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Tuck your head in shame. Two pro fishermen were caught cheating by placing lead weights inside the fish they “caught” while fellow fishermen turn into the proverbial “angry mob” seeking vengeance.


It’s hard to imagine these two really believing they could get away with this – unless rumors are true and their success in years prior is attributed to similar rounds of deception in which case, they were clearly overconfident in their abilities.

The incident occurred in Cleveland during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament, the last major event of 2022. Jacob Runyan of Cleveland and Chase Cominsky of Hermitage, Pennsylvania were caught during the weigh in when tournament director Jason Fischer declared the duo as leaders with a total of 33.91 pounds. Second place had 16 pounds.

In the video below, you see Fischer cutting into one of the walleyes and like a bad magician, pulling out a lead weight. Fisher holds it in the air and makes the official declaration, “We got weights in fish!”

The onlooking fishermen quickly surround Runyan (Cominsky was a few hundred feet away) and the verbal assault begins. Poor Runyan just stands there with a beet-red face, not sure whether he should run, pass out, or make an attempt to dig a hole big enough to drive his boat into and disappear.

The fun doesn’t, however, stop there. Fischer cuts into another fish – and pulls out more weights. He cuts into another, and another, each producing a bounty of more lead. In one fish he found walleye filets tucked inside. Do these guys fish while drunk?

Fischer later said the first fish looked like it would weigh about 4 pounds. When it weighed in at 8 pounds, he felt something was off. He also said he could clearly feel hard objects inside the fish.

Meanwhile, the crowd grew unruly. Police officers arrived on the scene and saved the pair from a public lynching.

Cheating in a fishing tournament is much more serious than it sounds. Tournaments such as these award hundreds of thousands of dollars meaning the two could be charged with a felony. They have already placed first in prior tournaments, including last year’s season-ending tournament, and taken home sizeable amounts of money.

Oddly, in last year’s Lake Erie Fall Brawl, the two won but were unexpectedly disqualified. Tournament directors refused to disclose details other than “one of them failed a polygraph test”. That may have been the smoking gun that led to the discovery of their ploy in this year’s tournament.

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