Jump to content

Walleye fishing is serious business.


crash_davis

Recommended Posts

On 10/1/2022 at 11:05 PM, justhookit said:

@fattyflattieyou probably heard what happened this summer with Billy the owner of Freeman boats. I’ve been tournament fishing a little over 10 years now and I think that’s maybe the 4th time I’ve ever heard of something going bad. The other 2 or 3 times were pretty technical rules DQ’s and not somebody stuffing weight into the cavity of the fish. Holy shit.

I missed that, somehow.  

I'll say this.  I've fished a shitload of tournaments anywhere from local KC hall and work tournaments, to 600+ boat types, and some "local" offshore stuff (not billfish POCO/Legends/East Coast).  Have been lucky enough to get poly'd a few times in some of the bass tournaments.  Worst part about that is that you can't celebrate (read whiskey) until after your test.  And you're really, really wanting to celebrate when you just bested 600 teams.   People cheat, a lot.  It typically isn't to this extreme, but fishing before hours (once shotgun starts were deemed too much liability), not respecting distance rules in bass tournaments, fishing a brush pile that you placed, and the list goes on.  I even remember hearing about a guy that would force water (pump) into redfish and "blow them up" a bit before the weigh ins.  Like @justhookit said, in the big Marlin stuff, where the entry/calcutta's get into 6 figures, I don't think it's as prevalent.  At that point, your name, business, etc get absolutely dragged if you were caught.  I know a guy that got hung up in a gray area of the rules (~'12 POCO maybe) and they were more upset they didn't win than the 800k lost pot.  It wasn't even a cheating thing, they had a boat call it in etc, just a cloudy IGFA rule.

I fish an annual that used to be a bunch of friends that slowly evolved into bigger money, and we now have some absolute studs fishing it.  I recall the first year this team of brothers got an invite, and they came in and beat the fuck out of every years previous record by something like 15#.  My partner was up taking a leak about 0230 and saw them cruising down the ditch, and didn't really think much of it.  These guys show up at weigh in in a different boat, fucking Khale hooks on about 5 rods in the holders (it was artificial only with boundaries) These fucks lit down to Baffin and croakered it up all day, then for some reason came back in another boat.  At the weigh in, as they were handing this team just under 10k, you had some rumblings from some guys who fish 30+ tournaments a year and felt cheated.  These brothers were known for being legit skull crackers since fucking elementary school, and everybody sort of knows everyone there, so it ended up just being a tense evening.  They were not invited back, and threatened to whip the ass of the guy who puts the tourney on (it was his wife's family) when he told them.  I understand it became mildly physical even.  That night, when the weighmaster told them to cool their jets, he got shoved down by the neck.  They've since spread the $$$ around a bit more, but there's still plenty of fuckery.  I go because I've been there since day 1, and I know 75% of the people.  But anytime that pot gets up for 15k+, people start to lose their minds/integrity. That's not folding money, but some of these guys have 7 figure houses on the ditch.  They don't need it, and it surely isn't worth losing your reputation over, imo.   Oh yeah, no poly on that one.  They have a certified bad ass of a weighmaster on that one, and this dude is 1000% by the book.  If that red is 28.00001# it's getting tossed.  That nose beat flat, getting tossed, etc.   They always feel around the stomach really good which would go for the weights, not sure about the filets or bait like the guys in the video.

Someone mentioned the whores.  Well, Houma Oilmans and GI Tarpon Rodeo were pretty well known for that when I regularly fished them.   Then the Fourchon Rodeo was started to kind of snuff all of that out (lololol)   Biggest cheat I've actually ever seen personally was in the last time I fished it.  A team that I'm familiar with (know them thru someone else) fished all fucking week inshore, and offshore.  These dudes took home 1-5th in redfish, black drum, YF tuna, and something else I cant recall (maybe dorado).   It's a 2 day tournament.  These dudes show up to the house we have rented with one of those poly 5x5x5 ice chest cubes they use for crawfish and whatnot, strapped down on a lowboy trailer,  and it's got so many fucking fish I couldn't believe.  They fished hard for a full week, just stacking these fish.  For first place, you'd get five (5) calcuttas, five (5) yetis, and five (5) prints (art) for the inshore, and offshore would be 50W combos with all the other goodies.  Second place got 4, third 3, down to a single set for 5th place.  Well, I shit you not they had to return with that lowboy to load all the yetis and shit on, after loading several pickup trucks.  I'll see if I can find any pics but they won 1-5th in several categories.     Also something that struck me odd that night, the trout winner was a single guy who had first thru 5th place, and my understanding the next 4 (9 of 10 spots).  Every damn trout was something like 8#+...in July...in La.    Anyhow, I thought I drank myself to death that night at Daddy's Money, and believe that hangover is still a top 5 of my life. Those two guys ended up getting caught in a Bass tournament a few years later.  It was a small, but sanctioned event.  That's important because they are now banned from life for a FUCKLOAD of tournaments in La that fall under that sanction.  Someone caught them up in some canals (out of boundary) emptying traps of previously caught fish.  Their shit got plastered all over Salty Cajun, local newspapers, etc, and iirc, one of them got fired from their job over it.   Those guys (cousins iirc) were legitimately some of the best fisherman I've ever met.  They didn't have the need to cheat.  But it wasn't fun to them unless they were.  My understanding is that's not uncommon.   

I've DQ'd myself a few times.  Once we would have won about 6k on a snapper.  We were fishing tipped jigs, like I've done my entire life.  Never dawned on my that those jigs aren't circle hooks, and any "natural" bait has to be a circle hook.  Had a 19# snapper, winner was 16#. I've seen built myself an arsenal of circle hooked jigs, never again.   Another was turned in a legal (TPWD) trout once, but tournament had a different set of slots and it had completely slipped my mind in the hustle/bustle of trying to get a string together.  Lots of guys in the bass tournaments I fish get fucked by not having their lifevest on when they crank the big motor.  I've seen guys DQ themselves off top 3 on that because they'll fail the poly.  Once you fail the poly, you are fucked for a long time, so they give you the chance to DQ yourself with no consequence.   I can't imagine cheating, takes 110% of the fun out of it for me, money be damned. 

  • Hook 'Em 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Made it to CNN. They are fucked

https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/02/sport/ohio-fishing-tournament-cheating-scandal-trnd/index.html

Quote

Runyan and his teammate, Chase Cominsky, were set to win a $28,760 prize, Fischer told CNN. The prize money at each tournament he hosts comes from the entry fee each angler pays to compete.

Quote

Fischer said tournament officials are in touch with local authorities. Stephanie O’Grady, media and outreach specialist at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, told CNN the department collected evidence Friday and is preparing a report for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

“As this is an open investigation, we have no further comment at this time,” she wrote in an email to CNN.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Foosters said:

Amateurs.

Everyone knows you bring smaller fish, fill those with weights, and then insert smaller fish into stomach of the catch. They'll just assume your catch ate the smaller fish. Fishception if you will 

Sounds like something a pescatarian  pescatarian would say.  I assume you eat fish that only eat other fish?  hmmm.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, fattyflattie said:

I missed that, somehow.  

