Michael Jordan’s Boat Lands First Blue Marlin At Big Rock Tournament [UPDATE]

Michael Jordan’s 80-foot Viking fishing boat named ‘Catch 23’ has officially boated its first blue marlin at the Big Rock Fishing Tournament being run out of Morehead, North Carolina. It’s early for the six-day tourney that runs all week, but word came in today at 10:37 a.m. that ‘Catch 23’ had hooked a blue marlin and by 12:15 ET the crew had officially brought a marlin onto the boat and now its time to see how much it weighs back at the dock.

The prestigious Big Rock tournament started in 1957 as locals put up prize money and boats started going out. Many consider it the Super Bowl of fishing, hence why Jordan’s spending his week fishing in the tournament. If MJ’s in, of course it’s big. The tournament has a prize purse of $3,343,975. You can track Jordan’s boat here and get updates on fish landed.  And the leaderboard to see if Jordan can win the title. There’s even a live stream where you can watch MJ’s team weigh its marlin this afternoon.

Update: Jordan’s first blue marlin at the Big Rock just weighed in at 442.3 pounds. MJ said he was disappointed by the weight because it didn’t cross 500 pounds where it would’ve qualified for bonus money.

Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

Not familiar with blue marlin fishing and why it takes so long to boat the fish? Offshore Big Game walks you through the process.

What most rookies don’t know is that the captain will keep push up the throttle and speed the boat ahead, unless the angler demonstrates that he can keep the rod bent without the boat moving forward. This just helps the fish spool off more line and explains why most people take 45 minutes or more to land a Blue Marlin. They are fighting the captain, not the fish. As soon as the other lines are cleared by the cockpit crew and the angler demonstrates to the captain that he can keep the rod bent by reeling, the captain will back the boat to the fish as the angler rapidly and easily gets back all but the last 50 feet of line. At which point, the fish is all done jumping and has gone down 45 feet deep right behind and below the stern of the boat.

Fighting the fish up those last 50 feet is a skill within itself. This is where the novice angler has to learn to “pump and reel” or “short stroke.” Otherwise, the last 50 feet will take forever, with the fish pulling back every foot of line the angler takes up. The short stroke technique is where the angler raises the rod about 15 degrees and reels like crazy for one turn of the crank as he lowers the rod tip back down those 15 degrees and rapidly repeats that process one crank after the other until the last 45 feet of line is won and the leader is reached by the “wireman.”

MJ’s boat coming into port:

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.