A 619-pound blue marlin was disqualified from a fishing tournament in North Carolina over the weekend because of an apparent bite on its flesh, giving anglers more than $3.5 million in prize money.
Anglers aboard Sensation believed they had hauled in their first catch of the year, surpassing 500-pounds (earning an additional $739,500 in the process) at the 65th Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, NC.
However, when The tournament officials went to weigh MarlinThey found a piece missing on its side and disqualified it.
“It was the final hour, the final day, we fought him for six hours,” Sensation captain Greg McCoy said. told the Washington Post. “It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
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Competition officials issued a statement on Sunday: “The fish was considered spoiled before it was landed or boated, and therefore ineligible..“
The International Sport Fish Association states that “damage by sharks, other fish, mammals or propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh before landing or boating is not eligible to win.”
As a result, the tournament title and the $2.77 million first prize went to Sushi Boat Reeled in a 484.5 pound marlin.
This article originally appeared in USA TODAY: Anglers in NC tournament $3.5M after disqualification of 619-pound marlin