Rossford Walleye Roundup canceled for 2023 amid cheating scandal

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 7:58 PM EDT
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ROSSFORD, Ohio (WTVG) - The cheating scandal at a Cleveland-area walleye tournament has apparently led to some local consequences. The Rossford Walleye Roundup has been canceled for 2023 after the loss of the tournament’s primary sponsor Bass Pro Shops.

Rossford mayor Neil Mackinnon III says the decision to cancel for 2023 was agreed upon by him, Bass Pro Shops and the Rossford Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The entire circuit has been all shook up due to the cheating scandal and we don’t know the future of walleye fishing tournaments,” says Mackinnon.

And unfortunately the men who were caught cheating have a direct tie to the local competition.

“The two gentlemen who got caught cheating in east Lake Erie also won our tournament,” says the mayor. “We launched a criminal investigation and there just wasn’t enough evidence to move forward.”

Bass Pro Shops never got back to 13abc with a comment, but we asked Mayor Mackinnon why they pulled out their sponsorship. He says the company is going through changes.

“They’ve been affected by the shake-up of the industry and the tournaments themselves so I think they need a year to pause and think about it.”

And Mackinnon is concerned about how people will react to news of the cancellation.

“The tournament was very popular with the fishermen. It was also a great event that brought in visitors from out of town so I’m disappointed,” says Mackinnon.

But it’s not necessarily the end of the Rossford Walleye Roundup.

“This will give us an extra year to plan and organize and come back even stronger,” says Mackinnon.

The mayor also says that even though Bass Pro Shops has pulled their sponsorship for now, he’s confident they’ll be back in some capacity in the future.

For now, this is being called a one year pause for the tournament.

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