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Video: Men caught on tape pulling giant sea bass onto O.C. shore plead guilty

March 18, 2011 |  7:33 am

The two fishermen who hauled a massive black sea bass to shore at the Balboa Pier have pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 120 hours of community service.

They had faced up to six months in jail for catching the endangered species. Prosecutors had charged the two with misdemeanor possession of a black sea bass after they were videotaped with the fish, and their images landed on YouTube.

Orange County Commissioner Richard E. Pacheco agreed to the plea bargain, which reduced their violation to an infraction. Prosecutors objected to the plea bargain, according to Orange County district attorney's office spokeswoman Farrah Emami.

Jon Apothaker of Valley Village was fishing on the pier while John Brady of Huntington Beach was fishing below the pier in a small boat in January 2010 when Apothaker got a bite. It was a giant black sea bass, more than 5 feet long and weighing between 140 and 200 pounds.

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--Mike Reicher, Daily Pilot / Times Community News

Anglers plead guilty in endangered fish death