In saltwater fishing’s version of baseball’s infamous pine tar incident, an angler who reeled in a world-record yellowfin tuna had his home-run catch called back — because a deckhand touched his fishing pole as he fought the mighty fish.
Robert Pedigo hooked the 427.9-pound fish last Thursday and fought it for a half-hour before bringing it aboard the “Journeyman.” But everyone on board agreed that Danny Osuna, a local captain working that day as a deckhand, blew the record by touching Pedigo’s pole during the battle between man and beast off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The rules say an angler can’t have any help pulling in a fish if he or she wants to make history.
“I do this for a living and we’re really hardcore fishermen,” Osuna told FoxNews.com. “We have caught a lot of fish in the high 300s, but this is the first time we’ve caught something like this.”
Osuna admitted touching Pedigo’s fishing rod, disqualifying the catch from consideration by the International Game Fish Association. But he said Pedigo, who could not be reached for comment, isn’t too broken up about the technicality.
“We’re fine with that,” Osuna said. “Actually, we never even thought the fish would be that big.”
Osuna said everyone who was in on the fishing trip got a big meal out of the monstrous catch before the rest was given away.
“We never sold the fish,” he said.
Like the famous home run by George Brett in 1983 that was disqualified when Yankees Manager Billy Martin pointed out that the Kansas City Royals’ slugger had pine tar smeared too high on the barrel of his bat, the pole touch indeed disqualifies the catch, according to IGFA officials.
A spokesman for the agency confirmed to FoxNews.com that the all-tackle record for yellowfin tuna remains 405 pounds, caught by Mike Livingston near Baja Sur, Mexico — because Osuna touched the rod.
“No one (to my knowledge) has been contacted by the angler or any member of the crew in regards to this catch,” IGFA World Record Coordinator Jack Vitek wrote in an email. “We have heard of the catch on various fishing forums and websites, and are pleased to hear that the angler and crew are being up front about such an impressive catch, and are respecting the IGFA rules.”
Scott MacDonald joined the Kent Narrows, Md., sales office of Bluewater Yacht Sales as a broker.
A lifelong boater and fisherman, MacDonald is a seasoned inshore and offshore angler and an experienced sales professional, the company said.
Bluewater is a Mid-Atlantic dealer for Viking Yachts, Princess Yachts and Regulator Marine, as well as Sabre Yachts, Back Cove Yachts and Duffy Electric Boats in the southern Chesapeake. It operates from four locations: Kent Narrows; Hampton, Va.; and two in North Carolina, Wrightsville Beach and Wanchese in the Outer Banks.
Those whose lives were touched by Capt. Jose Wejebe are invited to attend a Celebration of Life at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the International Game Fish Association Museum in Dania Beach, Fla.
Wejebe, 54, of Summerland Key, died April 6 after the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff in Everglades City, Fla. Weather is believed to have been a factor. He was the respected host of the long-running Spanish Fly fishing show, which began in 1995 on ESPN and later was shown on the Outdoor Channel.
He was also a member of the Hell’s Bay Boatworks’ pro team, a blend of flats captains, authors, producers, TV hosts and leading fly- and light-tackle fishing educators who shared Wejebe’s love for fishing and the environment.
“I admired Jose’s energy, love for life and dedication to his friends. Jose inspired me with his ability to make everyone around him feel as if they were his personal best friend, or bro,” Hell’s Bay president Chris Peterson said in a statement. “He had charismatic energy to light a room with just his mere presence. Jose was always willing to give to the children’s charities, where he gave of himself and his personal time, a rare quality today.”
Jose Wejebe, the host of a popular TV fishing show, was killed in the Everglades City plane crash Friday, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
Crews on scene say the plane’s tail number is N548SF. And according to the FAA, the aircraft with that number is registered to Wejebe.
Officials we spoke to say he was flying in an experimental, single-engine aircraft. The type is a CA8-SF.
Former Collier EMS Chief Jeff Page was chartering a boat when the crash happened. He said he saw the aircraft take off from the Everglades City Airport after 4:30 p.m. Friday and then felt the winds shift.
He said he thinks the plane got caught in a crosswind before hitting the ground and exploding.
“The plane popped up and it looked like it got its nose too high into the wind and it almost put it straight vertical,” he said.
Page went on to describe the actual crash.
“The initial explosion of when it hit, there was no way anyone could survive it – no way anyone could even approach the plane,” Page said. “It immediately burst into flames.”
Wejebe was the host of the show, Spanish Fly.
April 1 marked the 48th anniversary of the Viking Yacht Co., the day when brothers Bill and Bob Healey opened the doors to their new boatbuilding venture.
What started in a single, self-contained building in 1964 has evolved into an 810,000-square-foot manufacturing facility encompassing five freestanding structures equipped with the latest technologies and machinery.
With its vertical integration, Viking designs and manufactures in-house virtually every part found aboard the boats and produces a present day lineup of 19 distinctive models, with new introductions every year, the company said.
New Jersey-based Viking buildings convertible sportfishing yachts from 42 to 82 feet.