On the morning of Wednesday, May 29, a buzz was forming across the internet message boards and especially Facebook. Jon Burke, a resident of Nova Scotia according to his Facebook account, posted the attached image on his timeline stating “Caught this monster last night. So stoked!!! Took me an hour and a half to land... Arms are super soar this morning.” In the responses to the post, one person noted the fish measured an astonishing 77 inches but had not yet been weighed-in on a certified scale.
Well, to say this blew up to near epic proportions is an understatement! I received numerable emails, texts, phone calls and mixed communications of the alleged new world record striped bass. However, from the start something simply did not look right. I sent a copy of the image to a good friend of mine who happens to be an accomplished graphic designer to see what he thought as he is usually spot-on when it comes to sniffing out a fake. He immediately pointed out several items which caught my eye—the irregular stripe pattern, the angler’s degree in design from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the apparent lack of strain for the two anglers to hoist what would be well over 100-pounds of fish—and some things which I initially missed—the fingers didn’t look right and the rod which starts out in front of the male angler ends up behind him as well as angled in a different direction. While these are not dead giveaways, they sure led to my skepticism.
Fortunately for us all the truth was eventually sniffed out as Field and Stream tracked down Jon Burke and he admitted that it was simply a test to see how far the story would reach. Well Jon, you have succeeded in catching your 15 minutes of fame, you go out there and catch yourself a true trophy!
Jon Burke Web Designer
I am a graphic and web designer living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Since October 2011 I have been working full time at Media Mechanics. After receiving a Bachelor of Design from NSCAD University in 2005, I have worked with many local entrepreneurs and businesses including Halifax Film, Extreme Group, Entity Boardshop, and Oceanic Art. Though I specialize in building web standard compliant websites, I also have experience in branding, identity, print design, and photography.