Thursday, October 6, 2022

Competitive fishing is prone to fraud, and these Canadian fishermen say they have seen it happen. CBC News

A cheating scandal rocking the US fishing competition scene has opened the worms about dishonesty in the sport, with some anglers in Canada saying it has happened here as well, and they are ready to face the truth.

“We want this story to go public to bring justice to all honest anglers,” said 38-year-old Mitch Zinley, a Toronto angler. Canadians have been competing in the tournament since 2017.

“It paints the rest of us as dishonest,” said his teammate Brandon Kadowski, 35, who lives in Richmond, Ont.

The pair – a multi-species fishing team that has fished together from coast to coast – recently competed in an online Canadian tournament with “fundamentals based on the honors system,” Kadosky said.

This was his fifth year, and the third year he says he caught others cheating. One year, they say someone tried to freeze frozen fish; second, they say that someone collected a fish that was not their own catch; And this year, they say they have evidence that another contestant cheated by manipulating the tape measure—cutting it—that he used to measure the fish, depending on how long it appeared to be.

They also claim that tournament officials were aware of each instance and “swept it under the rug.”

Due to their fear of personal and professional repercussions, Zinly and Kadoski requested that the tournament not be named, but CBC News has seen videos, screen grabs and social media posts about the alleged incident and where it took place. CBC News has contacted tournament officials for comment, but did not receive a response as of Wednesday night.

Cheating is not uncommon in competitive fishing

The allegations came as a fishing tournament in Ohio turned ugly last week after an apparent cheating scandal. An insulting video posted on social media shows the tournament director of the Lake Erie Walleye Trail (LEWT) chopping off the winning catch of five volleys and finding lead weights and prepared fish fillets inside them.

While last week’s incident may be the first spread outThis wouldn’t be the first time an angler has been caught cheating. According to trade magazine Sports Destination Management, the “problem” fishing tournament cheat nothing new; In fact, it’s almost as old as the fishing tournaments themselves.”

a fish lives on a measuring tape
The fish at the center of an alleged Canadian fraud scandal is shown in this June 2022 photo submitted by Toronto angler Mitch Zinly. They allege that the measuring tape was cut to make the fish appear bigger. (Submitted by Mitch Zinly)

The stakes in the game are high, with lucrative prizes, sponsorship opportunities and prestige on the line. Polygraphs are commonly used to ensure that anglers are honest about their catch. on your website, Competitive Sport Fishing League (CSFL), which is based in Staffville, Ont., notes that lie-detector tests may be used if there are any questions.

“If in question, any contestant must agree to take the lie detector test and pass before receiving their prize. The cost of the test will come out of the payback structure. If one team is opposed and wins, the opposing team shall pay the cost of the test,” CSFL states in its 2022 Rules and Regulations.

as ESPN NotesFishermen have been caught using frozen fish, fish hidden in secret boxes and fish tied to secret lines. According to Sports Destination Management, fishermen have been caught moving fish from one area to another, physically changing the fish, altering measuring instruments and adding weights to the fish.

A man in fishing gear holds a lead in his hand while talking to another man in fishing gear.
In a photo from the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Facebook page, Jason Fischer, the tournament director for the Lake Erie Walleye Trail, is seen disqualifying an angler from a volley tournament after he discovered lead weight in his catch on September 30 . (Lake Erie Walle Trail / Facebook)

And the consequences can be harsh. In 2008, a Port Dover, Ont., angler was charged with fraud after he put a one-pound weight in salmon that entered the Salmon Masters Derby. Norval Bouford told the Globe and Mail that he was originally weighed the fish to impress his wife, But then he was caught when he ran into the same fish in the Derby.

In 2014, two Alabama anglers were sentenced to one year in suspended prison after winning a Night Owl Fishing Tournament using bass they had previously caught for defrauding competitors, according to WAFF 48A local news site.

Last week for the anglers charged in Ohio, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley confirmed that his department is investigating a “felony attempted theft.”

‘The stuff people do is untrue’

According to CBC News, a recorded video conversation seen between Kadowski, allegations at the Canadian tournament, the resulting discord between the contestants, and overall negativity resulted in officials deciding not to broadcast the competition, which was to be made into a television show. Zinli, and two tournament officials.

In another recorded video conversation seen by CBC News, an officer told Jinli that there was no way to prove that the fraud occurred because the accused had dropped out of competition.

In general, cheating in fishing competitions ruins the game for everyone, Zinli said. Not only are other teams missing out on prizes and opportunities, but it also prevents newcomers from competing.

“It totally ruins it. It’s like, why even try,” Jinli said.

Kadoski said he has also heard stories of people hiding fish in underwater baskets at bass competitions.

“The stuff people do is untrue.”

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