Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament: Day 1 results

Big Rock
Photo credit: Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

GAME TIME leads Heaviest Blue Marlin category

Day 1 of the 2024 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament was a big one for anglers and spectators alike. Two boats, RELEASE and GAME TIME, each weighed in a blue marlin, with one winning 1.7+ million, and the other in position to win $1.8 million, if it remains atop the leaderboard for the remainder of the contest.

RELEASE drew first blood, hooking into a blue marlin early and heading to the scales. That fish weighed 504 pounds, and won the crew the MTU & Western Branch Diesel Level V Fabulous Fisherman’s prize of $1,729,750. The Fabulous Fisherman’s prize goes to the first team of the tournament to weigh in a blue marlin of at least 400 pounds. The 504-pounder also put RELEASE, which is captained by Capt. Rom Whitaker, in the lead for heaviest blue marlin of the day, and of the tournament, which is worth millions more.

As word spread of RELEASE’s big blue, which was reeled in by angler Kirk Pugh, another call came over the radio from GAME TIME, stating they were headed to the scales with a blue marlin. Knowing the Fabulous Fisherman’s prize had already been awarded, GAME TIME’s crew hoped to unseat RELEASE in the top spot. They did just that, with a 516-pound blue marlin that is currently worth $1.8 million, if no other boat brings a heavier marlin to the scales.

In the billfish release category, POST CALL topped the Day 1 leaderboard with 800 points, followed by MARSH MADNESS and MJS, each also with 800 points.

Heaviest Dolphin of Day 1 went to C-STUDENT with a 23-pounder. Heaviest Wahoo was won by WOLVERINE with a 23.4-pound ‘hoo, and Heaviest Tuna went to TRASHMAN for their 155.1-pounder.

The Non-Sonar Daily Release category Day 1 winner was REDEMPTION with 400 points, followed by RAMBLIN MAN and FREE RANGER, each with 400 points.

The Outboard Release Category Day 1 winner was SUPERFLAT with 400 points. RELENTLESS and PELAGIC HUNTER II took 2nd and 3rd, each also with 400 points.

The First Release of Day 1 winner was BANKWALKER.

Day 2 of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is underway, and boats will be heading in later today with more fish to weigh. To see all standings and stay up-to-date, visit


About Brian Cope 2783 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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