Below is an exert from the Big Rock Newsletter. The Big Rock Marlin Tournament is held in Morehead City and soon to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The tournament brings in tourists and sports fishermen from all over to Carteret County.
“Big Rock History”
The Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament began in 1957 when a few local businessmen known as the Fabulous Fishermen decided to offer $250 silver dollars to the first fishermen who could catch a blue marlin off the Crystal Coast. On September 14, 1957 Raleigh angler Jimmy Croy fishing aboard the Mary Z with Capt. K.W. “Bill” Olsen, landed a 143 pound blue marlin. A tournament was born. In the early years, the Big Rock could barely be considered a tournament. There were no rules of consequence and only a few boats participated. In 1965, a listing of prizes included one quart of varnish. Wow, has it ever grown from that!Entries in 1970 were 35 and in 1973 Bump Styron, owner of the Morehead City Yacht Basin gave the tournament its current name, Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. The tournament entrants topped 111 in 1979 and grew to 177 boats in 1989. The Big Rock currently averages 190 boats and nearly 1500 competitors. The purse has exploded from that first 250 silver dollars into a whopping $1,568,950 in 2007.