Big Rock season is almost here! No, we’re not talking about the wedding season, although that’s just around the corner, too. We’re talking about the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, an event on the Crystal Coast that lures sportfishing men and women to our offshore waters each year.
From June 9-18, 2023, the Morehead City Waterfront will come alive with a range of activities for the 65th tournament. Teams fish four of the six days (captain’s choice) of the tournament and can enter as many of eleven eligible divisions as they prefer, each with unique payout opportunities.
In 2022, 266 participants weighed in eight blue marlin and tallied 226 billfish releases. The 572.6-pound fish brought to the Big Rock Landing scales by “Mercenaria” took the lead on the first day of the tournament, a lead that held to the end. In total, the team’s first place blue marlin netted winnings of $3,489,813.
The Big Rock and the Big Rock Kids Tournament are also part of the NC Billfish Series designed to promote North Carolina’s billfish tournaments, sportsmanship, marine conservation, and competition in the state’s bountiful offshore waters. Competing boats are awarded points for billfish released or landed in the seven participating NC Billfish Series tournaments.
The Keli Wagner Lady Angler (KWLA) tournament (June 9-10) was added to the tournament to honor of the late wife of Big Rock board member, Casey Wagner, who lost her battle with cancer in 2008. Since 1998, KWLA has raised $349,165 for charities, including $303,916 for Carteret Health Care’s Cancer Center.
The Big Rock Kids Tournament (July 12-15) promotes sport fishing among a new generation of anglers while benefiting children’s charities in Eastern North Carolina. The 3-day, total release tournament celebrated its second annual event in 2022 with 69 boats and more than 275 junior anglers.
The tournament is more than just fishing for majestic billfish. Much more. The event has a rich history of charity and community.
In 2022, the Big Rock Foundation’s charitable contribution totaled $1 million for the second time in tournament history. Since inception, the tournament has given back $8.5 million. These donations are funded by the success of the tournament, sponsors and retail sales.
Big Rock, Big Hero is another way the tournament gives back to the community. Created in 2018 as a way to honor active military men and women, service members are hosted on some of the world class boats in the tournament, taking part in the excitement and hard work of the anglers and crew.
There’s more to do while here!
Morehead City Marlins
June 9, 13, 16, 18 or 19 • 7-9 p.m.
2714 Mayberry Loop Road, Morehead City
Cost: $12 day of game; children under 3 free.
You can take in a Morehead City Marlins baseball game. The Marlins is a collegiate summer baseball team playing in the Coastal Plain League. The team plays its home games at O’Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium in Morehead City.
Merry Time for Tots
Wednesday, June 14 • 10-11 a.m.
North Carolina Maritime Museum, 315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC
Cost: $10 per child (pre-registration is required by calling 252-504-7758)
Preschoolers ages 2-5 and their caregivers can enjoy a maritime themed hands-on experience, craft, and activity. Topics rotate between pirates, sharks, whales, and fish with a focus on both experience and exposure. Each program is 45-60 minutes long. Caregivers are asked to stay for the entire program.
Fort Macon Concert Series: Unknown Tongues
Friday, June 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fort Macon State Park, 2303 E Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach, NC
Bring a chair and enjoy an evening of live music Unknown Tongues at Fort Macon State Park. The free concert is hosted by Friends of Fort Macon and is part of its summer concert series.
Unknown Tongues is a well-known Cajun/zydeco band that livens up this historic venue with its special personality and infectious music.
Saturday, June 17, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
300 Courthouse Square, Beaufort, NC
Enjoy the shade of the old live oak trees at the historic Carteret County Courthouse in downtown Beaufort while you shop at the Olde Beaufort Farmers’ Market, a gathering of the finest farmers, bakers, and artisans the area has to offer.
Al Williams Properties and its agents are dedicated to supporting a variety of local organizations and events along the Crystal Coast. Staying involved helps our neighbors and our local non-profits, which are the backbone of our community.
If you are looking to become a permanent or part-time resident here, our experienced team can help you find just the right property in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Newport, Pine Knoll Shores, or any of the surrounding areas.