions in checking the fish at the bump table to make sure no bass were being weighed in with lead in the bellies. They were actually on the lookout in this particular tournament.

After the weigh-in, Hoyle’s fish were kept aside when the tournament official felt a hard object in the fish’s gullet and his check was withheld until it could be examined. As a result of his DQ, everyone else in the tournament field will move up a spot in the standings, and the money will be redistributed based on the new rank in the tournament’s standings. It appears he also had big fish for the tournament (seen being weighed here). That presents a problem because most of the time no records are kept of second or third big bass in tournaments and many anglers won’t weigh a 5-pound bass if they know a 6-pound bass is leading.

Obviously the lynch mob is out in North Carolina fishing circles, and chances are likely that this angler has done this before. Kudos to FLW for taking the extra steps to run clean tournaments where anglers can feel safe they are on a level playing field. FLW’s obligation is not to make examples of people, it’s to run the cleanest, fairest, funnest tournaments they can. They’ve done a good job of catching and removing cheaters from competitions when they can find sufficient evidence.As for the speculation as to how the cheater was able to pull this off with a co-angler, we talked to FLW officials about that as well. The co-anglers were getting the trucks because of the trailered weigh-in due to the venue. That is when it is speculated the angler jammed the lead in the fish’s gullet.Several folks have commented on how his 11-ounce cheat didn’t jump him to second and without it he still would have been third. But we believe his intent was to get the big bass money. So he made a bass that was close, over the top.

We’ve poured a lot of lead in our time, and an 11-ounce lead weight is no small piece of metal. FLW runs a good tournament series at multiple levels, and we applaud their efforts to keep this about fairness and sportsmanship. It’s no easy task for any tournament organization, we assure you. There will always be that 0.00001 percent of the tournament fishing population that wants to shortcut the system somehow.


53 thoughts on “Cheater Caught at BFL on Wylie in 2012

  1. I’m glad they banned him for life I think they should start taking away the fishing licences for life of cheaters too so maybe we can scare the crooked straight.

    • Can’t take away his fishing license unless there is a DNR rule that says you can’t put lead weights in a fish. Of course with the angler knowing the fish will be released, there may be something in the books about doing something like that.

    • Good idea Joe, I’m a local tournament guy and this just pisses me off big time, tack their license for life but prosecute them if possible.

  2. Pingback: Bryan (John) Hoyle... Cheater on the BFL on Wylie...

  3. Pingback: Another Cheater caught...FLW/BFL

  4. Cheating surly takes the fun and excitement out of any tournament weather it be flw, bass masters, or just a local club tournament. If a person can not play the game fair then they shouldn’t be able to have opportunity to compete . U guys done great at catching this cheater and he should be banded from any tournament. If the person would cheat once then he would cheat again…

    • His fishing license should only be taken away for a limited time, and with specific restrictions, when returned to him, and of course a hefty fee for his actions.

  5. Kudos to FLW and the stand they take. I also agree with Joe, they should take a look at taking fishing privileges away for life. Hopefully every tournament circuit out there will join in and take the same stance.

  6. Kudos to FLW and the stand they take. Hopefully he will be blackballed from every tournament circuit out there.

  7. Pingback: Another cheater caught!!!!

  8. Pingback: Another Cheater Caught!

  9. I imagine this would be possible even without the trailered weighin. If the weight was laying in the bottom of the livewell, all he would have to do is stick both hands in to “get hold of that big one” and push the weight into the fish underwater. This guy probably had plenty of practice. This is why our bigger local tournaments (where top prize is $1000 or more) have a lie-detector test requirement for the top three places & big fish.

  10. Were I come from, u do get jail time for putting lead in the water,its illegal to use in shotshells over water because it damages and pollutes the fish! Dnr should at least issue a heavy fine

  11. This P.O.S. should NEVER BE ABLE TO HAVE ANY KIND OF LICENSE OF ANY KIND FOR LIFE,HUNTING,FISHING OR ANYTHING EVER….This is what ruins everything for people…..not to mention the poor wildlife that has had to suffer because of idiotic human flesh waste like him!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Obviously the guy was desperate. When money is involved people will do whatever it takes. It’s human nature most of us never cross that line, there will always be that one bad apple. FLW did the right thing.

