The 53rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament is happening June 10th-18th along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. Big Rock is a modified release tournament targeting blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish. Gamefish levels include dolphin, tuna and wahoo. This six-day event will bring out hundreds of the best fishermen in the world, all hoping to take home part of a cash purse that exceeds more than $1 million – a huge difference from the original Big Rock purse of 250 silver dollars!
The waters off the coast of the Outer Banks and along the coastline of North Carolina are notorious for their record breaking blue marlin catches. Did you know there was a time when the existence of blue marlins along the coastline was purely a myth? Residents in Moorehead City, NC had been told many tales by sailors about the blue marlin, and eventually decided to find out for themselves if they existed or not. In the summer of 1957, the small town raised a small cash prize and a small charter boat fleet headed out in hopes of catching the elusive fish. During that summer, many captains claim to have spotted the marlins, but none were ever caught. That all changed September 14th when Raleigh angler, Jimmy Croy, snagged a 143-pound blue marlin aboard the Mary Z. The crew radioed in their catch, and by the time they pulled into port the small town had gathered to greet them with an impromptu parade and a wagon full of silver dollars! For more Big Rock history, click here.
Last year, 155 boats fished the waters off Morehead City, North Carolina and competed for a record purse of $1,658,450. This year looks like it’s shaping up to be an even bigger event, with the 14th Annual Keli Wagner Big Rock Lady Angler Event kicking off the festivities the evening of June 10th. For the complete schedule of events, click here.
Local boats Hunter and Qualifier, both from Manteo, and Sea Creature from Hatteras have already registered and are gearing up for the tournament. On Big Rock’s website you can listen to the captains throughout the day via their boat radios. At the end of the day they also have live feed of the boats coming in to weigh, which you can watch here.
The Big Rock is a non-profit tournament and has donated over $2,300,000 dollars to charity and worthy organizations. Randy Ramsey, board of directors President says, “Our goal is to offer participants the finest sportfishing tournament experience while helping support Big Rock’s many worthwhile charities.”