$130,000 Boat Seized In Bizarre Fishing Tournament Cheating Scandal Is Being Auctioned Off

Photo: GovDeals
Photo: GovDeals

For many, fishing is just something you do at your grandfather’s pond or while camping, but fishing at a professional level is something completely different. Your friends may give you a hard time for exaggerating the size of the fish you caught, but back in 2022, two Ohio men found out the hard way that they take that kind of thing pretty seriously in an actual fishing tournament. As WKYC reports, not only did getting caught cheating land them in jail, but their boat was also seized. And now it’s being auctioned off over on GovDeals.

The boat in question is a 2022 Ranger Pro FS 622 equipped with a 400-horsepower Mercury Verado engine that only has 69 hours of runtime (nice!). It’s estimated to be worth about $130,000, although, as of the time of writing, bidding appears to have stalled out at $80,000. If you need a good deal on a practically newboat, then maybe this could be the one you’ve been looking for. Just make sure you don’t get caught cheating in a fishing tournament so it doesn’t get seized again.

Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky, the two men who did get caught, were initially declared the winners of the tournament, but a judge thought the fish they brought in were suspiciously heavy for their size. When the fish were cut open, they found ten weights and some fish filets inside. That was enough to get them charged with one count each of cheating, attempted grand theft and possessing criminal tools, all of which are felonies of the fifth degree. They were also charged with one count of unlawful ownership of wild animals, which is a fourth-degree misdemeanor.


They eventually took a plea deal and spent 10 days in jail and were given one and a half years of probation. Their fishing licenses were also suspended for three years and fined $2,500, although the judge allowed them to lower it to $1,250 if they made a charitable donation to a children’s fishing organization.

“I have no doubt that these two crooks cheated in multiple tournaments over the last several years,” Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we can only hold them accountable for what they did on September 30, 2022. Although these two deserve to have their fishing license suspended for life, the law only allows a maximum of three 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.”

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