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Walleye Tournament Winners on Lake Erie caught cheating (LEWT 2022)


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This weekend,during the weigh in on a walleye tournament in the Ohio area of lake Eerie the winning fish was cut open and revealed filets , steel and other sinkers stuffed into the belly of the winning walleye.

 

 

 

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So sad, sad for their friends, family and the tournament that had to go through that. They threw everything in the gutter, wish they could go back to other tourneys they stole from to pay back their winnings. Wouldn’t be upset if they both served time for it. All tourneys should use this as an example to show what can happen…….

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Pretty disgusting situation and not necessarily an isolated situation in all liklihood. Money can corrupt and it does. It certainly suggests that there should be a protocol for routine actual physical internal examination of winning fish as it would make it less likely that that particular problem would happen if it was built in as an expectancy.....pretty sad.

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I think about how close the LOC derby weights were this fall. An ounce here and an once there can be a huge swing in the payout. The weigh station should  have the fisherman open the stomach on each fish entered. Problem solved. This could work on walleye events also. Bass events, not so much. MLF has it right with their catch and release format. 

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It is by now a few years ago that an Oswego team was caught cheating during the pro-am. I don't know if it is money or bragging rights that does it, but it has turned a lot of people away from once very popular tournaments.

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I wasn't in favor of mandatory lie detector tests for the top teams in our local tournaments, but I have changed my mind based on the recent spate of cheating. Nobody wants to think that a member of their fishing community could be capable of such, but who's to say what motivating factors might influence a decision like this...and just like that, our culture declines further. I hate to see it, but recognize the necessity.

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While watching the video I was waiting and hoping someone from the crowd would have closes lined that POS from behind! How bad this truly is for the sport aside, how ln the world did he think he could keep adding 2 lbs each to these fish and not have someone catch on and how did it take this long?? I know if I look at a 4lb Walleye and the scale says 6lbs..... I'm buying a new scale!

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When we were kids up on The River, the undisputed God of Musky fishing was Len Hartman.  He caught all the big fish, he won all the tournaments and he was a celebrity, especially around Ogdensburg.  Every week, we were able to see his fish in a big cooler at Cubby's Marina on the Oswegatchi River downtown.  He held the record for a 67 lb, 15 oz Musky he caught out on the sandbar.  Except.......it was all a lie.  Hartman took mediocre fish and stuffed wet sand down their throats , then once that was down in the fish, he would "mold" the sand so you couldn't tell even by touching it.  Truth is, they stripped him of all his records and the last I heard, he was living alone in a room at the YMCA in downtown Chicago, a broken man.

So this is hardly a new thing.  25 years ago, I entered a perch derby on Seneca Lake.  After I caught the biggest perch of my life, I pulled the boat and went to the weigh in, confident that I had swept the board.  I was stunned to see what was in there on the tables.  There were perch that were so obviously frozen, caught God only knows when, entered in the contest, several of them larger than mine.  I turned and walked out, visions of my childhood coming back to me.

Cheaters are going to cheat.  I can only imaging there are not too many mirrors in their houses.

Here's an article about Hartman.  What's old is new again I guess.  https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1995-07-02-9507020340-story.html

Even with all this, Hartman wrote a book that I think is still one of the very best ever on Musky fishing.  It's out of print but I was able to buy a copy for my cousin a couple months ago on the internet from some bookstore.  It's called "Before I Forget."  I'm sure by now, he doesn't get any royalty payments or anything.

Edited by Grady95
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JakeyBaby    you can se it on youtube ..    the tourney director suspected something wrong when the weight of the fish came in at 6 lbs but looked like a 4 pounder.  He felt the fish and knew there was something hard in it so he cut it open. 

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This is nothing new in tournament fishing. Money and recognition are more important than integrity in a lot of peoples minds. I loved fishing tournaments until I learned this.

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On 10/4/2022 at 10:22 AM, JakeyBaby said:

Anyone know what actually triggered the Tournament to cut this guys fish opened when he came to the scales?

Like stated below, the director thought something was up due to the size and the weight.  He said he felt the belly of the first fish and felt a hard object in the belly.  I watched a POD cast with the tournament director yesterday.  He said the Cleveland DA has opened an investigation along with the Ohio version of the DEC.  

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I just don't understand why people cheat in tournaments.  Your reputation is one thing you can ruin and NEVER get back again!  Is it worth it?  Hell no.  I really enjoy derby and tournament fishing.  To cheat and ruin something I enjoy doing would be stupid. 

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