When billfish competitors begin to register for the 50th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, they’ll take their first step toward winning part of a cash purse that’s exceeded $1 million each of the past ten years. Quite a change from the original Big Rock purse of $350 silver dollars!
In 2007, 184 boats fished the waters off Morehead City, North Carolina and competed for a record purse of $1,568,950. Last year angler Montukie Lewis aboard the Bak Bar based out of Mt. Pleasant, SC won with a 613 pound blue marlin.
Hundreds of the best tournament fishermen in the world will compete this year in a six-day event complete with daily game-fish prizes, release prizes and many other special additions to commemorate this special year.
“We are really geared up for a special anniversary year”, commented Crystal Watters, tournament director. “If you only fish one tournament this year, this should be it,” she continued.
As a special 50th prize, the Big Rock board of directors will be giving away a custom painted 50th Anniversary Edition Harley Davidson “Fat Boy”. Each boat entry in the main tournament will receive a ticket to be drawn during the Awards Banquet to have a chance to win this one of a kind bike. Additionally, participants will enjoy delicious food, exciting events, fireworks, leather seabags and other special 50th edition prizes.
Big Rock is a modified release tournament targeting Blue Marlin, White Marlin and Sailfish. Gamefish levels include Dolphin, Tuna and Wahoo. A one-day lady angler tournament will be held on Saturday June 7, 2008 with 50% of its entry fees donated to charity. And don’t forget the kids! Junior angler medals will given to the most billfish release points and the largest tuna, dolphin, and wahoo.
New for 2008 includes a Level VI category of $5000 for the first blue marlin weighed in at 500 lbs. or more. If at least 59 boats enter Level VI, the purse could exceed $250,000 for this level alone! The prize money for the smaller 40 ft. and under category has also been increased for this year to $10,000.
“Our goal is to offer special prizes, give back to the community and make the participants feel the excitement of this special celebration”, explained Tom Bennett, board of directors President. “We have worked hard to achieve all that and more for the 50th event”, he continued.
Major Sponsor Outer Banks Outfitters/Boater’s World tops the list of 60 industry leaders who support this world-class event including Coble Trench Safety, Linda Rike/Ed Daughety Real Estate, Hatteras Yachts, Jarrett Bay Boatworks, MTU/Covington Detroit Diesel, Carolina Chevy Dealers , Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, Crowe and Cummings P.A., Crown Royal, Gregory Poole/CAT, Amadas Coach and Wachovia/Wachovia Wealth Management. The Big Rock is a non-profit tournament and has donated over $1,800,000 to charity and worthy organizations.
Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament registration and rules are available online by typing in your information, printing it out and mailing with the entry check. The rules have also been mailed to all past participants. For more information contact: Crystal Watters, Tournament Director- (252) 247-3575, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail P.O. Box 1673 Morehead City, NC 28557