July 14, 2024

Boat Valued at $130,000 Seized in Fishing Tournament Cheating Scandal Up for Auction

Photo: GovDeals

For numerous individuals, fishing is merely an activity one enjoys at their grandfather’s pond or during a camping trip, however, engaging in professional fishing is an entirely different endeavor. While friends may jest about embellishing the size of a caught fish, two Ohio men discovered the gravity of such actions during an official fishing tournament back in 2022. According to WKYC, not only did their cheating lead to imprisonment, but their boat was also confiscated. This boat is now up for auction on GovDeals.

The available boat is a 2022 Ranger Pro FS 622 featuring a 400-horsepower Mercury Verado engine with only 69 hours of usage (impressive!). It’s valued around $130,000, however, current bids have plateaued at $80,000. If you’re in the market for a nearly new boat, this could be an ideal option. Just remember to uphold fair play in fishing tournaments to avoid any repossessions.

Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky, the duo involved in the scandal, were initially declared tournament victors, but suspicions arose when the fish they presented seemed unusually heavy for their size. Upon inspection, ten weights and fish filets were discovered inside the fish. This led to charges of cheating, attempted grand theft, and possession of criminal tools, all categorized as fifth-degree felonies. Additionally, they faced a charge of unlawful ownership of wild animals, considered a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

After accepting a plea deal, the pair served a 10-day jail sentence, followed by one and a half years of probation. They were also fined $2,500 and had their fishing licenses suspended for three years, with an option to reduce the fine to $1,250 by donating to a children’s fishing organization.

“I have no doubt that these two individuals cheated in various tournaments over the years,” Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley stated. “Unfortunately, we can only hold them accountable for their actions on September 30, 2022. While they deserve a lifetime fishing ban, the law permits a maximum of three years. These individuals should be barred from all future fishing tournaments. They are offenders and now felons. This serves as a warning to the fishing community that cheaters will face consequences in Cuyahoga County.”


Why were Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky caught cheating?

Their fish in the tournament were found to contain unauthorized weights and filets inside, leading to suspicions of foul play.

What were the consequences of their actions?

They faced felony charges of cheating, attempted grand theft, and possession of criminal tools, as well as a misdemeanor charge of unlawful ownership of wild animals. This resulted in jail time, probation, fines, and a suspension of fishing licenses.


Engaging in dishonest practices, particularly in professional competitions like fishing tournaments, can have severe repercussions. The case of Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky serves as a reminder that fair play and integrity are indispensable virtues in any competitive setting.

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