Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Cheating Scandal Rocks Fishing Competition

In the fall of 2022, the fishing world was rocked by a cheating scandal. It happened at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament.

Jason Fischer, the director of the tournament, became suspicious when the five fish he estimated to be about four pounds each—or 20 pounds total—weighed in at nearly 34 pounds. Mr. Fischer inspected one of the walleyes and felt a hard object in its stomach that seemed unnatural. “It’s not like they’re eating rocks,” he said. He grabbed a knife and sliced open the fish as Jacob Runyan, one member of the two-person team that presented it for weighing, looked on. The next moments rocked the competitive fishing world.

“We got weights in fish!” Mr. Fischer shouted, holding up an egg-sized lead ball he plucked from the fish. He then spoke directly to Mr. Runyan as if he were an enraged umpire ejecting an unruly player. “Get outta here!” he shouted, interjecting the demand with an expletive. Members of the crowd accused the men of theft and demanded that the police be called.

Mr. Runyan and his teammate would have finished in first place and scored a prize of about $30,000, but they were disqualified after the lead ball—and subsequently several others—were discovered in the fish.

Cheating in competitive fishing is more common than many people think. There are many ways to cheat: have friends deliver pre-caught fish to them; fish in prohibited areas; put fish in cages before the competition; stuff them with ice, adding heft during the weigh-in that melts and leaves no evidence. In some of these tournaments, ounces can mean tens, or hundreds, of thousands of dollars.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Original sin, greed, and dishonesty permeate everything and everyone—even the world of professional fishing!

Related Sermon Illustrations

Chatbot Expresses Its Rebellious ‘Sin Nature’

New York Times columnist Kevin Roose writes:

Bing, the long-mocked search engine from Microsoft, recently got a big upgrade. The newest version … has been outfitted with advanced ...
[Read More]

'In The Heart of the Sea'—A Seaman's Integrity

Based on actual events, In The Heart of the Sea is a 2015 recounting of a New England whaling ship's sinking by a colossal white whale in 1820. The disaster would inspire Herman Melville's ...

[Read More]