Blog: Big day of catches shakes up Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament leaderboard; Natural remains at top spot

Crystal Coast

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) — Thursday was Day 4 of the 63rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament and there’s a little bit more pressure on the anglers.

Looks like they met the challenge.

Only two blue marlins had been boated and brought to the weigh station through Wednesday. None were boated Wednesday, leaving participants with three days left to capture the big prize and the $2.46 million check to the winner.

Thursday turned out to be a busy day as anglers boated four blue marlin. That’s twice as many as had been caught the first three days of the event. No blue marlin were caught Wednesday.

Outnumbered was the second boat Thursday to arrive and had a blue marlin weigh 512.4 pounds. That put the team in second place on the leaderboard. Right at 7 p.m., Outnumbered came in with a blue marlin that weighed 512.4 pounds, moving the team into second place on the leaderboard.

Thursday’s coverage from Big Rock’s YouTube page

Around 5:30 p.m., the third boat to land a blue marlin — Anticipation — weighed a blue marlin at 446.8 pounds, just two pounds outside third place. The day got started with Dancin Outlaw landed a blue marlin Thursday morning that, when brought into Big Rock Landing around 1:30 p.m., weighed 419.3 pounds,

Natural took the top spot on the leaderboard Tuesday, landing a 521.6-pound blue marlin. It was the only marlin caught that day but shot the team to the top spot, previously occupied by Following Seas, which boated a 448.8-pound marlin on Monday, the only blue marlin caught then.

Natural goes into Day 5 on Friday as the overall leader.


  1. Natural, 521.6 pounds (caught Tuesday)
  2. Outnumbered, 512.4 pounds (caught Thursday)
  3. Widespread, 479.2 pounds (caught Thursday)
  4. Following Seas, 448.8 pounds (caught Monday)
  5. Anticipation, 446.8 pounds (caught Thursday)
  6. Dancin Outlaw, 419.3 pounds (caught Thursday)

Thursday’s coverage

Follow the Big Rock as it happens: Website Twitter | YouTube

11:24 p.m.

Brian Bailey has a wrap on a busy day of fishing at the Big Rock.

7:25 p.m.

Kelci O’Donnell got to spend a day on one of the boats participating in the 63rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. She’ll have a report on what it’s like on the high seas along with the competition at the big event during Friday’s newscast.

7:01 p.m.

Widespread finished Thursday third on the overall blue marlin leaderboard. (Big Rock Blue Marlin photo via YouTube)

Widespread took over third place on the leaderboard with a blue marlin that weighed 479.2 pounds.

5:39 p.m.

Anticipation’s catch, fish in center, weighed 446.8 pounds (Big Rock Blue Marlin photo via YouTube)

Anticipation’s blue marlin catch weighed in at 446.8 pounds. That puts the fish just two pounds outside third place.

4:36 p.m.

Outnumbered’s catch weighed 512.4 pounds. That puts it in second place on the leaderboard. Tournament officials said second place takes home $453,700. Two more fish were on the way back to Big Rock Landing to be weighed later Thursday evening.

Outnumbered’s catch weighed 512.4 pounds on Thursday. That put the team in second place at the Big Rock (Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament photo via YouTube)

3:28 p.m.

Big Rock officials said Outnumbered is expected to be at the weigh station at 4:30 p.m. Anticipation is expected at 5:30 p.m. and Widespread around 7:15 p.m.

3:19 p.m.

3:07 p.m.

WNCT”s Ken Watlington got the chance to talk with Curtis Strange, who is on the Big Rock board. Strange, a two-time U.S. Open golf champion and ESPN analyst, talked about golf, fishing and more with Ken.

2:45 p.m.

1:35 p.m.

Dancin Outlaw’s blue marlin weighed 419.3 pounds, good enough for third place in the tournament. Fishing continues until 3 p.m. for the boats still out there.

12:15 p.m.

The crowd is awaiting the arrival of Dancin Outlaw on the fourth day of the Big Rock. Kayla Schmidt was live in our noon news with the latest.

10:35 a.m.

DANCIN OUTLAW has boated their blue marlin after a 35-minute fight!
ETA: The boat is expected to scales at 1 p.m.

9:06 a.m.

LINES IN for Day 4 of the 2021 Big Rock Tournament. A total of 235 boats are fishing today, 35 are laying. Stay tuned for an action-packed day! LISTEN LIVE on the Radio via the app or


5:55 a.m.

9OYS Kelci O’Donnell has an early start on day four of the 63rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. She is taking a ride aboard the ‘StarFlite’ boat today.


Wednesday’s coverage

Blog: No blue marlin caught on Day 3 of 63rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament


Tuesday’s coverage

Natural catches 521.6-pound marlin to take tourney lead

‘We’re seeing really good, solid traffic’: airport directors react to uptick in travel amid Big Rock Tournament


Monday’s coverage

First day wraps up with Following Seas landing first blue marlin at 448.8 pounds

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