Michael Jordan’s Boat ‘CATCH 23’ Takes Lead in Big Rock Dolphin Category, 2021

Michael Jordan’s Boat ‘CATCH 23’ Takes Lead in Big Rock Dolphin Category, 2021

Michael Jordan’s Boat ‘CATCH 23’ Takes Lead in Big Rock Dolphin Category

On the first day of fishing at The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, Michael Jordan’s boat ‘CATCH 23’ took an early lead in the Dolphin category by landing a 25-pound Dolphin. Winning the Dolphin category at Big Rock pays out $529,000.This is the second consecutive year that Jordan has entered his boat into the famous Big Rock Tournament. Based out of Morehead City, N.C., the Big Rock was established in 1957 and features some of the best sport fishermen on the East Coast. The annual event draws large crowds of sporting enthusiasts of all types to Morehead City each year to witness some of the largest Atlantic blue marlin catches in North America.Check out photos of Jordan and the crew with the Dolphinfish below:

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Jordan’s boat ‘CATCH 23’ is an 84-foot fishing yacht made and designed by Viking Yachts. Based out of Jupiter, Fla. the cost for Jordan’s boat is estimated at $8 million, according to SuperYachtFan.com. ‘CATCH 23’ is powered by MTU engines and has a max speed of 40 knots and a range of more than 500 nm. The yacht can accommodate eight guests and a crew of two.

The boat features Jordan’s signature elephant skin print that is also on his private jet. The elephant skin print was used on the Jordan 3s sneakers.

The captain of Jordan’s ‘CATCH 23’ this week for Big Rock is Stetson Turney

The Big Rock tournament takes place across six days in June. Boats can only fish four of the six days, the other two are called “lay days.”

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In the 2020 Big Rock Tournament, ‘CATCH 23’ reeled in a 442.3-pound blue marlin. In a post-catch interview with Big Rock TV in 2020, Jordan discussed his love for the state of North Carolina and the North Carolina coast and how much he loves having the opportunity to get back to his home state.

“I’m always looking for an excuse to be back in North Carolina,” Jordan said. “…It is a chance to come back home. I love coming back home.”

“I’d love to be back with a little bit bigger fish,” the ever-competitive Jordan added. Jordan and his crew did not finish in the winnings last year,

Jordan felt the love from the home crowd. “I always feel North Carolinians come out to support their stars,” the former UNC guard and 1982 National Champion said.

Jordan’s ties to North Carolina and the North Carolina coast are clear. The Greatest of All-Time played his high school basketball at Laney High School in Wilmington before a decorated three-year career at UNC, which included a National Championship in 1982 and two First-Team All-American honors in 1983 and 1984. He was the National Player of the Year in 1984 and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls No. 3 overall later that year.

Jordan won six NBA titles with the Bulls and was a 14-time NBA All-State, a five-time NBA MVP, and a six-time NBA Finals MVP.

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Known for his love of gambling, golf, and other sporting endeavors, it is no surprise that Jordan has an interest in high-level fishing. And the Big Rock Tournament is as big as it gets.

Since the tournament began back in 1957, Big Rock has slowly become known as the premier spot for marlin fishing on the East Coast. The success and growth of the fishing tournament has brought a national spotlight among the fishing community to the North Carolina coast.

As the Gulf Stream drifts north along the N.C. coastline, it crosses a structure on the continental shelf called “Big Rock” from which the tournament takes its name.  The Big Rock – which is not a rock at all – is a series of ledges, peaks, and plateaus that covers an area about 8-10 miles long by 1 mile in width. It’s a haven for small reef fish – the type of fish that attract the larger fish that blue marlin feast on. It’s a microcosm of the oceanic food chain just a short distance from the Morehead City waterfront.

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The tournament pays out for the three largest blue marlins boated, with the winner taking home $1.1 million for the heaviest catch. There also is a $550,000 prize for the first boat to land a 500-pounder.

Crystal Hesmer, the tournament’s executive director, said the atmosphere on shore was “electric” when Jordan’s boat, which has a hull painted in Tar Heels blue, pulled into the dock to unload the marlin.

“Oh, my gosh, for Michael Jordan to be in our same air space is exciting and thrilling enough, but for him to land a fish at our tournament and bring it in is thrilling for the entire town,” Hesmer told The Associated Press by phone. “It’s unbelievable that he’s here in our little town.”

Jordan said this isn’t his first marlin tournament, but it is the first one in which he has competed in North Carolina.

“This is a chance for me to come back home,” he said. “Every chance I get, I love to come back home.”

The six-day tournament runs through Saturday and features 205 boats from around the world.

The Big Rock tournament began in 1957.

“Even though I didn’t win, right now, today, I’d like to thank everyone for supporting the tournament,” Jordan said.

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