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.

KWLA- CAN DO TOO TAKES THE CAKE

THAT’S A WRAP on the RECORD-BREAKING 25th Annual Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament presented by Truist! 215 boats & 800 lady anglers competed for their piece of the $318,750 purse. CAN DO TOO is the WINNER with 2 Blue Marlin releases worth 800pts and $108,800! 2nd Place goes to MJ’S for releasing 2 Blue Marlin earning them $24,225. ALL IN takes 3rd place worth an impressive $16,150 for releasing 2 White Marlin + 1 Blue.


WET DREAM captured Level II: Dolphin WTA sponsored by Parker Boats, for a payday of $104,973 for the 42.8lb. dolphin. DUN-RITE’S 26.7lb. Dolphin landed in second place earning the team $10,766.


REBELLIOUS FISH brought a massive 67.0lb. Wahoo to the Weighstation, sponsored by Linda Rike Real Estate, earning the team $16,148. SEA STRIKER didn’t go home empty handed, their 53.4lb. Wahoo was worth $10,766.


The ladies of the Capt. Stacy, chartered by the Delta Health Foundation, stole the hearts at Big Rock Landing today. Nearly 40 ladies from the Carteret Healthcare Oncology Center & Cancer Patients had the opportunity of a lifetime to compete in the tournament aboard Capt. Stacy.


The 215 boats racked up 50 releases + 47 gamefish! WAY TO GO, GIRLS!!


Did you have fun? Prove it! Tag us in your photos on social media @kwlatournament OR reply to this email.

RECORD-BREAKING KWLA TOURNAMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — The Big Rock Tournament returns June 10th – 19th for its 64th Annual event in Morehead City, NC, presented by Major Sponsor Jarrett Bay Boatworks. The 2021 tournament was a record year with 270 participating boats, a $4.7 million purse, and the first $1 million annual charitable contribution in tournament history. The Big Rock Tournament is excited to announce three new added-entry-levels to the 64th Annual lineup. In preparation for online registration opening on April 1st, please see the following tournament updates and rule additions for 2022.

As technology and knowledge about the billfish species increase, innovation within the tournament industry is imperative. In response, effective this year, the use of omnidirectional sonar technology will not be permitted before official fishing hours: 9 am to 3 pm, Monday – Saturday.

The Big Rock Board of Directors has created a new category: Level IX- Weekly and Daily Non-Sonar Release. Prize payouts will be awarded for total weekly release points and the overall daily release winner. Entry in this level is restricted to boats without omnidirectional sonar technology -or- boats equipped with, but choose not to use omnidirectional sonar technology. Boats may have the choice to enter Level VIII Weekly and Daily Release, Level IX Weekly and Daily Non-Sonar Release, or both. If entered in Level IX Non-Sonar Release, the use of omnidirectional sonar technology is not permitted at any time during the tournament.

The Big Rock is eager to introduce Level VI Super 20 Winner-Take-All, sponsored by ED Cure, to the list of newly added entry levels this year. The Super 20 category is a $20,000 calcutta for the largest qualifying blue marlin. Qualifying fish must meet all tournament minimums and regulations. Boats must be entered in Levels I, II, III, IV, and V to participate in the super-category. Projecting 50 entries, the estimated payout for Level VI Super 20 WTA is $850,000. Based on 2021 entries, if entered in Levels I, II, III, IV, V, and VI, the winning team’s payout would total $3.36 million, an industry record.

The increased popularity of the Outboard Division led the Big Rock Board of Directors to create an additional Winner-Take-All Release level exclusively for Outboard participants. Boats must enter Level X Outboard 50/30/20 to participate in the Level XI Outboard WTA Release category. An entry fee of $1,000 and a projected 20 entries would produce a potential $17,000 payout for the new Outboard Release WTA Level, sponsored by Mercury.

As we enter a new generation of sportfishing with ever-changing technology and higher stakes competition, The Big Rock Tournament’s mission to raise funds for deserving charitable organizations prevails. The tournament strongly encourages participants to familiarize themselves with the updated rules and divisions as online registration begins on April 1st.

Download the full set of 2022 Big Rock rules here.

For further clarification, please visit www.thebigrock.com/registration or contact Executive Director, Madison Struyk— (252) 725-1568, madison@thebigrock.com

CLICK HERE to watch the 2022 Tournament Updates & Additions Highlight Video 

 

 

IMPORTANT KWLA UPDATE!

Due to the forecast for Saturday, June 11th, KWLA Tournament participants have the option to fish ONE of two days.

