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Some Poor SOBs Lost $2.77 Million in Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament Due to the Stupidest Technicality in the History of Competition

Kelly Dalling. Getty Images.

I'm a big believer that a man is only as good as his word. As such it's the easiest thing the world to gain my trust, but damned near impossible to get it back once you've proven unworthy of it. 

That said, there are at least two things I can accept a man lying about. One, is his sexual prowess. The other is fishing. At the very least, you're allowed to embellish the truth in these two areas because they're victimless crimes. As far as the second is concerned, one of the only useful things my brother Jimbo has ever taught me is how to hold a fish you just caught toward the camera and away from your body to make it look bigger by comparison. (I suppose there's some version of this gimmick for the first thing, but no one's interested in your dick pics. Keep that thing holstered, Bub.) 

But the fishing exception to this rule has an exception of it's own: You can't be lying about your catch when there's money on the line at a tournament. Then it's all about the integrity, for obvious reasons. And yet get a load at what happened to this boat in North Carolina.  These noble fishermen did everything right, followed all the rules, won the top prize by any sane measurement, and still got the shaft.  In what is undoubtedly the greatest miscarriage of justice in the long and glorious history of killing sea creatures for sport:

Source - A North Carolina fishing tournament ended in controversy over the weekend as a group that caught a 619-pound blue marlin was disqualified after a review.

The boat named Sensation reeled in the fish as part of the 65th Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City. …

"After careful deliberation and discussions between the Big Rock Rules Committee and Board of Directors with biologists from both NC State CMAST (Center for Marine Sciences and Technology) and NC Marine Fisheries biologists as well as an IGFA (International Game Fish Association) official, it was determined that SENSATIONS 619.4lb Blue Marlin is disqualified due to mutilation caused by a shark or other marine animal. It was deemed that the fish was mutilated before it was landed or boated and there for it was disqualified," the statement read.

"The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament follows IGFA rules regarding mutilated fish as outlined in Rule #23 in the Big Rock Official Rules. IGFA rules state that the following situation will disqualify a fish: ‘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.’ …

The discrepancy began as the Sensation’s marlin was weighed. Officials noticed what appeared to be a shark bite near the fish’s head, according to the Jacksonville Daily News. As crowds waited anxiously for a winner to be declared, organizers waited until Sunday morning.

Officials declared Sushi the winner of the tournament for its 484.5-pound catch. …

Sushi took home $2.77 million from the tournament, according to the Jacksonville Daily News.

What fresh hell is this? It's a travesty. It's a sham. It's a mockery. It's a traveshamockery. Even if there wasn't $2.77 million on the line here. Even if the good people of Sensation were merely fishing for pride, this would be unacceptable. Taking that fortune away from them and handing it to those first place losers from Sushi is unacceptable. 

And for what? Because the ginorous leviathan they boated once survived a shark attack? If anything, that ought to give them bonus pounds. They fought and defeated the creature that fought and defeated the greatest apex predator of the fish world! This thing came up through the ranks. It took on all comers. It beat all the top ranked contenders. But the one opponent it couldn't knock out was Sensation. It met its match and was TKO'd, fair and square. But still they get their belt taken away from them by a bunch of bureaucrats with a fetish for arcane, nonsensical technicalities buried deep in the rule book. Ones that are definitely not in the spirit of the sport. 

Do the math! There's a bloody 134.9 pound difference between Sensation's catch and Sushi's. Meaning the one that got disqualified was 27.8% bigger than the "winner." And it's DQ'ed because it had some battle scars. Ones that it proudly wore as a badge of honor before it got reeled in. This is like taking the World Series championship away from the 1927 Yankees because Babe Ruth was a drunken, whore-chasing slob with a tremendous beer gut.

It just makes no sense on any level. It's about catching the biggest fish, not the unblemished lamb from the Old Testament. Is this the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, or a beauty pageant? Fish America? Even the best looking marlin in the sea is a fucking ugly bastard, so why are we going by style points? Is the International Game Fish Association there to weigh these things or date them? 

Well, congratulations, Sushi. I hope you're proud of yourselves. Enjoy spending that $2.77 million in ill-gotten gains. But do so knowing that you're nobody's champion except the IGFA's. The people's champion will always be Sensation. And we can all agree that in the fishing boat world as well as the restaurant world, nothing makes us sicker than bad Sushi.