Well, after all is said and done, the president of the IFGA said the fish did not qualify....unequivocly! A successful gaff is one that puts the fish in the boat. A escape is a escape. Regaffing a escaped dead fish does not count. This has happened before. Precedents have been set. In 1993 Jammer had the winning fish alonside the boat, it was gaffed, the fished tailwalked away from the boat after it was stuck, there was no one on the rope, when the fish came to the end of the rope, it straighened out the gaff. It also came unhooked. The crew didn't even bother to go looking for the fish, it was a lost fish. They mounted the gaff on a plaque, proof of the one that got away. Better luck next time, too bad there are people out there that tryed to tarnish the tournament over some ones bad luck. Lets not forget the tournament is invitation, and thanks to Walter Fondren for throwing a great tournament!
I feel bad for the guys that lost the fish, but if there was any substance at all to their argument, they would be taking it to court instead of trying to tarnish the tournament and all the fishermen that placed due to their own sad mistake. The fact of the matter is, Poco probably had competitors sign something saying that the committee has final say-so. It is common for some form of judge or committee to evaluate a case and the law and interpret it as pl656 points out. In the government, this is called the judicial branch, in Poco, it's the committee. I don't think anyone could really believe that a fish that was lost, floated up later, and was re-gaffed was a legal catch. It's also sad that people that don't know the details or refuse to acknowledge the facts need to make up conspiracy theories about the hard-working people on the other boats that followed the rules and were lucky enough that the one that got away wasn't theirs. The committee didn't help those guys catch their fish and had no reason to want a specific boat to win-there were 40 boats out there and only 6 brought back a blue. These insinuations show a lack of maturity and a lack of respect for the IGFA (who was consulted), the tournament, and other people fishing it.
This actually doesn't seem like a case Marlin Majic would win in court "hands down," if at all. It seems like the reason the committee stated as it being a "grey area" is perfectly legitimate. Yes, Rule 14 does say a fish is caught when gaffed, but it also does not address this specific situation of a fish breaking off both line and gaff, mutilated and swimming away freely, then floating up dead. (If the fish wouldn't have died and floated back up, yet rather swam away fine and well, would you then still say they had a valid catch because they had gaffed it?) So, I would guess a court could probably assume the Committee should then look to the intent and spirit of the rules and use their discretion as sportfishermen to interpret what the rules are intended to set forth. Also, they can use common sense. As another poster stated, most of us would believe that this was a lost fish, just as the boats who witnessed this and protested did.I agree it is unfortunate for the Marlin Majic crew. I feel for them, and understand that they would try to bring this fish in as a valid catch, anyone would. But they lost the fish. The other teams landed the fish by the rules; they didn't lose their fish and then happen to find it floating later. These conspiracy theories are ridiculous, and as dockeffer stated, Poco is not run like "Chicago Politics."
N45BA. The rule book is online. Google IGFA rule book. The rule the committee in Poco is hiding behind is this.
Rule 14. If a fish escapes before gaffing or netting and is recaptured by any method other than as outlined in the angling rules.
There is no rule for what happened. Only what happens before fish is gaffed. I was told that when asked the committee said that the crew broke no rules, but it was a gray area, but again no rule broken here.
I hate to burst your bubble dockeffer but Poco rules do not state it as you said and that was not the rule book that was issued for tourny. Again argue all that you like but the rule book they issued does not have a rule on this issue. You are only stating what you, I, and other people believe rule 14 should state. Nobody has been able to provide a rule form IGFA that covers the mistake made, because it dosent exsist. Again rule 14 only talks about what happens if you lose fish prior to gaff. Once gaff was placed, according to IGFA rules this fish is caught. I agree with you on the fact that it was a bad gaff. The Marlin Majic has every right to be upset and seek legal advise. Dont want this contreversy next time change the rule or find a new set of rules to follow. After speaking to a lawyer in my family they should definently seek legal advise on this one. He said they would win case hands down. To easy of a case to pick apart when rule dosent exsist.
seems like a pretty open and shut case to me
For the crew of Marlin Magic and others who are unfamiliar with the rules. Once a fish breaks loose, whether from the gaff or from the line, it is a lost fish. One more time, it is a lost fish.If the fish comes to the surface after being lost end of story. Poco rules say you can not free gaff a fish... period. Fish was lost, came to surface, then was free gaffed. What if the fish had surfaced by another boat, and they threw a lure in front of it and intentionally hooked it by accident, then gaffed it, it would still be a illegal catch. Read the rules! And by the way, gut gaffing a fish is a amateur mistake, and a terrible thing to do to a fish. If the fish had been undersize it would have had no chance of survival. If the fish had been gaffed in the shoulder it would not have pulled the gaff out. The crew of the Marlin Magic made a mistake, and a 400 thousand fish was lost. Welcome to the game of sportfishing. The tournament is not run like Chicago politics, rules are rules, and every boat in the tournament believes the dq was justified, and that includes the boats that were not in the money. IFGA will hands down agree with the dq.
This is a tough one to decide. They fought the fish and they got fish to the boat. The gaff was set and fish managed to break free from both gaff and line. I assume that the fish was tired from fight and due to the trauma of gaff the fish was unable to make a full escape before eventually being regaffed. I can see why people are upset, but any boat in tourny would put up a fight with that kind of money at stake. I can understand why the Marlin Majic is putting up such a fight. Lets be honest that is a whole lot of money. There is no rule in the book after fish has been gaffed. So you could argue that as soon as fish is gaffed it is caught. I have seen other toruny rules where as soon as leader is grabbed the fish is considered caught. I know this tourny had different rules but other tourny's rules I am talking about end with leader in one hand and this tourny's set of rules ends with gaff of fish. Is there really a difference how fish gets into boat after that. I dont know Rule 14 ends when fish is gaffed and would have only covered committee's decision if fish had been lost before gaff. So they have twisted rule into saying what it should say but it does not say. I know that if my buddies and I were fishing at home and landed that fish in our boat as the Marlin Majic did we would call it a catch and later on that evening buy a lottery ticket. If I was on the committee I would be sweating bullets on thie one. The rules do not cover what happened. Again the rule ends at gaff. A lawyer will tear this appart in court. The rules are the rules. The committee is there to support and enforce rules. Not to change rules to say what they think it should say. The committee should have awarded money to Marlin Majic and then got rule updated before next year. As a committee when making a decision like this you better have a rule that says excatly what happened before you over rule a pot like this.
Wow, what a mess!
Tell that to the IGFA! The fish was not lost BEFORE being gaffed. Let me restate that it was NOT LOST BEFORE being gaffed. You gaff it, it's a caught fish! Period! If the POCO committee doesn't like the rules, then they should change them...next year!
To me, this is really pretty simple. If you have a hooked and gaffed fish that somehow manages to free itself and escape (even if it dies as a result of this process)...it's a lost fish. End of story!Shame on Marlin Majic for even trying this BS!
Ok, so the fish was lost and floated up from what cause, a freaking heart attack? Are YOU KIDDING ME, the fish died because of the fight and the belly wound from the gaff! What next, the committee will want people to leave fish floating and wasted I guess. I still believe this will make it to a court room somewhere, then the committee will look crooked as they really are. This is BS at its finest. Nice try saving face Poco nut heads.
"According to crew testimony, the fish was not connected to the rod or gaff and the fish went away, then floated up at some time and distance and then they came alongside and capture the fish," the committee statement said.
That's a lost fish and unfortunately is a loss for Marlin Majic.
I wonder who bought the Whop Bam Boom in the Calcutta?
Take it to court for a final ruling.