BIG ROCK KIDS ART CONTEST NOW OPEN!

Calling ALL Jr. Artists (18 & Under) 

The Big Rock Kids Tournament has partnered with the Arts Council of Carteret County to present the 2nd Annual Jr. Art Contest! Contestants ages 18 & under must create an original piece that incorporates some elements of sportfishing including but not limited to: marlin, gamefish, boats, etc.

Submissions must be turned in to Big Rock Headquarters (710 Evans St. Morehead City, NC 28557) by November 10th. Art may be dropped off Monday – Saturday 10AM – 5PM or mailed directly to the Big Rock office.

The winning piece will receive $500 and will be considered for the 2023 Big Rock Kids Billfish Tournament T-Shirt.

In 2021, the contest received over 60 submissions from skilled young artists ranging from 6-17. Many thanks go to each artist that submitted a piece last year, we encourage all to participate! 

Questions? Email carlee@thebigrock.com

 

WELDOR’S ARK WINS 2022 NC BILLFISH SERIES

Congratulations to WELDOR’S ARK for winning the 2022 NC Billfish Series and Top Private Boat award. The crew aboard the 55′ Jarrett Bay racked up a total of 3300 points across the series of participating tournaments. FIN PLANNER finished in 2nd place with 3000 points, and claimed the Top Charter Boat title.

The Big Rock Tournament is proud to be an NC Billfish Series participating tournament. Also included in the series: Hatteras Village Offshore Open, Swansboro Rotary Blue Water Fishing Tournament, Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament, Hatteras Grand Slam, Big Rock Kids Tournament, Ducks Unlimited Billfish Tournament and Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament.

Each year, the eight NC Billfish Series tournaments team up with weigh masters Randy Gregory and George Lott to recognize and award the best tournament boats and anglers in North Carolina. The mission of the NC Billfish Series is to promote North Carolina’s billfish tournaments, sportsmanship, marine conservation and competition in our world renown offshore fishery.

Competing boats are awarded points for billfish released or landed in the NC Billfish Series tournaments with trophies for the overall winner, top private boat, top charter boat, and top outboard boat for the best three out of eight tournaments plus points for participating in each tournament. Trophies will be awarded for the largest blue marlin, yellowfin tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Individual awards will be given for outstanding junior boy, junior girl and lady angler.

The 2022 series finished with an overall release rate of 99% and a total of 205 billfish recorded across the eight participating tournaments. There were 128 blue marlin caught from the 205 billfish, 125 of which were released. Also included in the total billfish release count were 37 white marlin and 40 sailfish.

2020 Big Rock Winner, PELAGIC HUNTER II, was named Top Outboard Boat with 1350 points after taking home 1st Place in the Outboard Division during the 2022 Big Rock Tournament (for the 3rd year in a row!)

Junior Angler Emma Kate Kleinhans’ 38.9 lb. catch during the 2nd Annual Big Rock Kids Tournament earned DEVELOPIN’ HABITS the Largest Dolphin this year! Both APRIL MAE and DESPERADO secured titles in the NC Billfish Series for fish landed during this year’s Big Rock tourney! APRIL MAE clinched the Top Wahoo spot with a 50.2 lb. catch and DESPERADO’s 131.2 pounder won Top Tuna by a landslide!

The 2022 Top Junior Anglers earned their points during Big Rock Kids— Top Boy Jr. Angler goes to Will Hanley off LABRADOR with 1 blue marlin and 2 sailfish releases & Top Girl Jr. Angler goes to Sailor White for her blue marlin release aboard WELDOR’S ARK. Congrats to Top Lady Angler, Sara Hanna Fortier, off FIN PLANNER with 1 blue marlin & 1 sailfish release.

To view the 2022 NC Billfish Series Final Standings, CLICK HERE

DONE DEAL WINS 2ND ANNUAL BIG ROCK KIDS

The win is a DONE DEAL for the 2nd Annual Big Rock Kids Billfish Tournament. After 3 Blue Marlin releases DONE DEAL takes home the 1st place title and $57,500 (Level I + Level II + Level III Saturday Release WTA)

DUE SOUTH scored 2nd Place with 1 Blue Marlin, 3 Sails, and 1 (unverified) Blue Marlin release for a $21,985 payday. FIN PLANNER secured their 3rd Place spot with 2 Blue Marlin releases worth $12,990. DEVELOPIN’ HABITS shook up the leaderboard today with a 38.9lb Dolphin, earning the crew $17,595. BIG TROUBLE was bumped to 2nd Place, their 31.1lb Dolphin payed out $11,730.

