“Early to bed; Early to rise; Fish all day; And make up lies.”
We all know anglers are liars. We say things like “you should’ve seen it yesterday. I will killing them” and “you wouldn’t believe the fish I caught today; it was huge!”
My answer was always the same “no picture, no fish.”
Well this past week even the photos lied.
Two guys that have been accused to cheating in past were finally caught and eliminated from competition.
Chase Cominsky from Pennsylvania, and his partner, Jake Runyon from Ohio were caught after the official weigh-in at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship. As Trail Director Jason Fischer weighed the fish, he felt like something was, well… fishy.
Upon examination, he said something just didn’t feel right. After that, he decided to gut the fish. It was then discovered the pair had stuffed lead sinkers and walleye fillets down the fish to add weight. Once the weights were found in the first fish, the rest were gutted and more were found in every fish.
Heading into the championship event, the team had been in the lead for team of the year. The pair needed to finish in 10th-place or better to win the title.
This is not the first time the pair’s success has come into question. After the Fall Brawl fishing event in 2021, they were disqualified after they had apparently won because one of them had failed a polygraph test.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which enforces fishing regulations in the state, and Cleveland Metroparks Police are investigating with the possibility of filing charges.
This story has stretched far and wide in the last few days. It even made Sports Illustrated. However, I doubt that is how the pair ever wanted to make the magazine.
I can’t tell you how disgusted those of us who call ourselves ethical anglers are. We always encourage anglers clamp down barbs, carry in and out, and avoid treble hooks, among other recommendations. What these two did cheapens the sport and should be ashamed. Anglers pay a lot of money to participate in these events and they expect everyone to follow a code of ethics, fish responsibly, and follow the rules of the event. This isn’t just a matter of winning an event for bragging rights. People make their living participating in these events.
I hope there is a full investigation and they are held accountable. I much prefer the “fun” fishing lies. Not something like this that gives the entire sport a black eye.