Big Fish

Riley Adkins (second from right) and the prize-winning blue marlin that was landed by the Pelagic Hunter II at the Blue Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City.

Jim Garrett is a proud grandfather, and he has a true fishing tale to back up that pride.

His grandson, Riley Adkins, was a member of the team that landed the largest blue marlin at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City last weekend.

“He learned from me and other tutors that helped him,” said Garrett, who is a longtime local real estate broker. “It’s only the second time in the 62 years of the tournament that the biggest marlin caught came from the outboard division.”

Adkins was a mate to Captain John Cruise III and an angler on The Pelagic Hunter II that landed a 495.2-pound blue marlin.

That .2 is important because that is what gave them the win over runner-up Sea Striker that hauled in a 495-pound blue marlin. After a five-hour fight, the winning fish was finally reeled in by the 20-year-old Adkins.

Adkins now has a story to tell his grandchildren, and there could be a sidebar to his fish story. He’ll be able to tell them that he beat Michael Jordan, although not on the basketball court.

Jordan participated in the tournament with his boat Catch 23 entered. The Catch 23 finished in ninth overall after landing a 442.3-pound blue marlin.

Palagic Hunter II hauled in a total of $223,263 while the runner-up Sea Striker claimed $1.05 million for second. Garrett explained that bigger boats paid more to enter and were thus eligible for a larger payout. The Pelagic Hunter II is a 35-foot Contender while Sea Striker is a 61-foot Jarrett Bay sportfish boat.

“It’s not about the money,” said Garrett, “it’s about winning.”

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. Subscribe today and support local community journalism.

Digital Only Subscriptions

Get 24-7 digital-only access and support award-winning community journalism. This gives you access to and its electronic replica edition.

Starting at
$5.35 for 30 days

Already a Print Subscriber? Get Digital Access Free.

As a print subscriber , you also receive unlimited digital access. You can do that here. For any problems, call our customer service number at 910-693-2487 or 693-2488.

Free access for current print subscribers

Home Delivery

Get all the news of Moore County delivered to your home each Wednesday and Sunday with home delivery. Your home delivery subscription also includes unlimited digital access to

Starting at
$27.82 for 90 days