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SaltwaterCentral - Quit Fishing ~ Start Catching - SaltwaterCentral.Com
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SaltwaterCentral - Quit Fishing ~ Start Catching - SaltwaterCentral.Com
May 27, 2018 1:50 pm EST
Location: 33.436N 77.743W
Wind Dir: SSE (150°)
Wind Speed: 10 knots
Wind Gust: 12 knots
Sig Wave Height: 2 ft
Dom Wave Period: 8 sec
Average Period: 4.5 sec
Mean Wave Dir: ESE (115°)
AT Ps: 30.03 in (1016.8 mb)
Air Temp: 79°F (26.1°C)
Dew Point: 73°F (23.0°C)
Water Temp: 78°F (25.5°C)

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Sea Creature wins 51st Big Rock
By Bruce Paul
June 13, 2009

Winning the 51st Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament wasn’t just a figment of Steve Coulter’s imagination.

The Hatteras-based captain of the Sea Creature motored to the Big Rock scales Saturday with a 466-pound blue marlin to score a final-day victory and win $746,820 from the tournament’s $1,752,366 purse.

Sea Creature bumped Figment out of the top spot with the final blue marlin catch of the tournament. Figment captain Glynn Loftin of Swansboro and angler Kyle Culpepper, Wilmington, grabbed the inaugural tournament lead Wednesday with a 439-pounder. Loftin and Culpepper were standing at the weigh station as Coulter backed the Sea Creature up to the scales.

“He’s got me,” Loftin said after glancing at Coulter’s fish before it was hoisted onto the scales. “He’s not in the 500-pound category, but I wish he was.”

As it turned out, Sea Creature catch came up 34 pounds short on the tournament’s instant prize worth $335,750 for the first catch over 500 pounds. The money from that division will be returned to tournament participants who paid to enter that division.

The Figment team was set to win $1,065,200 before Coulter came to the scales with a bigger catch. Figment slipped to second place worth $318,380.

“That’s tournament fishing, baby,” Culpepper said with a long laugh. “I’ll take second place and $318,000 all day long.”

Sea Creature anglers Bobby Weeks, Beaufort, and Brad Sewell, Swansboro, were both credited with the catch. Their marlin swallowed two baits which forced Weeks and Sewell to fight the fish simultaneously.

Throughout the fight, Coulter worried that one line would rub against the other and cause both to break.

“That fish was very hungry and ate two baits” Coulter said. “He ate a left flat line mackerel with a circle hook and before my mate (Shane Austin) could get to him, it spun around and ate the right short rigger.

“As long as one of them wasn’t cutting the other one, we felt like we had a good chance. It was pretty nerve racking.”

Sea Creature’s marlin took a lot of line to start off with and jumped away from the boat. As Weeks and Sewell reeled in their catch, Austin worked hard to keep one line from unhooking the other.

“Two hooks can work against you sometimes,” he said. “The fish came to the boat pretty quick and then it took off and sounded on us. We brought it up backwards and that was about it.”

Coulter captured his first Big Rock victory in ’92 as the captain of Outlaw. This time it was his boat, his mate and his crew.

“Both wins are special, he said. “Anytime you win the Big Rock, against this competition, it’s special. There are a lot of good fishermen here.”

Anglers on 70 boats fished the final day. Anglers finished the tournament with 137 billfish releases, including 7 blue marlins, 4 white marlins and 1 sailfish Saturday.

Coulter was one of more than two dozen boats captains, anglers and mates that fished Saturday having won a previous Big Rock event. Sea Hag and Sea Striker – boats with multiple Big Rock victories – each recorded hook-ups Saturday. In the end, it was Coulter’s turn to get his second victory.

Coulter’s first Big Rock victory was worth just $114,775 back when the total purse was less than $300,000. His second victory vaults his Big Rock earnings over $861,000.

Piracy, captained by Chris Russell of South River, captured the release division with two blue marlin releases and two white marlin releases for 1,080 points and the first-place check of $71,728. Sea Hag, captained by Ken Kramer, Morehead City, had two releases Saturday and finished second in the release division to win $43,708. Sea Hag also won the dolphin division worth $6,332.50 and finished second in the Saturday daily release competition to win an additional $5,464.60.

Third place in the release division went to Galot 3, captained by Joey Johnson of Harkers Island. The Galot 3 team received $29,139.

Figment, owned by Mickey Corcoran, New Bern, received an additional $13,260 for finishing first in the tuna division thanks to the 98.25-pounder reeled in Monday by Clay Walker, Wilmington. The Figment team’s total winnings for the 51st Big Rock added up to be $334,427.

Certifiable, captained by Joel McLeod of Jupiter, Fla., finished second in the tuna division with a 58.1-pounder landed Monday by Jeff Sussman of Princeton, N.J. Certifiable also won the wahoo division with a 57.15-pounder reeled in by Sam Peters of Savannah, Ga. to receive checks totaling $15,172.50.

Sizzler, captained by Daniel Spencer, Manteo, won the final daily release prize worth $8,195 for the release of two blue marlins Saturday.

Pole Position, captained by Gene Ingle, Wrightsville Beach, came in second in the dolphin division with a 53.70-pound dolphin caught by Raleigh angler Randall Ward to win $4,221.67.

Dancin Outlaw, captained by Thomas Wood, Harkers Island, came in second in the wahoo division with a 48.8-pounder that was reeled Saturday by William Priddy of Summerfield. That late catch earned the Dancin Outlaw team $4,221.67

Competition in the 51th Big Rock ended Saturday at 2 p.m. when there were no hookups being battled. Competitors received their winnings Saturday at 7 p.m. during the Big Rock awards ceremony held at the Crystal Coast Civic Center.

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