The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is currently underway in Morehead City, North Carolina. Between now and June 16, 2012, 120 boaters will be angling for a piece of the tournament's $1,252,950 prize purse, bragging rights and fishing fame. Here's a quick look at some of the early results:
Blue Marlin Division Results
In the Blue Marlin Division, angler Todd Baxley of the Flybuoy kicked things off with an early lead. On June 11, 2012, Baxley succeeded in catching an impressive, 499.3 pound blue marlin. The Charleston, South Carolina, angler fought the behemoth for over 90 minutes before it succumbed to his fishing prowess. Fishing fans can catch a photo of Baxley's amazing catch on the event's website.
Baxley's victory over the blue marlin was every bit as bittersweet as it was amazing. If the marlin had been just a wee bit bigger, it would have earned him this year's Fabulous Fisherman's Award. The much coveted award is given to the first angler that catches a marlin that weighs 500 pounds or more. It also comes with a $246,500 prize purse. I can only imagine what went through Baxley's mind once he heard how close he was to winning the extra prize money. The 2011 Fabulous Fisherman's Award went to angler Jeffrey Gregg and the boat, Blue Water. Gregg's prize winning blue marlin weighted 580.6 pounds.
On June 12, 2012, angler Casey Wagner of the Inspiration caught a blue marlin of his own. It weighed 437.7 pounds and helped to position the Morehead City angler firmly into 2nd place.
Release Division Results
In the Release Division, the crews of the Compromise, the Bench Mark and the Salty Squirrel hold the top three spots at this time. The Compromise is manned by angler Larry Branham. Branham hails from Charleston, South Carolina. Thus far the accomplished angler has managed to catch two blue marlins. He caught the first one less than 30 minutes into the tournament. His early efforts earned him 800 points and a whopping $2,000 prize purse for catching and releasing the first fish of the day.
The Bench Mark is manned by Greenwood, South Carolina resident Bobby Garmany. If you ask me, Garmany had an excellent first day on the water. He managed to catch one blue marlin, one white marlin and one sailfish for a total of 650 points.
The Salty Squirrel is captained by Keith Avant. Avant hails from Burgaw, North Carolina. During the tournament's opening, he managed to finesse one blue marlin and one while marlin onto his boat. His efforts garnered him 625 points.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys fishing with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
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