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Here's a clip from the Big Rock Tournament - of note is the 78 pound dorado caught...what a beast!
Tom Hilton

Chainlink wins Big Rock in overtime
Bruce Paul, Media Director
June 17, 2006

Morehead City, N.C. - The Chainlink, a Goldsboro-based boat captained by Ralph Griffin of Morehead City, found a way to fence off the competition Saturday, winning the 48th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament with a 501.5-pound blue marlin that angler Wes Seegars battled for nearly seven hours.

Seegars, who lives in Goldsboro, hooked his catch an hour after fishing started Saturday and fought it nearly 100 minutes beyond the time when the Big Rock usually ends. But anyone hooked up at the end of the day is allowed to continue fishing until the fish gets away, becomes a release or turns into a catch.

Seegars worked his fish into the catch of a lifetime.

"We saw it in the bait, but we never saw it after it sounded [dove deep] so I just had to keep working … I worked all day," Seegars said. "I'll tell you this, I'm going to sleep real good tonight … or maybe not at all."

That's because Seegars and the Chainlink crew came from behind to win $768,537 from the Big Rock's record purse of $1,593,425. This is the second Big Rock victory for the Chainlink boat. Twelve years ago, the boat was called Salty Fare. That boat won the 1994 Big Rock.

Skirt Chaser captain Barry Daniels and angler Chuck Walker of Wilmington, who led the Big Rock going into the final weigh-in, have to wonder when their luck changed. They brought a 486.5-pound blue marlin to the scales Friday and released a white marlin Saturday. Their Saturday release turned out to be worth $6,800 since it was not only the first release of the day, it was the 48th release of this Big Rock.

Everything was shaking pretty for Skirt Chaser until Chainlink reached the scales. The Skirt Chaser crew will have to settle for $283,147.

Can Do Too captain Jim Foy and angler Victor Gold of Wyckoff, N.J., should also wonder where there luck went. After leading the Big Rock for four days, they were bumped from the top of the standings by the Skirt Chaser. Then Skirt Chaser edged them for the 48th release prize. Even though the Can Do Too crew receives nothing for logging the 49th release, it still collects $183,565 for finishing third.

While Chainlink's catch bumped Skirt Chaser and Can Do Too down the leaderboard, it knocked the Razorback Express totally out of the money. The Razorback Express, captained by Scott Wiggins of LaGrange, held the runner-up spot in the tournament from Monday to Friday. Razorback Express was in the money until Chainlink broke through with a win.

Anglers from 12 states battled all week for a share of the record Big Rock purse. The 48th event had record numbers offshore Saturday (180 boats) and record participation (140 boats) in all levels of the competition.

The Pisces IV, a Charlotte-based boat captained by Tim McKellips, captured the release division to win $97,170. Calcutta, captained by Joe Monds of Virginia Beach, Va., finished second to receive $52,406. Anticipation, captained by Mike King of Myrtle Beach, S.C., came in third and will collect $34,937. All had 800 points and two blue marlin releases, but Pisces IV scored its 800 points first.

The Reel Time, captained by David Barber of Atlantic Beach, won the dolphin division and will receive $9,027 for its tournament record 77.9-pounder reeled in Friday by Huntersville angler Mark Beckham.

Wilmington-based Tuna Trappe, a boat captained by Brian Smith, captured the Wahoo division and will receive $9,403 for the 79.05-pounder that Wilmington angler John Lancaster landed Monday.

The Sweet Margalit, a boat based out of Raleigh and captained by Mike Guthrie captured the tuna division to win $11,701. Raleigh angler Doug Abrams hooked and reeled in a 62.2-pounder Tuesday.

Winners receive their checks Saturday evening at the Big Rock awards ceremony. Tournament officials also distribute more than $100,000 to area charities after the wrap-up event.
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