2 fishermen indicted for cheating during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament

Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky were caught: hook, line and sinker
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 1:37 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 1:52 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Two men who allegedly used lead weights to win the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament were indicted on several charges by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury Wednesday.

Jacob Runyan, 42, and Chase Cominsky, 35, were each indicted on:

  • One count of cheating
  • One count of attempted grand theft
  • One count of possessing criminal tools
  • One Count of unlawful ownership of wild animals

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said the unlawful ownership of wild animals charge is because of their alleged possession of fish filets on their boat.

The boat, which was used in the fishing tournament, is now in the possession of ODNR in a...
The boat, which was used in the fishing tournament, is now in the possession of ODNR in a secure location. ((Source: Cuyahoga County prosecutor))

Runyan and Cominsky competed in the tournament on Sept. 30.

The tournament hosted fishermen from several surrounding states that competed to see which team could catch five of the heaviest walleye fish in Lake Erie.

The director of the tournament sliced open their caught fish and found ten weights inside the walleyes, eight weighing 12 ounces and two weighing eight ounces along with several walleye filets, said O’Malley.

The two were immediately disqualified.

If Runyan and Cominsky had won this tournament, they would have received a total prize of $28,760.

“I take all crime very seriously, and I believe what these two individuals attempted to do was not only dishonorable but also criminal”, said O’Malley.

On Oct. 11, law enforcement officers with Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Hermitage, Pennsylvania police officers, the Mercer County District Attorney’s Office and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission executed a search warrant at Cominsky’s home.

Cominsky’s boat and trailer were seized.

If they are convicted, both men face prison time and fines. They could also lose their fishing licenses.

Cominsky and Runyan are scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 26.