Anglers caught cheating with weights in Ohio won tens of thousands of dollars in other contests

Two Ohio anglers who were dramatically caught cheating in a fishing contest last week have reportedly won tens of thousands of dollars in prizes in other contests.

Cleveland fishing enthusiasts have questioned the past victories of Jake Runyan and partner Chase Kominsky after the cheating scandal erupted at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament on Friday. Mr Runyan and Mr Cominsky were stripped of the top prize as a judge was filmed pulling weights and fillets from inside their winning purse.

It has now been proven that struggling professional fishermen have won large sums of money and at least one fishing boat in previous competitions. The duo won all three Lake Erie Walleye Trail events this year alone, according to the Blade Toledobefore being eliminated in the last tournament.

When interviewed this year about their lucky streak, they attributed their success solely to their ability, The hill mentionted.

“We’ve won three LEWT tournaments in a row: Lorain, Ashtabula and Geneva. I don’t want to come across as cocky or cocky, but I’m sure we should do well in this league because that’s what we do, winners win,” Mr. Runyan was quoted as saying during the interview.

“They were earning a lot, they were making money. Were they living the life you know? And a lot of us were looking for it because they won so much,” John Stewart. who interviewed the couple and witnessed their fall on Friday, he said The hill.

Jason Fisher, the director of the Lake Erie Walleye Trail, said he first suspected foul play at the tournament when Mr. Runyan and Mr. Cominsky’s five fish, which he guessed weighed no more than four pounds, each landed in total at 34. kilos on the scale.

“I thought, there’s no way,” he told CNN. I could also hear the crowd moaning, like “no way, no way…I physically felt the fish, I could feel hard objects inside the fish.”

After inspecting one of the fish, he found its stomach unnaturally hard. In a now-viral video, the official could be seen slicing open the fish and pulling lead weights out of them as well as fillets of another fish from a smaller one.

People were heard urging the judges to “call the police”, while some demanded “he be in jail”. The video shows Mr Fisher telling the fishermen to leave as he instructs angry onlookers not to touch them while the crowd hurls obscenities.

“How many f****** tournaments have you done this?” a person can be heard screaming, as Mr. Fisher begins to open the five fish in front of him. In a dramatic moment, he pulls golf ball-sized lead weights off them, one after the other, as another witness is heard exclaiming “what are you talking about!”

(Lake Erie Walleye Test)

Lead weights and fillets stuffed inside the fish

(Lake Erie Walleye Test)

The would-be winners were to receive a prize of $28,760, the director told CNN, adding that tournament officials are in contact with local authorities about the alleged fraud.

The media and outreach specialist at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources confirmed the data collection from Friday’s event. “As this is an open investigation, we have no further comment at this time,” said Stephanie O’Grady.

Mr. Fischer also slammed them saying they would “never be able to fish” the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament again.

Ross Robertson, a professional angler, said fishing fraud is more common than most people think. “You have to consider that in some of these tournaments, ounces can mean tens, or hundreds, of thousands of dollars,” he was quoted as saying by New York Times.

Citing dozens of possible ways to cheat, he said in some cases fishermen fill the fish with ice as it adds weight during weighing, but it melts afterwards, leaving no evidence.

Although the incident is a “black eye” for the sport, he believes the scandal is a blessing. “Maybe this is the thing that prevents other frauds and causes some significant changes in procedures,” he said.

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