Even though competitors in the 61stannual Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament hope to catch a winning blue marlin, a record $361,250 winner-take-all (WTA) dolphin prize is up for grabs for any boat that happens to catch the largest fish of that species.
Gamefish (dolphin, tuna and wahoo) division prizes at the Big Rock have grown bigger every year. While Big Rock competitors don’t normally target gamefish, they know a bycatch of these three categories can mean a boatload of money.
Job Site captain Bill Farrior, Farmville, found that out Monday when junior angler Michael Cripe, reeled in a 53.7-pound dolphin to take the first-day lead in the WTA dolphin category. Job Site locked up the dolphin daily prize of $2,000, but hopes for much more.
No tuna or wahoo were brought to the scales Monday.
Competitors in the 61st Big Rock are allowed to fish four-of-six days and must notify officials of the days they do not intend to fish. Fishing hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., except Saturday when the fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Any fight that starts before the end-of-day deadline can continue until the hook-up reaches a resolution.