An Arkansas man who caught a record 68-pound striped bass sued the International Game Fish Association for denying him a $1 million prize in their contest.
Rodney Ply, 41, of Diamond City, Ark., entered the “Hook-a-Million” contest, which offered a $1 million prize for any angler who caught a fish that broke a world record using a Mustad-brand hook . Mustad promoted the contest but is not named as a defendant.
He said he is not a professional fisherman and didn’t want “to go legal.”
“They just left me no choice,” he said.
On Feb. 18, 2012, Ply caught the striped bass, one of the contest’s eligible species, according to his complaint filed last month. However, in October, the International Game Fish Association’s executive committee “denied certification of the fish, enigmatically classifying the lure plaintiff used as an illegal spreader bar,” the lawsuit states.
A spokesman for the association declined to comment to ABC News.
Ply said he did not use a spreader bar, but instead used a homemade spinnerbait lure, which typically has a blade-shaped object to spin like a propeller. He said his homemade object ”cannot reasonably or in good faith be classified as a spreader bar,” according to the lawsuit.
Ply claims he followed the contest’s rules and sent photos of the fish hanging from an approved scale, the lure that he made, his rod and reel, and the 68-pound fish.