Two white marlins, both 83 pounds: Ocean City fishing tournament turns to tiebreaker, and some aren't happy

Associated Press

A ruling to determine the winner in a Maryland fishing tournament has cast the event president in a tough spot.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., reports two white marlins caught at the White Marlin Open in Ocean City last weekend each weighed 83 pounds. But a ruling that awards the title to the fish that isn't gaffed, or on a hook, meant the difference between $2.6 million for the winner and $130,000 for the runner-up.

Tournament founder and president Jim Matsko said when a lot of money is involved, people get upset.

Boat captain Jake Hiles of Virginia Beach, Va., who lost to a boat from Morehead City, N.C., called the rule "archaic." Hiles also suggested using digital scales, but Matsko said a breeze could affect the scales.

It’s not the first time the winner of the White Marlin Open has caused controversy. In 2016, a judge disqualified the winning fisherman after he twice failed a lie-detector test.

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