The Miss Judy, captained by Lacy Henry of Atlantic Beach, registered both of the day's blue marlin releases to take daily honors and jump into the lead in the release category.
No fish were weighed in on Tuesday, leaving the Hatteras-based Citation leading with a tournament-record 883-pound blue marlin caught on Monday. The fish broke by more than 50 pounds the tournament record of 831 pounds set in 2000 by the South Carolina-based Summertime Blues.
Andy Thomossan of Richmond was on the rod when Capt. Eric Holmes of Buxton hooked the big fish on Monday. It took more than three hours to boat the huge fish, which was 137 inches long. The fish was worth an immediate $318,750 prize for landing the first blue marlin to weigh more than 500 pounds, and if it stays atop the leader board, it will be worth $912,825 from a purse of better than $1.6 million.
Defending champion Capt. Steve Coulter, also of Hatteras, leads the winner-take-all dolphin category with a 52.4-pound fish landed by John Manousaridis of Atlantic Beach aboard the Sea Creature.