FIN PRINT’s 32.3lb catch was the first Wahoo to the scales and secured 1st Place worth $16,830. For the second year in a row, J&B finished 2nd in the Wahoo division taking home $11,220.

Within two days of fishing, 275 Jr. anglers racked up 40 releases and brought 115 gamefish (wahoo & dolphin) to the scales!

Click HERE to view the payouts!

Big Rock Makes History with Record Payout

Virginia Team Wins Over 3.4 Million Dollars in Prize Money with the Event’s Top Catch

Morehead City, NC (July 7, 2022) – Along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament recently celebrated 64 years of action-packed offshore competition with a record-breaking purse and top prize payout. This year, 266 teams and over 1,500 competitors vied for a piece of the impressive $5,858,875 purse, and the winning team was able to stack up a total payout of $3,489,813 – a record only surpassed by one other event in all of billfishing’s tournament history.

Day 1 of the tournament started off hot, with Captain Neil Sykes of the 72-foot Viking, “MERCENARIA” and angler Matthew Brown weighing a 572.6-pound blue marlin. Their entry into the Fabulous Fisherman division of the tournament immediately ensured them at least $777,750 for bringing the first blue marlin to the scales weighing over 500-pounds. 

Teams fish four of the six days (captain’s choice) of the tournament and can enter in as many of the eleven eligible divisions as they prefer, each with unique payout opportunities. Although seven additional blue marlin were brought to the scales at Big Rock Landing throughout the 6-day tournament, none could unseat the 572.6-pound fish weighed by “MERCENARIA” on the first day. The team’s first place blue marlin along with their Fabulous Fisherman prize added up to winnings of $3,489,813. Other popular billfish tournaments have had larger participant fields and total purses available, but only once has a single participating team won a calcutta of prizes this large. 

NBA & North Carolina basketball icon, Michael Jordan, also added to the Day 1 excitement, backing into Big Rock Landing in Morehead City aboard his 80-foot Viking yacht, “CATCH 23” and weighing a 24-pound mahi. Jordan went on to release two blue marlin during the tournament.

The tournament’s record number of participants and payout have grown greatly especially over the last two decades, as organizers were some of the first to integrate internet broadcasting and social media updates into their operations. The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is one of the only tournaments to broadcast their VHF radio feed live for listeners around the world. Captain Randy Ramsey, the voice of Big Rock Radio, communicates with the boat captains and keeps the audience updated to the second with hookups and releases and the occasional boated blue marlin. This year, nearly 1 million listeners from 60 countries tuned in to Big Rock Radio to keep tabs on the action. Big Rock TV also features daily live stream video sessions and racked up over 2 million viewers in 71 countries this year. Viewership of the first day’s live stream far surpassed average thanks to celebrity angler Michael Jordan and a cameo appearance by PGA golf legend and fellow sportfisherman Curtis Strange.

The Big Rock is not just a week-long sportfishing tournament or unique spectating destination, it is also a charitable foundation that gives to the local community throughout the year. Total charitable contributions since The Big Rock Foundation formed in 1986 exceed $7.5 million. The impressive charitable donations throughout Carteret County and coastal North Carolina are additionally made possible in part by the generosity of over 65 tournament sponsors and other supporters including Major Sponsor and world-renowned custom boat builder, Jarrett Bay Boatworks, headquartered in nearby Beaufort, North Carolina. 

The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament also places a strong focus on conservation, going above and beyond federal and IGFA regulations for angling, release and boating of billfish. The tournament regularly exceeds a 90-percent billfish release rate with the 64th Annual edition hitting 96.5-percent with eight blue marlin weighed and 226 billfish (blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish) released. The Big Rock is a proud participating tournament in the North Carolina Billfish Series, which rewards sportsmanship & marine conservation. 

MORE NOTABLE WINS for this year’s tournament include the 63-foot Spencer Yacht, “WALL HANGER” claiming second place for heaviest blue marlin with lady angler Stacy Allen weighing a 556.4-pound fish, earning her team $426,288. “HIGH YIELD”, a 57-foot Spencer landed in third Place with a 536.8-pound blue marlin caught by Bernard Linney with a cash payout of $283,525. The Winner-Take-All division for dolphin fish (mahi) was captured by angler Parker Jones aboard the “CAROLINA TIME”, a 56-foot Gwaltney. Their 54.1-pound mahi was worth $527,000. 

