According to an application for a search warrant, obtained by the Mercer County District Attorney’s Office and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the boat and trailer are being taken by investigators as they continue to investigate the allegations.
“Chase Cominski and Jacob Runyan did utilize the below-described fishing boat and trailer to participate in the 30 September 2022 fishing tournament sponsored by Lake Erie Walleye Trail,” the affidavit states.
The affidavit further notes that investigators believe “the said boat and trailer were used in a connection of a crime (Theft R.C. 2913.02; Cheating Corrupting Sports R.C. 2915.05; and Possessing Criminal Tools R.C. 2923.24).
No criminal charges have been filed yet.
WKBN was near the home when the boat and trailer were seized and taken away from the property.
The investigation started after the local tournament director discovered that the two fishermen considered the team to beat inflated the weight of their catch by stuffing the fish with lead sinkers and then padding the inside of the walleye with fillets, preventing judges from discovering the added weight.
Other competitors in the final event of the Lake Erie Walleye Trail at Gordon Park in Cleveland angrily confronted one of the suspects, Jake Runyan of Cleveland, while his partner, Chase Cominsky of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, quickly retreated to his truck and locked the doors.
In recent years, the pair won a slew of fishing tournaments with cash awards and major prizes that included a fishing boat, in what some thought was the most incredible run of luck ever on Lake Erie.