I'll say this.  I've fished a shitload of tournaments anywhere from local KC hall and work tournaments, to 600+ boat types, and some "local" offshore stuff (not billfish POCO/Legends/East Coast).  Have been lucky enough to get poly'd a few times in some of the bass tournaments.  Worst part about that is that you can't celebrate (read whiskey) until after your test.  And you're really, really wanting to celebrate when you just bested 600 teams.   People cheat, a lot.  It typically isn't to this extreme, but fishing before hours (once shotgun starts were deemed too much liability), not respecting distance rules in bass tournaments, fishing a brush pile that you placed, and the list goes on.  I even remember hearing about a guy that would force water (pump) into redfish and "blow them up" a bit before the weigh ins.  Like @justhookit said, in the big Marlin stuff, where the entry/calcutta's get into 6 figures, I don't think it's as prevalent.  At that point, your name, business, etc get absolutely dragged if you were caught.  I know a guy that got hung up in a gray area of the rules (~'12 POCO maybe) and they were more upset they didn't win than the 800k lost pot.  It wasn't even a cheating thing, they had a boat call it in etc, just a cloudy IGFA rule.

I fish an annual that used to be a bunch of friends that slowly evolved into bigger money, and we now have some absolute studs fishing it.  I recall the first year this team of brothers got an invite, and they came in and beat the fuck out of every years previous record by something like 15#.  My partner was up taking a leak about 0230 and saw them cruising down the ditch, and didn't really think much of it.  These guys show up at weigh in in a different boat, fucking Khale hooks on about 5 rods in the holders (it was artificial only with boundaries) These fucks lit down to Baffin and croakered it up all day, then for some reason came back in another boat.  At the weigh in, as they were handing this team just under 10k, you had some rumblings from some guys who fish 30+ tournaments a year and felt cheated.  These brothers were known for being legit skull crackers since fucking elementary school, and everybody sort of knows everyone there, so it ended up just being a tense evening.  They were not invited back, and threatened to whip the ass of the guy who puts the tourney on (it was his wife's family) when he told them.  I understand it became mildly physical even.  That night, when the weighmaster told them to cool their jets, he got shoved down by the neck.  They've since spread the $$$ around a bit more, but there's still plenty of fuckery.  I go because I've been there since day 1, and I know 75% of the people.  But anytime that pot gets up for 15k+, people start to lose their minds/integrity. That's not folding money, but some of these guys have 7 figure houses on the ditch.  They don't need it, and it surely isn't worth losing your reputation over, imo.   Oh yeah, no poly on that one.  They have a certified bad ass of a weighmaster on that one, and this dude is 1000% by the book.  If that red is 28.00001# it's getting tossed.  That nose beat flat, getting tossed, etc.   They always feel around the stomach really good which would go for the weights, not sure about the filets or bait like the guys in the video.

Someone mentioned the whores.  Well, Houma Oilmans and GI Tarpon Rodeo were pretty well known for that when I regularly fished them.   Then the Fourchon Rodeo was started to kind of snuff all of that out (lololol)   Biggest cheat I've actually ever seen personally was in the last time I fished it.  A team that I'm familiar with (know them thru someone else) fished all fucking week inshore, and offshore.  These dudes took home 1-5th in redfish, black drum, YF tuna, and something else I cant recall (maybe dorado).   It's a 2 day tournament.  These dudes show up to the house we have rented with one of those poly 5x5x5 ice chest cubes they use for crawfish and whatnot, strapped down on a lowboy trailer,  and it's got so many fucking fish I couldn't believe.  They fished hard for a full week, just stacking these fish.  For first place, you'd get five (5) calcuttas, five (5) yetis, and five (5) prints (art) for the inshore, and offshore would be 50W combos with all the other goodies.  Second place got 4, third 3, down to a single set for 5th place.  Well, I shit you not they had to return with that lowboy to load all the yetis and shit on, after loading several pickup trucks.  I'll see if I can find any pics but they won 1-5th in several categories.     Also something that struck me odd that night, the trout winner was a single guy who had first thru 5th place, and my understanding the next 4 (9 of 10 spots).  Every damn trout was something like 8#+...in July...in La.    Anyhow, I thought I drank myself to death that night at Daddy's Money, and believe that hangover is still a top 5 of my life. Those two guys ended up getting caught in a Bass tournament a few years later.  It was a small, but sanctioned event.  That's important because they are now banned from life for a FUCKLOAD of tournaments in La that fall under that sanction.  Someone caught them up in some canals (out of boundary) emptying traps of previously caught fish.  Their shit got plastered all over Salty Cajun, local newspapers, etc, and iirc, one of them got fired from their job over it.   Those guys (cousins iirc) were legitimately some of the best fisherman I've ever met.  They didn't have the need to cheat.  But it wasn't fun to them unless they were.  My understanding is that's not uncommon.   

I've DQ'd myself a few times.  Once we would have won about 6k on a snapper.  We were fishing tipped jigs, like I've done my entire life.  Never dawned on my that those jigs aren't circle hooks, and any "natural" bait has to be a circle hook.  Had a 19# snapper, winner was 16#. I've seen built myself an arsenal of circle hooked jigs, never again.   Another was turned in a legal (TPWD) trout once, but tournament had a different set of slots and it had completely slipped my mind in the hustle/bustle of trying to get a string together.  Lots of guys in the bass tournaments I fish get fucked by not having their lifevest on when they crank the big motor.  I've seen guys DQ themselves off top 3 on that because they'll fail the poly.  Once you fail the poly, you are fucked for a long time, so they give you the chance to DQ yourself with no consequence.   I can't imagine cheating, takes 110% of the fun out of it for me, money be damned. 

That ‘12 POCO thing was pretty good friends of mine out of Port A. They were fishing a center console and landed what would have been the winning fish so worth well over 500,000.

Details are a little hazy but I think it was the only kill fish that year. Anyway, they got the marlin to the boat and stuck it with the flying gaff. Fish went nuts, pulled the gaff out and the leader also broke or maybe the hook just pulled. Fish is gone. Minutes later while they go back to fishing and are crying about it the fish pops back up near the boat so they drive over to it and bring it in the boat. I can’t recall if they self-reported or if another boat saw it happen and turned them in. Per IGFA rules that would have been a catch if they were just trying to release it since they had the leader but since they were trying to boat it it’s a DQ for losing control of the fish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, fattyflattie said:

I missed that, somehow.  

I'll say this.  I've fished a shitload of tournaments anywhere from local KC hall and work tournaments, to 600+ boat types, and some "local" offshore stuff (not billfish POCO/Legends/East Coast).  Have been lucky enough to get poly'd a few times in some of the bass tournaments.  Worst part about that is that you can't celebrate (read whiskey) until after your test.  And you're really, really wanting to celebrate when you just bested 600 teams.   People cheat, a lot.  It typically isn't to this extreme, but fishing before hours (once shotgun starts were deemed too much liability), not respecting distance rules in bass tournaments, fishing a brush pile that you placed, and the list goes on.  I even remember hearing about a guy that would force water (pump) into redfish and "blow them up" a bit before the weigh ins.  Like @justhookit said, in the big Marlin stuff, where the entry/calcutta's get into 6 figures, I don't think it's as prevalent.  At that point, your name, business, etc get absolutely dragged if you were caught.  I know a guy that got hung up in a gray area of the rules (~'12 POCO maybe) and they were more upset they didn't win than the 800k lost pot.  It wasn't even a cheating thing, they had a boat call it in etc, just a cloudy IGFA rule.