  13. How do they catch these guys, procedurally speaking? I understand that in this case an officially “felt” the weight in the fish’s gullet, but that seems like an extremely hit-or-miss tactic.

    It seems that in higher-level tourneys that a metal detector or even x-ray might be prudent? Heck, call in the TSA and put them to good use instead of hassling me at the airport!

    • Actually the week before this tournament he fish a benefit tournament and done of the fish were taken in to feed a local shelter and during the cleaning process few fish had the same lead weights in them. So they knew they needed to watch the scales.

      I fished against this guy for years stuck my neck out and defended this guy and to be kicked in the balls like this sucks. I hope he got what he wanted…. Lifetime ban on tournaments around here. Low life POS

  14. That is fraud and he should be charged and arrested! If this would have happened in Louisiana he would have left the tourney in cuff’s. I am sick of cheaters. We have some cheating going on in my area. It kills me that we cant catch them. We have been finding bass tied up and in bird cages for a few years now!

  15. Here in Arkansas at most Local tournaments Arkansas Game & Fish Commission would take his fishing license for a year, take ALL his fishing equipment and slap a huge fine on him. In some cases they will take the boat. Sponsored tournaments are left up to the tournament officials and tourment rules.

    Banning him from all sponsored tournaments would be a good idea. Taking his fishing license for a year should be mandatory but has to be done by a game & fish official. 30 days in jail would be good too. Cheating is stealing and, if the prize money is high enough, it should be a felony.

    I.would also post flyers around his home town.

  16. Reading this makes my blood boil too. I have come to the realization that cheating in bass tournaments will continue to grow like it has the last few years. This started back when Tony Christian got away with steal several hundred thousand dollars and never was even prosecuted or charges pressed against him because FLW did not press charges. I don’t understand how we can support FLW when all they do is ban a guy for life after stealing money out of peoples pockets. This is a crime. The same thing happened with the guy who put a weight in a fish at the US Open. When it was all said and done he got probation and a $1000 fine. Are you kidding me? Truth is our criminal justice system doesn’t care about cheating in bass tournaments and fishermen are finally realizing this the last 5 or 6 years that is why we are seeing so many more incidents and will continue to see more incidents until something changes. This was never this bad years ago….makes you think how many people on the big league levels like Tony Christian walked away with tons of money and never got caught….

  17. I feel sick this article has even been published. Sure, I agree with the permanent ban. He probably is married, has kids and parents watching him. For the rest of his life, his name will be smeared. If his kids google him 20 years from now, guess what will pop up. This article, or the FLW one. Lets polygraph each married fisherman and see if they have viewed pornography in the last week, take the results and publish an article on each of them with a picture included. Obviously there wouldn’t be enough writers. They didn’t need to destroy him publicly.

    • You’re kidding right?? These kids should know that their dad was a cheater, cheaters get caught. His name will be smeared for life, and for good reason. If I need to resort to cheating in order to win, I don’t need to play the game, so to speak. I think we, as tournament anglers should shove an 11 ounce weight in his gullet and see how he likes it

    • Are you serious brandon. Millions of bass fisherman across the country each year come together in competition. In a sport that is, for the most part, integrity based. If he cheated this time there is no way of knowing how many times he has taken money from honest men before. It isn’t the same as catching someone with pornography on a polygraph. Compare it more to breaking into someones house and stealing cash directly out of their wallet and getting caught directly by the police…. I hope he and all like him are dragged through the mud forever.

  18. Brandon- They did not destroy him publicly, he did that to himself. Every action has a reaction and in this digital age he should know very well that when he got caught it would be made public and his family would know. Would it have been any different had he gotten DUI or robbed a bank? It still would have been made public. Although impossible to prove now, I wonder how many times in the past he has done it?

  19. This just disgusts me to no end.. What joy can there in cheating.

    Brandon – I look at it this way. His kids may resent the fact that their Dad is a cheater and made mistakes. Those mistakes hopefully will help him. He can use this as a teaching lesson to his kids. One day maybe he’ll explain to his kids why he did it and how it changed his life around completely. Maybe from this day forward he’s the Dad, Husband and Friend that he should have been in the beginning… One can only hope….


