Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New World Record Striped Bass?

Angler Tells Story Of Catching Potential World Record Bass

"Crashing the surface, its dorsal fin looked like Batman's cape," says North Banford's Greg Myerson
By Ed Ricciuti 

August 9, 2011 

(Portions reprinted on The Rusty Spinner with permission of Michael Hayes, Editor of the Killingworth-Durham-Middlefield Patch)

Since last Friday, when news about Greg Myerson's apparent world-record striped bass started churning up the Internet, his cell phone and email in-box have been jammed with messages. His friends and people suddenly claiming to be his friends have been agog with talk of big money from endorsements. Nevertheless, Greg Myerson started Monday morning knee-deep in the cold, clear water of Munger Brook, calmly adjusting rocks on a small spillway he constructed next to his North Branford house.

"I'm going to wait and see what happens," he says about the possibility of benefits and fame derived from the 81.88-pound fish he caught Aug. 4 in Long Island Sound, just beyond Outer Southwest Reef off Westbrook.

His wait-and-see attitude is pure wisdom, because the fish must first be certified as a record by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), which approves and keeps track of such things.
"Approval of a record is a rigorous process," says Jack Vitek, IGFA records coordinator.
Not only must appropriate documents be completed but the fishing line and leader used to catch the fish must be tested and the scale on which it was weighed certified. No action can be taken until at least 60 days from the catch day.

Still, says Vitek, "I've seen photos of the fish. It's pretty exciting."

Scoffing at rumors that he would not submit his fish to the IGFA, Myerson, 43, points to his house and says, "I've got the IGFA papers in there."

With that, he tosses a handful of feed pellets into the brook, bringing the water to a boil of hungry trout, fish he has stocked there for fun. A few minutes later, shutting off his noisy cellphone, Myerson sits in an easy chair by a large window overlooking the brook.

"I can feed my trout out this window," he says.

The Catch That Changes Everything

The big -- he's 6-feet-4-inches and 275-pounds -- former linebacker at the University of Rhode Island seems almost unaware that, in the angling world, at least, he has become an instant celebrity. Obviously, however, Myerson is planning ahead.

"I want to start a company that sells online," he says. "It would market T-shirts, caps, fishing rods and maybe reels."

As for endorsements, Myerson adds, he is open to offers but not looking for them.

After news of the catch went out, Myerson says he was called with advice and congratulations by former record-holder Albert McReynolds, who boated a 78.8-pound bass off South Jersey in 1982. McReynolds, formerly of New Jersey and now retired in Florida, made a ton of money but also was targeted by cranks as a hoaxster.

Myerson has already been subjected to similar treatment. One well-known fishing writer wrote in his blog that the fish had been caught by an "Al Stromski" and when the name was corrected, noted that Myerson had suffered a panic attack after being badgered about the fish.

Some posts on the Internet suggest something is fishy about the catch besides the fish itself. The burly Harley-Davidson rider laughs it all off.

Fishing Since Childhood

Many anglers who know Myerson say he's paid his dues and deserves the record.

"Better he catches it than some guy who just happened to toss his line in the water," says a buddy.

During the season, Myerson virtually lives on the water, fishing night after night. Big fish are not a novelty to him. He routinely catches and releases stripers that would be another angler's fish of a lifetime. Myerson has been fishing for most of his life. He started at age 12, fly fishing on the Muddy River behind a friend's house in his native North Haven. About the same time, he caught his first striper when a family friend took him to the turbulent Race at the eastern end of Long Island Sound.

"From then on, I wanted to catch stripers, he says.

**** To read the remainder of this article and more about Myerson's amazing fish, please click here to go to NewLondonPatch ****

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