Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament kicks off this weekend

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–This weekend, the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament will kick off in Morehead City.

And spectators are expected in the thousands to watch Marlins weighing over 400 pounds come into Big Rock Landing.

The 59th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is a weeklong event known as the Super Bowl of fishing.

“It’s the biggest sporting event we have in all of eastern North Carolina and it’s probably one of the biggest tournaments on the whole east coast,” Carol Lohr, Crystal Coast Tourism Authority director, said. “So we’re excited that it’s in our backyard.”

Fishermen from across the nation will flock to Morehead City to compete for the best catch of the competition.

The annual tournament is good news for the local economy. And businesses are welcoming visitors with open arms in hopes of bringing in big money.

The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament added a new prize category for teams to compete in this year.

“New this year is a release level that we added that’s a winner take all,” Crystal Hesmer, tournament director, said. “Because it’s such a big take home daily, we decided to have blue marlin verification which will require continuous video footage of the release.”

The money raised throughout the competition is donated to non-profit organizations in Carteret County.

Big Rock officials say they estimate between 2000 to 5000 people come out to the tournament on any given day.

The fishing officially kicks off on Monday, but tonight there will be a Lady Anglers reception and on Saturday the Lady Anglers take to the water.

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