The impressive first fish stayed atop the leaderboard all week and won the Run-Off crew the first-place prize Saturday at the June 12-17 Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament out of Morehead City.
Bringing in the 533.8-pound blue marlin on Day 1 earned $639,950 from the record $2,411,650 purse for captain Brian Harrington of Morehead City and Glen Allen, Va., angler Matt Hanley when fishing ended Saturday.
Run-Off also won the $467,500 Fabulous Fisherman’s prize for weighing in the first blue marlin over 500 pounds.
Official awards were to be distributed at Saturday night’s awards banquet at the Crystal Coast Civic Center.
Rehab was the runner-up with a 506.9-pound blue marlin caught Friday. Captain Nathan Shepard of Statesboro, Ga., and angler Ryan Howard of Savannah, Ga., earned $250,720.
Weldor’s Ark with captain Mike Taylor of Swansboro and angler John Roberts of Greenville, bumped to third place by Rehab, still took a $166,480 payday with a 484.9-pound blue marlin caught on Day 1.
Let It Ride caught the last blue marlin weighed in, boating a 455-pound fish on Friday that just missed the leaderboard.
Floar Plan on Thursday weighed in a 426-pound blue marlin that briefly held third place.
Whitecaps had a 417.7-pound blue marlin that was in third place after Day 1 but was bumped off the leaderboard.
No blue marlin were boated the final day, when 53 of the 177 entries remained eligible to fish. The teams reported 11 billfish releases: one blue marlin, seven white marlin and three sailfish.
Find official billfish and gamefish awards at www.thebigrock.com.