Erie, Pennsylvania (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — In response to a cheating scandal, more precautions could be put in place at fishing tournaments here in Erie, specifically for anglers placing in the top spots.
Talks about adding precautions and extra security are in the works for future tournaments so they won’t see a cheating scandal like this happen again.
There was a sea of angry people at a Cleveland fishing tournament after two anglers were allegedly caught cheating. That’s now having a ripple effect on future tournaments.
“It’s really sad to see them in our local fisheries, our local tournaments that guys take weekends off and they plan these trips out to do tournaments with their friends and family. It’s just sad to see somebody in a family setting event cheating our tournament system the way that they did,” said Matt West, director of the Erie Walleye Bash and president of Great Lakes Fishing Network.
Pennsylvania Senate Game and Fisheries Chairman Senator Dan Laughlin released a statement to us, saying:
“It was highly disappointing to hear of the cheating scandal this past weekend at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail fishing tournament. As the Pennsylvania Senate Game and Fisheries Chairman, I take acts like this personally.
The men and women of the competitive fishing world hold themselves to high standards to perform their best and play a positive role in the sports community. Cheating like this is not simply cheating others out of money; it cheats the other anglers out of the trust and dignity they hold for the competition and sport.
I believe this is still under investigation, and I am not sure what the penalty will be, but I hope these men are prosecuted and justice is given to all participants in the tournament.”
Local tournaments could see an increase in magnets and lie detector tests to deter cheating in future tournaments further.
“We already do a lie detector test. But in the future, I think we’re going to be looking in different avenues as far as using magnets, as far as metal detectors, as well as possibly cleaning the harvested fish as well to ensure our anglers that we’re having a clean and fair tournament,” West added.
West also said the negative backlash from social media will hopefully discourage others from cheating.
“In future tournaments, I think this could possibly help. And that’s because you’ve seen the reaction on social media on this happening. It shows that there’s a lot of shame to cheating in these tournaments,” said West.
West said he wants feedback from the community and if they have seen ways that have worked at other tournaments to prevent cheating, contact Great Lakes Fishing Network.
You can contact the Great Lakes Fishing Network by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.