Authorities probing report of scandal at Lake Erie fishing tournament

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland District Attorney’s Office last week opened an investigation into an apparent cheating scandal during a lucrative walleye fishing tournament on Lake Erie.

A video posted to Twitter shows Jason Fischer, tournament director of the Lake Erie Walleye Trail, cutting open the winning catch of five walleye on Friday and finding lead weights and prepared fish fillets inside.

The winning anglers, Jacob Runyan of Broadview Heights, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky of Hermitage, Pennsylvania were immediately disqualified. The video shows Fischer urging Runyan to leave for his own safety while people used insults at him.

Fischer told WOIO-TV that he cut open the fish because they appeared heavier than typical walleye of this length.

A spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said Monday that agency officials had collected evidence from the tournament and prepared a report for the Cuyahoga County Attorney’s Office.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said his staff would meet with agency officials on Tuesday.

“I take all crimes seriously, including attempted theft at a fishing tournament,” O’Malley said. “These people will be held accountable.”

Messages asking for comment were left for Runyan, Cominsky and Fischer on Monday.

https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/34719605/authorities-probing-report-scandal-lake-erie-fishing-tournament Authorities probing report of scandal at Lake Erie fishing tournament

Emma Bowman

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