Another alleged cheating angler was banned from tournament competition for stuffing walleyes with other fish in an attempt to win prize money in a fishing event on Lake Erie in New York. In this incident, which occurred during the Bart’s Cove Duel in Dunkirk tournament on July 29-30, 2023, Peter J. Smith was allegedly observed stuffing fish into walleyes in an attempt to increase his weight to win the prize money in the event. The New York State Department of Conservation officers were called in, and they examined the fish Smith presented for weigh-in to find that there were undigested, cut up fish stuffed into the fishes’ mouths and bellies. They confiscated the fish and their investigation is still ongoing.
The tournament director, Mark Mohr, having seen the evidence and after consulting with the DEC, banned Smith from the event or ever fishing another of the events for life. Smith is not only in hot water over this debacle, but he’s already been charged in connection with two other recent incidents in July which caused the New York State Police to issue an extreme risk protection order against Smith in state Supreme Court of Chautauqua County, and he was charged in those incidents with second-degree menacing, criminal mischief and stalking, which are all misdemeanors.
Unfortunately, Smith is also the current operator of the Dunkirk Marina.
The wild events of this story unfortunately seem eerily familiar as a similar incident took place last fall on another part of Lake Erie in Ohio when a walleye tournament director caught two anglers red handed trying to weigh fish stuffed with weights. The two anglers attempted to weigh walleyes they had stuffed with lead weights and cut up fish to win a large payout. They were the hot story in fishing last fall and have both since been charged and plead guilty to the lesser charges while having fines and their boat confiscated and their fishing license privileges banned for 3 years.
We’re hoping to have more details about any additional charges in this recent incident in New York soon.
Kudos to the tournament directors who go to great lengths to protect the integrity of these fishing tournaments. It’s a thankless job that deserves more credit.
Props to the winning team of Creative Woods and Waters who narrowly edged out a A Ship of Fools by .06 to win the event with 6 walleyes that weighed 37.92 pounds. There were some awesome prizes in this event. The second place team won an awesome trip to Panama for two valued at $14,500 as well as other awards for big bag and big fish for another $7,200 in cash prizes. Another team won a valuable There were lots of big walleyes and big 3 fish limits both days. For more information on the tournament see tournament director Mark Mohr’s Facebook Page.