I fish an annual that used to be a bunch of friends that slowly evolved into bigger money, and we now have some absolute studs fishing it.  I recall the first year this team of brothers got an invite, and they came in and beat the fuck out of every years previous record by something like 15#.  My partner was up taking a leak about 0230 and saw them cruising down the ditch, and didn't really think much of it.  These guys show up at weigh in in a different boat, fucking Khale hooks on about 5 rods in the holders (it was artificial only with boundaries) These fucks lit down to Baffin and croakered it up all day, then for some reason came back in another boat.  At the weigh in, as they were handing this team just under 10k, you had some rumblings from some guys who fish 30+ tournaments a year and felt cheated.  These brothers were known for being legit skull crackers since fucking elementary school, and everybody sort of knows everyone there, so it ended up just being a tense evening.  They were not invited back, and threatened to whip the ass of the guy who puts the tourney on (it was his wife's family) when he told them.  I understand it became mildly physical even.  That night, when the weighmaster told them to cool their jets, he got shoved down by the neck.  They've since spread the $$$ around a bit more, but there's still plenty of fuckery.  I go because I've been there since day 1, and I know 75% of the people.  But anytime that pot gets up for 15k+, people start to lose their minds/integrity. That's not folding money, but some of these guys have 7 figure houses on the ditch.  They don't need it, and it surely isn't worth losing your reputation over, imo.   Oh yeah, no poly on that one.  They have a certified bad ass of a weighmaster on that one, and this dude is 1000% by the book.  If that red is 28.00001# it's getting tossed.  That nose beat flat, getting tossed, etc.   They always feel around the stomach really good which would go for the weights, not sure about the filets or bait like the guys in the video.

Someone mentioned the whores.  Well, Houma Oilmans and GI Tarpon Rodeo were pretty well known for that when I regularly fished them.   Then the Fourchon Rodeo was started to kind of snuff all of that out (lololol)   Biggest cheat I've actually ever seen personally was in the last time I fished it.  A team that I'm familiar with (know them thru someone else) fished all fucking week inshore, and offshore.  These dudes took home 1-5th in redfish, black drum, YF tuna, and something else I cant recall (maybe dorado).   It's a 2 day tournament.  These dudes show up to the house we have rented with one of those poly 5x5x5 ice chest cubes they use for crawfish and whatnot, strapped down on a lowboy trailer,  and it's got so many fucking fish I couldn't believe.  They fished hard for a full week, just stacking these fish.  For first place, you'd get five (5) calcuttas, five (5) yetis, and five (5) prints (art) for the inshore, and offshore would be 50W combos with all the other goodies.  Second place got 4, third 3, down to a single set for 5th place.  Well, I shit you not they had to return with that lowboy to load all the yetis and shit on, after loading several pickup trucks.  I'll see if I can find any pics but they won 1-5th in several categories.     Also something that struck me odd that night, the trout winner was a single guy who had first thru 5th place, and my understanding the next 4 (9 of 10 spots).  Every damn trout was something like 8#+...in July...in La.    Anyhow, I thought I drank myself to death that night at Daddy's Money, and believe that hangover is still a top 5 of my life. Those two guys ended up getting caught in a Bass tournament a few years later.  It was a small, but sanctioned event.  That's important because they are now banned from life for a FUCKLOAD of tournaments in La that fall under that sanction.  Someone caught them up in some canals (out of boundary) emptying traps of previously caught fish.  Their shit got plastered all over Salty Cajun, local newspapers, etc, and iirc, one of them got fired from their job over it.   Those guys (cousins iirc) were legitimately some of the best fisherman I've ever met.  They didn't have the need to cheat.  But it wasn't fun to them unless they were.  My understanding is that's not uncommon.   

I've DQ'd myself a few times.  Once we would have won about 6k on a snapper.  We were fishing tipped jigs, like I've done my entire life.  Never dawned on my that those jigs aren't circle hooks, and any "natural" bait has to be a circle hook.  Had a 19# snapper, winner was 16#. I've seen built myself an arsenal of circle hooked jigs, never again.   Another was turned in a legal (TPWD) trout once, but tournament had a different set of slots and it had completely slipped my mind in the hustle/bustle of trying to get a string together.  Lots of guys in the bass tournaments I fish get fucked by not having their lifevest on when they crank the big motor.  I've seen guys DQ themselves off top 3 on that because they'll fail the poly.  Once you fail the poly, you are fucked for a long time, so they give you the chance to DQ yourself with no consequence.   I can't imagine cheating, takes 110% of the fun out of it for me, money be damned. 

Screen_Shot_2020-07-24_at_11_33.38_AM.jpg.687b0422fe1dfc59209d9221e9be8dca.jpg

  • Hook 'Em 2
  • Haha 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, justhookit said:

That ‘12 POCO thing was pretty good friends of mine out of Port A. They were fishing a center console and landed what would have been the winning fish so worth well over 500,000.

Details are a little hazy but I think it was the only kill fish that year. Anyway, they got the marlin to the boat and stuck it with the flying gaff. Fish went nuts, pulled the gaff out and the leader also broke or maybe the hook just pulled. Fish is gone. Minutes later while they go back to fishing and are crying about it the fish pops back up near the boat so they drive over to it and bring it in the boat. I can’t recall if they self-reported or if another boat saw it happen and turned them in. Per IGFA rules that would have been a catch if they were just trying to release it since they had the leader but since they were trying to boat it it’s a DQ for losing control of the fish.

Yep. Marlin Magic is the boat. One of the owners was my boss and has been a good friend since my first job out of college.   Did a lot of work with one of the coowners as well. 
 

A friend who’s family was very involved with POCO (hosted it forever until the moved it a few years back) was in the elevator with him that Monday AM, and another executive who’s the anglers good friend.  Apparently the whole way up he kept asking the third guy if he hard heard about the angler cheating.  Over and over, ribbing him. Buddy said angler just stared at the door in the most uncomfortable ride ever. Of course my buddy had heard as he was there for the entire event.    I have a lot of time for those guys. 
 

Eta: my understanding is they never made any bones about how it all went down, but took the tournament guys some time to DQ it. That’s where it was “hazy” in their eyes, imo.  I don’t recall if they called it in or another boat did, but do recall they were upfront with how it played out. 

Edited by fattyflattie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, justhookit said:

Oh, and the Freeman shit was a mate pumping like 3 gallons of water into the marlin whiie they were running into the scales. There’s a LONG thread about it on thehulltruth 

I read it after you mentioned it. What an ass whip.  63 Weaver tho…dream boat. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, fattyflattie said:

Yep. Marlin Magic is the boat. One of the owners was my boss and has been a good friend since my first job out of college.   Did a lot of work with one of the coowners as well. 
 

