Monica Oswald, the Riverview Medical Center nurse who caught a monster fluke in the Atlantic Ocean last month, has been denied the world record designation over a technicality, today’s Star-Ledger reports.
The International Game Fish Association, which has jurisdiction over such things, disallowed the 24.3-pound fluke as a record catch “not because [Oswald] 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,” the Ledger reports.
Instead, it was because the 45-year-old Neptune resident 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.
“The old record still stands.”
The Ledger reports that, in adition to bragging rights, the decision will cost Oswald a shot at a $50,000 boat being offered in a contest by a fishing magazine, as well as potential “six-figure endorsements.”
Reached at her home yesterday, Oswald said she didn’t want to talk about the fish anymore.
Jim Donofrio, president of National Recreational Fishing Alliance, said, “It’s time to lay off Monica Oswald.
“It’s a shame that the IGFA disqualified the fish, but that’s the name of the game,” Donofrio said. “Monica didn’t have to tell the IGFA about resting her pole, but she did. That’s ethical fishing, and I commend her for her honesty.”