A boat out of Charleston, S.C., leads the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament through the first day of action, but the fish was about 12 ounces short of hitting one of the big jackpots.

Flybuoy, captained by Robert Hollingsworth, brought to the scales a 499.3-pound blue marlin, which leads the tournament. Unfortunately for the crew of Flybuoy, the tournament pays $246,500 for the first 500-pound billfish brought to the scales.

 

Todd Baxley was on the road when the big marlin struck on Monday, which boats released 19 blue marlin, eight white marlin and three sailfish. Another South Carolina boat, Capt. Bobby Garmany’s Bench Mark out of Greenwood, released a “grand slam” – a blue marlin, a white marlin and a sailfish.

 

A third boat from South Carolina captured a daily $2,000 prize for the first billfish release, a blue marlin hooked and released 21 minutes into competition time.

 

John Elmo of Cary, fishing aboard Impulse, took the wahoo lead with a 53.1-pound fish. Carl Ulm of Mount Pleasant, S.C., fishing aboard South Carolina-based Jabez, leads the dolphin category with a 29.2-pound fish.