Two accused of cheating by putting weights in fish during tournament in Ohio

(WKBN) – Two Ohio men are accused of placing lead weights in fish they caught during Friday’s Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship.

Tournament director Jason Fischer inspected the fish caught by Chase Cominsky and Jacob Runyan, according to the Toledo Blade. He told Nexstar that during that inspection he felt hard objects in the belly of one of the fish.

When he cut open one of the fish, Fischer found lead weights. It happened to at least two other fish, one of which also had walleye fillets inside, reports the Toledo Blade.

Several videos from the event shared on TikTok show Fischer finding the weights in the fish. The crowd around them can then be heard yelling at Cominsky and Runyan to leave. You can also hear other fishermen shouting swear words at the men.

Fischer posted an apology on the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Facebook page, stating, “All LEWT anglers deserve better. I will take my time and figure out how to solidify the integrity of our sport here on Erie. I appreciate all the support over the last 24 hours and the last 4 years. I really love what WE have built and I’ll be back next season with some great new ideas. The schedule will be published shortly!”

Cominsky and Runyon, who were disqualified, would have taken first place and taken home a prize of around $30,000.

Fischer, who also serves as a Cleveland police officer, said on Facebook that Steve Tsczyko and Christopher French won first place.

According to Blade, Cominsky and Runyan were disqualified from another Lake Erie Walleye Trail event in 2021 because one of them failed a polygraph test. Runyan told the Blade that they passed a subsequent polygraph test.

Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournaments offer hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes each year.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) confirms that its wildlife officers were contacted by tournament organizers on Friday. They are preparing a report for the Cuyahoga County Procuratorate.

ODNR officials declined to comment further, saying the investigation is still open. Two accused of cheating by putting weights in fish during tournament in Ohio

Dais Johnston

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