From fishermen to felons: New podcast takes a deep dive into Cleveland cheating scandal

From Fishermen to Felons
From Fishermen to Felons(WOIO)
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:36 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It was a bait and switch that rocked the sport fishing industry, and turned two competitive fishermen into convicted felons.

Chase Cominsky and Jacob Runyan had reeled in hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money after winning a series of Lake Erie fishing tournaments.

But the anglers saw their successful careers sink during a Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament last fall when their winning walleye were found to be stuffed with lead weights and fish fillets.

In the latest episode of the 19 News true crime podcast, Dark Side of the Land, investigator Jen Picciano takes a deep dive into the cheating scandal that went viral and even changed the way tournaments are held today. She explores the reasons behind the vicious reaction from their fellow fishermen and the viral video that left many wondering if that was the only time the duo tipped the scales in their favor.

“When you see the video, it changes everything!” said Chris Van Vliet, a YouTuber and former 19 News reporter who is also an experienced tournament angler.

“From Fishermen to Felons” is available now on all major podcast platforms, including SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple, or wherever you listen to podcasts.