This past Saturday (6-16-12) I participated in the Pete Pauels Striped Bass Tournament out of Rumson, NJ. After successfully completing all of the terms and conditions set down in the official rules (attached), I arrived at the weigh in with a 47.2 lb. striper, easily the biggest fish, by 14 lbs., brought in that day. Immediately I was told “we have a problem”. After a few minutes of pushback, I was informed by one of the tournament judges that I was disqualified because I delivered the fish via land.
Now, I had spent the night before at the Captain’s meeting and early that morning (5:30 am) speaking in-person with an official of the tournament informing him exactly what I was going to do. Drive to Rumson in the morning to deliver my entry ticket, drive back to Manasquan to launch my boat, fish, return my boat to Manasquan, and then drive my catch back to the weigh in. At no time was I ever told this was against any rule.
What was made perfectly clear to me was that I was a stranger to the tournament officers and a “rookie” and not entitled to the $2,160 first place prize money. They simply did not want me to have it. End of story.
This is a charity event where a fraud has taken place and should be investigated. I am fully willing to grant interviews about the above and the actions of my attorney in the future. An abuse of this sort, in an open event to raise money for a worthy cause is an outrage and the offenders should be brought to light in the public interest.