The KWLA Tournament will remain a one-day event with the choice of fishing either Saturday OR Sunday from 8AM to 2PM. You MUST SUBMIT A LAYDAY FORM either electronically via the Big Rock App OR in-person at Tournament Headquarters prior to 8AM on the day declared as non-fishing.

Fishing days and times will count as one day, eliminating any advantage to fishing on Saturday.

KWLA Participants must register before Saturday morning to be eligible to fish either day. If you plan to fish on Sunday, your registration must be submitted with payment prior to 8AM on Saturday, June 11th.

RULE #3 UPDATE: No lines or teasers are permitted in the water before official fishing hours. The use of omnidirectional sonar technology will not be permitted before official fishing hours. Official fishing hours are 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM. This is a two-day billfish release/gamefish tournament scheduled for June 11th-12th, 2022. A boat may fish one of two days, captain’s choice. Official time will be GPS time. Fish hooked prior to or after fishing hours are not eligible. Fishing days and times will count as one day, eliminating any advantage to fishing on Saturday. Lay Day forms may be submitted in person at the Big Rock Office or by using your Big Rock App account. Lay Day forms must be submitted prior to 8 a.m. on the day declared as a non-fishing day. There will be no exceptions on time. If a boat does not declare a day as non-fishing, the Tournament Committee will automatically count the day as a fishing day for the boat.

 

Questions?! Contact Carlee Sharpe (919) 801-8346 or Madison Struyk (252) 725-1568

 

ONLINE REGISTRATION NOW OPEN


Online Registration is now OPEN for both the 64th Annual Big Rock and 25th Annual KWLA Tournament(s). Simply log into the Reel Time Apps account associated with the boat you wish to register and complete the required form elements. Ensure all information is accurate, select entry levels and apply payment. When submitting registration online, you may choose to pay via credit card (2.75% processing fee applied) or mail-in / drop off payment. If you choose to mail-in your payment, please do so before June 1st. Payment may be mailed or dropped of to Big Rock Headquarters- 710 Evans Street, Morehead City, NC. We strongly encourage all participants to register online. 

Additional entry levels may be added online after initial registration is submitted by logging back into account or by visiting us at Big Rock HQ. Seabags and participant shirts will be available for pickup starting June 1st, 2022. Teams may also update boat photos, edit crew members and add anglers via their app account.

If you have any questions or are experiencing technical difficulties please contact,
– For Big Rock registration assistance: Madison Struyk madison@thebigrock.com, (252) 725-1568
– For KWLA Registration assistance: Carlee Sharpe carlee@thebigrock.com, (919) 801-8346

To download 2022 Big Rock Rules, click here
To view 2022 Big Rock Entry Levels + Payouts, click here


BIG ROCK ANNOUNCES WHAT’S NEW FOR 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — The Big Rock Tournament returns June 10th – 19th for its 64th Annual event in Morehead City, NC, presented by Major Sponsor Jarrett Bay Boatworks. The 2021 tournament was a record year with 270 participating boats, a $4.7 million purse, and the first $1 million annual charitable contribution in tournament history. The Big Rock Tournament is excited to announce three new added-entry-levels to the 64th Annual lineup. In preparation for online registration opening on April 1st, please see the following tournament updates and rule additions for 2022.

As technology and knowledge about the billfish species increase, innovation within the tournament industry is imperative. In response, effective this year, the use of omnidirectional sonar technology will not be permitted before official fishing hours: 9 am to 3 pm, Monday – Saturday.

The Big Rock Board of Directors has created a new category: Level IX- Weekly and Daily Non-Sonar Release. Prize payouts will be awarded for total weekly release points and the overall daily release winner. Entry in this level is restricted to boats without omnidirectional sonar technology -or- boats equipped with, but choose not to use omnidirectional sonar technology. Boats may have the choice to enter Level VIII Weekly and Daily Release, Level IX Weekly and Daily Non-Sonar Release, or both. If entered in Level IX Non-Sonar Release, the use of omnidirectional sonar technology is not permitted at any time during the tournament.

The Big Rock is eager to introduce Level VI Super 20 Winner-Take-All, sponsored by ED Cure, to the list of newly added entry levels this year. The Super 20 category is a $20,000 calcutta for the largest qualifying blue marlin. Qualifying fish must meet all tournament minimums and regulations. Boats must be entered in Levels I, II, III, IV, and V to participate in the super-category. Projecting 50 entries, the estimated payout for Level VI Super 20 WTA is $850,000. Based on 2021 entries, if entered in Levels I, II, III, IV, V, and VI, the winning team’s payout would total $3.36 million, an industry record.

