The 50th Annual White Marlin Open took place in Ocean City, Maryland last week. Known as the world’s largest billfish tournament, the WMO boasted 408 boats and a purse of over $10.3 Million. North Carolina was well represented by FIN PLANNER, who earned the title of overall Top Boat for releasing 17 white marlin. The tournament went all week without any billfish hitting the scales. On the very last day, 3 marlin were boated. Capt. Barry Daniels of SKIRT CHASER brought in the only white marlin. The fish hit the required length of 70″ but fell short of the 70lb. Minimum. A blue marlin came in that was two inches short of the 114″ minimum. In the final hour, FLOOR REEL weighed a 640.5lb. Blue Marlin. The fish took home a world-record payout of $6.2 Million! Other notable winners include ROSHAMBO, who weighed in a 215lb. Big Eye Tuna, earning a whopping $1.7 Million. That’s over $8,200 per pound!
The lady anglers showed up and showed out at the Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Tournament on Sunday. The tournament saw a record fleet of 163 boats. The girls racked up 162 releases – 149 Sailfish, 8 White Marlin & 6 Blue Marlin. CAROLINA GIRL won the tournament’s top prize of $46,750.
CARTERICAN released their 100th billfish on August 7th out of Morehead City, for a grand total of 107 this season! 104/107 were caught out of MHC. Carterican released 16 billfish during the Big Rock Tournaments (KWLA, BR & BRKids). Capt. Lee Smith and his team are fishing out of Oregon Inlet this week for the 40th Annual Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament. Pirate’s Cove is the last leg of the NC Billfish Series. Currently, the 55′ Jarrett Bay, WELDOR’S ARK is leading the series. With 88 boats fishing the PCBT this week, anything could happen!
The Big Rock Foundation celebrated another Carteret County School project donation this week at Bogue Sound Elementary School with their new play structure, Cypress Preserve. In 2022, the Big Rock Foundation donated $78,000 to the school to build this inclusive play area. The new (ADA compliant) playground will allow every student regardless of their disability to participate in all types of play, teaching lessons of inclusion and understanding. This playground is OPEN to the public outside of school hours!
The Big Rock Foundation is primarily funded by the success of all 3 Big Rock Tournaments (Big Rock, KWLA, Big Rock Kids), private donors, sponsors, and proceeds from The Big Rock Store. Become a part of the tradition that gives back – Buy your 65th Annual Big Rock T-Shirt before they’re gone!