People and Places with Pierce: Big Rock Blue Marlin weighmasters

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament has come and gone for another year. And there’s one dynamic duo that makes sure the tournament runs smoothly from start to finish.

“Randy and George, this is their weigh station, I can tell you that,” exclaimed Rick Cowell, emcee of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

“I’m the weighmaster for the Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament and my job is to weigh the fish and make sure that everybody follows the rules,” said Randy Gregory, weighmaster for the North Carolina Governor’s Cup.

“Randy and I got together and said as long as you’re willing to do it I’m willing to do it,” added George Lott, weighmaster for the North Carolina Governor’s Cup. “So we’ve pretty much stuck to that.”

“I’ve been around the scales since 1991 for the Big Rock Tournament and kind of took over in 2003 so I’ve been doing it a while,” said Gregory.

I asked Gregory: How does one become a weighmaster? That’s quite a title!

“Well I don’t know! There’s no weighmaster school. You learn by experience,” explained Gregory.

So just what is a typical day like for these two?

“The scales open at 3 o’clock,” said Lott. “We usually get down here around lunchtime, 12 o’clock, maybe go grab a bite to eat, and then we come back and set up our scales, set up our tent.”

“If we have a marlin coming in, we get a measurement, we hook the fish to the scale and we hoist him up,” said Gregory. “Sometimes it can take 30 to 40 seconds to get him up in the air, get the fish stable, and we get a good weight on the fish and call it out.”

The Big Rock is just one in a series of 8 Governor’s Cup tournaments that run from May to August. With just a few weeks a year blocked off for tournaments,Randy and George have plenty of time for day jobs.

“I help manage and run a construction company here in eastern North Carolina,” said Lott.

“I’m a fisheries biologist, marine biologist, with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries,” said Gregory.

Both can agree, the Big Rock is the most fun they have all year.

“It’s one of the funnest things I get to do with my job is to work at the tournaments and get to talk to people, get to see the same folks year after year,” said Gregory. “That’s always a good time.”

A good time, even when the days run long.

“We have been down here at the Big Rock, at the latest, 1 o’clock in the morning to weigh a fish,” added Lott.

But Randy and George wouldn’t have it any other way.

“At my age now, I’m 67 years old and I’m still pulling on that rope,” said Lott. “I think at some point in time I’ll give it up but I don’t know when because I still feel good and feel healthy.”

 

Pierce is always looking for interesting and unique people and places to visit. If you have an idea, send him an email or a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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