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Local fishermen talk about Big Rock controversy


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- The investigation continues into the fishermen that may have lost their nearly $1 million prize all because one crew member did not buy a fishing license.

Andy Thomasson caught the record-setting blue marlin in the Morehead City Big Rock Tournament last week, but a 22-year old mate was cited for fishing without a license.

Some fishermen in Carolina Beach think the winners deserve their prize money.

"In the spirit of the tournament, I know it's big money and high pressure, but I think they should have just kind of overlooked it and helped those kids out," Robert Schoonmaker said. "That's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

A $30 fishing license would have reeled in first place and set a record. For now, the tournament is withholding the prize money.

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Black and White is right!!!

That's how the rules were written, in black and white, English and spanish. Easy to read and go by the 1, 2, 3's, to check them off for compliance.

If the captain of the vessel had done his job, this wouldn't have happened.

This is a World Class, million dollar plus Marlin tournament. The rules are there for a reason, are readily available and must be followed by all.

What do you think they would do to Jack Nicklaus if he was one stroke ahead in the last round of the Masters and he laid his club head in the sand of the bunker of the 18th?

I was curious to know if the

I was curious to know if the "Crew Member" was fishing or just putting bait on the hooks. If he wasnt fishing but being a crew member for the boating aspect, I wouldnt think he needs a license. If he was actually fishing, yeah, you lose based on the rules, especially if they are clear cut.

This how it works...

...all crew members and anglers are required to have a NC salt water fishing license to participate in the tourney. They participate and "fish" if they are on that vessel during the tourney. This is not just a casual and recreational "boat ride".

The angler that takes the seat to catch the fish is prohibited to allow ANYONE to touch his rod, under any conditions. The moment the leader is close enough to the rod tip, the mate can grab the leader and "wire" the fish in using the remainder of the leader until it can be gaffed or tagged. All of this is done under the watchful eye of a formal "observer" or referee on the vessel.

So where is the difficulty in understanding what "fishing" is?

What a load of crap!

What a load of crap! Any warm body can get a fishing license by handing over $30 dollars to the state. So the guy got a license one day's a timing issue. What real credentials does it take to get a "fishing" license?? It's not like a pilot's license where there is real training involved and lives on the line. Yes, maybe they should have been fined some dollars because they violated the rules, but $900K is seriously excessive.

The guys caught, by far, the biggest fish and they deserve to win. What a sorry and disappointing decision! I guess everything is black -n- white in your world!

I agree...

You would think with an entry fee of $18000, a blanket license would be included to cover everyone aboard the craft for the duration of the tournament. Sucks for the crew that lost just like it sucks to win by default.... just saying....

If any warm body can get a

If any warm body can get a license then why didn't he? All the teams were told that everyone on board had to have a license at the captain's meeting. What makes them special?

The team was fishing

The team was fishing illegally in violation of State Law and the fishing rules of the Tournament. The runnerup team diserves to win.

Play by the rules

I agree. The looser kid cost the team $1,000,000. He will never live that down.

Sorry to say it , but.....

...the responsibility is on the captains head to make SURE any "losers" on his vessel, didn't make HIM a loser as happened here.

If you were a highway patrolman, stopped a suspect and asked for his drivers license, would you think it prudent to take his word for it that he has one, or would you command that he actually present it?

If I have to buy a license

If I have to buy a license then so should they.
H**l. I can't even afford a boat!

obey the rules

"In the spirit of the tournament, I know it's big money and high pressure, but I think they should have just kind of overlooked it and helped those kids out," Robert Schoonmaker said. "That's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

yeah thats right, its just a rule, no need to obey the rules right?