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September 20, 2007

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Should This Record Fluke Be Disqualified?

From NJ.com:

Fluke The 24.3-pound fluke that [Monica] Oswald, an amateur angler, caught in August off the coast of Monmouth County was rejected not because she lied as the critics claimed -- she passed a lie-detector test about whether she caught it -- or allowed the fish to be eaten by a wild animal.

Oswald, 45, was denied a place in the record books because, in the end, she broke a rule.

While reeling in the hulking specimen of the coveted saltwater fish, Oswald temporarily rested her pole on the rail of her boat. She volunteered that information to the IGFA -- sort of the Olympic committee of the recreational fishing world -- and was disqualified.

"It is unfortunate because it was an outstanding catch, but rules are rules and you can't rest the rod while playing the fish," IGFA world records coordinator Rebecca Wright said yesterday. "Everything else about the catch was fine, which makes this even sadder.

What do you think of the IGFA's Catch Rules?


Blue Ox

What kind of communist bullshit regulations are these?! Did Monica catch the fish or not? Who cares if she rested her rod on the rail, she still caught the fish! It's crappy rules and regs like this that take the fun out of everything. The IGFA could have pulled that reg out of thin air just 'cause the new record holder is female. Bottom line: she caught that fish fair and square, end of story.


Rule #3 is a reasonable rule (don't rest the pole on the gunwale). If the fish doesn't get a break, why should the angler? Too bad she didn't know about the rule. Good for her for admitting the violation.

Regarding the IGFA rules overall - seem a bit cumbersome and could stand a little artful reorganization. Perhpas one of the wordsmiths at F&S might volunteer to clean them up a bit?


I agree. She caught that fish. She hooked it and reeled it in. If somebody told my son or wife that their fish would not count because they rested the pole on the rail, we would have words.

Congratulation Monica! that is a great fish and whether or not some agency puts it in their record book, you have caught the biggest Fluke. If anything, IGFA losses out because their records books are, in my opinion, not accurate nor complete. This fish was not caught by a crook with dynamite or nets. It was caught by an amateur angler.

At least the Olympic commitee would have had the guts to make a determination that made a little more sense. Last I checked, they make the rules too.

Fishing is not about technicalities, it is about wit and skill. This woman used the right tackle in the right way because she caught a record fish. You can use a geared down reel, a high leverage pole, sonar fish finder and so on, but a rail is crossing the line? Give me a break.
This story disgusts me.


I've always thought IGFA "RULES" were a not so funny joke geared more toward disqualification than toward recognizing the largest caught fish of any given species.
If she caught the worlds biggest flounder on a rod, then somebody give her credit for catching the worlds biggest flounder on a rod.
Just think how the next guy who catches the 24.2lb fluke is gonna feel when his new World record has an asterisk beside it stating that a bigger one was caught but disqualified cause she let her pole hit the gunnel!


I just feel for her because she hasn't figured out that honesty kills. I wonder how many people will read this and feel the twinges of guilt about their citaion.

I do, however, applaud her honesty, if it was intentional.



Walt Smith

I agree with all the posts above mine. Give the lady her record, she caught the fish momentarily resting or not! If a hunter shoots a record book deer or elk and rests on his way following the blood trail is he/she disqualifed for resting? If you set your rod down to catch your breath you aren't cranking on the reel therefore the fish is catching a breather too.This is a stupid rule. Give the lady the record!!


Iapplaud her honesty even if it cost her the record. Ireally think they should cut her some slack and maybe amend the rule.What counts is she and every one else knows her fluke is the biggest.


It would seem to me that resting the rod on the rail would actually give the angler a disadvantage. i.e., the energy of a fighting fish is normally absorbed by the natural flexing in the rod. with the rod rested on the rail, the flex of the rod, and the rods ability to absorb energy from the fighting fish is impaired, and therefore the fish has leverage to break free!!!


She admitted to no violation. IGFA declared a violation. I'd like to thank IGFA and all its true supporters for taking the fun out of fishing. I don't want or need your help to have a good time.


put her in the books no question, maybe put an asterik by it like they should do for bonds. i think he deserves it more than she does though


Who cares. It's just a fluke.


That is by far, the most obserd shit I've ever heard of. Give the lady the recognition she deserves.
If the Va. state record Rainbow can come from a damn trout pond, I don't see why she would be denied the record.
Nice catch.


Let's all band together and start our own record books. We don't need some crappy hater IGFA for this. Who gave them the power over being "THE" official record books anyway? It seems to me a record is recognizing a remarkable catch-not finding a catch to keep the status quo.

Joe Z.

Thank God the IFGA did something right about that bogus fish.

