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The Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament kicks off Friday

The tournament canceled most of its events last year because of the pandemic.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 7:21 PM EDT
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MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WITN) - After most of its events were put on hold last year because of the pandemic, The Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament is back this year and hopes to provide a big boost to local business.

The tournament is kicking off Friday with the beginning of its women’s tournament ahead of the start to daily weigh-ins starting Monday. All of the tournament’s normal events are back on.

“We had to cancel all of our events and keep people from coming to the weigh station with virtual and Facebook live events,” said Crystal Hesmer, Executive Director of the tournament. “But this year, things are different, thank goodness. We are curtailing our events to some degree just for participants only, but welcoming people at the weigh station every day every afternoon.”

Tournament directors hope to bring some much-needed visitors to businesses that have been struggling during the pandemic. They expect more boats this year than ever, even after last year’s record-breaking numbers of 25 more boats than in 2019.

“There are a lot of people in town you can see it by the cars and the traffic,” said Hesmer. “It’s very nice to see downtown Morehead so busy. We’re welcoming everyone here and glad to see them. We’re very excited to have everyone at the weigh station.”

According to the tournament’s website, last year 185 marlins were released and $3,352,475 total was given out, with the top prize being $1,056,137.

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