A friend who’s family was very involved with POCO (hosted it forever until the moved it a few years back) was in the elevator with him that Monday AM, and another executive who’s the anglers good friend.  Apparently the whole way up he kept asking the third guy if he hard heard about the angler cheating.  Over and over, ribbing him. Buddy said angler just stared at the door in the most uncomfortable ride ever. Of course my buddy had heard as he was there for the entire event.    I have a lot of time for those guys. 
 

Eta: my understanding is they never made any bones about how it all went down, but took the tournament guys some time to DQ it. That’s where it was “hazy” in their eyes, imo.  I don’t recall if they called it in or another boat did, but do recall they were upfront with how it played out. 

Small world. I assume you are talking about Wayne Sr. I don’t see them much anymore since we moved our boat to CR but Marlin Magic used to be in the slip next to me when we had the boat here in the city marina. A few years after that incident most of  their crew was fishing with me on my boat in POCO. It got cancelled due to weather so Wayne Jr, Jordan, and a few of my guys jumped on a plane and flew to CR to fish the FADs . I think we caught 9 blues on a day trip the first day. If POCO hadn’t been cancelled and I had not been on that trip I’m not sure I would have moved my boat. Funny how things work. And we never did get our entry fee back. That was the beginning of the end for POCO a lot of people were really pissed off.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

I thought polygraphs have often been proven to be inaccurate. And I assume the training of the polygraph specialist has a great deal to do with the accuracy.

I would be hesitant to join in any activity that requires a polygraph. If you claim I’m lying when I’m not, I’m going to be furious if you say I’m lying and question my integrity.

 

George Costanza Seinfeld GIF

  • Hook 'Em 2
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Judge Roybeanbag said:

Thank you!  I was frustrated I couldn't remember.  Never thought I'd forget the player name "Sneezy Beltran" lol.

I follow him on social media and his YouTube channel. Seems like he's living the life. Nice guy. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, williemackgarza said:

NYT needs to hire this guy.

Quote

In 2018, Ellis finally had enough. The only thing missing, the only thing keeping Long in the fishing world was a lack of indisputable evidence. So, for two spring spawning seasons, Ellis built a network of informants and staked out lakes Long was known to frequent. He wore camouflage and hid on hillsides with a camera and a zoom lens.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yahoo article with a bit more detail and some quotes from the tourney director.

Spoiler

The walleye that swim in the cold, murky depths of Lake Erie are the waters’ apex predator, sleek torpedoes of teeth that dine on shad, minnow and any other fish smaller than themselves. They do not, as far as marine science has determined, dine on lead pellets the size of golf balls or precisely-trimmed fillets of other walleye. So when Jason Fischer, director of the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament series, pulled handfuls of lead sinkers and fillets from the bellies of some prize-winning fish, he knew he had a hell of a problem in his hands.

There’s nibble-around-the-edges, cut-the-corners cheating, like going five miles an hour over the speed limit or faking sick to get out of work. This is a story about the other kind: whole-hog, all-in cheating where plausible deniability doesn’t exist. It begins in Cleveland’s Gordon Park, on the shores of Lake Erie, where the Lake Erie Walleye Trail was wrapping up its championship event on Saturday.

Fischer – yes, that’s his real surname – was looking forward to the end of a long tournament season, working his way through the catches of the 30 elite two-angler teams. He weighed the fish of angler after angler, picking up their fish and setting them on a scale. Late in the proceedings, the anglers of boat No. 12, Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan, brought their five-fish catch up for weighing. They needed to beat 16.89 total pounds to claim Team of the Year honors and $30,000 in various prizes.

Their catch’s weight: 33.91 pounds.

The silence that greeted Fischer’s announcement was the first sign that something was very much amiss. No applause, no cheers, just silence. And then the muttering started.

“Damn,” one man said in disbelief, “thirty-three?”

“Your fish are so much bigger than his!” another said, apparently trying to reconcile what he saw with what the scale read.

A third simply declared, “No f–ing way.”

As Runyan and Cominsky posed with their fish, Fischer decided to take a closer look. He’d spent his life around walleye, and he knew that the five fish he was looking at should weigh somewhere around 15 to 20 pounds, certainly not more than 30. The crowd milled about, uncertain what to do next. “We’re going to do a little tallying up,” Fischer said to the crowd.

Then he knelt beside one of the fish, took out a fillet knife, and slit open the belly of the fish. He reached his finger in and withdrew a chunk of lead with a dramatic flourish.

“We’ve got weights in fish!” he shouted.

And then all hell broke loose.

Weights and fillets were found in all five fish Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan entered into a fishing tournament in Cleveland. (Screengrab)

Weights and fillets were found in all five fish Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan entered into a fishing tournament in Cleveland. (Screengrab)

The Lake Erie Walleye Trail runs from March to October, a seven-event series where up to 80 two-angler teams compete for tens of thousands of dollars in prizes. Though there are many rules, the goal is simple: catch the biggest fish in Lake Erie.

Dig a little deeper into the LEWT rules, though, and you can start to see the outline of a pervasive threat to tournament fishing: cheating. There’s a reason “fish story” is a synonym for lying — it’s easy enough to add a few pounds to the tale of that big ‘un you landed with your granddaddy back when you were a kid. Those are harmless tales, but when money’s involved, things get more serious.

So serious, in fact, that there’s a mandatory polygraph test for all winners, along with random polygraph tests for other competitors. Tests are administered by a retired police officer and cover the angler’s knowledge of both the tournament rules and the day’s catch. Failing, or even refusing, a polygraph test is grounds for disqualification, as is the use of a cell phone or any other potential assistance to seek out more target-rich waters.

The challenge for organizers, and for anglers who want to stay above-board, is that there are as many ways to cheat at fishing as there are fish in the sea. Anglers can catch fish ahead of time, stash them in a secret location or leave them with an accomplice, and retrieve them during the tournament. Or they can pack the fish full of ice to add weight; the incriminating evidence theoretically melts before it can be detected. Or they can simply stuff the fish full of lead weights and hope nobody notices.

The many varieties of cheating lead to so many whispers throughout the angler community that tournament organizers have to keep a rein on the avenues of complaint. Protesting another angler’s catch costs $500, money that’s returned only if the protest turns out to be upheld. LEWT tournament rules also note, in bold type, that NO POLYGRAPH WILL BE GIVEN ON HEARSAY OR GOSSIP.

The problem facing Fischer was that Runyan and Cominsky had been the source of significant “hearsay and gossip” for several months, ever since they started going on a winning streak that defied all angling logic.

“Outside of Tiger Woods, the best golfer in the world isn’t going to win four or five tournaments in a row, and it’s even more of a long shot in fishing,” says Matt Markey, the columnist for the Toledo Blade who’s been following the duo’s exploits for months. “There are wild variables with the wind and weather and attitude and demeanor of the fish. You’ve got to be a little bit lucky to be in the right place at the right time when the fish are in the right mood. These guys were just winning too much.”

There were other red flags, too. After most tournaments, a company will clean the fish free of charge and donate the entire catch, 400 to 500 pounds’ worth, to local food banks. But when Runyan and Cominsky won their tournaments, they refused to add their fish to the food bank haul — a strange decision for anglers who were staying far from home and would have no trouble catching fish on their own time. The implication is that they knew their fish were already dead, caught before the tournament and stashed until needed, and thus spoiled and unfit for donation.

