White Marlin Open Winning Catch Possibly Disqualified - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

White Marlin Open Winning Catch Possibly Disqualified

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2016 White Marlin Open winning catch possibly disqualified (WBOC) 2016 White Marlin Open winning catch possibly disqualified (WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md.- The winning billfish in the White Marlin Open may be disqualified for violations of tournament rules. The announcement came two weeks after the winning catch was brought to the scales by angler Phil Heaseley of Naples, Florida. 

Claims of rules violations led White Marlin official's to launch an investigation and withhold paying out the $2.8 Million prize. White Marlin Open directors and president, James Motsko posted a statement to their website saying in part, "After much discussion, and providing evidence of the possible violation of the tournament rules, the judges agreed that the prize would not be awarded to the boat catching the qualifying white marlin, but would, in accordance with the rules of the tournament, be withheld pending the determination of the proper recipient of the prize money."

The statement left many people like fisherman Elliott Rice and Ocean City resident Michael Sullivan confused, and with more questions than answers. 

"I read about it this morning and they didn't give really a reason why or what they're protesting for. If you're going to put out information, I'd like to know what the protest is for," Rice said. 

Sullivan said he was puzzled by the lack of information available about the possible rules violations. 

"I can't find an answer anywhere, why would he be disqualified," Sullivan said. 

White Marlin official's have yet to provide a clear answer about the specific rules violations found. 

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