The apparent winners of the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship are accused of putting weights inside of the fish they caught Saturday.
An official yelled out “We got weights in fish!” when cutting open the winning catch from Chase Cominsky of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, and Jake Runyon of Cleveland, Ohio, according to video taken during the event (warning: explicit language).
A crowd quickly gathered around the fishermen and angrily berated them for their alleged cheating.
The Herald newspaper based in Sharon, Pennsylvania, said that the duo had led the season standings for team of the year.
“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 [Lake Erie Walleye Trail] at the same time,” trail director Jason Fischer said in a Facebook post Saturday.
He went on to say that “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.”
Mr. Cominsky and Mr. Runyon have been involved in controversies before.
The Toledo Blade reported that one of them was disqualified from an event last year for failing a polygraph test. The tests are done to “ostensibly to make sure all of the rules have been followed,” according to the newspaper.