Suspiciously Heavy Fish Lead to Chaos at Tournament

Team disqualified in Ohio after their walleyes were found stuffed with weights, fillets
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2022 10:40 AM CDT
Updated Oct 8, 2022 6:00 AM CDT

First the chess world was rocked by cheating allegations. Now, it's joined by the competitive fishing world. Video started making the rounds over the weekend promoting a "serious controversy" out of Ohio, in which a two-man team is now accused of stuffing their entries in a local tournament with lead weights and fillets of other fish. CNN reports that the goal of competitors in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tourney is to catch five walleyes in the lake and log the highest total weight for the group. And it looked like Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky were about to claim victory in Friday's event, along with the nearly $30,000 prize that comes with that win, a kitty that's amassed from the entry fees forked over by participants.

Jason Fischer, the tournament's director, tells the Washington Post that he knew just by looking at the team's fish that they would win, estimating by looks alone that the five walleye weighed about 20 pounds. That's why he was stunned when they clocked in at 34 pounds, a number that immediately sent up red flags. "It just kind of deflated me, because I just knew it wasn't right," he says. Fischer says he picked up one of the fish and could feel something hard in its gut, and extended footage shows the moment he discovered (at around the 5:00 mark) that "we got weights in fish!" Fischer says there were 10 egg-sized weights within the team's entries, as well as fillets from other walleyes pushed down the fishes' throats.

Fischer says he disqualified the two, then tried to keep the angry crowd at bay as he instructed Runyan and Cominsky, who've won multiple tournaments this year, to leave. A voice in the NSFW video, which has since gone viral, can be heard yelling, "Call the cops!" Fischer says tournament officials are indeed now in touch with authorities. A rep for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources tells CNN evidence has been gathered for a report that will be given to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office. Meanwhile, Fischer says the pair are banned for good from the decades-old Ohio tournament, which is made up of multiple events over a number of months. Runyan and Cominsky won some of those events earlier this summer; now those wins have been called into question. (More strange stuff stories.)

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