Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament 2021 live updates, leader, and winner information from Morehead City NC. This article will be updated by the minute once the 2021 event gets underway from June 12th (24th Annual Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament) through June 19th. History information along with this year’s events documented at the bottom.
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As of June 14, 2021 there are 270 (a record) boats registered or announced. Officials also announced a record breaking total purse of over $4,742,825.
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Who won the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament 2021? The boat Widespread is the winner with a 656.5 fish. Who won the 2021 KWLA? Builder’s Choice took 1st place with two released blue marlins and the heaviest Dolphin.
NC Gulf Stream Sportfishing Action
KWLA 2021 Updates
Tournament officials announced that due to inclement weather, Keli Wagner Lady Anglers (KWLA) participants can choose between Saturday OR Sunday to fish. 132 boats are officially registered for the KWLA and the chance at a $189,550 total payout. Of the 132 boats registered, 41 are fishing on Saturday, June 12, making 91 eligible to fish on Sunday, June 13.
Doc Fees and Floridian both hooked up at 10:12 am. Floridian registered the 1st blue marlin caught for the KWLA 2021 event, and Doc Fees registered the second.
Free Ranger hooked up at 10:25 am and released a blue at 2:54 pm.
Wall Hanger hooked up at 12:07 pm and released a blue at 12:43 pm to join the leaderboard.
Miss Peggy Sue II released a blue at 12:10 pm to join the leaderboard.
Mercenaria hooked up with a white marlin at 12:15 pm and released.
Mercenaria hooked up again at 1:07 pm and released a blue at 1:39 pm.
Doc Fees hooked up a 2nd time at 1:14 pm and released a blue at 1:49 pm.
Miss Peggy Sue II hooked up for a second time at 1:59 pm and pulled the hook at 2:13 pm.
Reel E Bugging hooked up at 2:05 pm and pulled the hook at 2:21 pm.
Post Call hooked up at 2:24 pm and released a blue at 2:34 pm.
Floridian hooked up for a 2nd time at 2:35 pm and pulled the hook.
Floridian hooked up for a 3rd time at 2:43 pm and released a white marlin.
Reel E Bugging hooked at up 2:52 pm and pulled the hook.
Baby J hooked up at 2:55 pm and released a blue at 3:25 pm.
At 3 pm, regulation fishing for day 1 ended with Baby J hooked up. All boats fishing Day 1 can not fish on Day 2 of the 2021 Big Rock Keli Wagner Tournament. We’ll have leaderboard updates shortly once Baby J completes their day.
Day 1 recap: Doc Fees is in 1st place with 800 points, Mercenaria and Floridian are tied in 2nd place with 525 points, and Wall Hanger is in 3rd place with 400 points.
Day 2 – Sunday June 13.
Regulation times today are 9 am till 3 pm with 91 boats fishing.
Down Under has a fish on the line at 9:09 am and pulled the hook.
Simple Mann with one on the line at 9:16 am and released a blue at 10:00 am.
Impatience has one on the line at 9:24 am and pulled the hook.
Big Stick with one on the line at 9:25 am and released a blue.
The General has one on the line at 9:26 am and released a sailfish.
Horse hooked up at 9:52 am and pulled the hook.
Lo Que Sea hooked up at 9:56 am and released a sailfish.
RoShamBo hooked up at 10:02 am and released a sailfish.
Kings Blue has one on the line at 10:16 am and released a blue.
Shenandoah hooked up at 10:41 am and released a blue.
Big Stick has one on the line for a second time at 10:46 am and released a sailfish.
Reel Comfort Sportfishing got one on the line at 11:02 am and pulled the hook.
Sea Toy released a white marlin.
Desperado NC fighting one at 11:20 am and released a blue.
Counter CurrenSea fighting one at 11:26 am and pulled the hook.
Renegade hooked up at 11:27 am released a blue.
Fishy Business hooked up at 11:39 am and released a blue.
We were unable to document action between 12:00 pm and 12:45 pm, if your team had a catch and release during this time period and want it documented on this site, please use our contact form to get in contact with us. Inspiration and Skirt Chaser had fish on the line during this time. Both released white marlin.
Sea Toy has one on the line at 12:31 pm and released a blue.
