(WKBN) — A man from Hermitage and his fishing partner are accused of putting lead weights in fish they caught during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship on Friday.
According to the Toledo Blade, tournament director Jason Fischer cut open the fish Hermitage resident Chase Cominsky and his partner Jacob Runyon turned in, exposing lead weights.
Fischer posted an apology on Lake Erie Walleye Trail’s Facebook page, stating, “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 LEWT at the same time.”
Fischer stated on the Facebook page that Steve Tsczyko and Christopher French won first place.
According to the Blade, Cominsky and Runyon were disqualified from another Lake Erie Walleye Trail event in 2021 because one of them failed a polygraph test. Runyon told the Blade that they passed a subsequent polygraph test.
Lake Erie Walleye Trail’s tournaments offer hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes each year.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) confirms that its wildlife officers were contacted by tournament organizers on Friday. They are preparing a report for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
Officials at ODNR declined to comment further, saying the investigation is still open.
Gerry Ricciutti contributed to this report.