Oregon Inlet boat wins Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, record $1.678 million top prize

Widespread didn't arrive to the dock in Morehead City with their winning fish until 11 p.m. Friday after hooking it 9 hours earlier. [courtesy Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament]

By Joy Crist, Island Free Press
The 63rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament wrapped up this past weekend, and a boat based out of Oregon Inlet ended up landing the top spot, as well as the tournament’s largest cash prize for a first-place marlin in history.

The winning Widespread team. Photo from the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

The vessel WideSpread, with local Captain Jay Watson and a team of anglers from Raleigh, won the first-place prize of $1,678,250 for a 656.5-pound blue marlin that was reeled in by 19-year-old Cole Pirrung on Friday evening, June 18.

The other winners in the Blue Marlin Division for 2021 included the boat Natural, which landed a 521.6-pound marlin on Tuesday and a prize of $453,700, followed by Outnumbered, which reeled in a 512.4-marlin and a $301,800 cash prize.

The largest prize for a gamefish went to Fin Print, which landed a 48.3-pound dolphin on Thursday and took home $529,125 for their efforts.

A complete list of winners from the 2021 tournament is listed below, and can also be found online at https://www.thebigrock.com/participants/summary/.

BLUE MARLIN DIVISION

Boat Weight Levels Prize Money
WIDESPREAD

656.5

IV, III, II, I
NATURAL

521.6

III, II, I
OUTNUMBERED

512.4

III, II, I

DAILY 1ST BILLFISH RELEASED

Day Boat Prize Money
Monday BANKWALKER
Tuesday CAROLINA PIRATE
Wednesday WASTE KNOT
Thursday HEELS N REELS
Friday BABY J
Saturday SEA WOLF

LEVEL VII WEEKLY RELEASE

Boat Points Prize Money
WAVE PAVER

925.0

ANITA JEAN

925.0

BILL COLLECTOR

800.0

LEVEL VIII DAILY RELEASE WTA

Day Boat Points Prize Money
Monday OUTLIER

650.0

Tuesday DEVELOPIN HABITS

400.0

Wednesday FOLLOWING SEAS

400.0

Thursday ANITA JEAN

800.0

Friday BABY J

800.0

Saturday SEA WOLF

400.0

GAMEFISH WEEKLY DIVISION

Species Boat Weight Prize Money
1st place Dolphin FIN PRINT

48.3

2nd place Dolphin LOW PROFILE

41.4

1st place Tuna BILL COLLECTOR

52.3

1st place Wahoo REEL QUICK

66.1

2nd place Wahoo CATHERINE GRACE

25.3

FABULOUS FISHERMAN’S LEVEL

Boat Prize Money
NATURAL

GAMEFISH DOLPHIN WINNER TAKE ALL

Boat Prize Money
FIN PRINT

GAMEFISH DAILY – 1ST PLACE

Day Division Boat Weight Prize Money
Monday Dolphin LOW PROFILE

41.4

Monday Tuna BILL COLLECTOR

52.3

Tuesday Dolphin SWEET CAROLINE

24.3

Tuesday Wahoo CATHERINE GRACE

11.2

Wednesday Dolphin CARAMBA

32.4

Wednesday Wahoo REEL QUICK

66.1

Thursday Dolphin FIN PRINT

48.3

Thursday Wahoo CATHERINE GRACE

25.3

Friday Dolphin AGENT ORANGE

22.4

Saturday Dolphin CARTERICAN

21.0

GAMEFISH DAILY – 2ND PLACE

Day Division Boat Weight Prize Money
Monday Dolphin MEMORIES

38.5

Tuesday Dolphin DROPPED CALL

19.5

Wednesday Dolphin BLUE WATER

28.3

Thursday Dolphin WATERTIGHT

23.4

Thursday Wahoo CATHERINE GRACE

24.0

Friday Dolphin STETSON’S REVENGE

21.0

Saturday Dolphin SENSATION

15.9

OUTBOARD DIVISION

Boat Prize Money
PELAGIC HUNTER II

525.0

EL AZUL

525.0

SASHIMI

400.0