Clark Evans, a surf fishing instructor with Old Inlet, described the challenges Smith faced in landing the record striper. “A striper is known for putting on a big first run, and surviving that first run was the first hurdle,” Evans said. Using the right equipment including a circle hook and fray-resistant braided line instead of more fragile monofilament helped Smith’s battle considerably, especially in the final struggle to wrestle the fish out of the surf. “He did everything right, and even then the odds were stacked against him. I told him, ‘That’s one in a million,’” Evans said.