A lot of fish, a lot of Inspiration on Big Rock's first day

Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 at 09:52 PM.

Eye Catcher is in position to win $52,457. It also didn’t enter all categories. Carnivore, which entered all levels, is in position to win $345,405 if there are no other changes to the leaderboard.

This marks the 17th consecutive year the Big Rock purse reached $1 million.

“It’s just a really good year. There was an 821-pounder caught two or three weeks ago here,” said Wagner, who captained Inspiration to second place in 2012. “I think everything is lined up. The fish are there, the bait is out there. This is probably one of the best Big Rock Blue Marlin days I ever remember.”

Inspiration angler Bruce Brown of Nags Head hooked the marlin around 9:40 a.m. and fought the fish for about six hours. The vessel then arrived to the scales around 6 p.m. in front of a standing-room only crowd.

“I was sitting in the chair for 5 1/2 hours. It was a moderate chop, but it was OK,” Brown said. “We are tired. It’s been a long day. This is a game of luck. Luck is a big piece of it. If you have all of your stuff together then you can actually do well when the opportunity hits. But you don’t expect to do well right out of the gates. Nobody does.”

But Inspiration emerged with the day’s biggest fish, despite what Wagner called “a battle” to bring the marlin aboard. The marlin measured 127.5 inches, leaving its tail hanging from the back of the boat as it arrived to the scales.

“The fish was very strong,” Wagner said. “We had the fish on for maybe two hours … from about 50 yards from the boat and he took off and pulled off another 750 yards of line. That’s when we knew we probably had a pretty nice fish. Then from there, it was just trying to get him on the boat. He fought to the end.”

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