The Police Investigate After Alleged Fishing Cheating Scandal

We've never seen a fisher so angry.

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockOct 4 2022, 11:04 UTC
A man on a boat holds up the fish he has caught.
Fishing doesn't usually get this heated. Image credit: Rocksweeper/

It's been a big few weeks for cheating scandals and allegations in fringe sports. As well as a few bizarre allegations of cheating in chess, there is now a police investigation into cheating allegations in professional fishing.

A video that surfaced online from the Lake Erie Walleye Trail fishing tournament shows a heated argument ensuing between contestants before the winning fishers' fish were inspected. Jake Runyan and Chase Cominsky had reportedly dominated the competition until that point, according to NPR.


After rummaging around inside the fish, the tournament director pulled out what appear to be egg-shaped weights.

The fishers continued to shout at the alleged cheats as the police were called, Vice reports.

Cheating in professional fishing tournaments is a bigger deal than you might think. As well as competition prize money running into the hundreds of thousands, it is specifically illegal in many states of America. In Texas, where cheating in tournaments can land you jail time of up to 10 years, there have been several prosecutions, including some that came with suspended sentences.

Police have opened an investigation into the current alleged cheating incident, according to the New York Times


According to professional angler and fishing writer Ross Robertson, stuffing weights in a fish would be a "sloppy" way to attempt to cheat.

“It would be like saying a 5-foot-tall [1.5 meter] person weighs 500 pounds [227 kilograms], but you look at him and he looks like an athlete,” he told the New York Times. “These fish were so bulging.”

Other ways that people have cheated, he told the New York Times, included being slipped a pre-caught fish by an accomplice, fishing in areas that are off limits, and packing their fish full of ice before weighing and letting the evidence melt away.

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