The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament on Monday disqualified an 883-pound blue marlin caught by the Hatteras-based Citation after determining that the boat's mate did not have a valid North Carolina fishing license when the fish was caught.

The decision moves up Carnivore, a Cape Carteret-based boat, from second place to first place. Carnivore's 528.3-pound blue marlin was the second fish weighed in and the second-largest weighed in during the 6-day event, held out of Morehead City. Wet-N-Wild, which caught a 460-pound blue marlin, was raised from third place to second.

The board of directors, in a press release distributed Monday around 6 p.m., said, "It is apparent that there has been a substantial violation of Tournament rules. The Board of Directors has unanimously determined that they have no choice but to disqualify the 883-pound blue marlin caught on June 14, 2010. The rule violation did not involve "dishonesty" or "cheating" on the part of the owners or the crew of the Citation."

The press release indicated that the rules violation involved the boat's mate not having a valid Coastal Recreational Fishing License, as required by tournament rules. The board determined that the mate did not have a license when the winning fish was boated at 3:16 p.m., but he obtained one at 5:51 p.m. the same day -- apparently ordering it over the telephone -- while the boat was heading to Morehead City from the waters offshore of Diamond Shoals to weigh in the marlin.

"This is an unfortunate situation for the crew of the Citation as well as the tournament itself," the release read. "For the integrity of the tournament, Big Rock has no choice but to enforce the rules and disqualify the fish."

Citation's original first-place money was just over $912,000. Carnivore will receive $999,453, and Wet-N-Wild will receive $275,322. The difference in the adjusted payback was that third-place money was divided between the new winner and runnerup.

Ed Petrilli of Cape Carteret is captain on Carnivore. The winning fish was reeled in by angler John Parks.