Watch: Armed Alabama Man Charged After Harassing Bass Tournament Anglers

Morgan flips off the anglers with one hand while cradling a pump-action shotgun with another. He later turned himself in to the authorities. Facebook / Chris Pope, Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series

The Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail is supposed to be about catching bass and loving thy neighbor. But things turned sour on Millers Ferry Reservoir near Camden, Alabama, when Chris Pope and Craig Hamilton turned their boat around near Ronald Morgan’s two-story, multi-slip dock. The March 18 incident resulted in two misdemeanor charges last week for Morgan, who threatened Pope and Hamilton with a shotgun, Wired2Fish reports.

In the video, Morgan, 66, stands on the dock with a pump-action shotgun and a bad attitude. He accuses the anglers of trespassing and breaking the 10th Commandment of “Thou shall not covet,” but not before flipping the camera the bird and using some less-than-saintly language.

“I’m not on private property, I’m on the water,” one of the anglers shouts from behind the camera.

“You need to go somewhere else. There’s 17,000 acres here for you to fish,” Morgan says. “This is posted property. You come right up in here, I seen you turn around … in my boat slip thinking you could do something. You’re a damn fool.”

Morgan reportedly turned himself in on April 10, according to a newspaper clipping Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series posted to its Facebook page on April 12. Authorities charged him with menacing and interfering with lawful hunting and fishing.

“Thanks to everyone who worked on this case,” the caption reads. “Home owners have rights but so do anglers. Good work!”

Under Alabama law, the only time a body of water is private is if the water is fully surrounded by land owned by a single person or entity. If multiple owners have claim to different sections of land adjacent to the water, that waterbody is entirely public. That includes the waves lapping against Morgan’s dock. Millers Ferry, formally the William (Bill) Dannelly Reservoir, is 17,200 acres in size with public access points and campgrounds along its 500-plus miles of shoreline.

Menacing, or intentionally placing a “person in fear of imminent serious physical injury,” is a Class B misdemeanor. Such a charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. Interfering with legal hunting and fishing is a Class C misdemeanor, which carries three months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

“This dude should not be threatening us with a gun,” Pope writes in his Facebook post on the day of the incident. “Wish I had my camera out quicker than I did. He toned down a bit when he realized I was filming him.”

Pope and Hamilton placed 12th in the tournament. Fishers of Men will host two more tournaments on Miller’s Ferry this year, one on April 22 and one on May 27.

The post Watch: Armed Alabama Man Charged After Harassing Bass Tournament Anglers appeared first on Outdoor Life.

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