Markey estimates that Runyan and Cominsky had taken in somewhere around $400,000 in winnings and endorsements coming into this past weekend. Among their victories, Runyan and Cominsky won both of the two most lucrative events of the 2021 fall season, the Fall Brawl and the Walleye Slam. Last year’s 11th annual Fall Brawl drew 10,574 anglers, while the Walleye Slam had 7,355 entries in its debut.

First prize for the Walleye Slam was a Warrior fishing boat valued at $151,670, which the two apparently sold and split the proceeds. But they were disqualified from the Fall Brawl, and lost out on its prize of a $125,000 Ranger boat, when one of the two – Fall Brawl organizers wouldn’t disclose which – failed their polygraph test. Runyan was in the middle of litigation against the Fall Brawl, attempting to win back both his money and his reputation when this latest scandal broke.

“It wasn’t just the loss of a very expensive boat we had rightfully won,” Runyan told Cleveland.com in December. “It was having our names drug through the mud, and smeared on social media and among walleye fishermen around the area.”

Fischer has since purchased the Fall Brawl; an inquiry to the organizers of the Walleye Slam was not returned.

“The tournaments just want this all to go away,” Markey says. “The fall tournaments start on October 15, and they’ll have about $800,000 in prizes and cash. It’s a big frickin’ mess.”

Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan pose with the five fish they thought would win them team of the year in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament series.

Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan pose with the five fish they thought would win them team of the year in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament series. (Screengrab)

Fischer had heard the whispers. He knew what fellow anglers were saying about Runyan and Cominsky. He also knew that neither one had given him any trouble in his tournaments. He considered both to be acquaintances, if not necessarily close friends. When the two won a September LEWT tournament with a cameraman in the boat, there to film as part of a season-long retrospective, Fischer felt a sense of overwhelming relief.

“I congratulated them, I told them, ‘You guys cleared your name,’” Fischer told Yahoo Sports on Monday. “I thought they were in the clear.”

Even so, as the final anglers were unloading their catches at the championship on Saturday, Fischer was running numbers in his head. He knew that Runyan and Cominsky only needed to get into the top 11 of that tournament to win the lucrative Team of the Year honors. That was the 16-pound mark that Runyan and Cominsky had to surpass.

Fischer looked over the duo’s five-fish catch. He knew the general weight of a walleye on sight, and he could tell that they’d caught five fish in what should have been a three- to four-pound range. He weighed the catch’s biggest fish first – the “fat fish” – and realized instantly that something wasn’t right.

“It weighed 7.9 pounds,” he recalls. “I thought, there’s no way. I had a pit in my stomach.”

He still had a job to do, though, and part of that job always involves a little showmanship. He already knew the truth, but he had to play to the crowd. He figured that the full catch would come in somewhere in the mid-20s, but when it weighed nearly 34 pounds, he had no doubt at all.

He guided Runyan and Cominsky before cameras while he decided on his next action. He decided to take a closer look at the fish, and as he lifted one, he manipulated its stomach and felt hard objects within. He called for a knife, plunged it into the fish, and a 12-ounce chunk of lead – an egg sinker – dropped into his hand.

As soon as Fischer pulled that first weight from the first fish, he stood and bellowed at Runyan, then made a motion like an umpire ejecting a mouthy manager. But Runyan simply stood silently in front of him; Cominsky had already left the scene.

The crowd surged forward, a cascade of every possible variant of the f-word filling the air. Fischer understood that this could get out of control quickly, so he settled himself down and looked at Runyan.

“Jake, I want you to leave,” Fischer said calmly. “I don’t want anybody to touch these guys.”

As Runyan stood silently and watched, Fischer cut into the rest of the fish, pulling weight after weight and fillet after fillet — apparently used to keep the sinkers from clacking into one another — from their insides.

“How many f–g tournaments have you done this, motherf-r?” shouted one man.

“Don’t we need to file a police report?” asked a law-and-order-minded observer.

On and on, the insults and jabs rolled:

“Where’s your crown now?”

“You were the champ, dude!”

“We all f-ng knew it.”

“You f-d over a lot of people, man.”

“They’ve been doing this s-t for years!”

“These guys are no joke,” Fischer says of the assembled anglers. “[Runyan and Cominsky] didn’t steal money from me, they were trying to steal money from those guys.”

“Every one of those guys is a serious tournament fisherman. They’ve spent a minimum of $100,000 on a boat, the motor, the trailer, electronics, entry fees, travel, time away from family,” Markey says. “If the cops hadn’t been there, there would have been scraps of those guys next to the scraps of the fish.”

The scene at Gordon Park eventually calmed, but the scandal was just beginning. Video of Fischer discovering the weights went viral on Saturday afternoon, edging out every single college football highlight of the day. Across Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, untold hundreds of thousands viewed and commented on Fischer’s enraged “We’ve got weights in fish!”

It was a scene both hilarious — did they really think they would get away with it? — and satisfying. After all, who hasn’t wanted to see cheaters brought to justice in real time? At a time where no one in the public eye ever seems to be held to account or made to answer for their crimes, the scene of cheaters getting caught in the act, with absolutely no excuse whatsoever, hit home for a whole lot of people … even if the locals aren’t finding it all quite so funny.

“It’s heartbreaking, it’s sickening,” Fischer says. “It’s a real stain on the sport.”

“It’s a shame that the biggest walleye story ever is about cheating,” Markey says, “not about the amazing fishing on Lake Erie.”

Since becoming social media stars, Runyan and Cominsky have gone silent. An Instagram page appearing to belong to Runyan is now private despite having more than 46,000 followers. The pair’s Facebook pages have apparently been deleted. An inquiry to an email address associated with Runyan was not returned.

Even so, an investigation into the scandal is well underway. Fischer indicated that the Division of Wildlife, part of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, is in possession of the evidence tournament officials preserved from the incident. Local prosecutors will be investigating the scandal as well.

“My staff will be meeting with officers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources [Tuesday] regarding this matter,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said in a statement provided to Yahoo Sports. “I take all crime seriously, including attempted felony theft at a fishing tournament. These individuals will be held accountable.”

“My best hope is that they’ll be criminally charged with felony fraud, and to avoid jail time they’ll fess up to past cheating,” Markey says. “Hopefully some of that money is still around to try to make things right.”

As for the sport, Fischer expects that it will overcome the shadow of this scandal — with more rules, perhaps, but preserving the sense of Americana that makes it special to him and so many others.

“These [anglers] do so much for people,” Fischer says, “whether it’s charities for young people with cancer, families struggling, donating to food shelters … This is a big deal on the shoreline of Lake Erie. These guys do so much good. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of these guys are the best of the best.”

_____

Contact Jay Busbee at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jaybusbee.


https://sports.yahoo.com/lead-weights-and-lie-detectors-the-scandal-that-rocked-a-cleveland-fishing-tournament-and-became-worldwide-news-033353103.html

 

  • Hook 'Em 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, LonghornSean said:

Yahoo article with a bit more detail and some quotes from the tourney director.

