Big Rock saw several local boats compete for purse

Published 4:18 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Big Rock Tournament finished in grand style with first place going to Pelagic Hunter II, a 35-foot Contender with outboards. This is the first time in over 30 years for an outboard to win the tournament.

One pound separated the big fish winner from third place.

Pelagic Hunter II from Sneads Ferry boated a blue marlin weighing 495.2 pounds and earning at total of $223,263. Angler Riley Adkins fought the marlin for five hours on Friday, June 12. The massive blue marlin was weighed in at 7:45 p.m. on Friday.

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Hatteras village’s Predator stayed at the top of the leaderboard with a blue marlin weighing 494.2 pounds from 7:45 p.m. June 8 until June 12, when Pelagic Hunter II weighed in. Predator’s angler was Gene Olmo.

Predator was pushed to third when Sea Striker weighed in a 495-pound blue marlin at 2:11 p.m. Saturday, June 13. The angler aboard Sea Striker was Jon Henry.

Sea Striker took home the most money, $1,056,137. Other top money winners are Lo Que Sea with $757,250, Singularis at $402,250, Predator at $273,750, Pelagic Hunter II with $223,262 and Hatter-Done $130,000.

For the 62nd annual Blue Rock Tournament in Morehead City, 205 boats participated. The purse as $3,352,475. Competitors released 144 blue marlin, 22 white marlin and 19 sailfish. Some 14 blue marlin were weighed. The release rate was 93%.

Sandy Oeullette, from Hatteras, now living in Winston Salem, was “the chair lady” aboard Predator. She turned the fighting chair to keep the line straight. “It’s what I like to do,” she said.

She praised Predator boat captain Chris Barnett from Wanchese. “He’s a very, very good captain.”

Bill and Theresa Bonner own the Predator, a 57’ Leonard Rigsbee. On the boat for the 2020 Big Rock, in addition to Oeullette, were anglers Bill Bonner, Joe Bonner, Mitch Grooms, Gene Olmo and Shane Whitlow. Mates were Kevin Davies and TJ Berry.

Area boats listed as participants in the 2020 Big Rock Tournament were:

Ann Warrick, 76′ Paul Mann. Linwood Lacy, owner. Manteo

Anglers: Frank Adams, Linwood Lacy, Owen Maxwell, Brendan Strum.

Bradley Diaz, captain. Mates: Sam Petry, Scotty Simpson.

Carolina Girl, 54’ Hatteras. Steve Ash, owner. Jordan Croswait, captain. Aaron Croswait, mate. On Saturday, June 13, Carolina Girl weighed in a 51.5 pound dolphin for first place that day and won second place for the week to bring home $5,000.
Drillin & Billin, 56′ Viking. Edward Amos, owner. Hatteras. Lee Martin, captain.

Game Changer, 60′ Billy Holton. C & G Adventures, owner. Oregon Inlet Fishing Center.

Anglers: Rusty Breeden, Rich Brown, Thomas Hyde, Casey Robinson, Callie Robinson.

Gregg Middleton, captain. Carson Dunn, Mate.

Fin Planner, 58′ Buddy Harris. Oregon Inlet Fishing Center.

Anglers: Tommy Collins, Brent Downing, Banks Downing, Edward Faison, Ren Fortier, Ran Johnson, Ran Johnson Jr. Mark Fortier, captain. Chris Gornell and Danny Prettyman, mates.  Fin Planner brought in a 32.9-pound dolphin for second place on Friday, June 12 to win $1,000.
Hatteras Fever II, 54′ Ricky Scarborough. Buddy Hooper, owner, captain. Buxton.

Haphazard, 61’ Holton. Hap Royster, owner. Pirate’s Cove Marina. Joey Belton, captain.

Honey Hush, 62′ Spencer. Hatteras. Chuck Lindner, captain.

Horse Play, 55′ Caison. Terrance E. Keany, owner. Manteo.

Anglers: Travis Beatty, Ted Keany, Paul Murray, Elizabeth Wallace.

Ryan Keany, captain. Morgan Tolbert, mate.

Marlin Gull, 55′ Buddy Canady. 4M, owner. Pirate’s Cove Marina. Kenny Midgett, captain.

Release, 53′ Sullivan. Rom Whitaker, owner, captain. Hatteras.

Sea Creature, 58′ Rigsbee. Steve “Creature” Coulter, owner, captain. Hatteras.

Sea I Sea, 72′ Viking, Don Mills, owner. Manteo. Kevin Gaylord, captain. This boat released four blue marlin to earn 1,600 points and finish second in Level VI, winning $91,163. On Friday, Sea I Sea weighed in a 34.2 pound dolphin to win the daily first place and $2,000.

Sea Toy, 59′ Spencer. Pirate’s Cove Marina. Bull Tolson, captain.

Sea Wolf, 53′ Sullivan. Tony Martina, owner. OBX Marina, Wanchese. Donnie White, captain. On Thursday, June 11, Sea Wolf released the first and only blue marlin hooked up that day. Sea Wolf earned $52,813. The angler was Tony Matina.

Skirt Chaser, 53′ Buddy Cannady. Skirt Chaser Sportfishing, owner. Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. Anglers: David Jackson, William Ramsey IV. Barry Daniels, captain.

Sushi, 57′ Island Boat Works. Charley Pereira, owner. Nags Head.

Tail Gunner, 52′ Paul Mann, Adam Shack, owner. Manteo.

Anglers: Jason Crowder, Billy Ramsey, Marshall Rich, Vann Russell, Adam Shack.

Willie Ross, captain.

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