This year’s derby dates have been set! Get your gear ready for October 1-November 5. It’s official!
In other news, now that everything has settled down on the potential WR striped bass caught by Greg Myerson, certain truths have come to light out of the whirlwind of rumors, lies, and hearsay. First off, Myerson did not have a panic attack due to the media attention as was reported by Field and Stream, but rather went to the hospital due to a nasty fall while fighting the 81.88lb fish. Secondly, Myerson is not forgoing the world record status as such, but rather needed some time to think about it before he pursues the next plan of action. Whether he does or does not, this is a hell of a fish and congrats to Greg are well in order.
I’ve been reading up on the responses to the news of the unofficial new world record fish, and mostly I can say that I’m really disappointed in the reaction from most fishermen. Everyone who fishes for stripers has dreams of being the guy (or girl) who surpasses Al McReynolds’s record bass from 1982, and now that that record is ostensibly broken, we have a lot of people tossing out their visceral responses and reactions that can really be attributed to nothing else but hate-ion. It’s not pretty, that’s for sure; and McReynolds can attest to this personally as during his time as reigning striper champion he’s received everything from accusations of outright lying to death threats. The early reports of Myerson’s catch said that he wasn’t interested in pursuing the IFGA record, and at the time I really could not blame him. It’s a new era of criticism, with every Tom, Dick, and Harry behind a computer screen feeling they can express their opinion based on the good ‘ol GW Bush of gut-feeling-in-spite-of-facts doctrine about the fish. Pardon my language, but jealousy is a motherfucker, and it brings out the worst in people.
Some of the more colorful accusations come thusly (from a single web site): Chief2: “”I’m sorry, 54″ long, the mouth on the fish is only 6″ wide, and the guy poses for a shot, holding the fish outright with 2 hands. Who can hold 80 lbs outright straight out in front of him, even for a few seconds.”
[This drew my favorite response (from the same web site): “I dunno. Take a 5-2″ woman, one could weigh 100 lbs and another 300 lbs, and their mouths won’t necessarily be very different.”]
Fishit 2: “Yes its a big fish, but doesn’t look 80 pounds, it looks more like a 50 pound fish with 30 pounds of bait in its gut.”
AMMO: “The photo at the B&T shows a fish with a distended stomach, as though it were gravid. But this is August. I’ve never seen fish stuff themselves like that, even in the gluttony of Fall.
My personal opinion? He caught a great fish, brought it to the B&T, weighed it, and was persuaded to add some bunker. Under that kind of pressure, it’s understandable to make the wrong decision. Realizing it would not pass scrutiny, he withdrew the fish from consideration. I would not think any the less of him for this. He simply made the wrong decision at a vulnerable moment. But again, that’s pure conjecture, my personal opinion only.”
Cue the great MMORPG adage of “Pics or it didn’t happen; and if it did happen, it was Photoshopped.”
I’m of the opinion of: this is a great fish. I don’t try to draw judgement from photos or try to divine truth from accusations. Myerson weighed his fish on a certified scale over at Jack’s Shoreline Bait and Tackle. Some are suggesting, based on their gut feeling from the photos provided both by Field and Stream and On the Water magazine, that this scale must be off by at least three pounds. Ridiculous. People are going to hate, but they choose to blindly avoid the fact that Myerson has a history of landing big bass. If he chose to not pursue the IFGA record based on the kind of reaction Al McReynolds got (accusations that he found the fish washed up on shore, that there was no way he was fishing on the jetty during the Nor’Easter, etc.), I wouldn’t blame him for saving himself from other people’s baseless vitriol. It’s his decision what to do with the fish, and armchair quarterbacks and analysts be damned. I think it’s a great accomplishment, so congrats to Greg on an incredible fish.