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Ohio angler on tournament investigation: Our fish were caught fairly

Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Outdoors

MINNEAPOLIS -- An Ohio man who took third place at the recent Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza told the Star Tribune on Monday that he, together with his son and another relative who also won prizes at the contest, including a new pickup truck, caught their fish legitimately.

Ivan Lyogky, 52, of Hartville, Ohio, also said he and his family are considering legal action against the Brainerd Jaycees.

Lyogky registered a 2.89-pound northern pike at the contest, winning a $1,000 check. His son, Stephan, also of Hartville, Ohio, claimed the event's first prize, a new GMC pickup, by catching a 3.10-pound northern pike.

Another relative, Rostik Lyogky, 23, took 98th place in the competition with a perch weighing 1.07 pounds, winning a certificate good for a new ice auger.

The truck's title, as well as the check and the auger certificate are on hold, contest organizers say, until the three men pass lie detector tests.

Contest rules provide that competing anglers must take the tests if asked in order to claim their prizes.

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The truck is with Stephan Lyogky in Ohio.

Shane Meyer, chairman of the charity fishing contest founded in 1991, said last week the organization had contracted with lawyers in Minnesota and Ohio to determine whether the catches were legitimate.

It's the first time in the contest's 28-year history that an investigation of this magnitude has been undertaken. Meyer stressed his group has no proof that anything untoward happened at this year's contest, held on Hole-in-the-Day Bay of Gull Lake, just north of Brainerd.

Meyer indicated that suspicions about possible misdeeds were raised during the contest, but didn't say whether the Lyogkys were involved.

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