06/20/04 — Blue marlin weighing 555 pounds brings victory at Big Rock

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Blue marlin weighing 555 pounds brings victory at Big Rock

By Gene Price
Published in News on June 20, 2004 2:02 AM

MOREHEAD CITY -- Capt. Donald Lane and angler Jay Hughes landed a 555-pound blue marlin aboard their Atlantic Beach-based boat, the Impulse, to win $711,375 in the 46th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

The marlin, boated Wednesday, was not as big as the 677-pounder that took last year's top prize. But the winnings dwarfed the $420,887.50 awarded to the "Pipe Layer" and its South Carolina team last year.

Second place prize this tournament went to Capt. Michael King and angler Mike Robertson who landed a 454 blue marlin on their Rumor Mill. That was worth $285,825.

Coming in third for $181,100 was Robert Gollahon of King George, Va., aboard his boat, the Southern Exposure.

The tournament attracted 195 boats and, in addition to the top earnings, awarded prizes rangintg from $73,236 to several hundred dollars in various categories. Thousands went to teams that caught and released their fish.

But hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by the tournament go to charities. And this coastal community benefits tremendously from the influx of anglers and tourists during the tournament.

Ironically, the winning blue marlin this year was smaller than last year's second place winner -- a 603.5-pounder brought in by a Waxhaw team on the Second Chance.

Teams come from a number of states and from outside the U.S. Among teams participating this year were several from the Wayne County area.