New World Record 25lb Flounder Cought in NJ
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  1. #1
    Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
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    Dec 2002

    Default New World Record 25lb Flounder Cought in NJ

    Been vacationing in Topsail Island for a few & been out of touch, but my brother called & emailed me the news of this new WORLD RECORD FLOUNDER.

    A ton of controversy surrounding this catch, so I'm gonna post the pictures & what info I have.

    Regardless of all the biotchin, gotta admit it is one hell of a fish!!!!

    Fluke recap

    News broke about this fish and since then a lot has been talked about and here are some quick highlights.
    Many people are wondering why the fish was so beat up. Perhaps the cut throat was due to overhandling and happened during weigh-in, but it raised questions with some, nonetheless.

    A close look reveals a lot of scale loss around the tail. Folks who worked on draggers say it is a tell tale sign that it looks like it's tail was caught in a dragger's net - and was trying to shake itself lose - hence, losing all those scales in that particular spot.

    Some say they can see the eyes look bad, which is definitely a sign of an older dead fish. I personally could not tell this - but I am not much of a detective, nor have I blown the picture up to take a better look.

    Word on the steet is she is related(cousin, I believe) to someone who works on a dragger. I have no idea if this is confirmed or merely internet rumor gone awry.

    In the last 12 months she has broken the Women's All-Class tackle World Record with an 18.1 lb weakfish.

    She also just missed breaking a world record - a few weeks ago - for stargazers.

    She is also atop the leaderboard in The Fisherman's Dream Boat contest for Winter Flounder(close to 5 pounds) and Tog.

    Now she pummels the World Record for fluke. Lucky? An absolute possibility....but there are lots of folks who spend 1000's of hours in their boats - and to break 2 and almost break a third world record in one year seems beyond the scope of possibility - so people are asking questions.

    Now the fish can not be veiwed because she "supposedly" left the fish and cooler outside overnight and the fish was ravaged by animals...racoons I believe were said to be the culprit. Again, would an experienced fisherwoman leave a world record fluke out in the open air. Sane folks would have that baby on ice in a bathtub or other safe container.

    Lots of questions being asked. Personally, I hope she caught it - that would be pretty damn exciting. But I think the thing that really hurt her was the lame "I left it outside" excuse - so no one could examine the fish closer. The ultimate in "WTF"!!!

    I think the jig is up on this one....but lets give her a day in court, so to speak.

    I believe the above to be accurate - if I'm off a little on my facts I'd appreciate someone correcting me so we can have everything straight.


    __________________________________________________ _________


    Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 08/24/07

    It's human nature to question, to be suspicious, especially when something does
    not fit our particular frame of how or why something was done. So it was really no
    surprise when the rumors and questions started flying moments after Monica Oswald put a potentially record-breaking fluke on the scale at Scott's Bait & Tackle in Bradley Beach Friday night.

    After all, there isn't an angler out there who wouldn't like to have the words
    "world record-holder" associated with his or her name — me included.

    The summer flounder world record is certainly one of the most cherished records along the Mid-Atlantic coast. Part of that is because summer flounder — fluke — is such a heavily targeted species. Part of that is because it has stood for so many years. Knowing that, it's likely that anyone who put a fish on the scales larger than the record would face scrutiny.

    People want records broken in honest, unassailable ways. But the firestorm that has erupted, particularly on some Internet sites, has been so intense it's crossed the line from questioning to outright hostility. I have been seeking information since I found out about the fluke on Friday night. I have checked rumors, called sources, consulted with people who could make a judgment on the fish.

    And, most importantly, I spoke with Ms. Oswald twice — Sunday and Thursday — and asked her direct questions about the fluke — what she did, how she did it and why she did what she did. I know there will continue to be those who question every aspect of this fish and this situation, but I hope putting the information out there that I have accumulated may help calm the discussion, at least for some people.

    The biggest controversy has centered on the condition of the fish — both as it was
    seen in photos taken at Scott's Bait & Tackle and its condition since then.

    The damage to its gills was done at the shop when they were weighing the fish, Scott Christensen told me on Wednesday. Oswald had removed the hook, but hanging and rehanging the fish caused it to tear significantly, Christensen said.

    Oswald said she stood on the tail of the fish to control it after it was in the boat,
    as she and Erich Neumayer, an engineer at Ocean Place Resort and Spa, Long Branch, who often fishes with Oswald, worked to get it into the boat's fishbox. Once inside, Neumayer said, the fish was thrashing around so hard that it knocked the hatch of the fish box open.

    New Jersey Conservation Officer Clint Dravis, who works for the Division of Fish and Wildlife's law enforcement bureau's marine division, examined the fish on Saturday morning. More accurately, he examined what was left of it.

    Ms. Oswald had the fluke stored in a cooler — which she told me she thought was
    latched — in their detached garage, Dravis said. Photos Dravis took and allowed me to see on Thursday show there was ice in the cooler with the fluke.

    Ms. Oswald said she didn't put the fluke in her freezer because the fluke wouldn't
    fit. "It's not like I have a freezer for a big fish," she said. She told me she
    brought the fish home because that's what she always does.

    Scott Christensen said he offered to keep the fluke for her, but, he said, Oswald
    told him she wanted to show it to her family. She clearly regrets that now, because,
    Dravis said, when they found the cooler, it was open and on its side. The fluke was
    nowhere to be seen.