The increased popularity of the Outboard Division led the Big Rock Board of Directors to create an additional Winner-Take-All Release level exclusively for Outboard participants. Boats must enter Level X Outboard 50/30/20 to participate in the Level XI Outboard WTA Release category. An entry fee of $1,000 and a projected 20 entries would produce a potential $17,000 payout for the new Outboard Release WTA Level, sponsored by Mercury.

As we enter a new generation of sportfishing with ever-changing technology and higher stakes competition, The Big Rock Tournament’s mission to raise funds for deserving charitable organizations prevails. The tournament strongly encourages participants to familiarize themselves with the updated rules and divisions as online registration begins on April 1st.

Download the full set of 2022 Big Rock rules here.

For further clarification, please visit www.thebigrock.com/registration or contact Executive Director, Madison Struyk— (252) 725-1568, madison@thebigrock.com

CLICK HERE to watch the 2022 Tournament Updates & Additions Highlight Video 

 

 

2022 EVENT SCHEDULE

The Big Rock is excited to resume tournament events for the 64th Annual Tournament. Big Rock Landing will be the host venue for the KWLA Event, Sunday Pig Pickin’, Wednesday Pork Chop Dinner and Awards Brunch. Tickets may be purchased at the door or prior to the event at Big Rock HQ. The 2022 Captain’s Party will be held on Saturday, June 11th at the Crystal Coast Civic Center from 7pm – 11pm. Due to venue capacity, no Captain’s Party tickets will be available for purchase by the general public. Below is an overview of the schedule of events for Big Rock week, for a complete list visit here. See you in June!

2022 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

FRIDAY, JUNE 10TH, 2022

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM, KWLA CAPTAIN’S MEETING
Big Rock Landing

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, EVENT: KWLA RECEPTION PARTY
Big Rock Landing, Sponsored by Linda Rike Real Estate
Best Dressed Contest sponsored by Posh Pelican.

SATURDAY, JUNE 11TH, 2022

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM, KWLA TOURNAMENT
LIVE weigh-in coverage starting at 2:00 PM, Big Rock Landing
Sponsored by Truist

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, KWLA WEIGH-INS
Big Rock Landing
Big Rock TV Live Broadcast, 2:00 PM via Facebook & Youtube

7:00 PM – 11:00 PM, EVENT: BIG ROCK CAPTAIN’S PARTY
Crystal Coast Civic Center
Sponsored by Mercury

SUNDAY, JUNE 12TH, 2022

9:00 AM, EVENT: SUNDAY PRAYER BREAKFAST
Big Rock Landing
Sponsored by Towne Insurance and Southeastern Foundries

6:30 PM – 7:00 PM, BIG ROCK CAPTAIN’S MEETING
Big Rock Landing

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, EVENT: PARTICIPANT PIG PICKIN’
Big Rock Landing
Sponsored by Gregory Poole and Bluewater Yacht Sales

 

MONDAY, JUNE 13TH, 2022

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, DAY 1
Begins 6 days of fishing, 2 lay days required
Captain’s Choice

Daily gamefish weigh-ins starting approx. 4:00 PM (Saturday 3:00 PM)
Big Rock Landing- 710 Evans Street
LIVE Coverage 2:00 PM, Facebook + Youtube

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 14TH, 2022

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, DAY 2
Begins 6 days of fishing, 2 lay days required
Captain’s Choice

Daily gamefish weigh-ins starting approx. 4:00 PM (Saturday 3:00 PM)
Big Rock Landing- 710 Evans Street
LIVE Coverage 2:00 PM, Facebook + Youtube

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15TH, 2022

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, DAY 3
6 days of fishing, 2 lay days required
Captain’s Choice

Daily gamefish weigh-ins starting approx. 4:00 PM (Saturday 3:00 PM)
Big Rock Landing- 710 Evans Street,
LIVE Coverage 2:00 PM, Facebook + Youtube

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, EVENT: PORK CHOP DINNER
Big Rock Landing
Sponsored by Cummins
Pork Chops provided by Smithfield Foods

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 16TH, 2022

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, DAY 4
6 days of fishing, 2 lay days required
Captain’s Choice

Daily gamefish weigh-ins starting approx. 4:00 PM (Saturday 3:00 PM)
Big Rock Landing- 710 Evans Street
LIVE Coverage 2:00 PM, Facebook + Youtube

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 17TH, 2022

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, DAY 5
6 days of fishing, 2 lay days required
Captain’s Choice

Daily gamefish weigh-ins starting approx. 4:00 PM (Saturday 3:00 PM)
Big Rock Landing- 710 Evans Street
LIVE Coverage 2:00 PM, Facebook + Youtube


SATURDAY, JUNE 18TH, 2022

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, DAY 6
6 days of fishing, 2 lay days required
Captain’s Choice

Gamefish weigh-ins starting approx. 3:00 PM
Big Rock Landing- 710 Evans Street
LIVE Coverage 2:00 PM, Facebook + Youtube


SUNDAY, JUNE 19TH, 2022

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, EVENT: AWARDS BRUNCH
Big Rock Landing
LIVE Coverage starting at 11:00 AM
Facebook + Youtube

BIG ROCK DONATES $1 MILLION TO CHARITY

The Big Rock Board of Directors and its Charity Committee are pleased to announce that the organization’s annual charitable contribution will total $1 Million for the first time in tournament history.

“After a record-breaking fleet of 270 boats participating in this year’s tournament, we are extremely excited about the continued tradition of ‘Charity First’ with local charities receiving in excess of 1 Million dollars.” exclaimed Big Rock Board of Directors President, Emery Ivey. 

In addition to contributing over $100,000 to its ten core charities, the Big Rock is able to donate $868,500 to larger impact campaigns. 91% of the contributions will benefit Carteret County specifically. Recipients include a variety of community improvement projects, marine conservation initiatives, and education programs. 

To date, Big Rock has donated more than $900,000 to Carteret County Public Schools and is thrilled to present the Big Rock Teaching Fellows Program. The program will provide scholarships to Carteret County graduates that wish to pursue a career in education, in agreement that they will return to Carteret County to teach after receiving their college degree. 

The Keli Wagner Lady Angler (KWLA) Tournament will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in June 2022. Since 1998, the ladies-only tournament has contributed $425,000 to Carteret Health Care Cancer Center for patient comfort and care. 

Proceeds from the First Annual Big Rock Kids Billfish Tournament will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain. 

From Big Rock’s first recorded donation of $17,000 in 1986, to today, 35 years later where the total contributions reach $7,567,448,  we are humbled by our beginnings and honored to serve the community that devotedly supports us.

“Today is another milestone day in the storied history of The Big Rock Tournament.  Being able to provide $1,000,000 in charitable giving today is made possible by the commitment of our participants, the loyalty and generosity of our sponsors, and the dedication of our staff and board members.  As always, we are excited to see these gifts go to work right here in our community for the benefit of so many groups and individuals.” commented Charity Committee Chairman, Tommy Bennett. 

To many, Big Rock is just a summertime festivity or a t-shirt in the closet, but to our community and the recipients of these charitable contributions, it is much more. Our sincerest appreciation goes to each and every sponsor, participant, and retail customer. 

For more information please visit www.thebigrock.com/charities or contact Executive Director, Madison Struyk. 

2021 CHARITIES
Austin Veterinary Outreach $10,000.00
Autism Society $10,000.00
Beaufort Middle School $77,000.00
Bridge Downeast $40,000.00
Broad and Gales Creek Comm $23,000.00
Carteret Community College $100,000.00
Carteret County Public School $200,000.00
East Carteret High School – Wrestling $25,000.00
Family Promise $48,000.00
Gramercy Christian School $30,000.00
Hope Is Alive Ministries $25,000.00
Hunt of Lifetime $14,000.00
Make a Wish $15,000.00
NC State University $21,500.00
Town of Morehead City $72,000.00
Tag A Giant – Ocean Foundation $55,000.00
Tip of the Spear $50,000.00
AB Sea Turtle Project $20,000.00
First Baptist Church In Memory Of $5,000.00
Big Rock Fall Ball $3,000.00
$843,500.00
CORE CHARITIES
Boy Scouts – East Carolina Council $7,500.00
Broad Street Clinic $7,500.00
History Place $7,500.00
Hope Mission $7,500.00
Martha’s Mission $7,500.00
NCSU – Research $10,000.00
NC Symphony $17,000.00
Station Club $7,500.00
TAKF $7,500.00
KWLA – Carteret Health Care $25,000.00
BIGROCK KIDS – Boys and Girls Club $25,000.00
$129,500.00
Board Member Discretionary $27,000.00
TOTAL 2021 CONTRIBUTION $1,000,000.00

BIG ROCK APPOINTS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Big Rock board of directors is pleased to introduce Madison Struyk as the new Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament Executive Director. 