  Reveal hidden contents

The walleye that swim in the cold, murky depths of Lake Erie are the waters’ apex predator, sleek torpedoes of teeth that dine on shad, minnow and any other fish smaller than themselves. They do not, as far as marine science has determined, dine on lead pellets the size of golf balls or precisely-trimmed fillets of other walleye. So when Jason Fischer, director of the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament series, pulled handfuls of lead sinkers and fillets from the bellies of some prize-winning fish, he knew he had a hell of a problem in his hands.

There’s nibble-around-the-edges, cut-the-corners cheating, like going five miles an hour over the speed limit or faking sick to get out of work. This is a story about the other kind: whole-hog, all-in cheating where plausible deniability doesn’t exist. It begins in Cleveland’s Gordon Park, on the shores of Lake Erie, where the Lake Erie Walleye Trail was wrapping up its championship event on Saturday.

Fischer – yes, that’s his real surname – was looking forward to the end of a long tournament season, working his way through the catches of the 30 elite two-angler teams. He weighed the fish of angler after angler, picking up their fish and setting them on a scale. Late in the proceedings, the anglers of boat No. 12, Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan, brought their five-fish catch up for weighing. They needed to beat 16.89 total pounds to claim Team of the Year honors and $30,000 in various prizes.

Their catch’s weight: 33.91 pounds.

The silence that greeted Fischer’s announcement was the first sign that something was very much amiss. No applause, no cheers, just silence. And then the muttering started.

“Damn,” one man said in disbelief, “thirty-three?”

“Your fish are so much bigger than his!” another said, apparently trying to reconcile what he saw with what the scale read.

A third simply declared, “No f–ing way.”

As Runyan and Cominsky posed with their fish, Fischer decided to take a closer look. He’d spent his life around walleye, and he knew that the five fish he was looking at should weigh somewhere around 15 to 20 pounds, certainly not more than 30. The crowd milled about, uncertain what to do next. “We’re going to do a little tallying up,” Fischer said to the crowd.

Then he knelt beside one of the fish, took out a fillet knife, and slit open the belly of the fish. He reached his finger in and withdrew a chunk of lead with a dramatic flourish.

“We’ve got weights in fish!” he shouted.

And then all hell broke loose.

Weights and fillets were found in all five fish Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan entered into a fishing tournament in Cleveland. (Screengrab)

Weights and fillets were found in all five fish Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan entered into a fishing tournament in Cleveland. (Screengrab)

The Lake Erie Walleye Trail runs from March to October, a seven-event series where up to 80 two-angler teams compete for tens of thousands of dollars in prizes. Though there are many rules, the goal is simple: catch the biggest fish in Lake Erie.

Dig a little deeper into the LEWT rules, though, and you can start to see the outline of a pervasive threat to tournament fishing: cheating. There’s a reason “fish story” is a synonym for lying — it’s easy enough to add a few pounds to the tale of that big ‘un you landed with your granddaddy back when you were a kid. Those are harmless tales, but when money’s involved, things get more serious.

So serious, in fact, that there’s a mandatory polygraph test for all winners, along with random polygraph tests for other competitors. Tests are administered by a retired police officer and cover the angler’s knowledge of both the tournament rules and the day’s catch. Failing, or even refusing, a polygraph test is grounds for disqualification, as is the use of a cell phone or any other potential assistance to seek out more target-rich waters.

The challenge for organizers, and for anglers who want to stay above-board, is that there are as many ways to cheat at fishing as there are fish in the sea. Anglers can catch fish ahead of time, stash them in a secret location or leave them with an accomplice, and retrieve them during the tournament. Or they can pack the fish full of ice to add weight; the incriminating evidence theoretically melts before it can be detected. Or they can simply stuff the fish full of lead weights and hope nobody notices.

The many varieties of cheating lead to so many whispers throughout the angler community that tournament organizers have to keep a rein on the avenues of complaint. Protesting another angler’s catch costs $500, money that’s returned only if the protest turns out to be upheld. LEWT tournament rules also note, in bold type, that NO POLYGRAPH WILL BE GIVEN ON HEARSAY OR GOSSIP.

The problem facing Fischer was that Runyan and Cominsky had been the source of significant “hearsay and gossip” for several months, ever since they started going on a winning streak that defied all angling logic.

“Outside of Tiger Woods, the best golfer in the world isn’t going to win four or five tournaments in a row, and it’s even more of a long shot in fishing,” says Matt Markey, the columnist for the Toledo Blade who’s been following the duo’s exploits for months. “There are wild variables with the wind and weather and attitude and demeanor of the fish. You’ve got to be a little bit lucky to be in the right place at the right time when the fish are in the right mood. These guys were just winning too much.”

There were other red flags, too. After most tournaments, a company will clean the fish free of charge and donate the entire catch, 400 to 500 pounds’ worth, to local food banks. But when Runyan and Cominsky won their tournaments, they refused to add their fish to the food bank haul — a strange decision for anglers who were staying far from home and would have no trouble catching fish on their own time. The implication is that they knew their fish were already dead, caught before the tournament and stashed until needed, and thus spoiled and unfit for donation.

Markey estimates that Runyan and Cominsky had taken in somewhere around $400,000 in winnings and endorsements coming into this past weekend. Among their victories, Runyan and Cominsky won both of the two most lucrative events of the 2021 fall season, the Fall Brawl and the Walleye Slam. Last year’s 11th annual Fall Brawl drew 10,574 anglers, while the Walleye Slam had 7,355 entries in its debut.

First prize for the Walleye Slam was a Warrior fishing boat valued at $151,670, which the two apparently sold and split the proceeds. But they were disqualified from the Fall Brawl, and lost out on its prize of a $125,000 Ranger boat, when one of the two – Fall Brawl organizers wouldn’t disclose which – failed their polygraph test. Runyan was in the middle of litigation against the Fall Brawl, attempting to win back both his money and his reputation when this latest scandal broke.

“It wasn’t just the loss of a very expensive boat we had rightfully won,” Runyan told Cleveland.com in December. “It was having our names drug through the mud, and smeared on social media and among walleye fishermen around the area.”

Fischer has since purchased the Fall Brawl; an inquiry to the organizers of the Walleye Slam was not returned.

“The tournaments just want this all to go away,” Markey says. “The fall tournaments start on October 15, and they’ll have about $800,000 in prizes and cash. It’s a big frickin’ mess.”

Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan pose with the five fish they thought would win them team of the year in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament series.

Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan pose with the five fish they thought would win them team of the year in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament series. (Screengrab)

Fischer had heard the whispers. He knew what fellow anglers were saying about Runyan and Cominsky. He also knew that neither one had given him any trouble in his tournaments. He considered both to be acquaintances, if not necessarily close friends. When the two won a September LEWT tournament with a cameraman in the boat, there to film as part of a season-long retrospective, Fischer felt a sense of overwhelming relief.

“I congratulated them, I told them, ‘You guys cleared your name,’” Fischer told Yahoo Sports on Monday. “I thought they were in the clear.”

Even so, as the final anglers were unloading their catches at the championship on Saturday, Fischer was running numbers in his head. He knew that Runyan and Cominsky only needed to get into the top 11 of that tournament to win the lucrative Team of the Year honors. That was the 16-pound mark that Runyan and Cominsky had to surpass.

