This was quite the unfortunate turn of events for the crew of the Sensation, who bagged a 619-pound marlin at North Carolina's Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, which would've easily been the winner.
Yup, they bagged the biggest fish in the tournament by far, but it had "mutilations," which likely came from a shark bite, and that is technically against the rules.
The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament started June 12 and ended Sunday with an awards brunch in Morehead City, N.C. A boat called Sensation reeled in the 619.4-pound fish Saturday, ending a fight of more than 6 hours off the 52-foot Jarrett Bay vessel.
That fish, had it been ruled eligible, would have reeled in a $2.77 million first-place prize and an additional $739,500 as the first 500-pound-plus haul at the tournament.
But officials said that the fish appeared to have been bitten by a shark, and they found a large chunk of its flesh missing during the weigh-in process.
These dude's lost out on $3.5 Million!
All because of some "mutilations" caused by a shark.
International Game Fish Association rules state that a fish is ineligible to win if it sustains such damage before "landing or boating." Flesh penetrating or removing damage, caused by sharks, other fish, mammals or propellers, results in disqualification…
"After careful deliberation and discussions between the Big Rock rules committee and board of directors with biologists ... as well as an IGFA official, it was determined that Sensation's 619.4lb Blue Marlin is disqualified due to mutilation caused by a shark or other marine animal," tournament officials said in a news release.
"It was deemed that the fish was mutilated before it was landed or boated and therefore it was disqualified."
Tough luck right there.
I had no idea this was a disqualification in fishing competitions.
I guess maybe if a shark stuns the life out of your catch while it's on the line it's much easier to reel in, but who's to say the shark attack happened while the marlin was hooked or even immediately prior to this?
Either way, that's a tough pill to swallow for the Sensation team.
"We don't get a plaque on the Big Rock fountain, we don't get the dough," Sensation captain Greg McCoy told the Carteret County News-Times. "A year from now, we will be totally forgotten. No one will care."
McCoy told the News-Times that boat owner Ashley Bleau is protesting the decision for disqualification. He also said the parties will contemplate legal action.
Not sure if this is worth the fight (apparently the marlin wasn't either). It clearly states in the rules that these mutilations constitute disqualification.
Here's the weigh-in for ya, and then I gotta go.
Listen to how pumped up that crowd is.
Now that's a big fish!!!
Better luck next year, Sensation...