This is the seventh consecutive year the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament has welcomed outboard engine-powered boats as entrants, and Captain John Cruise III and the team aboard their 35 Contender, “PELAGIC HUNTER II” secured the lead in the Outboard Division and Winner-Take-All Release in the Outboard category earning a generous payout of $42,500!

Captain Rodney “moon” Crossman and his team aboard the 72-foot Viking, “SAFARI” won the Weekly Release Division worth $112,625 combined with their Daily Release prize of $75,082 totaling a cash prize of $187,707. The 63-foot Jarrett Bay, “MARLIN FEVER” tied with the 62-foot Viking, “IRENE” with 1,200 points in the Non-Sonar Release Division but “IRENE” took first place on time, and a total payout of $172,479. Captain Cameron Guthrie and the team aboard “MARLIN FEVER” enjoyed a cash prize of $77,775 for their second-place finish in the Non-Sonar Release Division.

As the 64th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament continues to grow its global following and offshore participant base, so will the charitable efforts throughout the communities the Big Rock Foundation serves. The Big Rock Board of Directors are grateful for the support of so many world-class teams, businesses and organizations, and look forward to June 12, 2023, for the kick-off of the 65th Annual tournament!

CLICK HERE to view the entire leaderboard & total prize payouts!

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About Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

Headquartered in Morehead City, North Carolina, the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is more than just an annual event. The mission of Big Rock is to work diligently to promote sportfishing throughout Carteret County and the state of North Carolina while also focusing on conservation among sportfishermen. Exceeding $7.5 million in total contributions since 1986, Big Rock charitable giving helps support worthy community projects, promote marine education, and preserve maritime culture and heritage. The Big Rock, Big Hero program presented by SALT LIFE was created in 2018 to honor active-duty servicemen and women. These loyal members of our military are treated to an unforgettable fishing adventure aboard a world class sportfishing boat alongside elite anglers that are honored to welcome them aboard. The Big Rock also operates one of the largest ladies-only events in the world: The Keli Wagner Lady Angler (KWLA) Tournament. The record-breaking 25th Annual Tournament hosted 215 boats & paid $318,750 in prize money, one of the industry’s largest payouts for a one-day tournament. The KWLA tournament donates proceeds towards the improvement of cancer patient comfort and care in Carteret County. The Big Rock Kids Tournament enjoyed its inaugural year in 2021 with 59 boats and over 200 participating junior anglers. This tournament aims to promote sport fishing among a new generation of anglers while benefiting children’s charities in Eastern North Carolina. To learn more about the Big Rock tournaments and charitable giving, visit thebigrock.com.



MERCENARIA WINS BIG!

That’s a wrap on the 64th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament! 266 boats competed for a record breaking purse of $5,858,875. MERCENARIA claimed the top prize of $3,489,813, an industry record after securing $777,750 in the Fabulous Fishermans division + the Super 20 division worth $1,156,000 for the 572.6lb. fish caught on Day 1 of the tournament. WALL HANGER’S Lady Angler, Stacy Allen claimed 2nd Place for her $556.4lb. Blue Marlin, earning her team $426,288. HIGH YIELD landed in 3rd Place with a 536.8lb. catch taking home $283,525.

CAROLINA TIME captured the Dolphin WTA Division with a 54.1lb. bull worth $527,000. REEL TIME weighed a 43.0lb dolphin today claiming their spot as the 2nd Place Dolphin overall winner.

SPECULATOR’S 104.7lb Wahoo won the weekly prize of $5,000. FISHY BUSINESS slid into second place weighing a 66.4lb Wahoo this afternoon.

DESPERADO claimed the Tuna weekly division worth $5,000 for their impressive 131.2lb. catch. FLY N FISH gave the Desperado a run for their money weighing in a hefty 121.1lb. monster this afternoon.

SAFARI won the weekly Level VIII Release Division worth $112,625 + 75,082 (daily release prize money) taking home a grand total of $187,707. CUERVOS captured the Day 6 release prize worth $37,541 for two blue marlin releases.

IRENE claimed the Level IX Non Sonar Release Division earning $129,625 + $42,854 totaling $172,479 in overall prize money. CUERVOS claimed an additional $42,854 in daily release money for Day 6 of the tournament.

PELAGIC HUNTER II showed up and showed out by claiming the Outboard division going home with $42,500.