    "My first thought was someone stole the fish," said Dravis, who said he is
    skeptical of most people he meets, particularly in the line of duty. But when she saw
    the fish was missing, Ms. Oswald "was extremely upset, with tears rolling down her

    They searched the yard and located what remained of the fish — the head was gone and Dravis said it was about one-third eaten — at the base of a chain-link fence. Dravis' photos show scuff marks in the grass and dirt on either side of the fence, with the part where the head would have been right against the fence.

    They picked up what remained of the fish and rinsed it off, and Dravis examined what was there. The belly of the fish was white and did not have any significant blotches that would indicate the kind of bruising consistent with having been caught in a dragger's net, said Dravis, who photographed that portion as well. The Asbury Park Press has requested copies of the photos for publication but had been unable to secure them.

    "I've seen 17 years' worth of dragger fish, and nothing jumped out to me and said
    'This is dragger-caught,'" said Dravis, who has been asked to check fluke entered into tournaments that appear to be questionable. In one instance he cited, the gills of the fish were gray instead of red, and when they confronted the person, he confessed, took his fish and left the tournament.

    I showed Dravis photos posted on the Web site, where debate on the fish has raged all week. In particular, he looked at closeups of the eyes, which in one photo look very red. Dravis said it was plausible the redness was caused by blood vessels bursting as the fish thrashed around in the fish box.

    "The eyes don't look sunken in," he said, noting that's what he would expect to see
    if the fish was not fresh.

    "What I look at is the gills," Dravis said. "In the picture where the fish is
    hanging up they're red."

    He acknowledged that fish kept on ice would retain the redness longer, but according to Neumayer, they had no ice on the boat. When I questioned Ms. Oswald about the status of the fish on Sunday night, she avoided the question. I knew the details at that point but wanted to see what she would say. Thursday when I asked her, she answered me directly, leaving the fish in her garage "was a tragic mistake." When Dravis examined the fish Saturday, Oswald said, she offered the remains of it to him. She said she was leery of eating the remains because of concerns the animal that got the fish could be carrying diseases. So when Dravis didn't take the remains, she took them back to the ocean, Oswald said.

    "I can't put them in the garbage can because my neighbor complains," she said.

    Paperwork seeking certification of the fish as an International Game Fish Association Record, a New Jersey record and to enter it in The Fisherman magazine's Dream Boat contest — a raffle where the number of chances are based on the ranking of fish entered by species, with anglers allowed one fish per species — has been submitted. John DeBona, advertising director of The Fisherman, said the magazine will request a preemptive polygraph from Oswald, rather than waiting to see if her name is pulled for the boat.

    "We owe that to our readers," he said Thursday. It is not unprecedented for an
    angler to weigh fish in multiple categories or to lead more than one, DeBona said, nor is it unprecedented for someone to be asked to take a polygraph, he said. Oswald currently leads the winter flounder division with a 4.5-pound fish and is fourth in the blackfish division with a 13-plus-pound tog. Oswald said she is willing to take the polygraph.

    "It's right there in the rules," said Oswald, whose husband is a pressman for the
    Asbury Park Press and has been for 20 years. Her brother is a diesel mechanic in
    Marlboro, she said, and she has no cousins.

    "A lot of people who've had world records were careful with the fish," said Bruce
    Freeman, a longtime marine biologist for the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife. But "I
    heard of someone who had the world record bluefish and they were so excited they ran home, showed it off and cut it up. It was a potential world record that was never

    "The woman was just careless in keeping the fish," Freeman said.

    Let's face it: We've all done things that other people wouldn't have done. But being
    careless or doing something differently isn't concrete evidence of cheating. Without
    concrete evidence — without names to be investigated, instead of rumors thrown around on the Internet like Frisbees — Oswald deserves a bit more benefit of the doubt than many people are giving her.

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  3. #2
    Super TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
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    Yeah, great excuses

    "I stood on the tail to subdue the fish" - I personally do that ALL the time

    "I cut the fishes throat getting the hook out" - Another common practice by all sporting folks

    Pretty well established that this record is bull$hit...time to let this one die and maybe someone will legitimately catch the record


  4. #3
    Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Persistence2 View Post
    Yeah, great excuses

    "I stood on the tail to subdue the fish" - I personally do that ALL the time

    "I cut the fishes throat getting the hook out" - Another common practice by all sporting folks

    Pretty well established that this record is bull$hit...time to let this one die and maybe someone will legitimately catch the record

    I said the same exact things

    My bad if this has already been hashed around on TF
    Like I said, been vacationing & out of touch

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  6. #4
    Rock Star TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
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    Hey, here are a couple more for you Rip Van Winkle, man landed on the moon, they caught Saddam, and Boston won a World Series .

  7. #5
    Platinum TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber racn35's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    we had that thread and didnt have much posts on it a couple weeks ago, maybe cause it was from up "there"

    something like her old man owns the commercial boat it came from and here brother is a commercial mate too and bla bal bla,
    then she stayed at a holiday inn express the nite before and won the lottery, bla bla bla

  8. #6
    Flounder -r- Fluky Fishboy OV8's Avatar
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    Sounds legit to me................... nay sayers will always be abundant when the opprotunity arises.
    Hogchoker 2010 & 2013 Flounder Bowl Champions

  9. #7
    Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
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    Default not a nay sayer

    Not stirring the pot but doesn't it look like that fish was in a gill net??? Maybe I don't know but it is really beat up

  10. #8
    Loyal TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
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    Looks like a baby Halibut to me.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauz View Post
    Looks like a baby Halibut to me.

    Man, you ain't kiddin'. I've never seen a tail like that on a fluke(summer flounder). Just an observation.......

  12. #10
    TFer who Posts Some - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
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    Verrrrrrrrrrry fishy.

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