TOP DOG

The Top Dog crew poses on the Big Rock Landing dock with their first-place check of $793,187.50 for bringing in a tournament-record 914-pound blue marlin the night before. Those in the photo, each standing on a cooler they received from Big Rock, are left to right, angler Todd Dickerson, Capt. Ryan Knapp, first mate Phillip “Moon Pie” Williams and angler Kyle Dickerson. (Big Rock photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — All eyes were on the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament weigh station Saturday night, whether or not they were actually on the docks.

A crowd more than 1,000 strong converged around the towering steel-beam scale as the sun dipped below Bogue Banks. Online, hundreds of thousands watched on Big Rock TV and social media with bated breath as Top Dop backed into the slip around 8 p.m.

Rumors had already circulated around town and on the web – there was a monster aboard the 60-foot BC, a blue marlin so big it couldn’t fit inside the boat.

The rumors turned out to be true as Top Dog backed into the weigh station, the front half of the colossal fish crammed through the transom “tuna” door and the other half jutting listlessly out the back. The throng of onlookers audibly gasped when the weighmasters finally wrangled the massive tail and began hoisting the 15-foot fish out of the boat.

Cheers erupted when the full length of the fish was finally in view. Top Dop had indeed boated a behemoth – a tournament-record 914-pound blue marlin that netted the Fenwick Island, S.C.-based boat $793,187.50 in winnings from the 61st annual competition’s record  $2.86 million purse.

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MOREHEAD CITY — The Marlins finished Monday night in first place in the Coastal Plain League East Division after registering a 2-1 record in their last three games.

The collegiate wood-bat squad is 8-7 on the season. The Fayetteville SwampDogs are 7-7, followed by the Holly Springs Salamanders at 7-8 and the Wilmington Sharks at 7-9.

Morehead City split a home doubleheader with the Edenton Steamers (6-8) on Sunday, winning 7-4 and losing 8-7, then defeated Wilmington 6-5 on Sunday to snap a five-game road losing streak.

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(For complete stories of these briefs, see the newsstand and home delivery edition or the full online e-edition.)

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