Entries in Fishing (5)


Man Sues Fishing Group Over $1M Prize

Courtesy Rodney Ply(DIAMOND CITY, Ark.) -- Talk about one that got away.  An Arkansas man who caught a record 68-pound striped bass sued the International Game Fish Association for denying him a $1 million prize in their contest.

Rodney Ply, 41, of Diamond City, Ark., entered the “Hook-a-Million” contest, which offered a $1 million prize for any angler who caught a fish that broke a world record using a Mustad-brand hook. Mustad promoted the contest but is not named as a defendant.

Ply said he is not a professional fisherman and didn’t want “to go legal.”

“They just left me no choice,” he said.

“I love to fish,” he said. “I’m just an everyday fisherman.” The biggest prize Ply previously received in another tournament was $2,000. Ply owns North Arkansas Concrete and is an Army veteran.

“I’m just lucky and fortunate to catch a fish that broke a world record,” he said.

On Feb. 18, 2012, Ply caught the striped bass, one of the contest’s eligible species, according to his complaint filed last month. However, in October, the International Game Fish Association’s executive committee “denied certification of the fish, enigmatically classifying the lure plaintiff used as an illegal spreader bar,” the lawsuit states.

A spokesman for the association declined to comment to ABC News.

Ply said he did not use a spreader bar, but instead used a homemade  spinnerbait lure, which typically has a blade-shaped object to spin like a propeller. He said his homemade object ”cannot reasonably or in good faith be classified as a spreader bar,” according to the lawsuit.

Ply claims he followed the contest’s rules and sent photos of the fish hanging from an approved scale, the lure that he made, his rod and reel, and the 68-pound fish.

John White, owner of Fisherman’s Outfitter in Gloucester, Mass., who is not involved in this lawsuit, said a spreader bar emulates a school of fish.

White said spinnerbait lures are usually much larger than spreader bars. One example of spreader bar that White makes and sells is 48-inches wide with multiple lures attached to it.

Spreader bars are typically a bar with a lure attached to it, in various configurations. Only one lure typically has the hook in it, White said.

Eric Rudenberg of Rudenberg and Glasser, the law firm representing Ply, said he expects the association will be served with the lawsuit in the coming days. The association then has 20 days to respond.

“This is a typical David and Goliath story,” Rudenberg said.

“Mr. Ply is your average hardworking decorated veteran who was invited to compete in a competition and as an avid angler he was excited about fulfilling any fisherman’s dream, which is to catch a world record fish,” said Michael Glasser, law firm partner with Rudenberg. ”He followed all the rules and he was blessed and gifted enough to succeed at something that everyone dreams of and all he wants is what was promised to him.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Teens Hook Great White Shark Off Coast of Florida

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- A group of teenagers out on a charter fishing trip off of Fort Lauderdale got a rare surprise when they found themselves grappling with a 12-foot, 1,000 pound great white shark.

The four teenagers, who play baseball at Tallahassee Community College, were aboard Taco Perez’s 45-foot charter boat Hooked Up off of Port Everglades Inlet on Tuesday morning when the huge shark was hooked.

“When we got the leader we were like what the hell … this is too big to be a bull shark. We were as surprised as anybody,” Perez told ABC News.

Capt. Paul Paolucci, 38, was with the small fishing group on the six hour trip.

“We had been fishing for about four hours,” Paolucci said. “He swam up and ate our big bait, the bonito. When we saw him, we knew it was going to be a fight. We knew it was going to be something really big.”

The teens — Harry Andro, Josh Shailer and Jared and Tanner Elliott – along with one of the teen’s father and mother, all took turns grappling with the great white using a Penn International 80 fishing reel, in a battle that lasted about two hours.

“Everyone was really excited,” Paolucci said. “It was amazing to see. They didn’t know what we were up against.”

During the struggle, the hook slipped out of the great white’s mouth and caught him in his side, Paolucci said. After a while, the shark was released.

“We ended up just cutting him loose. Nobody wanted to stick their hand down there,” he said.

On top of their rare hooking, the group had an excellent day at sea, having also caught mahi-mahi, king mackerel, bonito, and black fin tuna. But Paolucci said that Tuesday’s great white is his most memorable catch.

“We catch a lot of sharks,” he said. “But nothing like that. That was by far the biggest.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


375-Pound Shark Jumps Aboard Fishing Boat in Texas, Texas) -- Jason Kresse doesn't have to worry about getting verification for his whale of a fish story because it's all over the media.

The 29-year-old Freeport, Texas resident and his pals were just minding their own business Monday while fishing for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico when they heard something slam into the side of their boat.

Before the fishing party could react, a 375-pound mako shark had jumped into the back of the boat.

As valiantly as they tried to toss their visitor back in the water, especially since they didn't have a permit to catch sharks, Kresse and his pals couldn't get near the flopping mako.

Unfortunately for the shark, it died on board.  The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department didn't cite the crew with any violation because it was an accident they clearly couldn't have foreseen.

Kresse, who still can't believe what happened, is getting a mount made to display his unintentional trophy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


UPDATE: Missing Fishermen Found Alive

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) -- The search for six amateur fishermen who failed to return from an overnight fishing trip off the coast of Atlantic City, N.J. over the weekend has ended with relief.  The men were found alive Monday night after sending out a distress call. 

Their 32-foot boat, called Black Magic, was located by Coast Guard search and rescue approximately 123 miles east of Atlantic City, N.J.  Officials say the boat was apparently disabled.

David Umberger, a Coast Guard search and rescue controller, said the men were lucky, as the weather conditions had been ideal for the search.  The boat is expected to be towed back to shore overnight.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Six Men Missing Off New Jersey Coast

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images

(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) -- Officials are searching for six men who failed to return from an overnight fishing trip off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The Coast Guard has deployed rescue crews to the area where the group is believed to be missing. The six were due back Sunday morning, a day after sailing a 32-foot boat from Forked River.

They were reported missing by the wife of one of the men.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio