Fellow Big Rock Supporters,
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our latest newsletter, “The Spread”. The Spread is a new digital initiative from Big Rock that brings you the inside scoop year-round. This newsletter will highlight all of the things you know and love about Big Rock, but is tailored to those of us that can’t get enough of sportfishing.
“Big Rock isn’t just a week-long blue marlin tournament, it’s a lifestyle.”
To us, Big Rock isn’t just a week-long blue marlin tournament, it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that encompasses camaraderie, sportsmanship, conservation, innovation, charitable giving, and world-class sportfishing. That’s what The Spread will feature – the accomplishments of our participants, interesting stories from fishermen around the world, updates on the industry leaders, and of course an inside look into the rich 65-year history of The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.
As we begin this new venture, we hope that you’ll follow along, give us feedback, and enjoy the read.
– The Big Rock Board of Directors & Staff
SEA WEEZ, a 67′ Ricky Scarborough, released Blue Marlin on Saturday and Sunday, both estimated to be 900+ pounds. The boat has fished around the world since it splashed two years ago, including out of Morehead City during the 2021 Big Rock Tournament. The team is currently in the Azores, Portugal.
The skeleton crew consisted of Captain Ross Finlayson and anglers Hannah Drake and Joe Byrum. Hannah reeled in the fish on Saturday, and after a 45-minute fight, Joe worked the wire. On Sunday, Joe got a chance to be in the hot seat while Hannah handled the leader. It’s always impressive to hear stories of lady anglers hanging with the guys — especially when they’re catching near granders (1,000+ lb. marlin). You can tell in the videos, wiring these monsters isn’t a walk in the park. From Saturday (7/29) – Monday (7/31), the team has gone 7 for 11 on blue marlin, with all but one being above the 500lb. class. Sea Weez’s owner, Nick Cortezi will join his crew later this week.
“I sure hope this bite keeps going so he can enjoy it too.” – Joe Byrum
The Dare County Boat Builders Tournament happened this past weekend out of Oregon Inlet. The tournament was founded when boat-building legend, Taylor Harrison, lost his battle with cancer. After his passing, John Bayliss and Mike Merritt put their heads together to create an offshore fishing tournament that would raise funds for Harrison’s children’s educational expenses. After several successful tournaments, the Dare County Boat Builders Foundation was established to continue raising college funds for local schoolchildren. Their 20th Annual Tournament featured a full circle moment when DESPERADO, built by Taylor Harrison himself, won the tournament! Captain Gray Blount and his crew released 1 Blue Marlin + 4 Sailfish.
Big Rock board and staff were on hand last week for the groundbreaking of the new Big Rock Outdoor Learning Center at Beaufort Elementary School. This center will feature a covered pavilion with seating, garden beds, weather stations, a greenhouse, and more. Big Rock donated $50,000 for this project which was included in the grand total of $404,000 donated to Carteret County Schools in 2022. Lindsay Parker, granddaughter of one of the original founders of Big Rock, was the leader and organizer of this special project. Lindsay and her family PARKER AUTO GROUP continue to support the tournament today as Diamond Sponsors.
Every tournament in the North Carolina Billfish Series donates proceeds to the community or other worthy causes. Though it’s an often overlooked aspect of billfish tournaments, it’s one of the participants and our favorite components. To date, The Big Rock Foundation has donated over $8.5 Million to organizations in Carteret County and beyond!
SHOP BIG ROCK
The Big Rock is more than a fishing tournament. The Big Rock Store is a year-round retail operation on the waterfront in Morehead City. Big Rock may be known for our annual tournament tees, but you’ll find new shirts, hats, gifts, and more each season! And it’s shopping you can feel good about, because all proceeds from The Big Rock Store benefit Big Rock Charities. The next time you’re in town, visit us: 710 Evans Street. We’re open Monday-Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM and Sunday 12 – 5 PM. Can’t make it to town? We ship nationwide, shop online: thebigrockstore.com
SUBSCRIBE NOW for the latest edition of THE SPREAD by Big Rock