The 61st Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

Big Fish, Big Fun, & Big Money Are Coming To Downtown Morehead City

Catch All The Action At Big Rock Landing June 8- 15

A Little Bit of Fishistory

See what we did there? Hey- At least we tried

The year was 1956, and fishing for Billfish was simply something people did not do off the coast of North Carolina. Still, time and time again, crews from cargo ships would come back to the port at Morehead City with those age old tales about the biggest things you’ve ever seen flying through the air as they passed through the Gulf Stream. A group of local men, decided to see for themselves whether or not these stories of Blue Marlin off the NC Coast were true, and set out to local businesses in order to generate a size-able prize for the first person to bring one back in the boat. And so, the Fabulous Fisherman Club was started, and the Charter Fishing businesses thrived with folks who wanted to be a part of the chance to make history.

A Raleigh angler by the name of Jimmy Croy, fishing about a vessel by the name of Mary Z, was the lucky one to strike first. After relaying the message that they had ‘boated a blue’ word spread around town and they were greeted at the docks with great fanfare and police sirens. In impromptu parade ensued, and a little red wagon filled with silver dollars was pulled in and delivered to Mr. Croy. It’s worth noting that the fish weighed-in at 143 pounds.

After about 40 years of hard work and dedication of providing a family-friendly, enjoyable experience for fishermen all across the country- the Big Rock Blue Marlin has become the highest pay-out Blue Marlin tournament in the world.

For some ‘Blast from the Past’ photos- check out the Photo Gallery History on the official Big Rock Website! https://www.thebigrock.com/gallery/history/

fish

Mahi Mahi, a popular staple among our favorite local fish tacos, is a colorful dolphin that amounts to one of the biggest prize winnings for the Annual Big Rock Tournament. The fish varies in weight, up to about 40 pounds.

big rock landing morehead city

Big Rock Landing in downtown Morehead City is the place to be in the early afternoons of the second weekend in June. If you’re not able to attend, you can usually catch a live broadcast on The Big Rock website, and follow along the action for projected weigh-in times.

It’s All About The Money

Or The Biggest Fish, First Blue Marlin, Or Number Of Fish You Catch- Depending On How You Look At It

This year’s total tournament purse will likely amount to the highest winnings in the rich history of the Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament. With over $2.5 Million in prize money awarded in 2018, some fabulous fishermen will be riding off into the sunset with a little more than a wagon full of silver dollars. There are several different categories that each boat can enter and the check for each varies depending on a few different factors. The kicker- you’ve got to pay to enter the category to receive the money. Some boats miss out on big pay-days by not entering all categories, which makes this tournament unique in the fact that there’s a little strategy involved with the signups. This year’s Dolphin ‘Winner Take All’ category has increased it’s earnings, with more than $350,000 projected to be awarded to the boat that brings in the biggest dolphin, based off last year’s number of participants. The Fabulous Fisherman prize is always a highly sought-after award, based off the tradition from the first tournament and the $500,000 payday- The first boat to weigh in a 500 pound Blue Marlin takes the cake. Now try to imagine weighing in the first fish, and having it hold out to be the heaviest throughout the entire week. You’re probably heading home with a 7 figure check, and your named etched in history at Big Rock Landing. It’s truly a sight to see the strength it takes to raise one of these oceanic beasts up on to the scale, and you can only imagine trying to get one safely onto the boat. Make sure to tune in to the hookup schedule, to see one of these massive fish weighed in for yourself!

Good Fun, All For Good Cause

Family, Community & Charity Drives The Big Rock Foundation To Grow Every Year

The Official Mission Statement for the Big Rock Foundation Board includes:

  1. To promote sportfishing throghout Carteret County and the state of North Carolina
  2. To promote conservation among sportfisherman
  3. To raise money for Charities and Worth Community Projects
  4. To preserve Maritime Culture & Heritage
  5. To promote Marine Education

Of these goals, one of the most enjoyable experiences the board members have (other than Big Rock week) is giving back to local charities and community projects. In 2018, the board was able to fund their annual core donations, and also contribute $150,000 to the Morehead City Little League and $50,000 to help fund electric bills for locals affected from Hurricane Florence. In total, from the 2018 event alone, the Big Rock Foundation donated a total of $458,000 back into our community! The Foundation boasts a total of $5 million to charitable donations and goodwill back to our company over the course of its existence.

