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Als rebuttal to some more printed abuse
Al at the bait shop with Erdman and Cambell. - Son Thomas and Albert Jr. on the right.
Al's Rebuttal to an article in a September 2004 Mens Journal magazine.
Al claims there is an unauthorized account of the record catch in the September 2004 edition of Mens Journal Magazine. This account is from Dave Dibenedetto (at the time - editor of SaltWater Sportsman magazine) who wrote 11 pages on Al in his book "On the run". It is an old account of the 11 pages in the book and added are a few negative previously withheld comments from unnamed sources. It's not a stretch to surmise that these accounts came from the two people Dibenedetto interviewed in Atlantic City when he was hunting for Al in 2001. Al says the sources were Pat Erdman and Corky Cambell.
Apparantly Cambell says he had proof of his dealings with Al and showed them to Debenedetto.
Al says "Cambell told me he had no books".
Particularly hurtful were comments Debenedetto related from them about his sons and the notion that they could possibly grow up to be like him. The article starts off innocuous enough but goes on to depict Al and his family as drifters and bums and how they had taken to begging in churches to supplement their income. Al says "this is lies, absolute garbage. This Dibenedetto fellow told us the book was on the striper migration and would I be willing to talk about my experiences. He spent 3 hours with my family bought me a Chinese food dinner and a bottle of scotch. I dont drink scotch. " This is an ambush and it is totally uncalled for and I'm drawing the line . I'm proud of my two boys, they don't drink or drug, they fish".! " This Mr Dibenedetto says he read a letter from a deceased agent claiming that he told me to stop spending money so fast. Maybe its because He (the agent) lost 70,000 of it in the stock market for me. Where the hell does Mr. Dibenedetto get off reading my mail. He did not have my permission to print this account in a magazine article and neither does Mens Journal. This BS never effin stops".
I had the privaledge of fishing with Al McReynolds in August of 2004. The man has extraordinary peripheral vision. His eyes are sharp and he easily spots bait and birds. He is an unbelievable fisherman and his two sons are as good as he is. He thinks one of them could break his record. Albert junior is the plug and fly expert with 4 fish rivaling 50 pounds on a fly rod. Thomas is an uncanny fisherman as well with a 65 pounder to his credit and he thinks the next record will come out of the Chesapeake or Delaware Bays.
These days Al lines up speaking engagements for surfcasting seminars and state boat shows. He usually heads to AC around the anniversery of the catch. Al faces abuse almost everyday from people telling him he is full of it. If it had been heavier test instead of 20 pound test and a bigger reel that held more line then he wouldnt have had near as much grief. But he hooked the fish with one of the trebles near the eye. A plausible reason why the fish complied and was eventually broken, it may have been afraid to lose the eye and thus became easier to turn.
Seeing for myself what type of fishermen he and his sons are, I have NO doubt he caught the fish that night off of that jetty. NONE!!! I don't think he really knows how long it took. Various accounts have it between 1 and 4 and 1/2 hours. Al says he hooked it around 8PM and it wasnt until midnight that the ordeal was over. And yes Al he put me on a fish, a 26 incher in a fast approaching lightning storm in Salem Mass using cut mackeral.
Al has spoken
to Dave Dibenedetto since this rebuttal and has made peace with
him. Al says that Dave D. only printed the things that were told to him
by others. Therefore it was the truth to him.
still don't see it that way but the man has had enough grief
so I guess its best to let it be.
Al Mcreynolds 78.8 story