View Full Version : The sailfish and the wedding ring

02-11-2005, 04:42 AM
On December 28, 2002, three close friends, Jamie Artzt, Eric Bartos, and Blake Liebeskind, went sailfishing on Liebeskind's boat, Running Barely, off Fort Lauderdale. Bartos was a bit preoccupied because his marriage was breaking up. The three decided that if they caught a sailfish, they would hold an informal ceremony: They would put Bartos' gold wedding band around the fish's bill before letting it go.

''To mark an end and beginning to chapters in his life,'' said Artzt.

It happened a few hours later. A sailfish ate one of Running Barely's kite baits, and Bartos fought the fish to the boat. Quickly, the men slipped the ring over the bill and let it go.

''I put the ring on the bill. It went on a little crooked. Jamie got a bunch of pictures,'' Bartos recalled. 'I do remember thinking to myself, `The fish was bleeding a little.' I hoped someone would catch it [again]. I kind of blew it off and never expected to hear about it again.''


Fast-forward more than two years to Jan. 22, 2005. The same three friends, along with Artzt's brother-in-law, Joe Hupp, and friend John Rogers, were fishing in the Miami Beach Rod & Reel Club's Interclub Sailfish Challenge aboard Artzt's boat, Pineapple. It had been a very slow day for the crew -- a few noneligible fish caught -- no sails.

Shortly before lines-out, the crew found itself off Fowey Light with one kite holding three baits -- one of them a goggle-eye on the long bait that Liebeskind had spat on for good luck.

With one minute to go in the tournament, the men saw a sailfish emerge and eat the goggle-eye. Bartos grabbed the rod. They radioed the hookup to tournament official Dan Kipnis and left the other two baits in the water, hoping for a double hook-up. The lines tangled, and the crew thought they had lost the fish. But Bartos kept reeling, and pretty soon, the line came tight again with the fish still on. At least they would not end the tournament fishless.

''We cleared all the rods and sea anchor and began to chase the fish as it started an aerial show off to the south,'' Artzt said. He estimated the battle lasted about 10 minutes.

Wearing gloves, Liebeskind grabbed the leader for the release.

'As I started pulling the fish in, I yelled, `Oh my gosh! It's the ring fish!' '' Liebeskind said.

There was stunned silence for a couple of seconds. Then Artzt yelled for Liebeskind to boat the fish so he could snap some photos. Everyone started asking Bartos whether he wanted his ring back.

''I was in shock,'' Bartos said.

Artzt said the bill had grown around the ring ``a little -- not unlike a ring that fit on your hand some years and many pounds ago.''

Bartos decided to keep the ring as a trophy. He and Liebeskind managed to pull it off. One of Artzt's photos purports to show the indentation of the ring on the bill as they let it go.

Link (http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/10802229.htm?1c)

<font color="blue">That just goes to show you that you never can tell, what a fish, or a woman is liable to do to you. </font color>

02-11-2005, 10:55 AM
"of all the fish, in all the seas......reel him in again, Sam"

Voodoo Daddy
02-11-2005, 11:29 AM
I read that in Florida Sportsman and laughed like hell. It made the paper about a week later. If I caught that fish twice...I might not ever fish again!!!

02-11-2005, 02:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Voodoo Daddy:</font><hr> I read that in Florida Sportsman and laughed like hell. It made the paper about a week later. If I caught that fish twice...I might not ever fish again!!! <hr /></blockquote>

Hey Voodoo, Florida has a pretty nice fishing forum. Are you on it. I am by the same name, though I don't post mush. I don;t know much.

Voodoo Daddy
02-11-2005, 02:49 PM
I have a screen name on the Florida Sportsman board but I dont post, more of a reader.