No blue marlin but plenty of spirit at Big Rock

Published: Friday, June 13, 2014 at 10:27 PM.

“He quit fishing in 1997, but prior to that, about 40 years ago, he became saved and he started saying a prayer every morning as the fleet was running out of the Oregon Inlet,” Ramsey said. “That’s caused him to go to places like the Bahamas, Saint Thomas, Hatteras and other places. A lot of those places still have the prayers because he was asked to come do it.

“That grew on and I asked him if he would come here when he retired to give the prayer to the fleet every morning.”

Tillett doesn’t shy away from his religion. He finds it is his duty now in life to be approachable and spread the message of what he believes. Tillett calls himself blessed to be personable, opening the door for his current role in the sport.

“In 1969 when I got saved, it might have been three or four years later when somebody asked me to give a prayer,” Tillett said. “I don’t know where, but that’s how it got started.”

Tillett, though, had thoughts of not delivering the blessings this year at the Big Rock. He felt earlier this spring that perhaps it was someone else’s turn.

“I’m getting old,” he said. “But I feel that there are so many people who have shown so much love to me that I can’t turn my back on them.”

Tillett has been a leader within the fishing and boating ranks from when he was a young adult. At 20, he took fishing parties out and spent a half-century leading anglers for blue marlin, white marlin and dolphin.

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