The great ice fishing scandal of 2013

First Lance Armstrong, now Tom Mead?

It’s quite a brouhaha that’s broken out in Park Rapids where the winner of the community fishing contest has been accused of cheating.

The bulk of the evidence against the Long Prairie angler, from what we can glean from the Alexandria Echo Press today, is that he has a knack for winning fishing contests.

He won a new pickup truck in 2004 in Alexandria with his 7-pound walleye catch. Two years ago he won an ATV with a northern pike at the same tournament from where he was escorted off the ice by the police earlier this month, the newspaper says.

Aukes (the sheriff) said he had some difficulty escorting Mead through the crowd as angry anglers yelled “Cheater!” and crowded around him and the disabled man.

Other than that incident, Aukes said the derby went off without a hitch.

Because Mead has a disability, he is able to drive a vehicle out onto the ice. Security personnel otherwise were checking every angler for contraband on the way through the entry gates.

Mead, for his part, insists he is innocent and when the facts come out, he will be cleared of any alleged wrongdoing.

This, apparently, is a big problem in some parts of the country. Last October, the New York Times reported that fishing tournaments are beset by cheaters as the prizes grow larger.

  • Tim

    I read the story, but it’s not clear to me how he would have cheated. I don’t get it. Are people just saying he did?

  • Greg W

    The second to the last paragraph alludes to how he could have cheated.

    He can drive his truck out the the fishing spot without being checked for contraband (not really verified, from what I can tell).

    He possibly stashed a lunker somewhere in the truck that he could pull out later to say he caught it.