Breaking News Video: Walleye Tournament Cheaters Speak During Sentencing

Chase Cominsky and Jacob Runyan, who pleaded guilty to cheating in a 2022 Lake Erie walleye tournament, were sentenced to 10 days in jail and 1.5 years of probation.

Breaking News Video: Walleye Tournament Cheaters Speak During Sentencing

In the YouTube video below, anglers Chase Cominsky (36; above left) and Jacob Runyan (43; above right) are sentenced after pleading guilty in March 2023 to multiple charges for cheating during a walleye fishing tournament in September 2022 on Lake Erie. As shown in this viral video, lead weights were found inside the anglers’ walleyes.

The anglers were sentenced to 10 days in jail and 1.5 years of probation. In addition, they were both ordered to pay a $2,500 fine, which can be reduced by half if they make a $1,250 donation to a charitable organization focused on fishing and children (examples: Cast for Kids; Ike Foundation). Cominsky and Runyan had their fishing licenses suspended for 3 years (the maximum suspension), and they forfeited the Ranger boat, motor, trailer and other gear used in the walleye tournament, which was valued at $130,000.

“I have no doubt that these two crooks cheated in multiple tournaments over the last several years,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley. “Unfortunately, we can only hold them accountable for what they did on Sept. 30, 2022. Although these two deserve to have their fishing license suspended for life, the law only allows a maximum of 3 years. These two should be banned from every fishing tournament for life. They are thieves and now they are convicted felons. This sends a message to the fishing community that cheaters will be held accountable in Cuyahoga County.”

The entire sentencing video is 39 minutes in length; if you want to see the part of the tournament weigh-in when all the trouble began, fast-forward to the 12:10 mark, when the two anglers (a two-person team) are called on stage to weigh their five walleyes.

One point of the video I found most interesting begins at the 21:22 mark, where we learn more about how Cominsky and Runyan customized their boat to conceal the lead weights, as well as fish fillets used to wrap around the weights. Crazy!

It’s also interesting to hear from the gentleman who ran the walleye tournament in question; he begins talking at the 23:28 mark.

To hear the two anglers speak about the incident before the sentence is handed down, fast-forward to the 30:35 mark. The video ends with Cominsky and Runyan being handcuffed and taken into custody to begin serving their 10-day jail sentences.


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