REEL TIME weighed the heaviest dolphin of the day at 43.0lbs, taking the $2,000 daily prize and claiming the second place spot for the week! INSPIRATION weighed a 19.6lb dolphin taking second place for the day and the $1,000 prize money.

​​FISHY BUSINESS took the lead today with their 66.4lb. wahoo, bumping LADY DIANNE out of second place overall for the week. This catch earned them the $2,000 daily prize. PARI followed in second after weighing in a 27.4lb. wahoo, taking home $1,000.

As the week comes to a close, we would like to thank our Participants, Sponsors, and Supporters for making the 64th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament the BEST Tournament in the WORLD.

DAY 5 RECAP

139 of 266 boats competed on Day 5 of the 64th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, presented by Jarrett Bay Boatworks. The fleet racked up 14 Blue Marlin, 5 White Marlin, and 8 Sailfish releases.

Another Big Rock Big Hero saw the scales! JOB SITE weighs the heaviest dolphin of the day with a hero on deck. Petty Officer Darren McLaughlin, experienced the catch of a lifetime with the Farrior Family, releasing one blue marlin. The crew brought a 32.2lb dolphin claiming the $2,000 purse. MACK 900 scored the Gregory Poole First Release of the day worth $5,000 AND brought a 25.1lb. dolphin to the scales earning an additional $1,000.

APRIL MAE made their way to Big Rock Landing with a 50.2lb. Wahoo. The catch wasn’t enough to make the overall leaderboard, but it earned the team $2,000 and a nice dinner. PELAGIC made their mark on the daily wahoo leaderboard with a 42.3lb catch worth $1,000.

SAFARI climbed into second place in the release division with 2 Blue Marlin & a Sailfish release. This makes the second day in a row that they’ve claimed the Level VIII: Daily Release prize worth $37,541. In total, the team has 2,250 release points. In the Level IX: Non Sonar Division, REDEMPTION claimed the daily purse of $42,854 for a Blue Marlin and Sailfish release.

MERCENARIA, WALL HANGER, and HIGH YIELD remain the top three leaders. 162 of 266 boats are qualified to fish tomorrow. Could we see a leaderboard shakeup!?

Don’t miss a minute of the action: download the Big Rock App, listen live, and tune into Big Rock TV.

Show your support – SHOP Big Rock Gear, HERE!

DAY 4 RECAP

255 of 266 boats competed on Day 4 of the 64th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, presented by Jarrett Bay Boatworks. The fleet racked up 38 Blue Marlin, 23 White Marlin, 1 Spearfish and 3 Sailfish releases. HAPHAZARD captured the Gregory Poole Marline First Release of the Day earning them $5,000 right off-the-bat for a White Marlin released at 9:14AM.

IRENE captured the Level IX: Non-Sonar Release prize worth $42,854.17, taking the lead in that division’s weekly release points. If they hold on to their spot, they could take home an additional $129,625.

SAFARI claimed the Level VIII Daily Release prize worth $37,541.67. WAVE PAVER still leads that division with a projected payout of $111,562.5.

CAROLINA TIME dominated the scales with a 54.1lb. dolphin. They are currently in the lead in the Dolphin Winner Take All division with a payout of $527,000. MEMORIES landed in 2nd Place for the Daily Dolphin prize worth $1,000.

DOC FEES captured $2,000 for a 48.7lb Wahoo. SALLY GIRL brought in a 46.3lb. ‘Hoo earning $1,000.

2 Blue Marlin were brought to the scales. MISS WY drew a crowd to Big Rock Landing as they weighed a 454.1lb. BM. Angler, Robert Rodelsperger, is the father of the young, but talented Big Rock KIDS Tournament artist, Allie Rodelsperger.

BREAKWATER’S 427.8lb. fish didn’t make the leaderboard but it did pump the crowd up at the scales!

DAY 3 RECAP

230 of 266 boats fished on Day 3 of the 64th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament presented by Jarrett Bay Boatworks. The hefty fleet racked up 34 Blue Marlin, 11 White Marlin, and 5 Sailfish. LIGHTS OUT captured the Gregory Poole Marine First Release of the day earning them $5,000 within the first 30 minutes of fishing.

The 64’ Jarrett Bay, BUILDER’S CHOICE brought the only Blue Marlin to the scales. The 479.7lbs fish didn’t make the leaderboard, but it was the experience of a lifetime for Big Rock Big Hero Matthew Michalowicz. Special thanks to Salt Life and the Huddle family for welcoming our hero.