  21. WOW! I could never understand what someone gets from cheating ( other than the money) The sick feeling you must have afterwards would be excruciating. I fish tournaments because I love the sport, Love the Competition. If I thought I would have to cheat to win, I could not live with myself. Sad life’s some people live.

  22. I am very upset about this!Can’t believe this guy or anyone for that matter would even consider this!!! Today’s society never fails to amaze me in ignorance and lack of values!!!! WOW!!! SHAME ON HIM!!!!

  23. “I feel sick this article has even been published. Sure, I agree with the permanent ban. He probably is married, has kids and parents watching him. For the rest of his life, his name will be smeared. If his kids google him 20 years from now, guess what will pop up. This article, or the FLW one. Lets polygraph each married fisherman and see if they have viewed pornography in the last week, take the results and publish an article on each of them with a picture included. Obviously there wouldn’t be enough writers. They didn’t need to destroy him publicly.”

    Brandon seriously ?????????? you sound as clueless as the loser scumbag that did this …………..
    That’s good !!!!! Now his wife will know what a loser she married !!! Probably cheats on her anyways……. never home with his kids anyway cause he is out “fishing/ cheating , so they didn’t find out anything new . they realize already im sure what a low life scumbag parent they have already, cant call him a dad cause a dad sets an example for his kids which this scumbag seems like that’s never been on his mind, selfish loser scumbag !!! that’s sould have been the Title to this ARTICLE …………………..SCUMBAG !!!!!!!

  24. This cowards name and picture should be sent to every tournament director in the U.S People like this man should never be able to compete at any level of fishing. He not only stole other peoples money -winnings, but he stole practice time, commuting, and everything that goes into competitive bass fishing. How can you put a monetary value to all that. Its disgraceful, priceless and a crime that should be punishable by jail time. This should not be taken lightly and should be investigated. Everyone who reads this store should re-post this picture and story on there favorite media site whether its Facebook, Twitter and so on……..

  25. For a follow up…has he made any comments or denial relating to this. I would hate to be placed all over the internet if a fish I caught ate a sinker at some point (or something similar). Just wondering if a poly was used to confirm his cheating. Ps…The sport has no room for this kind of behavior. great job. Hopefully this scared the “next guy”.

    • According to FLW this was reported to them before hand which is why they brought in the game and fish folks and put the sting in place. Apparently others had seen him do it in other events. There was plenty of evidence to prove a fish had not “accidentally eaten large strips of lead.”

  26. I am from Texas,that is great to get rid of him and others who cheats.i have never been in a tornement,people like that makes me sick to my stomach.should shove it down his throat,see how he likes it.

    • I live on the same road as this guy and his family. His son has helped him cheat before. Their whole family is nothing but cheaters and liars.

  27. No one applauds cheaters and our actions certainly have consequences as we witness in this case. With those consequences, however, we can hope that cheaters and all others who miss the mark will not have their consciences seared but will experience godly grief which produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret (2 Cor. 7:10). We can discern evil but along with that we should be quick to forgive and leave judgment to the one who judges all men righteously. Just my 2 cents — which weigh considerably less than 11 ounces. ;-)


  29. Are you frigging serious. Thinking the guy still deserves 2nd, or 3rd? In what world is his behavior ok? Theft, cruelty to animals? There needs to be more examples made if caught cheating. This sport should demand better sportmanship than that. And the ones who says he should’ve placed second, or 3rd are just as bad. Sounds like they would do it themselves. There is no defense for those actions. Banned from competition is not enough, he should never hold another fishing license the rest of his life! On top of serving some time.

  30. My dad is from the same town as the cheater and he fishes tournaments and i know how he would be if he were fishing against this not even a real person and lost to a cheat. He would be the same as me he would never wanna be on the same body of water as him. If you can get in trouble and have your gun rights taken away then you should have your fishing rights taken away. Once a cheat always a cheat!

  31. If he accepted or attempted to accept payment, this constitutes “Fraud By Deception” and is illegal. He should be arrested and tried in a court of law. The honest contestants deserve that.

  32. FLW should start pressing charges for “Contest Fraud” on these cheaters. Sometimes you need to make a example.

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