SWEETUMS wins over $500K on first day of Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

SWEETUMS brought the first 500+ pound blue marlin to the scales of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

WOLVERINE leads the tournament after Day 1

The 61st Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament started yesterday out of Morehead City, N.C. with 181 of the 184 registered boats fishing. And SWEETUMS was the big winner of the coveted Fabulous Fisherman Level winner. This spot is reserved for the first boat of the tournament to bring a blue marlin weighing over 500 pounds to the scales.

SWEETUMS, whose port of call is Dallas, Tx, is part of the Southlake Fishing Charters fleet. The 82-foot Viking, captained by Pete Rae, hooked into a blue marlin at 9:47 a.m. They boated the fish at 10:31 a.m. Knowing they had a good shot at taking the Fabulous Fisherman award, the decided to call it a day and headed back to Morehead City. The move paid off, big time.

Their 545.4-pound fish earned them $531,250.

Two other boats brought heavier blue marlins to port, but because SWEETUMS was the first team to weigh a 500+ pounder, they got the big check.

WOLVERINE, a 60-foot Winter out of Port Huron, Michigan, hooked into a big blue marlin at 1:37 p.m. They fought the fish for a little over an hour before landing it. Their fish is currently in the lead for heaviest blue marlin at 588.9 pounds.

Second place in the heaviest blue marlin category is DONNA MAE, a 61-foot Chadwick. They hooked up at 11: 36 a.m. Their fish weighed 569.9 pounds.

Release Category

In the Billfish Release category, FULL PULL, captained by Ryan Riggs out of Key Largo, Fl, holds the lead with 800 points after releasing two blue marlin. FULL PULL won the Daily Release Award of $47,104.

WHITECAPS, a 52-foot Buddy Davis out of Wilson, N.C. is currently in second place with 525 points. They released one blue marlin and one white marlin. They also weighed a 15.1-pound dolphin.

Currently in third place in the release category is Morehead City’s SEA STRIKER with 400 points. The 61-foot Jarrett Bay released one blue marlin on the day.

The Daily 1st Release award, which goes to the first boat to release a marlin each day, was won by STRING LINE. The 48-foot Viking hooked up at 9:19 a.m. They released a white marlin at 9:26 a.m.

JOB SITE leads Heaviest Dolphin category

JOB SITE has the lead for heaviest dolphin. The 55-foot Viking brought a 53.7-pounder to the scales. They took home $2000 for the Gamefish Daily award.

SEA WOLF, a 53-foot Sullivan which calls Wanchese, N.C. its home, is in second place with a 48.4-pound dolphin.

The 40-foot Guthrie, SAVANNA LEIGH is currently in third place. The Clayton, N.C. boat weighed in a 36.2-pound dolphin.

No wahoo, and no tuna were brought to the scales on Day 1.

Overall, it was a stellar day for the tournament. A total of 41 billfish were released, seven blue marlin were boated and weighed, and 22 dolphin were weighed. The fishing starts back this morning, and tournament directors are looking for another big day.

See the full leaderboard and other details at www.thebigrock.com. And click here to check out their live feed later today to watch the weigh-in.

Click here to read the wrap-up of last year’s Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1313 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.