Fischer looked over the duo’s five-fish catch. He knew the general weight of a walleye on sight, and he could tell that they’d caught five fish in what should have been a three- to four-pound range. He weighed the catch’s biggest fish first – the “fat fish” – and realized instantly that something wasn’t right.

“It weighed 7.9 pounds,” he recalls. “I thought, there’s no way. I had a pit in my stomach.”

He still had a job to do, though, and part of that job always involves a little showmanship. He already knew the truth, but he had to play to the crowd. He figured that the full catch would come in somewhere in the mid-20s, but when it weighed nearly 34 pounds, he had no doubt at all.

He guided Runyan and Cominsky before cameras while he decided on his next action. He decided to take a closer look at the fish, and as he lifted one, he manipulated its stomach and felt hard objects within. He called for a knife, plunged it into the fish, and a 12-ounce chunk of lead – an egg sinker – dropped into his hand.

As soon as Fischer pulled that first weight from the first fish, he stood and bellowed at Runyan, then made a motion like an umpire ejecting a mouthy manager. But Runyan simply stood silently in front of him; Cominsky had already left the scene.

The crowd surged forward, a cascade of every possible variant of the f-word filling the air. Fischer understood that this could get out of control quickly, so he settled himself down and looked at Runyan.

“Jake, I want you to leave,” Fischer said calmly. “I don’t want anybody to touch these guys.”

As Runyan stood silently and watched, Fischer cut into the rest of the fish, pulling weight after weight and fillet after fillet — apparently used to keep the sinkers from clacking into one another — from their insides.

“How many f–g tournaments have you done this, motherf-r?” shouted one man.

“Don’t we need to file a police report?” asked a law-and-order-minded observer.

On and on, the insults and jabs rolled:

“Where’s your crown now?”

“You were the champ, dude!”

“We all f-ng knew it.”

“You f-d over a lot of people, man.”

“They’ve been doing this s-t for years!”

“These guys are no joke,” Fischer says of the assembled anglers. “[Runyan and Cominsky] didn’t steal money from me, they were trying to steal money from those guys.”

“Every one of those guys is a serious tournament fisherman. They’ve spent a minimum of $100,000 on a boat, the motor, the trailer, electronics, entry fees, travel, time away from family,” Markey says. “If the cops hadn’t been there, there would have been scraps of those guys next to the scraps of the fish.”

The scene at Gordon Park eventually calmed, but the scandal was just beginning. Video of Fischer discovering the weights went viral on Saturday afternoon, edging out every single college football highlight of the day. Across Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, untold hundreds of thousands viewed and commented on Fischer’s enraged “We’ve got weights in fish!”

It was a scene both hilarious — did they really think they would get away with it? — and satisfying. After all, who hasn’t wanted to see cheaters brought to justice in real time? At a time where no one in the public eye ever seems to be held to account or made to answer for their crimes, the scene of cheaters getting caught in the act, with absolutely no excuse whatsoever, hit home for a whole lot of people … even if the locals aren’t finding it all quite so funny.

“It’s heartbreaking, it’s sickening,” Fischer says. “It’s a real stain on the sport.”

“It’s a shame that the biggest walleye story ever is about cheating,” Markey says, “not about the amazing fishing on Lake Erie.”

Since becoming social media stars, Runyan and Cominsky have gone silent. An Instagram page appearing to belong to Runyan is now private despite having more than 46,000 followers. The pair’s Facebook pages have apparently been deleted. An inquiry to an email address associated with Runyan was not returned.

Even so, an investigation into the scandal is well underway. Fischer indicated that the Division of Wildlife, part of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, is in possession of the evidence tournament officials preserved from the incident. Local prosecutors will be investigating the scandal as well.

“My staff will be meeting with officers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources [Tuesday] regarding this matter,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said in a statement provided to Yahoo Sports. “I take all crime seriously, including attempted felony theft at a fishing tournament. These individuals will be held accountable.”

“My best hope is that they’ll be criminally charged with felony fraud, and to avoid jail time they’ll fess up to past cheating,” Markey says. “Hopefully some of that money is still around to try to make things right.”

As for the sport, Fischer expects that it will overcome the shadow of this scandal — with more rules, perhaps, but preserving the sense of Americana that makes it special to him and so many others.

“These [anglers] do so much for people,” Fischer says, “whether it’s charities for young people with cancer, families struggling, donating to food shelters … This is a big deal on the shoreline of Lake Erie. These guys do so much good. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of these guys are the best of the best.”

_____

Contact Jay Busbee at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jaybusbee.

 

https://sports.yahoo.com/lead-weights-and-lie-detectors-the-scandal-that-rocked-a-cleveland-fishing-tournament-and-became-worldwide-news-033353103.html

 

The funny thing is they won by 16# and some change.  I see about 10# and a few filets that might make up another pound or two in that basket.  They would have won without cheating.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/1/2022 at 10:39 PM, Cornpop said:

The culture of tournament fishing is weird.  Don't lump in the rest of us that that fish for enjoyment, the outdoors and relaxation.

You're getting dogpiled in a separate DT thread, so I'll take a moment to opine that this is one of the best posts you've ever made.

  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/3/2022 at 10:42 AM, justhookit said:

Oh, and the Freeman shit was a mate pumping like 3 gallons of water into the marlin whiie they were running into the scales. There’s a LONG thread about it on thehulltruth 

If anyone would know, it’s you justhookit.  Is Freeman’s story here plausible? (Sounds plausible to me). Just would like an expert opinion whether a mate could have done this without anyone knowing? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, Teddyballgame said:

If anyone would know, it’s you justhookit.  Is Freeman’s story here plausible? (Sounds plausible to me). Just would like an expert opinion whether a mate could have done this without anyone knowing? 

Easily. Despite some comments made on that thread nobody is watching that fish once it’s iced down and in the cockpit. Someone might check on it once an hour.

  • Hook 'Em 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't fish for a hobby, I play pinball.  Most tournaments are $10 entry and the after party involves each player putting $1 on a game and 4 folks duking it out for a $3 profit.   I do believe cheating would get your ass kicked.  It isn't about the money, but the spirit of competition or hell, just having fun with some brews and some buddies.

Why ya gotta go and ruin it by cheating?   Make em walk the plank!!!!!!!!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, fattyflattie said:

The funny thing is they won by 16# and some change.  I see about 10# and a few filets that might make up another pound or two in that basket.  They would have won without cheating.  

i think they probably doctored the fish before-hand and planted some/all of them.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, fattyflattie said:

The funny thing is they won by 16# and some change.  I see about 10# and a few filets that might make up another pound or two in that basket.  They would have won without cheating.  

Yeah, but what did the day one fish really weigh?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandfather invented a fishing lure back in the early 90s that ended up being carried in Wal-Mart and K-Mart. He and my grandmother started fishing on the “professional” tour to try to promote the lure. They ended up quitting pretty quickly because of their suspicions about cheating that was going on. 
 

This all begs the question - are there any tournaments where the winner doesn’t cheat?

  • Hook 'Em 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, gyroprotagonist said:

i think they probably doctored the fish before-hand and planted some/all of them.  

No doubt. 
 

1 hour ago, Deej said:

Yeah, but what did the day one fish really weigh?