STREAM WEAVER captured the Level VIII Daily Release prize worth $37,541.67. The crew also deployed an IGFA satellite tag that will track the Marlin’s movement for the next 240 days. The data will then be interpreted by researchers at Stanford University to further conservation efforts.

ROYAL FLUSH claimed the Level IX Non-Sonar Release prize worth $42,854,17.

Country music star Walker Hayes kicked off Gamefish weigh-ins at Big Rock Landing- presented by Beaufort Hotel. DESPERADO rocked the scales with their 131.2lb Yellowfin Tuna – the first tuna to hit the scales in this year’s tournament! If the fish holds on, they could potentially walk away with $7,000 in prize money.

OFFSHORE III brought a 27.7lb Dolphin to the scales, earning them $2,000. WASABI landed 2nd in the daily Mahi division. J&B’S 29.5lb catch remains in the lead for the Dolphin WTA prize of $527,000.

LADY DIANNE brought their lady angler, Lauren Good, to the scales with an impressive 54.8lb Wahoo. The outboard-powered WIRED ASSETS brought in a 20.7lb Wahoo, claiming $1,000 in daily prize money.

MERCENARIA remains in 1st Place with their 572.6lb Marlin potentially worth $3,489,813.

Don’t miss a minute of the action: Listen live OR tune into Big Rock TV!

DAY 2 RECAP

38 of 266 boats competed on Day 2 of the 64th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, presented by Jarrett Bay Boatworks. The small fleet racked up 12 Blue Marlin releases and 3 White Marlin releases. SEA TOY captured the Gregory Poole Marline First Release of the Day earning them $5,000 right off-the-bat for a Blue Marlin released at 10:06AM.

CAROLINA GIRL captured the Level IX: Non-Sonar Release prize worth $42,854.17, taking the lead in that division’s weekly release points. If they hold on to their spot, they could take home an additional $129,625.

SPECULATOR claimed the Level VIII Daily Release prize worth $37,541.67 for 2 Blue Marlin Releases. The 92ft Viking turned heads at Big Rock Landing as they weighed a 104.7lb Wahoo worth an instant $2,000. We’re speculating that angler Rob Leerienk’s catch will be the largest gamefish we see during the tournament.

J&B slid into 1st Place in the Dolphin Division with at 29.5lb Mahi claiming the $2,000 daily jackpot. OCEANSTINGER landed in 2nd Place for the Daily Dolphin prize worth $1,000. Will J&B’S catch hang on throughout the week? The Dolphin WTA prize of $527,000 could be anyones!

Don’t miss a minute of the action: Listen live OR tune into Big Rock TV!

A “FABULOUS” FIRST DAY

That’s a wrap on day one of the 64th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament presented by Jarrett Bay Boatworks. 266 boats entered for their shot at the record breaking $5,858,87 purse. Of the 266, 246 boats fished today. The fleet racked up 47 released today: 32BM, 13WM, 2SF. The scales saw 28 gamefish and 5 blue Marlin.

MERCENARIA brought in the first blue marlin weigh-in at 572.6lbs. Earning them the prestigious Fabulous Fisherman title and $777,750! If that fish holds on to 1st place throughout the week, the crew could walk away with $3,489,813— An industry record payout!

After a 7 hour battle WALLHANGER arrived at Big Rock Landing with a 556.4lb blue Marlin stealing second place. Lady angler Stacy Alan and her crew are looking at a potential $426,288 payout if the fish holds on.

High yield’s Bernard Linney weighed a 536.8lb Marlin landing them the 3rd place spot.

BAD HABIT 526.7lb fish was brought to the scale by another lady angler Jennifer Miller. SYLVA LINING made their first appearance at Big Rock with a 401.3lb fish. Though both fish were impressive, they didn’t claim a spot on the leaderboard.

WAVE PAVER claimed the 37,541.67 Level VIII daily prize for releasing four Blue Marlin worth 1600 pts. REEL CURRENT claims day 1 of the level IX Non-Sonar Release purse raking in $42,854.17 for their Blue Marlin release.

Excitement was in the AIR as Michael Jordan brought the bulls to Big Rock Landing. FLY IN FISH scored $2,000 for their 28.2lb dolphin. YELLOWFIN slid in at second place taking home $1,000.

The 54ft Jarret Bay, FREQUENT FLYER , brought the heaviest gamefish of the day: a 36.6lb Wahoo worth $2,000. DIRTY MARTINI earned $1,000 for their 24.3lb Wahoo.