Charleston-based Flybuoy retains lead in Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — The Charleston boat Flybuoy survived a scare Tuesday but still holds the lead after two days of fishing in the 54th Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.
Flybuoy, owned by Windsor Marine and captained by Robert Hollingsworth, boated a 499.3-pound blue marlin Monday with Todd Baxley serving as the angler. The catch was 0.7 pounds shy of earning a $246,500 Fabulous Fisherman bonus for a 500-pound catch, and that bonus is still available. Flybuoy is still in line to win $444,050.
The tournament’s second blue marlin was landed Tuesday, a 437.7-pound fish landed by Casey Wagner aboard Inspiration.
This year’s tournament has 120 boats fishing for a total purse of $1,252,950. The tournament continues through Saturday. Participants have released 49 billfish over two days, including 28 blue marlin.
Charleston-area boats have a history of doing well in the Big Rock, with wins by Diamond Girl in 1989, Summertime Blues in 2000, Pipe Layer in 2003, Bak Bar in 2007 and Artemis in 2008. Summertime Blues’ 831-pound catch is the tournament record.
Two Charleston boats are also at the top of the release division. Compromise, owned by Robert Hood and captained by Larry Branham, leads with 800 points for two blue marlin. Bench Mark, owned by Stephen Davis and captained by Bobby Garmany, is second with 650 points after releasing a grand slam — a blue marlin, a white marlin and a sailfish — on the tournament’s opening day.
Compromise also earned a $2,000 bonus for the first release on Monday and Jabez out of Mount Pleasant, owned by Carl Ulm and captained by Ben Polk, won the same bonus Tuesday.