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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Special: World Record Fluke Blog -- This may be added to should emails come in

Special World Record Fluke Blog-about:

In the face of a potential world-record fluke, the opinion mill is spitting out splinters left and right. I did an internal debate on whether or not I should let my sites even go there.

I soon decided to let the suspicion game play out for one monstrously important reason: McReynold’s world-record striper.

I personally have no doubts he fought it and caught that all-time bass. What I hate is the fact that initial suspicions back then were left to fester and have essentially marred that incredible fish – and Al’s life – forever.

Hey, if there are some doubts about this world-class doormat, let’s get to the root of it right here and now, when data and details are fresh. Screw the concept of allowing time to slowly cure doubts. It won’t – not is this sport. Nearly all of us are from the “Grassy Knoll” generation.

My read – and low-grade doubt – on this fluke has to do with that throat slash. There is an explanation by the angler and boat crew – but the slice is AWOL, from what I hear.

If that fish had been gaffed during commercial transfer, it would have likely been right about there. However, if an excited crewmember wanted a swallowed hook out post haste, the slice would be right there.

I truthfully do not know enough about fluke discoloration and skin damage to issue doubts the way many fluking experts are regarding this fish. If it had been a bass or a blue, I could have read the look of the skin in a heartbeat. That is why I have to at least listen to knowledgeable fishing folks who say there was way too much surface damage for a fluke that was (relatively) carefully stored after catching. However, even I know that a fish that large is surely going to show a load of ice cube impressions and such. What’s more, who really micro-examines the skin on the surface of their fluke? In the case of this mind-boggling catch, attention is multiplied times a million.

As for the fact this gal seems in line for another world record, I stand by my question: What am I doing wrong?

Hi Jay,

When I read your news about a new WR Fluke being caught, I could not wait to find out what happened. And like so many other interested people, I was excited by the first posts to the Bass Barn fishing blog. Then watched it deteriorate into an, "honest or dishonest catch argument," with all kinds of proof on both sides of the argument, coming fast and furious.

Reading your blog today, I have noticed that you too have questions, but have remained reserved. I thought that I would write you with a couple of my impressions.

When I looked at the first photo of the angler in front of the bait shop, rod in hand, fluke hanging on the scale, I was taken aback by the broken gill connection, and the white around the tail. My first thought was, "did barnacles grown on that fish's tail?" Then I wondered if hanging such a large-bodied fish in the manner photographed, accounted for the breaking away of the gill-to-body attachment. Of course, you know what the angler has supposedly said to explain those two questions of mine.

I have cleaned many fish--of all sizes--and cannot explain how opening up the gill plate to retrieve a lure, even sticking the whole hand inside the gill area, could account for ripping the gill plate area free from the body of that fish. Even with a really sharp and heavy-duty knife, on a large fish, cutting that cartilege free is a job, I cannot imagine myself, and I'm not whimpy, breaking that free without a great amount of force. I can only try to imagine the story she has told, and ask myself, "wasn't the fish still alive when she went to retrieve her lure,' couldn't a fluke that size do some serious damage if it thrashed with her hand in its gill?"

I am disappointed to have been put into a position of wondering if more dishonesty has entered our world, and wish that there were not such obvious problems with the interview, and the follow-up questions. Has the fish disappeared? Where is the interview with the man who netted her fish?

I caught a derby fish a few years back during the night. Could not weight it in until the following morning. Only a 10-pounder, but I put that fish into a big-enough cooler, covered in ice and locked up for safe keeping, so that no one and no stray cats could get at it. In this case, the tackle shop, and the angler could find nothing better to do with a world record fish, then to leave it unguarded, perhaps dangling out of the cooler, outside the back door. Incredible!!

Do you have any thoughts on my questions or this happening, that you wish to Privately share with me?

I remain always open to the truth,

TR

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Hi Jay,
Was wondering if you had any susupicions about that Shrewsbury fluke? I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but......

- that fish looks awfully beat up for a rod landed fish.
- why the slit throat? she says it was to get the hook out, but slit the throat on a pending WW fish?
- same angler has an 18lb Weakfish to her credit and the record (don't know if it's WW or State record) Stargazer as well. How many record fish can one person catch?

Everyone gets the benefit of the doubt, and I wouldn't post questions like these in a public forum, but I was wondering if any of these things stood out to you as well.

Thanks,
Joe Z

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Jay,

I have my doubts about that fluke… My question is what does the IGFA do to assure honesty? Do they ever use lie detectors? Also, is there any money in that world record fluke?

(Good questions. The money side of things is a tough one. There is no huge chunk of change, as was available to the world-record striper, however, I have heard (“heard” being the key word) that various sponsorships and assorted amenities can follow a catch of this magnitude. I have to think the Spro folks will surely be in the sponsorship mix, plus that braided line company. I did not hear anything about the rod and reel types but those details will surely come about as things progress toward IGFA record time.

As for the IGFA, I have a call into Becky Reynolds, world records coordinator at the IGFA offices. I left a message asking what sort of scrutiny that organization gives each world record application and if they also entertain written opinions regarding any suspicions on the integrity of a given catch. J-mann)

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I have three other emails critiquing this fluke but the writers did not want to be published. They were asking pretty much the same questions as above – though one brought up a suddenly overlooked point that a number of fluke in the teens of pounds were apparently caught in the Shrewsbury Rocks vicinity that same day – with seemingly hundreds of fish in the 10-pound range. Also, the question arose as to any nearby boats that saw the fish reeled in. That would be huge bin quelling suspicions.

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