WMO files court doc­u­ment to de­cide prize win­nings

Record Observer - - Sports -

Not so fast. In last week’s col­umn I re­ported Phil Heasley, aboard Kal­lianassa of Naples, Florida, caught a 76.5-pound white marlin to win an es­ti­mated $2,818,660 in the 2016 White Marlin Open in Ocean City. Heasley’s win­nings were the largest in­di­vid­ual cash prize in sport­fish­ing his­tory.

On Fri­day, Aug. 26, White Marlin Open, Inc. filed a Com­plaint for In­ter­pleader in the Cir­cuit Court for Worces­ter County, Mary­land. The tour­na­ment di­rec­tors now seek to have a for­mal court pro­ceed­ing in which a judge will de­ter­mine the is­sues as to which an­gler or an­glers will re­ceive the prize.

Four­teen de­fen­dants are named in the court case. All but Heasley have al­ready re­ceived some prize money, but now they could be in line for much more.

Heasley, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at ACI World­wide, caught the only “qual­i­fy­ing” white marlin in the tour­na­ment, fish­ing along with Cap­tain David Mor­ris and mates Kyle Bo­han­non and Joseph Ha­gen.

Among the gems in the 14-page court doc­u­ment are:

Heasley, Mor­ris, Bo­han­non, and Ha­gen were the only in­di­vid­u­als on De­fen­dant Heasley’s ves­sel when he caught the white marlin that is the sub­ject of these pro­ceed­ings. Be­tween the two poly­graph ex­am­i­na­tions ad­min­is­tered by Ex­am­iner Carey and the other three ex­am­i­na­tions ad­min­is­tered by Ex­am­iner Sane­man, not one per­son on De­fen­dant Heasley’s ves­sel passed a poly­graph ex­am­i­na­tion. (33)

A closer re­view of the Catch Re­port, a copy of which is at­tached hereto as Ex­hibit 7, caused Tour­na­ment of­fi­cials to re­al­ize that the time writ­ten down for when the sub­ject white marlin was caught by De­fen­dant Heasley ap­peared to have been al­tered. Specif­i­cally, it ap­peared that al­though the time writ­ten down was ini­tially “8:15”, it had sub­se­quently been al­tered to read “9:05” be­fore it was sub­mit­ted to Tour­na­ment of­fi­cials. It would have been a vi­o­la­tion of the Rule I.C.6 of the Tour­na­ment Rules and Reg­u­la­tions for De­fen­dant Heasley to bring a white marlin that had been caught be­fore 8:30 am to the scales and hold it out as a fish that was caught within the re­quire­ments of the Rules and Reg­u­la­tions. (35)

The re­main­ing named De­fen­dants are stake­hold­ers in this lit­i­ga­tion if De­fen­dant Heasley is de­ter­mined to be dis­qual­i­fied from re­ceiv­ing the prize money for the first place white marlin, as they would all ben­e­fit by be­ing en­ti­tled to re­ceive a por­tion of the prize money that would have been paid to De­fen­dant Heasley had he passed his poly­graph ex­am­i­na­tions. (39)

Also, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment, Heasley has re­fused to “ex­e­cute a re­lease” of the prize win­nings to other an­glers.

Richard Kosz­tyu of Hamil­ton, New Jersey stands to re­ceive ap­prox­i­mately $2,321,152 if Heasley is dis­qual­i­fied. Kosz­tyu caught a tuna that weighed 236.5 pounds and has al­ready re­ceived $767,091.

Richard Ham­mond of Centreville, who caught a wa­hoo that weighed 79 pounds and has al­ready re­ceived prize money in the amount of $24,862, could also see ad­di­tional win­nings as well as all the oth­ers.

The en­tire court doc­u­ment is avail­able on the WMO web­site and is at­tached to this col­umn on­line.

