Men seek $910,000 for 883-pound fish

Jan. 8, 2013 at 8:17 AM

RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A court in North Carolina will decide whether a group of fisherman are entitled to nearly $1 million for catching an 883-pound marlin, a lawyer said.

The huge fish was reeled in June 14, 2010 during the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, N.C., The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported Tuesday.

Winners Michael Topp, Duncan Thomasson, Martin Kooyman and boat owner Black Pearl Enterprises were disqualified from receiving the prize money for not having a proper license on board the vessel when they caught the marlin.

Weeks after they were denied the $910,000 prize money, the group filed suit accusing tournament officials of breach of contract.

The matter headed to the North Carolina Supreme Court Tuesday after a lower court ruled in favor of tournament officials but an appellate judge disagreed saying the lack of a license did not give the fishermen a competitive edge and was not significant enough to warrant disqualification.

Andy Gay, attorney for the boat's crew, has declined to comment on his legal strategy.

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