One of our favorite new initiatives that started last year is the ‘Big Rock, Big Hero’ campaign. Through a corporate sponsorship with Salt Life, active duty military are given the once in a lifetime opportunity to fish aboard a boat in The Big Rock Tournament.

The Big Rock has obviously become a tremendous success story, not only for the fishermen, or donation recipients, but for all of Carteret County and the businesses that call it home. One of the busiest weeks of the year, and traditionally the first full week that NC Public Schools let out for Summer Vacation, there is a lot riding on a great kickoff to the Summertime. The Big Rock fills the void, not only for fishing supply stores, marinas, restaurants & bars, but also lodging accommodations (like us!), the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, Fort Macon State Park, and the NC Maritime Museum.

Morehead City- Sport Fishing Boats at Big Rock Landing

Big Rock Landing in downtown Morehead City is the place to be in the early afternoons of the second weekend in June. If you’re not able to attend, you can usually catch a live broadcast on The Big Rock website, and follow along the action for projected weigh-in times.

Kelly Wagner Lady Angler Fishing Tournament Logo

The Kelly Wagner Lady Angler Tournament is a fun and unique way to start the Big Rock Week off!

Kelly Wagner Lady Angler Tournament

A Kickoff To Big Rock Week, A Chance For The Ladies To Shine, & A Beautiful Tribute To A Wonderful Woman

The Saturday before boats start their engines for the official Big Rock Tournament, most participate in the Kelly Wagner Lady Angler Tournament, also known as the KWLA. It is a one-day event for the ladies to showcase their fishing skills, hopefully win some money, and again- all for a good cause. One of the highlights of the entire week, is the Friday night Captain’s Party- featuring the Best Dressed Competition for Landy Angler Tournament participating teams. It’s truly a site to see, and a great chance for all fishermen and fisherwomen to get together and celebrate what they all hope to be a successful week of ‘Tight Lines’. Last year, the KWLA resulted in another record purse, with nearly $150,000 dollars awarded to winners, and $25,000 presented to the Carteret Health Care Cancer Center.

A Nod To One Of Our Own

Jim Bailey deserves a ton of credit for helping The Big Rock Become What It Is Today

Jim Bailey, one of our Atlantic Beach Real Estate Agents, has proudly served on The Big Rock Board of Directors for 27 years. He was named the President of the Board from 1997-1999 and championed the efforts to make Big Rock Landing a reality. The Big Rock Landing has played a huge part in revitalizing the downtown Morehead City business district, while allowing boats to weigh-in safely and spectators to view all the action first-hand. Just across Evans Street from Big Rock Landing, hosts the Big Rock headquarters, which serves as the supply store and board member meeting area.

Jim Bailey- Bluewater Real Estate Broker

Jim Bailey- Wearer of many hats (Including, but Not Limited to) Broker/REALTOR® at our Bluewater Real Estate Atlantic Beach Office, Owner/Operator of Anchorage Marina in Atlantic Beach, and Big Rock Foundation Board Member

The 61st Annual Big Rock T-Shirt comes in a wide variety of coastal colors, and features a Marlin similar to the statue located at Big Rock Landing, with a classic Sportfishing vessel backed-in to the official weigh-in station in the background.

How Many Big Rock Tees Do You Have?

If the answer is 0- Order one today from The Big Rock Online Store!

Did you know- The Big Rock sells about 30,000 T-Shirts each year?! Chances are if you’ve lived or visited along The Crystal Coast, you’ve got one somewhere, but if you don’t- There’s no need to panic! You can visit The Big Rock Store in Downtown Morehead at 710 Evans Street, or you can order all of their products online from The Big Rock Webstore. They offer a variety of products showcasing the different logos and artwork for the KWLA and Big Rock Tournaments, almost always mentioning ‘The Fisherman’s Paradise’ where it all started, Morehead City, NC. You’ll be able to find everything you need including the famous T-Shirts, hats, towels, buckets, cups, koozies & more!

To learn more about The Big Rock, who’s in the lead, and attend some of the events, click the button below!