Rain or shine the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament kicks off this weekend

Rain or shine the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament kicks off this weekend

CARTERET COUNTY, MOREHEAD CITY - One of Eastern Carolina's marquee events, the 55th Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, kicks off on Saturday in Morehead City.

Fisherman from all over will gather this weekend to get ready for the tournament with the hope to reel in the big win.

They are ready to go now that Tropical Storm Andrea has left the area.

"I just want pretty weather. The fishing will take care of itself," says Big Rock participant Peter Dubose.

Dubose has participated in the Big Rock Tournament for 36 years.

"It just makes it more difficult. The rougher it is the more difficult it is and we want everyone to be comfortable and safe so hopefully we'll make it," he said.

Veteran tournament director Crystal Hesmer has been directing the event for 16 years. She said the weather won't stop many boats from getting out on the water.

"All the fisherman are telling me that they can fish the last four days of the tournament at the end of the week and sit out on Monday and Tuesday which will make for a very exciting tournament," said Hesmer.

Hesmer said all the same rules apply from last year, but they are allowing the women fishing in the Lady Angler Tournament to go out either Saturday or Sunday because of the weather.

The Kelli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament kicks off every year with a reception at the Morehead City Civic Center, which includes the annual costume contest.

Sabrina Varnam said this is her first year in the tournament and she said she is prepared for anything.

"I think getting dressed up for the contest of course is fun and fishing on Sunday, I'm very excited about that, ready to bring in the big one," she said.

All proceeds from the Lady Angler Tournament goes to the Raab Cancer Clinic in Morehead City. Hesmer said they've donated $160,000 to the clinic over the past years.

Boats are eligible to start fishing in the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament Monday. Boats can fish four of the six days and the winner will be chosen on Saturday June 15th.

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