Fishermen Who Caught 619-Pound Marlin Miss Out On $3.5 Million Prize Over Brutal Technicality

fisherman catching marlin


I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest the vast majority of people who enjoy fishing view it as a wholly recreational hobby, but that particular pastime can be a very profitable one if you’re willing to invest the time, effort, and, of course, money, to compete in the many tournaments that feature some serious cash on the line.

That includes the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, an event that was first held all the way back in 1957 and celebrated its 65th anniversary when it commenced off the coast of North Carolina earlier this month.

Anyone who wanted to participate in the six-day affair had to shell out at least $1,000 on entry fees that cost as much as $20,000 to qualify for the highest competitive tier, but that risk was accompanied by some massive potential rewards in the form of the prize money that was up for grabs.

When everything was said and done, it looked like the fishermen aboard the Sensation were going to walk away with a very hefty payday after landing a 619-pound marlin that put them in contention for the $2.77 million reserved for the winner of the tournament in addition to the $739,500 set aside for the team that brought back the first fish to tip the scales at more than 500 pounds.

However, things took an interesting turn when the organizers of the Big Rock showdown noticed the marlin was sporting bite marks that appeared to be inflicted by a shark, which triggered a clause concerning disqualification stemming from  “mutilation to the fish, prior to landing or boating the catch, caused by sharks, other fish, mammals, or propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh.”

According to The Washington Post, the crew aboard the sensation ultimately learned the six-hour battle they’d fought to reel in the marlin had been all for naught, as they were DQed from the tournament due to the bites that theoretically made it easier for them to catch a fish that was unable to fully put up a fight thanks to the injuries.

That meant the $2.77 million jackpot went to the team aboard the vessel Sushi, which bested the rest of the field with the comparatively tiny 484.5-pound blue marlin they came back with.


Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament new 1st place leader, Sushi, a 57’ Island Boat Works, with a 484.5lb Blue Marlin worth $2,769,438 if it holds. 2 boats remain to weigh in today with the Fabulous Fisherman Prize still up for grabs!! Congrats Captain and Crew @Big Rock Tournament #bigrock #bigrocktournament #bigrockbluemarlintournament #sportfishing #billfish #northcarolina

♬ Thunderstruck – AC/DC

It’s a pretty brutal way to lose, but that’s just the nature of the sport.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.