Three days after the 52nd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament was supposed to conclude, a winner was crowned Tuesday afternoon following an investigation into a rules violation on the boat Citation, which had led the tournament since Monday, June 14, with an 883-pound blue marlin.
The Big Rock Board of Directors decided Tuesday to disqualify the Citation fish after a rules violation that the mate, Peter Martin Wann of Alexandria, Va., didn’t have an N.C. Recreational Fishing License came to the board’s attention just before the start of the awards ceremony Saturday night.
In light of the decision, the winner of the 52nd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament was determined to be the Cape Carteret charter boat based out of Morehead City, Carnivore.
The Carnivore crew and Capt. Ed Petrilli will receive an estimated Big Rock Tournament record prize of $999,453.
Big Rock tournament director Crystal Watters released a press release stating,
“After interviewing members of the crew of the fishing vessel Citation, review of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament rules, consulting the Division of Marine Fisheries as well as the North Carolina Attorney General’s office, it is apparent that there has been a substantial violation of tournament rules.
“The Board of Directors has unanimously determined that they have no choice but to disqualify the 883-pound blue marlin caught on June 14, 2010.
“The rule violation did not involve dishonesty or cheating on the part of the owners or angler of the Citation.
“The rule violation involves the mate not having a Coastal Recreational Fishing License. This license is required by North Carolina law. It is required by the tournament as written in our rules. Participants and crew were reminded of the license requirement at the Captains meeting prior to the tournament.
“The mate engaged in fishing activities without a valid license and later obtained a license at 5:51 p.m. while heading to the weigh station. The fish was boated at 3:16 p.m.
“This is an unfortunate situation for the crew of Citation as well as the tournament itself. For the integrity of the tournament, Big Rock has no choice but to enforce the rules and disqualify the fish.
“Because of this disqualification, The Big Rock Board of Directors declare Carnivore in first place with their 528.3-pound blue marlin and in second place Wet-N-Wild with their 460-pound blue marlin.”
For the full story, reactions from the crews of Citation, Carnivore and Wet-n-Wild and remarks from the Big Rock board of directors, read the Wednesday print edition of The News Times.