As the old saying goes, cheaters never win.

Two fishermen learned that lesson the hard way Monday in a Cuyahoga County (Ohio) courtroom, pleading guilty to charges related to cheating in a fishing tournament last fall.

According to the AP, Jacob Runyan of Broadview Heights, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, were first suspected of cheating at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament in September. A tournament official became suspicious that the walleye the two men presented as catches seemed much heavier than typical walleye.

When the official sliced several fish open, weights and frozen walleye filets were visible inside. Stuffing fish with weights to cheat the scales is one of the oldest cheats in the dirty fisherman handbook, although it’s such an old trick everyone has been wise to it for years.

Runyan and Cominsky tried it anyway.

The two fishermen have pleaded guilty in a plea deal to charges of cheating and unlawful ownership of wild animals. Cominsky has agreed to surrender his bass boat, valued at around $100,000. Both men will also have their fishing licenses suspended for three years, and are expected to face six months of probation when they are sentenced in May.

One could argue Runyan and Cominsky got off easy. Had they been successful in their cheat, they would have taken home more than $28,000 in prize money for winning the event. For that reason they originally faced grand theft charges. They pleaded not guilty to those felony charges last October.

According to the AP, the two men were also investigated for cheating after another walleye tournament in spring 2022. While an official concluded they may have cheated, there was not enough evidence to charge them.

[Fox News; Photo credit: Public domain]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.