Two blue marlin were boated this weekend during the Wrightsville Beach leg of the North Carolina Governor’s Cup Saltwater Fishing Tournament series. The behemoth fish were the first brought in for weigh-in in more than a decade.
An 821-pound blue marlin caught by Morehead City “Coverage” captain Hunter Blount and angler Jim Holmes earned the biggest bragging rights Saturday, May 31.Needless to say, this team won the local tournament and approximately $26,000 iin prizes in various categories. Their points will follow them throughout the rest of the Governor’s Cup series.
Several days earlier, on May 29, a 447-pound marlin caused a stir among the locals. Boated by captain Alan Murray and angler Harvey Scott of “J&B” from Morehead City, the marlin’s head and tail were reserved while the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries took the rest for testing.
Billfish less than 400 pounds are caught and released said Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament organizer Emily Peace.
“It’s the captain’s call to boat it,” she said by telephone Sunday, June 1, of the point-based tournament.
Peace said in addition to the trophy fish, weighed on the dock at Atlantic Marine on Motts Channel, meat fish species were weighed daily at Wrightsville Beach Marina on the Intracoastal Waterway.
The tournament ended its 41st annual four-day run on May 31. Peace, along with fellow organizers Bobby Brown, John Riggs and John Huff, said the Cape Fear Blue Marlin tourney drew as many as 40 boats in the early years, but the economic downturn contributed in reducing that number to as few as eight boats two years ago. This year’s field attracted 16 captains.
The Cape Fear tournament is the fourth in the eight-part offshore series from Manteo and Hatteras, Morehead City and Beaufort, to Swansboro and Wrightsville Beach. Four marlin were boated during last week’s Swansboro-based Memorial Day Rotary Blue Water Fishing Tournament, adding to the anticipation of the Big Rock tournament in Morehead City June 6-14.
Each tournament is individually run and locally sponsored. The Governor’s Cup series is managed by the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries and is intended to promote conservation, protection and preservation of the state’s marine resources.
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