“We are so excited to have Madison stepping into the Executive Director role. She has some big shoes to fill, replacing our beloved Crystal, but we are confident that she is up to the challenge and will do a fantastic job!” exclaimed Tournament President, Joy Bell.

A Morehead City native, Madison worked for the tournament during her summers while attending NC State University where she studied Sport Management. Upon graduation in 2015, she interned for Big Rock and later accepted a full time role as Retail Assistant and Social Media Coordinator. She successfully grew the tournament’s seasonal retail store to a year round online operation. In 2017, she was promoted to the Keli Wagner Lady Angler (KWLA) Tournament Director. Her passion and dedication landed her the Assistant Big Rock Tournament Director position in 2019 where she thrived alongside Crystal’s guidance. 

“I recognized Madison as a leader the first summer she worked for Big Rock. I am more than pleased to pass the baton to this talented, hard-working young woman and I sincerely know she will excel in her new role as Executive Director”, noted Crystal Hesmer.

The board of directors would like to thank Crystal Hesmer for 24 years of dedication as Executive Director. During her tenure, she made contributions that will continue to shape the Tournaments future. We are pleased this is not farewell:  Crystal will be taking a different role in the organization with details to follow in early 2022.

“I am excited to see Madison become director of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. Since she originally joined the team, I have seen her grow into a confident leader who works well with participants, sponsors and staff. I look forward to seeing all she will accomplish in her new role.” Commented Randy Ramsey of Jarrett Bay Boatworks, the tournament’s Major Sponsor.

Current Big Rock Kids Tournament Director, Carlee Sharpe will fill Madison’s prior position as KWLA Tournament director.

For more information please contact Executive Director, Madison Struyk, madison@thebigrock.com.

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CARTERICAN WINS N.C. BILLFISH SERIES

Congratulations to the CARTERICAN crew on their victory in the first ever N.C. Billfish Series! Lee Smith & team finished the season with a whopping 3378.6 points. BUILDER’S CHOICE followed close behind in 2nd place with 3300 points. THE GENERAL landed Top Charter Boat recognition with 2300 points and a 3rd place finish!

SERIES STATS! Of the 183 Billfish entered: 70 blue marlin, 76 white marlin, and 31 sailfish were released– a total of 6 blue marlin were weighed = 97% Release Rate!

Shoutout to Lisa Merriam on REEL QUICK (with 400 pts / 1 Blue Marlin) & Allison Struyk from the PIRACY (400 pts / 1 Blue Marlin) the Top Lady Anglers in the series!

Brown Gaddy on the QUALIFIER finished 1st in the Jr. Boy Angler category with 1325 pts / 3 Blue Marlin + 1 White Marlin. Vann Segrave followed in 2nd aboard RE-LEASED with 525 pts / 1 Blue Marlin + 1 Sailfish.

THE GENERAL’s, Gray Fickling, came out on top in the Jr. Girl Angler division with 375 pts / 3 sailfish. Addie Howard’s 28.5 lb. wahoo caught during the Inaugural Big Rock Kids Tournament earned the J&B crew 2nd place mentions!

Earlier this year, the eight N.C. Billfish Series tournaments teamed up with weigh masters Randy Gregory and George Lott to recognize and award the best tournament boats and anglers in North Carolina. The series went off without a hitch, aside from the Hatteras Grand Slam Tournament, which was forced to cancel with the approach of Hurricane Arthur. Four of the remaining seven tournaments were based out of Big Rock Landing downtown, including the Swansboro Rotary Memorial Day Bluewater Fishing Tournament, the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, the Big Rock Kids Tournament and the N.C. Ducks Unlimited “Band the Billfish” Tournament.

“Morehead city is truly blessed to have a cool place to hold a billfish tournament,” Gregory said. “A lot of credit goes to the town and the Big Rock Tournament for putting that stuff together. It’s a town facility, and it’s pretty cool that we can have a venue like that to work with.”

The mission of the N.C. 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 N.C. Billfish Series tournaments with trophies for the overall winner, top private and charter 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. A “special” award will be given to the boat with most total points (total points awarded for all tournaments) and individual awards will be given for outstanding junior boy, junior girl and lady angler.

Click here to view the final results of the 2021 N.C. Billfish Series!

(Photo by Point Click Fish, Supporting content provided by Carteret News Times article)