The two Ohio fishermen who left the sports world stunned after allegedly stuffing fish with weights during a tournament pled not guilty to multiple charges on Wednesday.
42-year-old Jacob Runyan and 35-year-old Chase Cominsky were indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on felony charges of cheating, attempted grand theft and possessing criminal tools ... as well as misdemeanor unlawful ownership of wild animals.
Both anglers appeared in a Cleveland court on Wednesday ... but neither spoke.
Runyan, a native of Ohio, and Cominsky, a native of Pennsylvania, were on the verge of winning $28,760 for the two seven-pound walleyes fish they caught during the Lake Erie event in September.
The problem ... officials were suspicious of Runyan's and Cominsky's haul -- and once they cut the fish open, they noticed they contained weights and other fish filets inside.
Both Runyan and Cominsky had been suspected of cheating in past tournaments, though there was never enough evidence to nab the two.
Fans at the event were frustrated ... and insisted that the honchos in charge file a police report against both men.
Both were released Wednesday on personal bonds of $2,500.