Updated 10:55 a.m.
MOREHEAD CITY – By winning the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, the Top Dog won $793,187.50 from the $2,869,050 purse.
Second-place Wolverine won $289,862.50 while third-place Theresa Jean won $192,575.
Job Site won $5000 for a first-place dolphin, Predator won $5,000 for a first-place tuna and Uno Mas won $5,000 for a first-place wahoo.
Sweetums won $531,250 for being the Fabulous Fisherman, which is the crew that boats the tournament’s first 500-pound marlin.
Annie O won $142,375 for winning the weekly release category and Current Sea won $9,775 for winning the Outboard division.
The 61st annual Big Rock Blue Marlin went into overtime Saturday, but it’s finally over.
The tournament ended with the Raleigh-based Wall Hanger came in at 10:45 p.m. with a 569.5-pound marlin, which put the boat in fifth place.
And in the end, the Olney, Maryland-based Top Dog emerged as this year’s champion after bringing in a tournament-record 914-pound marlin earlier in the evening.
Overall, 15 marlin were brought in during the $2.8 million tournament that lasted six days.
Wolverine finished in second place at 588.9, followed by Theresa Jean at 582.1 and Donna Mae at 569.9. Fabulous Fisherman winner Sweetums was sixth at 545.4.
There is now a new overall leader at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.
The Olney, Maryland based Top Dog brought in a tournament-record 914-pound marlin Saturday to take over first place during the final day of the 61st annual tournament.
The previous record was held by Summertime Blues, which had an 831-pound catch in 2000.
Top Dog of Captain Ryan Knapp fought the fish for nearly six hours. To make matter worse, Top Dog, a 60-foot BC, wasn’t able to fully boat the marlin.
The marlin’s tail was left hanging in the water while the boat returned to the docks. When the boat arrived, it took weighmasters nearly 20 minutes to weigh the fish.
Then they called 914 pounds.
“I’m speechless, Owner and Angler Todd Dickerson said. “When it came up, we were like ‘There’s a dinosaur we haven’t seen in a while.’ It was a long fight. We were all thinking all kinds of things.”
This marked the second marlin this week for Top Dog. It brought in a 464.9-pound marlin Monday.
“That was the highest scoring one in my life before today,” Captain Ryan Knapp said.
Top Dog also included Mate Philip “Moon Pie” Williams, a 2006 Jacksonville High graduate.
“I was throwing 800,” Williams said when asked what he thought the weight would be of the fish. “I just didn’t know. But we know now.”
There’s a new second-place boat at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.
The Ocean City, Md., based Theresa Jean brought in a 582.1-pound marlin Saturday during the final day of the 61st annual tournament.
The boat came into the scales at 7:45 p.m.
The Donna Mae had been in second place following its 569.9-pound catch earlier this week. Wolverine remains the leader at 588.9 pounds.
“It was a beautiful day at the water, compared to what we had the past couple of days,” Captain John Tomasini said. “We went up North and started inside and then worked outside. We were fortunate enough, lucky, to find a big one.”
Meanwhile, Wall Hanger boated a marlin at 6:46 p.m., although tournament officials haven’t yet announced that boat’s ETA for arrival.
The Top Dog, which brought in a 464.9-pound marlin Monday, claimed to have boated another marlin. However, apparently, the marlin is so big the crew can’t land it in its boat.
The Double B, owned and captained by Harry Smith of Greenville, brought in the second marlin of the final day of the 61st annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.
The Double B brought in a 497.6-pound big blue. The angler was Brooke Smith, the daughter of Harry.
Double B boated the marlin at 1:31 p.m. and came into the scales a little after 5 p.m.
The marlin now sits in seventh place. Earlier, Triple S brought in a 429.3-pound marlin.
Big Rock officials are still waiting on the estimated time of arrivals for marlin boated by the Top Dog and Theresa Jean.
In the game fish divisions, Job Site is in position to win $5,000 for leading the dolphin division at 53.7 pounds. Job Site will win an extra $361,250 for the dolphin winner take all category.
Predator can win $5,000 for its first-place tuna catch while Uno Mas can win $5,000 for its first-place wahoo catch of 59.3.
Drillin & Billin will win $142,375 for winning the weekly release points division with 1,600 points.
Check back for more details.
It didn’t matter that this marlin catch ranked the lowest among the first 12 caught in the 61st annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.
Morehead City couple Todd Smith and Shelly Smith were quite proud that their boat Triple S brought in a 429.3-pound big blue Saturday during the final day of the six-day tournament.
And why is that?
Simple. They accomplish the feat of bringing in a marlin to the scales together.
“It was just rewarding when we landed him,” said Shelly, the angler. “And bringing him in, I don’t have words to explain it. I really don’t.”
Triple S arrived to the scales at 2:03 p.m. after boating the marlin nearly three hours before showing up in front of a good crowd. Given it was the final day of this year’s tournament, the crowd was excited to potentially see a marlin that would change the leaderboard.
It didn’t happen.
And yet Todd Smith, the captain, and his wife were just as tickled as if they had reeled in a money-winning marlin.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Todd said. “My wife and I, we love doing this together. We always do it together. We travel around. It’s just fantastic.”
And for the record, Triple S is named after Shelly. Her husband credited the job his wife did to reel in the marlin.
“She did an incredible job,” Todd said. “She’s the toughest woman I’ve ever known.”
And what did Shelly think of the fight?
“It was slow, awesome … and hard,” she said with a laugh. “But that’s what it is all about.”
But while Shelly and Todd enjoy spending time together on their 60-foot Viking, she added that the fishing experience is quite nice having others involved, too.
“He and I work well together, and I do love being out there with my husband, but we couldn’t do it without our mates,” Shelly said. “It’s not just he and I. It’s everybody. It’s a team.”
And this team wants to return to the Big Rock next year.
“I am very lucky I get to do this for fun,” Shelly said. “We look forward to next year. Hopefully we will have a little bigger fish.”
Chris Miller can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by calling 910-219-8472. Follow him on twitter @jdnsports. For digital subscription information, click here.