Two men were accused of stuffing lead weights in fish to win $28,000 (PS24,000), top prize in a lucrative US tournament. They have denied the allegations.
Last month, allegations were made about a contest to catch lake Erie walleye. This is a type pike.
Jason Fischer, the tournament director, became suspicious when fish caught by Chase Cominsky (from Pennsylvania) and Jacob Runyan (from Ohio), were significantly heavier than walleyes of this length.
On 30 September, a crowd of angry people gathered at Gordon Park in Cleveland to witness Mr Fischer open the walleye and reveal that there were fish fillets and weights inside.
An officer from the Ohio department for natural resources took their ‘winning’ catch as evidence.
Mr Runyan, Mr Cominsky and others were arrested earlier this month. They were accused of cheating and attempted grand theft.
They pleaded not guilty before a Cleveland court and were released on $2,500 bail (PS2,150).
The tournament’s first prize was worth approximately $28,000.