Cumberland Times-News

Outdoors

February 2, 2013

Court to hear lucrative fish case

RALEIGH, N.C. — A lower-court judge’s summary decision agreeing to disqualify the $910,000 winner of one of the country’s richest deep-sea fishing tournaments didn’t smell right to the North Carolina Supreme Court, which is ordering a trial to air whether the prize is justifiably lost for lack of $15 fishing license.

The case involved the huge payday the owners and crew of the fishing charter boat Citation were expecting after landing a monster blue marlin weighing 883 pounds and measuring 14 feet from tail to tip of its swordlike bill. But their day in the spotlight at the June 2010 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament turned sour days later when contest officials in coastal Morehead City voided their win, saying the 22-year-old first mate from Virginia lacked the required North Carolina fishing license when the fish was hooked. His license was purchased while the Citation was still two hours out to sea and chugging toward a landing.

The Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case less than three weeks ago, ruled that facts needed to be aired at a trial.

“Our clients will be happy to get their day in court,” said Darren Jackson, an attorney for the Citation’s owners.

The high court also sided with attorneys for the winning boat that local Superior Court Judge John Nobles Jr. shouldn’t have decided himself to stay on the case, but left that to a different judge to weigh whether Nobles was best for the job.

Nobles is the former law partner and vacation buddy of the attorney representing the boat finishing second. Claud Wheatly III and Nobles had taken multiple vacations together, including during the time the lawsuit was under way, the Citation’s lawyers said. Owners of the second-place Carnivore stand to divide $999,453 after taking the winner's share and part of the third-place money.

“Part of our argument was the defendants chose Judge Nobles,” Jackson said, “by how they scheduled everything.”

Wheatly noted to the high court that the Citation’s lawyers have no evidence that Nobles displayed any prejudice.

Because North Carolina's trial court judges are rotated about twice a year, Nobles may not even be a candidate to preside over a trial, Jackson said.

Attorneys for the fishing tournament argue that the rules said a license was required for everyone aboard a participating vessel. The rule was emphasized at a pre-tournament meeting that the Citation’s captain and first mate did not attend, said E. Bradley Evans, a lawyer for the contest’s organizers.

1
Text Only
Outdoors
  • No Bambi for you, Mrs. Doe

    Some people want so badly for deer birth control to work that they actually think it will, even on wild populations.
    I wish I had a couple bridges to sell.
    A week ago on the Outdoors page we ran the deer there do what deer  everywhere do. They eat the easiest food available such as gardens and ornamental plantings. They walk in front of moving cars. They give ticks and  parasites a place to live.

    April 19, 2014

  • Blue catfish Bad catfish should be eaten

    ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has  launched  a  statewide  campaign  to  educate  citizens  about invasive blue and flathead catfish -  their negative impact on native fish species and what anglers can
    do to help.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nice first one Nice first one

    Brett Ishler, 16, Frostburg, bagged his first gobbler during the junior spring turkey hunt. The bird had a 9-inch beard and was taken near Westernport. Ishler was accompanied on the hunt by Rodney Lipscomb.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Archery open house planned May 4

    CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland Bowhunters Club will host an archery open house at its Valley Road facility on May 4 beginning at 1 p.m.

    April 19, 2014

  • Turkey hunting class scheduled

    TYRONE, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Game Com- mission will offer a Successful Turkey Hunting course at the Tyrone Sportsmen Association on April 27 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    April 19, 2014

  • Commission meeting set

    ROANOKE, W.Va. — The next quarterly meeting of the West Virginia Natural Resources Commission will be May 4 at 1 p.m. at Stonewall Resort State Park in Roanoke. The public is invited to make com- ments. Items on the agenda include:
        •    Summary of the 2014 Sectional Meetings – Sportsmen  and  Landowners  Questionnaire.
        •    Approve 2014 - 2015 Big Game Hunting Regula- tions.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • W.Va. cautions about eating certain fish

    CHARLESTON,  W.Va.  (AP)  — West Virginia has updated its advisories for eating fish caught in lakes and rivers.

    April 19, 2014

  • U.S. Army Corps campgrounds open

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to open campgrounds at five West Virginia lakes.

    April 19, 2014

  • Fishing rodeo slated

    ROCKY GAP — A children’s fishing rodeo will take place at the Rocky Gap State Park Nature Center on May 4 from 9 a.m. to noon.
    Register at canderson@dnr. state.md.us or call 301-722-1480.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crossbow use begins for New York deer hunters

    ALBANY,  N.Y.  (AP)  —  The  new state  budget includes  an  agreement  that  will  give  crossbow hunters their own season in New York.
    Language within the budget will allow  crossbow use for all small game, including turkeys, and any big game season in which firearms are allowed.

    April 19, 2014