$3.5M prize money at stake as massive marlin disqualified from tournament

Originally published at: $3.5M prize money at stake as massive marlin disqualified from tournament | Boing Boing

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I was curious…


Interesting, thanks.
I’ll assume that someone winds up eating the dolphin fish (AKA mahi mahi or dorado) and the wahoo (AKA as ono) - both of which are delicious, of course.
I’ve had marlin before in Hawaii, but only smoked.
Ono is one of my favorites when we go there. It’s so good grilled.


I don’t really get how a few bites means it is “mutilated”, nor how it would matter if the contest is weight. If anything, it reduced the weight.

I assume some smaller sharks took a chomp as they were trying to land it?


The rational behind the rule is that if the fish is attacked by a shark while in the course of being landed that it is ‘weakened’ and therefore easier to boat resulting in an unfair advantage. Sucks but it is the rules.


Ernest Hemingway enters the chat…

can confirm. Islamorada is a tournament fishing destination where mahi, wahoo and lionfish fishing challenges put many, many pounds of yummy fish into the local markets (and fishermen’s freezers) and gets featured in many local eateries. right now, mahi-mahi is in seasone (wahoo was a few months ago). lionfish eradication goes on year-round.
billfish tournaments are strictly limited here now, since marlin are few, sword- and sailfish are endangered. there are still some high-dollar swordfish tourneys ongoing here.

marlin is a fantastic fish. my experience with it was in Mexico as a carpaccio in a small fishing town in Oaxaca…


Exactly; the challenge isn’t just hooking the fish, it’s reeling the thing in. Easier to fight a 600-pound sea monster once it’s been hit by a speedboat or had a run-in with a couple great whites.


Or a pod of orca with a score to settle.


One of my most favorite memories is hooking a big male dorado off the coast of Costa Rica then taking the meat to a local beach side restaurant where they prepared it for our group. Absolutely magnificent! Took enough meat off of it to feed a group of 8 for three days.

That trip made me fall in love with the Guanacaste region of CR and since then it’s been my retirement dream of moving there and running a deep sea fishing charter.


Monty Python Fight GIF


So instantly transformed from the target into bait?


As someone who’s fought many fish in my life; injuries don’t determine how hard a fish fights. Nor does size, really. The old adage, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog” is very true for fish. Some large, perfect specimens come in like wet socks and som smaller, injured fish fight like there’s no tomorrow. If “fight” is what mattered in the tournament, they could fit the rods with tension meters and call the winner whoever fought a fish for the highest product of line tension and time.

Some fish are survivors - covered in scars and still kicking. I suspect the IGFA only has that rule because of elitism. Only “perfect” specimens count.


I agree. Reports from the tournament say they fought this fish for 6 hours. Certainly doesn’t sound very injured to me. Even if there was a chunk taken out of him, he sure put up a fight.


Makes me wonder if the fishing tournament world is still reeling after this hilarious incident last year:

More info since every detail is so hilarious:

“We’ve got weights in fish!”


Blue water billfish tournaments would sooner associate themselves with dog shows than bass tournaments. Again, there’s a certain elitism when the boats consume more fuel in a tournament than the US median income could pay for.


Well, there isn’t, one way or another.


The fish I catch stay in the water for the most part. They get plenty of tomorrows.

Most billfish tournaments are catch-and-release these days and responsible crews only use circle hooks to help increase survival. So many of them get more tomorrows, too.


I mean what’s a marlin going to do with $3.5 mil anyway…

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Hire some orcas as bodyguards? :man_shrugging:


Great memory.
One time on a Cabo trip many moons ago, we chartered a boat. We did catch a marlin, but we released it.
We caught several dorado and kept just one, letting the boat keep the rest. We took the catch to a local place and they made us some delicious grilled fish served with lots of the normal accouterments and bottles of Pacifico.