I get that. Lots of fuckery. But what I’m saying is they went so far and above that it was unbelievable. Had obv been doing it so long they didn’t think twice about making it plausible.  If your 22” fish weighs 5# and mine weighs 6, no one even looks. When mine weighs 9, people start to get curious.  A few more filets, and no weights likely would have netted them the day 2/overall and no one would be the wiser.  Them always opting to keep their fish in lieu of donation was the biggest red flag to me. Funny, I have a partner that does the same thing (but because he’s catholic and has like 235 family members to feed at all times)   He’s not getting that option next time, #optics.  
 

21 minutes ago, Auto Driller said:

This all begs the question - are there any tournaments where the winner doesn’t cheat?

Yes.  Legit tournaments polygraph you. And it’s a legitimate polygraph most of the time, not some shit you can just bumble through. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made the mistake of fishing one smallish redfish tournament down in POC. It turned something fun and pleasurable into stress, drama, and work. Then the winning fish had thick slime on them like they'd been dead in a ice cooler for days. Got people mumbling. Winners supposedly passed a poly but who knows. I've heard stories of shoving mullet down throats of reds, cutting the oversized reds tails to be under 28"', catching fish days in advance and putting them on a stringer in the water to be "caught" on tournament day.

After that, I've politely turned down all requests to fish tournaments. 

If you aren't cheating, you're probably not going to win. Why put yourself through that bullshit.

  • Hook 'Em 1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, crash_davis said:

If you aren't cheating, you're probably not going to win. Why put yourself through that bullshit.

Well run tournaments can be lots of fun.  Poorly run tournaments are typically littered with cheaters and weasels that know how to game the system. A certified weighmaster isn’t letting anything with a cut tail, and flat nose, or glossy eyes pass muster.  Pretty much every one of them I’ve ever encountered take their job very seriously, and their reputation even more seriously.    
 

I personally don’t like the ones with huge Calcutta’s. I don’t live in that world, and that takes a lot of the fun out of it for me. The few times someone’s dropped major cash on my boat, we just go and fish for fun, and let the stress disappear.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Matuka said:

I dunno, I thought fishing was supposed to fun and relaxing.  

This.  A fishing tournament sounds about as self-defeating as a fucking tournament.  For both activities, the pleasure of participation is the "win."  Imagine having a great night of sex, but being frustrated because some other dude having sex "nailed the dismount" better than you did and took home the prize money?  Who gives a shit, or "don't care, had sex," should be your take.

"You went fishing last weekend?  Did you win?"  "Of course I won - I went fishing, and it was a blast."

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

This.  A fishing tournament sounds about as self-defeating as a fucking tournament.  For both activities, the pleasure of participation is the "win."  Imagine having a great night of sex, but being frustrated because some other dude having sex "nailed the dismount" better than you did and took home the prize money?  Who gives a shit, or "don't care, had sex," should be your take.

"You went fishing last weekend?  Did you win?"  "Of course I won - I went fishing, and it was a blast."

There it is.   A good day of fishing ends with the fish cooler full, and the beer cooler empty.   

Did I say "good" day?  I meant GREAT day. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

charges filed...

https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/34783425/prosecutor-fisherman-caught-cheating-tournament-charged

CLEVELAND -- Two anglers accused of stuffing fish with lead weights and fillets in an attempt to win thousands of dollars in an Ohio fishing tournament were indicted Wednesday on charges of attempted grand theft and other counts.

Jacob Runyan, 42, of Broadview Heights, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky, 35, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, were indicted in Cleveland on felony charges of cheating, attempted grand theft and possessing criminal tools and misdemeanor charges of unlawfully owning wild animals. They're due to be arraigned Oct. 26.

Neither man immediately responded to voicemails seeking comment.

The cheating allegations surfaced Sept. 30 when Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament director Jason Fischer became suspicious because Runyan and Cominsky's fish were significantly heavier than walleye of that length typically are. A crowd of people at Gordon Park in Cleveland watched Fischer cut the walleye open and announce that there were weights and walleye filets stuffed inside.  An officer from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources confiscated the fish as evidence.

Fischer also did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Runyan and Cominsky would have received $28,760 in prizes for winning the tournament.

According to search warrant affidavits, the five walleye contained a total of eight 12-ounce (.34 kilogram) lead weights and two 8-ounce (.23 kilogram) weights, as well as the fish fillets. Officers from ODNR, the Hermitage Police Department and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission seized a boat, trailer and fishing gear belonging to Cominsky on Tuesday in Pennsylvania. The anglers had used the boat during last month's tournament, the affidavits said.

One of the affidavits disclosed that Runyan and Cominsky were investigated by Rossford police in northwest Ohio in April after being accused of cheating in a different walleye tournament. According to a Rossford police report, an assistant Wood County prosecutor concluded that although the men might have cheated, there was not enough evidence to charge them.

  • Hook 'Em 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/5/2022 at 1:42 PM, Matuka said:

I dunno, I thought fishing was supposed to fun and relaxing.  

It is.  One of the best things about it is 2-5 days of practice with your friends immediately before you actually compete, which is also fun. It all depends on how you look at it.  If you like to put a bell on the rod tip and take a nap, and that’s your kink, then it probably won’t be for you.  But it is fun, not sure about relaxing, and it’s a good time.  It’s typically preceded and followed with some great relaxation. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, fattyflattie said:

It is.  One of the best things about it is 2-5 days of practice with your friends immediately before you actually compete, which is also fun. It all depends on how you look at it.  If you like to put a bell on the rod tip and take a nap, and that’s your kink, then it probably won’t be for you.  But it is fun, not sure about relaxing, and it’s a good time.  It’s typically preceded and followed with some great relaxation. 

I flyfish.  It's alot more interactive than putting a bell on a rod tip (I know you aren't accusing me of that).  Casting a fly can be a lot like a golf swing in that sometimes I'll make a horrible cast, drop an f-bomb but immediately keep casting (until I lose a fly, which is a lot of downtime).  Time does fly (no pun) when you are constantly casting, stripping line in and hopefully fighting a fish or two.  Being out on a river or bay and enjoying nature is very therapeutic for me, and I'll treasure the trips that I had with my father, brother and friends forever.  But flyfishing is not for everyone, and for that I'm thankful. 

Damn, wish I was out on a river now.

  • Hook 'Em 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Matuka said:

Being out on a river or bay and enjoying nature is very therapeutic for me, and I'll treasure the trips that I had with my father, brother and friends forever.  But flyfishing is not for everyone, and for that I'm thankful. 

Damn, wish I was out on a river now.

I’m the same.  And that makes up 99% of the fishing trips I take.  I’m just saying if you have the temperament it takes, you can find enjoyment in both.  Unfortunately, the bays are crowded on Thurs-Sundays here. So peace and quiet left the barn a long time ago.  
 

Flyfishing is a bit of a different animal, but I assume there are some “fish clubs” etc where fly fishing reigns supreme?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, fattyflattie said:

Flyfishing is a bit of a different animal, but I assume there are some “fish clubs” etc where fly fishing reigns supreme?  

Absolutely.  Great way to get beginners introduced in the sport (especially if you don't have a relative or friend that's into it) and provide some instruction.   And there is certainly some that use clubs for the social element.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...