KUSA - They were either fishing for trouble, or put on the ice from future fishing contests for no reason.
A recent ice fishing tournament at the 11 Mile Reservoir in Park County has made just about everybody involved with it unhappy.
The Colorado Classic Ice Fishing series has been a big hit for 10 years, thanks to big prize money.
In 2013, one team won all three tournaments in the series, collecting more than $6,000.
After the same team beat 150 other teams to win the first tournament again this year, organizer Larry Falk and other fisherman suspected something fishy, like using live minnows, which is against the rules.
So, Falk started inspecting the cars of the contestants and found live minnows inside.
Since the team refused to take a polygraph test, they've been banned from certain ice fishing contests at 11 mile for life.
"If you're willing to take a polygraph test that says you never used live minnows in our contest you can keep fishing. Two teams said they would take it. One said they wouldn't," Falk said. "It's not like we caught them using live minnows, but the spirit of the rule and regulation is that if you are going to use live minnows for bait they are going to be dead when you have them in your possession not in a cooler with an aerator when you're heading out to the lake."
Since they aren't accused of a crime, 9NEWS is not naming the accused fishermen.
9NEWS did try to contact them, but they haven't responded.
According to the Fairplay Flume Newspaper, their intent was to kill the minnows before using them in hopes of having the freshest bait possible.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)