Professional fishermen are in hot water following accusations of cheating in a recent fishing tournament in Ohio.
Competitors at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament Series (LEWT) believed something was fishy when the catch of two anglers' was suspiciously heavy. Competitors claimed that fellow fishermen were guilty of stuffing the freshwater fish with weights.
It appeared that Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyon had reeled in a victory in the 2022 Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship event on Friday. However, a cheating accusation sank the high-stakes professional fishing event.
A viral video allegedly shows Lake Erie Walleye Trail director Jason Fischer cutting open the fish caught during the tourney by Cominsky and Runyon, according to The Herald. Inside the body of the walleye fish were several lead weights and filets from other fish. The artificially enhanced fish netted the alleged cheating duo a tournament win.
Competitors at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship wanted to tear the purported cheaters to pieces, but police officers were nearby.
The red-handed Runyon appears to play coy as the mob shouts at him, "You should be in jail!"
A guy is heard telling Runyon, "You f***ed over a lot of people, man."
Someone else yells, "You got thousands of f***ing dollars, you stole from everyone!"
Another accused the fishing duo of "f***ing theft." Someone else suggests that the police be called and a report filed.
At one point in the video, it appears that a violent row is about to break out, but Fischer instructed Runyon to leave and tells everyone else to scale back their anger.
There were reportedly rumors of the fishing couple cheating in other tournaments, as one man screamed, "They've been doing this s**t for years!"
The Toledo Blade reported, "The duo weighed in the apparent top catch in last year's Lake Erie Fall Brawl and made claim for the more than $100K attached to that finish, but then were disqualified. When the tournament director at the time offered no explanation or clarity other than to say one of them had failed the polygraph, the tournament lacked the transparency it so desperately needed."
Cominsky and Runyon had led the season for team of the year.
Fischer responded to the cheating scandal in a Facebook post, "Disgusted guys and gals, 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."
(WARNING: Explicit language)