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North Carolina

Former Tar Heel hoopster is leading angler at Big Rock

Posted June 13, 2011
Updated June 14, 2011

Former UNC basketball player Travis Stephenson should go buy a lottery ticket. Then again he may have caught one on the first day of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament out of Morehead City, NC.

Stephenson was the angler when a 652.8 pound blue marlin hit the line just after noon. In a little over an hour the crew of the boat Double B had the fish on board. "It was a text book catch, " Stephenson told WRAL. 

One of the crewmen on board was boat owner Harry Smith, Jr., a classmate of Stephenson at Clayton High. "We were just a bunch of guys jumping around, hugging each other with tears in our eyes, " Stephenson said after the one-hour fight to land the fish on the boat. 

A trip to the scales pushed the Double B fish to the top of the leader board after the first day of the 53rd annual Big Rock Tournament. If they remain there, the winning crew would win $524,375 in prize money.  

The boat Blue Water landed a 581 pound blue marlin and is in second position after the first day. 

Last year the boat Citation caught a whopping 883 pound marlin and would have won the tournament. But one of the crewmen didn't have a tournament required fishing license so they were disqualified and lost $890,000. 

Does Stephenson have his fishing license? "Oh yeah, I have it! " he quickly replied. "We wouldn't let anyone on board (Monday) morning without visual proof." 

Stephenson's only day to fish in the Big Rock was Monday. He had to get back to work on Tuesday as the vice-president of retail sales for Flanders Corporation. 

Whether he is the winning angler of this year's Big Rock tournament, Stephenson says, "This is bucket list kind of stuff here," referring to catching his first blue marlin in a tournament like this. "If someone catches a bigger fish, this is still a top 5 event for me."

The former Clayton Comet star already has a national championship ring he earned as a senior playing basketball at North Carolina. The Tar Heels beat Michigan to win the 1993 national championship.

 

 

 

50 Comments

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  • sharri0412 Jun 14, 11:05 p.m.

    Congratulations, Travis!!

  • Tarheel born Jun 14, 8:33 p.m.

    Depends on how you measure "better." Head to head over last 4 years, no they are not.... View More

    — Posted by ElvisPresleyJr

    LMAO.....Being a one sport school must be tough......College World Series........GO HEELS!!!

  • heelman73 Jun 14, 7:10 p.m.

    Depends on how you measure "better." Head to head over last 4 years, no they are not.... View More

    — Posted by ElvisPresleyJr

    "crumbling athletic program"?

    What an id!ot!!

  • ElvisPresleyJr Jun 14, 5:55 p.m.

    Depends on how you measure "better." Head to head over last 4 years, no they are not. Total wins over last 4 years, yes they are.
    - Posted by 4tarheels
    ------------------------
    Typical post by a typical tarhole fan. They can't accept the present status of their crumbling athletic program so they attempt to seek comfort and security in their past...trying to hold on to those glory days and tradition when they were still cheating but just had not been caught or investigated .....yet. alittle advice: the days of Dean Smith, the four corners, Woody, blah blah blah..are over.. there's a new era now..it's called WOLFPACK NATION.

  • BattlingBishop 5 Jun 14, 4:42 p.m.

    I dont think murderfish should be considered a sport. Anything a fat guy can do successfully... View More

    — Posted by TeenDAD

    Says the guy who would probably starve to death if forced to fend for himself.

    — Posted by Carameltoe

    +1

  • wjuliang Jun 14, 3:48 p.m.

    Must be a slow news day.

    — Posted by rspilkington

    +5

  • rspilkington Jun 14, 3:23 p.m.

    Must be a slow news day.

  • heelman73 Jun 14, 2:49 p.m.

    I dont think murderfish should be considered a sport. Anything a fat guy can do successfully... View More

    — Posted by TeenDAD

    About a billion NASCAR fans might disagree with you. :-)

    — Posted by heelman73

    Um, the drivers aren't fat. :)

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    Some have been.

  • Carameltoe Jun 14, 2:41 p.m.

    You mean, besides football.

    There, I fixed it for you.

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    Football.......really?

    — Posted by larrys080

    You're are not implying that UNC is better at football are you? What's it like living underneath... View More

    — Posted by Carameltoe

    Depends on how you measure "better." Head to head over last 4 years, no they are not.... View More

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    Does this include wins that will inevitably be vacated by the NCAA?

  • 4tarheels Jun 14, 2:33 p.m.

    Uh oh, if UNC gets wind of this and starts to go fishing like State, State will have no sports... View More

    — Posted by Krzyzewskiectomy

    You mean, besides football.

    There, I fixed it for you.

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    Football.......really?

    — Posted by larrys080

    You're are not implying that UNC is better at football are you? What's it like living underneath... View More

    — Posted by Carameltoe

    Depends on how you measure "better." Head to head over last 4 years, no they are not. Total wins over last 4 years, yes they are.

More...

 

 

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
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PHI 91
BRK 99
Final
ORL 96
GSW 111
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
CLE 113
WAS 87
Final
DET 98
LAC 104
 
Final
DAL 109
NYK 102
 
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ATL 115
TOR 126
 
Final
MIN 86
MIL 103
 
Final
HOU 102
SAC 89
 
Final
OKC 97
UTA 82
 
Final
SAN 106
IND 100
 
4th
PHO 112
DEN 102
 
2nd
LAL 36
MEM 34
 
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
CAMP 64
Final
LOU 45
CLST 33
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
 
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
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ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
Final
GWU 91
LONG 66
 
Final
VT 78
UMO 63
 
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WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
MINN 61
STJ 70
 
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
Final
YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
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UAB 43
WISC 72
Final
CORN 67
CAN 60
 
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WVU 103
VMI 72
Final
DEP 74
LEH 86
 
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UNT 67
MVSU 52
 
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MARS 68
MORE 77
 
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TCU 74
RAD 50
 
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SELA 86
TENT 65
 
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SMU 72
TXSOU 59
 
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UTAH 85
TXPA 48
 
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LMU 66
UCR 62
 
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SCAR 89
UNCA 75
 
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SD 86
WAYNEST 69
 
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PITT 70
KYST 47
 
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UWGB 59
FLGC 45
 
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IOWA 70
NILL 49
 
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ORST 69
AUB 71
 
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MONT 75
CARROLLMT 52
 
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SUTAH 64
EKENT 73
 
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NMST 78
FAM 33
 
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WYO 65
STET 41
 
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EWASH 81
NKENTUCKY 60
 
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IDST 57
WLVRN 60
 
2nd
GEOR 44
UF 44
 
2nd
GONZ 60
UGA 49
 
2nd
NIOWA 56
NW 37
 
2nd
CAL 36
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2nd
UCD 46
UTST 45
 
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NDAK 40
ALAST 15
 
1st
CSNO 10
PORST 16
 
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
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11:30pm Tonight
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TULSA
Final
NYI 3
WAS 2
Final
BUF 1
WIN 2
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
Final
TAM 4
NYR 3
 
Final
DET 5
PHI 2
 
Final
PIT 4
TOR 3
 
Final
MIN 0
LOS 4
 
3rd
COL 2
CHI 2
 
1st Intermission
SJS 0
CAL 0