Huge Marlin for Mutilation in Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament DQ
A shark bit off a team’s dream of winning a high-risk fishing competition when the giant marlin they caught was disqualified by tournament officials for mutilation.
The Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament in North Carolina ended in controversy after the crew known as Sensation boasted Saturday of a whopping 619-pound marlin that would have netted team members more than $3 million in prize money but didn’t allow was because he had apparently been bitten by sharks.
“It has been determined that Sensation’s 619.9 Blue Marlin has been disqualified due to mutilation by a shark or other marine animal,” the tournament officials wrote in a statement Sunday. “The fish was believed to be mutilated before being landed or shipped and was therefore disqualified.”
The decision was made after “careful consultation and discussion” with tournament officials and experts.
The sensation’s captain, Greg McCoy, told the Washington Post his crew believed they were victors after struggling for hours to catch the giant marlin.
“It’s the last hour, the last day and we fought with him for six hours,” McCoy told the newspaper. “It’s a difficult pill to swallow.”
He said he was shocked when the mutilation rule was introduced.
A live stream of the event shows the crowd going wild as the crew proudly display their massive catch of the day.
But the mood quickly darkened.
“It appears that this fish was bitten by a shark,” the announcer said over a speaker.
Sensation would have won approximately $3.5 million in prize money.
The crew would have earned $2.77 million for first place and another $739,500 for the first catch of the year, which weighs more than 500 pounds, The Washington Post reported.
The tournament said in its statement that the decision to disqualify Sensation’s catch was consistent with previous decisions and in line with the International Game Fish Association rule book.
A crew named Sushi won the tournament in its 65th year by landing a 484.5-pound blue marlin, tournament officials said.
The tournament organizers determined that 271 boats took part in the competition this year.