Imagine this for a moment: You just finished the fishing battle of a lifetime. A six-hour war with a 619-pound marlin that exhausted everyone, physically and mentally. In the end, it was all worth it. Your team set a record, and a stunning $3.5 million payday is waiting for you.
Then it’s all taken away on a technicality.
That’s the reality a group of North Carolina fishers is facing after winning The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, NC — after it was revealed that a shark, or other marine mammal bit the marlin, which isn’t allowed under the rules.
After an extensive review on Saturday the result was announced: The winning boat SENSATION was being disqualified for being in breach of Rule # 23, which states:
“Mutilation to the fish, prior to boating or landing the catch, caused by sharks, other fish, mammals, or propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh.”
This was not cheating. There is nothing the anglers could have done to prevent their catch being hurt, and by all accounts it appeared to be an old wound — but still, it was enough to cost them the championship and the $3.5M prize money. The logic behind the rule is that a marlin carrying an injury, regardless of how it was sustained, could cause it to be landed more easily than a fully healthy fish. So, regardless of the fact it took SIX HOURS to land the thing, still it was dropped from the competition.
As a result the championship went to a fish that weighed 135 pounds less.
This has to be the most crushing sports story of the weekend.