Hatteras Fever II wins Big Rock

Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 08:42 AM.

Asked how he was feeling the past 24 hours, he replied: “Focused on trying to catch another fish and forget about what you can’t do anything about.”

As of 2 p.m. Saturday when lines were officially out of the water for the final time at this year’s Big Rock, three boats were still hooked up, including Blue Magic at 1:59. Crack of Dawn had been hooked up the longest of the trio — since 12:13 p.m. — while Reel Dreams was at 1:08 p.m.

Reel Dreams released a blue marlin at 2:30 p.m. and Blue Magic 29 minutes later. Then after about a three-hour battle, Crack of Dawn brought what it discovered was a 99-inch big blue (11 inches under the tournament minimum) and opted not to bring it to the dock.

Hooper said he was aware of Crack of Dawn’s situation but didn’t pay too much attention to the possibility it might be fighting a blue marlin bigger than his own.

“Good luck to him if it’s bigger than ours was,” he said. “When you’ve been in it 43 years, you mellow out a little bit. You always support the other fellow.”

Oddly enough, Hooper credited the radio for helping him land his winner.

“The charter boat boys in Hatteras were seeing a lot of blue marlin and I picked up and ran 25 miles to where they were fishing,” Hooper said matter-of-factly. “So they’re the reason I was able to get that fish.”



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