Outnumbered has one at 12:43 pm and released a white marlin.
Doc Fees is still in 1st place of the KWLA, with Sea Toy in 2nd place, and Big Stick in 3rd place at 12:50 pm.
Sensation has one on the line at 12:47 pm and pulled the hook.
Smokeshow has one on the line at 1:09 pm and released a white.
Low Profile is fighting one at 1:11 pm and pulled the hook.
Bad Becky is fighting at 1:23 pm and then pulled the hook.
Lo Que Sea fighting at 1:26 pm and released a white.
Reel Nauti with one on the line at 1:39 pm with wrong species.
Builder’s Choice has one on the line at 1:56 pm and released a blue.
SYLVA LINING is hooked up at 2:05 pm with wrong species.
Fin Chaser is fighting a fish at 2:06 pm and pulled the hook.
Builder’s Choice hooked up a 2nd time at 2:06 pm.
Re-Leased is fighting a fish at 2:12 pm.
String Line released a white marlin.
Breakwater is fighting at 2:33 pm, then pulled the hook.
String Line is fighting a fish at 2:41 pm for the second time, then released a white.
At the close of the 2021 Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament, Re-Leased and Builder’s Choice are still fighting fish. Regulation time ended at 3 pm.
The scales close at 7 pm, at which time all gamefish will be weighed by Big Rock officials and winners announced.
On a side note, if Builder’s Choice releases a blue marlin, they will be tied for 1st place with Doc Fees and then both boat’s gamefish will decide the winner.
Re-Leased set a regulation fish free at 4:09 pm.
Builder’s Choice released a blue.
Monday, June 14 – 263 boats are offshore today with 7 taking a lay day.
BANKWALKER won the Gregory Poole first release of the day.
Following Seas has boated and we are awaiting information on their ETA to the scales. Following Seas estimates 2:30 pm at the weigh scales and landing in downtown Morehead, and is entered in to the Level V Fabulous Fisherman category. Their fish weighed 448.8 lbs.
Regulation time ended at 3 pm with 2 boats still fighting. We’ll continue to document updates and then provide a recap of Day 1 highlights.
4:00 pm: Marlin Fever is still fighting a fish.
Marlin Fever lost their fish after a 7 1/2 hour fight.
Day 1 recap updates: Only one fish was brought to the scales, and it weighed 448.8 lbs which is the current leader. No team won the Fabulous Fisherman prize.
Tuesday, June 15 – 159 boats of 270 offshore today.
Carolina Pirate grabbed the Gregory Poole Marine 1st release of the day by letting a sailfish go.
Natural boated a fish at 1:50 pm and should be to the weigh scales by 4:15 pm.
At the 3:00 pm close of regulation, 4 boats are still fighting fish.
Day 2 recap updates: Natural was the only boat to bring a fish to the scales which weighed 521.6 lbs and took 1st place position and won the $828,725 Fabulous Fisherman prize. Here is Video.
Wednesday, June 16 – Randy Ramsey announced 149 boats fishing today out of 270.
The boat WASTE KNOT was the Gregory Poole Marine 1st release of the day worth $5000.
The day ended at 3:00 pm with 2 boats having one on the line.
No teams brought anything to the scales today, and the only change to today was a change in the billfish release leader results.
Thursday, June 17 – Captain Randy Ramsey announced 235 boats offshore today.
Heels N Reels won the Gregory Poole Marine first release of the day.
Dancing Outlaw has one in the boat, ETA to the landing and scales is 1:15 pm.
Dancing Outlaw weighed a 419.3 lbs fish placing them in 3rd place on Day 4 of the 2021 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.
Outnumbered boated at 2:21 pm with an ETA to the scales around 4:40 pm.
Widespread boated at 2:22 pm with an ETA to the weigh scales around 7:15 pm.
Anticipation boated with an ETA to the landing at 5:20 pm.
Regulation time ended at 3:00 pm with 3 boats fighting, and 2 enroute to the landing, but we will remain live in the chat room and with updates on the site through the evening.
Outnumbered catch weighed 512.4 lbs to take the new 2nd place position.
Anticipation catch weighed 446.8 lbs.
Widespread catch weighed 479.2 lbs to take the new 3rd place position.
