Pro Fishing Tournament Nearly Comes to Blows After Anglers Accused of Faking Weights

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo By Dennis Anderson/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Two Ohio anglers are under fire after being caught cheating red-handed at the annual Lake Erie Walleye Trail Fishing Tournament.

Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyon made national headlines today after an official cut open one of the team’s fish during the ending weigh-in and found metal pellets inside. They also found other random debris and even cut up fish fillets in the walleye’s stomachs.

The extra poundage gave them enough of an advantage to win the competition, which has the fishing world up in arms—especially since people had been suspecting the duo of foul play for nearly a year.

A video was released that caught the moment the cheating became apparent. In it, angry fans and contestants threatened to call the police and even asked Runyon to give answers. But he just stood silently and watched the drama unfold. Had the team gotten away with it, they would have walked away with hundreds of thousands in prizes.

Beware: The video below includes strong language.

Leading into the championship, the two held the standings for Team of the Year. But as soon as the scandal came to light, the team was stripped of its win.

Jason Fischer, the fishing tournament’s director, released a statement on the situation on Facebook shortly after it came to light.

“Disgusted guys and gals,” he wrote. “I’m sorry for letting you down for so long. And I’m glad I caught cheating taking place in YOUR LEWT at the same time. I hope you know now that when I say ‘you built this LEWT. And I will defend its integrity at all costs,’ I mean it. You all deserve the best.”

The Fishing Tournament Cheaters Had Been Suspected of Foul Play For Months

Competitors, observers, and officials in the fishing tournament world had been working hard to prove that Cominsky and Runyon were making a habit out of cheating for some time. In fact, the title of the YouTube video that’s making its round is Lake Erie Walleye Trail Cheater Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan finally got caught.

The Toledo Blade reported that the team was disqualified from the Fall Brawl fishing tournament, which offered over $500,000 in cash and prizes, in Dec. 2021 after one of the two failed a polygraph test.

Runyon claimed that he and his partner passed a second polygraph, and that allowed them to continue competing. However, the team has wracked up many wins during their fishing tournament career. And now that it’s apparent that they were cheating along the way, people are wondering if they legitimately earned any of their titles or prizes.