The Top 4 Saltwater Fishing Tournaments in North Carolina

The Top 4 Saltwater Fishing Tournaments in North Carolina

While North Carolina is known for top-tier colleges, beautiful beaches, and the first-ever flight, the state also has a burgeoning saltwater fishing tournament scene. North Carolina is truly a fishing paradise with an incredibly vast shoreline, a high quantity of bait and tackle shops, and an abundance of high-end fish. 

If you want to make some memories and enjoy some of the best competitive fishing of your life, keep North Carolina in mind as you plan your following fishing schedule. Let's now go through the best tournaments. 

The Top Saltwater Fishing Tournaments in North Carolina

Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament: August 13-19, 2022

Though it may sound a bit spooky, it's well known that Pirate's Cove is home to massive fish. In last year's competition, anglers released a mind-bending 252 billfish, including 228 white marlins, 19 blues, four sailfish, and one spearfish. While there weren't any records broken last year, a 1,229lbs. Blue Marlin currently holds the tournament record. Participants will receive points based on fish species and successful release. Anglers can also rest easy knowing that Pirates Cove takes charitable donations very seriously. As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, it donates to several worthy causes, including the Interfaith Community Organization and The Billfish Foundation.

Marlin tournament

Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament: June 9th-18th, 2022

Held in Morehead City, NC, with 63 years of history, the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Saltwater Fishing Tournaments. Anglers can look forward to six days of offshore action, record-setting blue marlin, and international prestige. Last year's competition didn't disappoint, with Big Rock reeling in 270 boats and awarding a top prize of $1,678,250. Big Rock also genuinely cares about making fishing a more inclusive and sustainable sport, as both lady anglers and billfish conservation efforts have dominated recent Big Rock headlines. If you're an experienced angler looking to test your abilities to the max, make sure to stop blue Morehead City this summer for the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tourney. 

Ocean Isle Inshore Challenge: May 20 – 21, 2022

As one of the top fishing centers in North Carolina, anglers who visit Ocean Isle for the Ocean Isle Inshore Challenge are in for a treat. Fishermen competing in the tournament will compete for the largest total of Single Big Red Drum, Two Red Drum, Single Big Trout, and "Trash Fish" (oyster toad or lizardfish). A $15,000 purse will be split among the victors. Anglers will fish from May 20, from 4:00-8:00 pm, and Weigh-Ins will take place on Saturday, May 21, from 1:00-4:00 pm. At the Ocean Isle Fishing Center, participants, spectators, and sponsors will enjoy treasure island, excellent shopping, and fun tournament events. 

Martini's Hook-A-Hoo Rodeo

When it comes to combining great fishing with world-class fishing, Martini's Hook-A-Hoo Rodeo is tough to top. The tournament is about friends and the community coming together to support a great cause. Founded in 2007 by fishing buddies Jeff Martini and Ace Parker, the famed event has raised over $30,000 for the benefit of the Shriners' Hospitals. 

At the event, anglers come from all around to gather for great food, camaraderie, and chase wahoos. The boundaries of the event are between the Triple 0's off of Hatteras, North Carolina, and the Georgetown Hole off South Carolina. The fisherman who catches the largest Wahoo, Tuna, and Dolphin over a nineteen-day window will win cash prizes. The four weigh-ins will be in Morehead City, NC, Wrightsville Beach, NC, Southport, NC, and Little River, SC. With three weekends and more than two weeks to choose a fishing day, there are no excuses not to participate.

Whether you're a beginner or a pro, North Carolina's fishing circuit has something for everyone. With the state's unique characteristics, it belongs on every angler's summer schedule. Also, if you're tired of wearing the same boring, plain fishing shirt as everyone else, check out The Custom Captain