Friday, June 18: Randy announced on the VHF radio that 260 boats are offshore today.
Baby J unofficially won today’s 1st release prize offered by Gregory Poole Marine.
Regulation time ended on Day 5 of the Big Rock Tournament with none caught and 5 teams still fighting. We’ll continue monitoring until these teams conclude their day offshore and then give leader results and updates for the past 5 days.
At 5:30 pm, one boat is still working since 2:30 pm.
Widespread boated up near Hatteras and will be at the scales around 11:00 pm.
The fish weighed at 11:00 pm came in at 656.5 lbs to take 1st place on Day 5.
Saturday, June 19 Regulation times are 8:00 am when lines go in the water to 2:00 pm when lines must be out of the water. The fish to take the 1st place leader board is 656.5 pounds. There are 39 boats offshore today.
Sea Wolf cashed a check for the 1st release of the day.
Reports of 6-8 foot seas and significant winds is inhibiting fishing today and several boats came to port early.
Day 6 ended at 2:00 pm with nothing brought to the scales.
As of May 1, 2021, tournament officials announced that this year’s competition will proceed normally starting on June 12 with the Keli Wagner Tournament and continuing with the Big Rock from June 14-19.
Who is the current leader? 1st place: Widespread with a 656.5 lbs blue marlin, 2nd place: Natural with a 521.6 lb, 3rd place: Outnumbered with a 512.4 marlin.
Who is currently inbound to the scales? – None.
Level V Fabulous Fisherman winner: Natural with a 521.6 blue marlin winning $828,725. (Video)
Billfish Release Leaderboard: Wave Paver in 1st place with 925 points, ANITA JEAN in 2nd place with 925 points, and Bill Collector in 3rd place with 800 points.
June 12th – Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament.
June 14 Fishing begins.
June 19 Fishing ends.
All weigh-ins happen at the Big Rock landing in downtown Morehead City. Once it’s announced that a marlin is boated, it takes anywhere from 2.5 hours to 3 hours for a boat to make it back to the landing. This document will be updated as it happens.
June 11 – Lady angler event at the civic center in Morehead City NC from 6 pm till 9 pm.
June 12 – 22nd Annual Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament from 6 am till 2 pm.
June 13 – Prayer and breakfast at the landing starting at 9:00 am. Captains meeting starts at 5:30 pm. Starting at 6 pm there will be a pig pickin’ at the landing.
June 14 – Fishing begins.
June 20 – Awards brunch.
General Rules And Regulations
All boats must take 2 days as a lay day during the 6 day fishing event.
The winner of the Fabulous Fishermen Club is the first boat to bring aboard a 500 lb blue marlin.
Disclaimer: Subject to change as officials announce the 2021 rules and regulations.
Contact Information – 710 Evans Street, Morehead City, NC, 28557. Telephone – 252-247-3575. Crystal Hesmer, Tournament Director.
History – Starting in 1956, the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament has morphed in to a world-class internationally recognized fishing tournament that attracts anglers and boats to Morehead City, NC every summer in search of the allusive and highly sought after big blue marlin. This event also hosts other categories along with Jr. anglers contest and lady anglers tournament.
All proceeds from this fishing contest go to help local charities in the area and to fund community impact programs such as cancer research, preschool funding, local healthcare, and Salvation Army programs to name just a few.
In addition to local charities, the Big Rock has helped with the rebuilding of local communities after Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Dorian. In 2018, the charity committee was committed to helping people pay utility bills in the aftermath of Florence.
Officials of this NC tournament are committed to promoting sportfishing in the state, helping charities and vulnerable populations, conservation, and acknowledging the Maritime culture and heritage in coastal NC.
All blue marlin caught are donated to area university marine sciences programs for research purposes.
If you’re visiting the area, across from the landing is a water fountain that lists all past winners.
First Female President
Joy Bell became the first ever female president of this tournament in 2020. Congratulations to Joy!
Pictures And Video
This area will be populated with pictures and video as the 2021 tournament gets underway in June.
The current tournament record is a 914 lb marlin caught by Top Gun in 2019.
VHF Radio Frequency? VHF Channel 71, announced by Captain Randy Ramsey of Jarrett Bay.