Deion Sanders Recalls Being Arrested For Bass Fishing At Fort Meyers Airport: “I’m Sorry, But They Were Biting”

Deion Sanders mugshot
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Although we’re not getting as much Prime news as we were at the beginning of the college football season, Deion Sanders is still high on everyone’s radar, and for good reason.

After taking over as head coach at the University of Colorado, he managed to completely overhaul the roster and build a team that is substantially better than last year’s 1-11 squad.

Currently, the Buffaloes sit at 4-4 after a close loss to #20 UCLA last weekend, which is way beyond what most expected coming into the year, but also way below where some analysts thought they’d sit after a 3-0 start to the season.

Away from football, Deion is pop culture star, but that hasn’t changed some of his favorite hobbies, one of the most well known being bass fishing.

He took a playful shot at the fly fishing culture in Colorado after taking the job, but there’s a story from his past that I believe doesn’t get the shine that it deserves.

After he was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons with the 5th overall pick in the 1989 draft, having received a $2,000,000 signing bonus, he did what most athletes dream of doing and bought his mother her dream house in their hometown of Fort Meyers, Florida.

The house was in a gated community near the Southwest Florida International Airport and had everything they could dream of, including a nearby lake that was not visible from the highway or any roads close by.

Just that sentence alone is enough to make most anglers break out the tackle and try to locate it themselves, and the opportunity to land some lunker Florida largemouths was just too much for Deion to pass up.

Unfortunately, airport property is not open for fishing and the authorities quickly caught on that Deion was using it when in the area, which lead to a run in with the law one day on the water.

He spoke about this arrest on his show with Barstool a few years back.

“I built my mom this — first, I go pro, you know, do the admirable thing — build a million-dollar crib, right? It’s close to the airport. It’s a wonderful gated community. Now, right by the airport there’s this beautiful lake. Gators, you know Florida boy, you see alligators, you fish and the gators are right there, but you can’t even see the lake from the highway or from the road. 

So, I pull my truck way back up in there and, oh, my God. I’m by myself. I had this little boat in the back of my truck, and I put it in the lake, fishing my butt off, and I could see the bass coming to hit the lure — eating it alive. I mean, I’m catching fish left and right. 

Police come up, “What’s up?”

“You need to come here”

“For what?” 

“No trespassing”

“Ain’t nobody cares!” There might have been other words. “Ain’t nobody cares! What are you talking about?” I say, so what’s the big deal? 

“Oh you’re gonna go to jail.” 

“Go to jail for what?!” 


I said “You’re taking me to jail?” and he said yeah, and I said well I might as well enjoy myself, so I stayed out there for about another hour. What are you gonna do? He can’t come and get me, I’m in the boat.”

I’m not typically a fan of talking back to the police, but come on dude, let the guy fish. I’ve been in quite a few places I wasn’t technically allowed to be in hopes of landing some fish, so I’m team Prime on this one.

Eventually, he did come to shore and was taken to the police station at the airport, where he was charged with a first-degree misdemeanor charge, carrying a $1,000 fine and a maximum of 1 year in prison (which he obviously didn’t serve) according to the Oklahoman.

He was fishing with a friend at the time, who was not charged.

Sanders later told the News-Press of Fort Myers:

“I broke the law. I did. I didn’t walk out of there and start screaming. I said, ‘Yeah,’ The only defense I have is that I’m sorry, but they were biting. I wasn’t out there 10 minutes and they caught me. But I had 10 fish by that time.”

A police spokeswoman later said that he was allowed to keep his fish. I mean come on, getting arrested for fishing? If that’s not proof that Prime, for all of his antics and huge personality, isn’t one of us, than I don’t know what it.

Now many he should work on getting his team to close out some games… I’m rooting for Colorado and it’s not just because they’re a fun add to my weekend parlays…

Coach Prime puts ’em in the boat:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock