Winner of Controversial Walleye Fishing Tournament Unleashes on the Cheating Anglers

by Tia Bailey
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A Cleveland fisher called out cheating anglers following a tournament. The fisherman had won the controversial walleye fishing competition.

Steve Hendricks, who was announced as the winner after a cheating scandal was discovered, shared that he hopes the two men who cheated receive the necessary punishments. According to Daily Mail, Chase Cominsky from Pennsylvania and Jake Runyan from Ohio were acting fishy. It was revealed that they had stuffed their catches with weights to make them seem heavier.

“I just hope they get them for everything they can for what they’ve done,” Hendricks said to CNN. “And they’re out there trying to do a great job and it’s just unfortunate that a select few can come in and ruin all that for you. So I hope [Cominsky and Runyan] get the max.”

The cheaters were caught on video stuffing their catches, and were disqualified.

“They picked up a fish that should have weighed about four pounds and they set it on the scale and it said eight,” Hendricks said. “And then they put the rest of their five in and it came up to 35.”

Men Who Cheated in Walleye Fishing Tournament Disqualified

 The Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Stephanie O’Grady shared that they have collected evidence of the cheating, and are preparing to bring it to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

“As this is an open investigation, we have no further comment at this time,” O’Grady wrote to CNN.

The director of the tournament, Jason Fischer, shared several statements onto Lake Erie Walleye Trail’s Facebook page.

“LEWT Anglers, I posted an official statement and apparently Facebook didn’t like it (It never made it to post). I will go live at 9pm tonight to make an official statement to all my LEWT anglers addressing this matter. Thank you all for the overwhelming support. – TD Jason Fischer,” he wrote.

He then shared a video explaining the situation, and many took to the comments to thank him for taking care of the cheaters and making sure the right winner got recognized.

Fischer spoke to CNN as well, stating that he was suspicious when the team’s fish was weighing double what it should.

“I thought, there’s just no way,” he said. “I could also hear the crowd grumbling, like ‘no way, there’s no way.’”

He continued: “I physically felt the fish, I could feel hard objects inside the fish.”

The winning prize was $28,760, which Cominsky and Runyan were very close to winning.

“We will fix this. We’ll start by implementing new rules at weigh-ins and boat checks,” Fischer said. “We’ll work hard this off-season and learn from you all about what safeguards you want to see in our series.”