June 17, 2013
Hatteras Fever II wins the 55th annual Big Rock Tournament
Fever II captured the 55th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament
Saturday, June 15, when it survived a wild final day that featured 30
blue marlin releases.
Hatteras Fever II, captained by Buddy
Hooper of Buxton, showed up at the scales Wednesday, June 12, with a
465.3-pound blue marlin that was reeled in by Raleigh angler Taylor
Miller. This catch turned out to be worth $478,050 when no other
qualifying blue marlins were landed.
Sensation captain Dale
Britt, Morehead City, and angler Trey Siner, Concord, finished second
with a 423.8-pound blue marlin landed Monday, June 10, when the
tournament opened. Britt and crew will receive $202,950 for their
Hatteras Fever II might be the most unlikely
Big Rock champion since 19 of 20 previous Big Rock winning catches
weighed more than the fish they caught. But rough weather at the start
of the tournament and good luck at the end proved enough for Hooper and
his crew to become the champs.
Saturday proved to be a dramatic
day, even though no blue marlins were brought to the scales. Anglers on
99 of 100 boats went offshore and released 30 blue marlin, 19 white
marlin, and four sailfish. It was easily the best day of fishing during
The week produced 65 blue marlin, 40 white
marlin, and 14 sailfish releases. Three blue marlin were boated,
including one that did not meet tournament minimums of 110 inches lower
jaw fork length or 400 pounds.
Sea Toy, captained by Bull
Tolson, Manteo, came from behind on the final day to capture the
billfish release division and win the $37,312 first-place prize. Sea
Toy finished with 1,425 points for two blue marlin, three white marlin,
and two sailfish releases. Sea Toy scored a “grand slam" --one release
of each billfish species – Saturday, which earned the team 650 points
on the final day.
Maggie, captained by Randy Bryant, Atlantic
Beach, scored 525 points Saturday with a blue marlin and a white marlin
release to finish second in the billfish release division. Maggie
scored 1,300 points during the week with a total of two blue marlins
and four white marlins to win $22,387.20.
Let It B, captained by
Glenn Lofton, Morehead City, grabbed the third-place prize of
$14,924.80 for scoring 1,200 points in the billfish release division.
Let It B released three blue marlins, including two Saturday, which
proved to be worth an additional $4,197.60 in the daily release prize
Change Order, captained by Kelly White, Wilmington,
scored the 55th billfish release of the tournament to win a special
Sea Creature, winner of the 51st Big Rock in 2009,
won $2,000 Saturday for scoring the first release of the day. Sea
Creature, captained by Steve Coulter, Hatteras, released a blue marlin
at 8:19 a.m. and later released a sailfish.
captained by John Steele II of Hubert, won the tuna category with a
64.80-pounder caught Wednesday by angler John Casalaspro, Jacksonville.
The Bil-Buster team will receive $3,952.50 plus a $790.50 top daily
Magic Moment, captained by Fred Willis, Morehead City,
won the wahoo category with a 65.8-pounder caught Tuesday by Alan
Carroll, Smithfield. The Magic Moment team will also receive $3,952.50
plus a $790.50 daily winner prize.
Bootlegger, captained by
Jimmy Canoy of Sophia, finished first in the dolphin category to win
the “Winner Take All” prize of $68,850 when Nathan McFetters of
Hampstead reeled in a 53.3-pounder. The combined haul for McFetters’
dolphin is $73,593 when you add in the daily and the overall category
The six-day competition wrapped up Saturday night with
an awards ceremony held at the Crystal Coast Civic Center. The
distribution of tournament funds for charities will take place in the
For more information on the tournament, go to the website at http://www.thebigrock.com/.