*** Fish­ing re­port The up­per Ch­e­sa­peake Bay re­gion is pro­vid­ing plenty of good fish­ing for striped bass from the Rock Hall area south to the Bay Bridge. There con­tin­ues to be con­sis­tent chum­ming ac­tion at Swan Point, the chan­nel edges at Love Point, and the main chan­nel edges out­side the mouth of the Magothy River south to Sandy Point Light. There are plenty of spot to be found in shal­lower wa­ters and live-lin­ing spot has be­come the most pro­duc­tive method to catch a nice grade of striped bass. There are blue­fish in the up­per bay also cut­ting through chum slicks and chas­ing schools of bait on the sur­face with small stripers.

Trolling small spoons, buck­tails, and sur­gi­cal tube lures be­hind plan­ers and in­line weights has been a good op­tion for an­glers not wish­ing to chum or live­line. The 30-foot chan­nel edges are hold­ing fish.

Fish­ing for white perch has been good along shore­line struc­ture in the morn­ings and even­ings and should im­prove with cooler wa­ter tem­per­a­tures. Fish­ing deeper with bot­tom rigs baited with blood­worms over hard-bot­tomed shoal and reef ar­eas in the bay and chan­nel edges in the tidal rivers has been pro­duc­tive dur­ing brighter day­light hours. A sinker rig with two drop­per flies or small jigs can also be very ef­fec­tive when fish­ing deeper wa­ters.

The Bay Bridge py­lons and rock piles con­tinue to hold rock­fish that are pro­vid­ing good fish­ing for those live-lin­ing spot or jig­ging with buck­tails. A mix of spot, croaker, and white perch also can be found in the shal­lower ar­eas near the bridge py­lons.

Be­low the Bay Bridge, boats have been an­chor­ing up along the 30-foot chan­nel edge from Dolly’s Lump south to Ch­e­sa­peake Beach and to a lesser ex­tent along Brick House Bar south to Buoy 83. Most an­glers are live-lin­ing spot but a few are chum­ming with men­haden or ra­zor clams.

Re­cre­ational crab­bing is hav­ing its ups and downs de­pend­ing which tidal rivers you are crab­bing in. Wa­ter tem­per­a­tures and oxy­gen lev­els have had a lot to do with where the best or worse crab­bing can be found. There have been good re­ports from the Ch­ester River and Kent Is­land area. In the mid­dle bay re­gion, the Wye and Miles rivers have been off while the Dorch­ester County area has been very good.

On the fresh­wa­ter scene, large­mouth bass and most other fresh­wa­ter fish are still in a sum­mer mode of be­hav­ior, so early morn­ings and late even­ings typ­i­cally of­fer the best op­por­tu­ni­ties in the shal­lower ar­eas with cover. Top­wa­ter lures are a fa­vorite for this type of fish­ing.

At the Ocean City area, wa­ter tem­per­a­tures in the surf and in­let are about 74 de­grees. The best surf fish­ing for a mix of king­fish, croaker, small blue­fish, and floun­der has been in the morn­ings and even­ings. At the wreck and reef sites floun­der fish­ing has been very good with a few sea bass be­ing caught. At the 30-fathom fish­ing ar­eas a mix of yel­lowfin tuna, skip­jack tuna, mahimahi, and wa­hoo are be­ing caught. At the canyons, 461 Lump, and Rock Pile, a mix of blue and white marlin, yel­lowfin tuna, mahi-mahi, wa­hoo, big­eye tuna, and the oc­ca­sional sail­fish are be­ing caught.

* * * Fish­ing derby The Pasadena Sport­fish­ing Group will hold a Kid’s Fish­ing Derby at Fort Small­wood Park from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Satur­day, Sept. 10. Pre-reg­is­tra­tion is re­quired by Sept. 6; go to www.pasade­nas­port­fish­ing. com or call 410-439-3474.

* * * Duck blind know-it-all Go­phers are not the same as ground­hogs. The most ob­vi­ous dis­tinc­tion is that go­phers have long pro­trud­ing teeth.


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