Local fishermen try to catch blue marlin in Morehead City
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MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. -- When a big blue marlin makes it to Big Rock Landing, a team of experts jumps into action.
Weighmaster Randy Gregory is also an employee with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and he's in charge of making sure the fish is big enough and that is was caught legally.
regory said he enjoys seeing the big fish come in just as much as the spectators do, but when that boat backs in with a blue marlin, it's a business.
"It's fun to interact with the folks in the crowd and it's fun to interact with the fishermen. We have a lot of fun doing it. You'll see more joking and laughing down there than you will anybody being real serious. We're real serious for a few minutes until we get that fish in the air and we call the weight out," Gregory said.
After a fish is weighed a team or researches from North Carolina State University takes samples from it and examines stomach contents.
Research assistant Paul Rudershausen said they've been examining fish at the tournament for a decade but the study is more long term than that.
"We've been looking at their diets over the last decade and then comparing the diets of fish landed here at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament versus those historically examined in the 1970s and 80s." Rudershausen said.
Anglers who land a game fish like a tuna or yahoo can cook and enjoy it, but the blue marlins are not eaten.