By the IGFA saying "no" to her fish, it was just a nice way of telling her they think her fish is nothing more than BULLS-IT!!

Don't defend this woman and her grand fish story concerning this fluke. She has other fish that are very questionable as well such as a 33 1/2" weakfish that weighed over 18Lbs!! Another BULLSH-T fish the IFGA didn't bother to gut check for weights.

If you want to "give your records away" and give her a free pass then why even bother to keep record books at all?

For the way some of you think the next thing you know some of you people will be trying to claim the worlds biggest buck even if the antlers were made out of silicone just like half the woman in the world with their plastic racks.

Once again, thank you IFGA for this time getting it RIGHT!


I was stickin up for the lady until Iheard the comments of JoeZ. If you see this posting I'd like more info on this ladyand her shady ways.

Joe Z.

This fish if any of you recall was beat up when brought in to be weighed. It had all the marking of a "dragger fish" with scale loss at the base of the tail and the head was almost detached from it. First she said from trying to remove her bucktail. Her reason to remove the bucktail was so they could get a more accurate weigh on the fish. Why not just cut the line and after the fish is weighed, weigh your rig and deduct it from the weigh of the fish? She tried to explain the scale loss by saying she had to step on the fish to keep it from jumping overboard! That is the last thing anybody would do to control a fish that big. Why not just throw your net over it till it calmed down? What, nobody had a camera phone to take pictures as soon as it was landed?

To many other things wrong with this fish and she also lays claim to the 18+Lb weakfish,an 8 1/2Lb stargazer(almost a state record),a 4.6 Lb winter flounder,and a 13 1/2 black fish all in a time frame of appx.1 1/2-2 year period.

The fluke along with the black fish and winter founder are entered in the "Dream Boat" contest held by the Fisherman magazine.

She should be winning the Lotto every week with the amount of "luck" she has at catching big fish!!

Go to Northeast.com and read 47 pages of other peoples thoughts on this matter.


Thanks JoeZ sounds like you got apretty good line on this lady.Hell if your info is on, she should be locked up for fraud. How the hell does she get her hands on all these big fish? Even if its illegal thats wild to be exposed to that many record caliber fish!

Robert A.

You will note all of the postings supporting violating the IGAF rules don't give a real name. These are the same folks that scoff at the fish and game laws and give true sportsmen and women a bad name.

Joe Z.

I forgot to add that after the weigh in, she took her fish home and left it in her detached garage where a "wild animal" opened the cooler and ate about 1/3 of the fish, and ripped it's head off.

If anyone of you caught a world record fish I'm sure you would treat it the same way right?

She is subject to being charged with fraud only if they can prove she lied about the whole thing but that will never happen as she throw the remainder of the "world record fluke" back into the ocean.

Anybody out there still think she caught it?


Sounds awfully fishy to me!Pun absolutly intended!!!


With no other info than the photo and the above posts, I'll only comment that the 'rules' are in effect to promote quality fishing experiences. It would be unconcionable to award a record title to a person who raised a fish in a pond, overfed it, or added weights. The same would apply to NOT awarding the record for a fair catch. Suspicious behavior betrays suspicious actions. Think back a little while to the 'World Record Largemouth Bass'. The anglers caught it, reeled it in, weighed it, etc. BUT, she was foul hooked, and they let her go. Honorable thing to do in my opinion. That certainly doesn't keep them from trying again. Maybe this lady will try again, and IF she's somehow cheating the weights, they'll catch her. As to her catching so many large ( record or near record) fish, maybe it's just a fluke.

Someone can probably correct me or clarify this better but there were problems out west (off of Mexico) with guys breaking yellowfin records on stand-up tackle. It was found that they were laying their rods on the gunnel to take some of the pressure off when these VW's made a hard run. Anyway, it was enough of an issue that it was being reported in some of the bigger fishing mag's (Salt Water Sportsman???) which is where I read about it. I guess my point is that this is a technique that is definitely banned and gives the angler enough of an edge that it has been an issue in the past.

Also, the IGFA helps regulate the sport and when was the last time someone said something good about a regulatory agency??? Imagine what people would be doing (or who they would be fist fighting) if the IGFA didn't exist.

I'm not sure what my opinion on this woman is though. As a recreational angler I would hate for people to be calling me a liar if I had a once in a lifetime catch. Then again she has them about once every few months...

Mike Diehl

In my view it's a record book fish and she's the current new Record Holder. It's not like she caught it in a net or used a depth charge to force the thing to surface prior to finishing it off with gunfire.

Barry Hines

What’s wrong with using an asterisk (*)? If it's good enough for MLB (Barry Bonds) why can't it be used here?

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