NBA Legend Jordan Reels in Big Blue Marlin in Tourney

It's no bull, MJ is a wizard at deep-sea fishing at Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

NBA Legend Jordan Reels in Big Blue Marlin in Tourney

For former NBA great Michael Jordan, competition is competition, even when the sport is fishing. (Photo courtesy of Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament)

Only weeks after Michael Jordan captivated the nation again with the extraordinary COVID-19 quarantine run of the "Last Dance" documentary series on ESPN, #23 is up to his old tricks again.

Except this time, the NBA Hall-of-Famer who many regard as basketball's G.O.A.T. (greatest of all-time), isn't swishing a basketball through the net at the buzzer as millions of fans wait on the edges of their seats.

This week, MJ is making waves in the sports world again. Except, it isn't on a basketball court or Olympic venue.

It's the wide-open, wave-tossed waters of the Atlantic Ocean during one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious offshore fishing tournaments. For MJ, competition is competition, even when the sport is fishing.


With the likes of TMZ, Sports Illustrated, and the Washington Post sitting up and taking notice on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, Jordan and the anglers and crew aboard his CATCH 23 fishing boat caused quite a stir as they came to the docks during the 62nd Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, going on this week off Morehead City, N.C.


Anticipation was already running high since the tournament’s website had stirred the waters with a report of a big blue marlin hook-up and catch aboard the CATCH 23 boat around the mid-day hour on Tuesday. Skippered by Capt. Stetson Turney, the team found plenty of onlookers waiting later in the afternoon to see the big fish hoisted up for weighing and display.

When the weight was announced at 442.3 pounds, Jordan and his crew were all smiles as the CATCH 23 moved into sixth place on the leaderboard behind the tournament’s No. 1 catch thus far, a 494.2-pound blue marlin brought in by the crew aboard the Predator.

In an interview aired by TMZ Sports Jordan told an on-the-dock interviewer after the weigh-in that while this particular deep sea tournament was not his first for blue marlin, it was the first one he has participated in in his home state of North Carolina.

Given his success on Tuesday—and the crowds of onlookers cheering on MJ not too many miles away from where he starred at the University of North Carolina—Jordan might be back for more in future tourneys. Especially if his team, which went out onto the Atlantic aboard the 80-foot Viking boat that the NBA great owns, can find a way to come back and win it all.


"If I could say this, I'd love to be back...with a little bit bigger fish," Jordan said with a smile.

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan and his 'CATCH 23' team boated a 442-pound blue marlin in the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament)

Legendary angler?

Despite the recent COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that have limited big-crowd gatherings, the ongoing reopening of American society brought lots of enthusiastic onlookers on Tuesday to cheer on MJ and the other anglers. Jordan noted that North Carolinians are eager to support the state’s various stars and the good causes they represent.

That includes the Big Rock tournament, which according to its website, is committed to giving to a core group of charities within the local region. After last year’s event, the tourney (and the affiliated KWLA tournament) have now contributed some $6,009,721, with even more contributions scheduled to come after this year’s event.


Jordan indicated he was more than happy to be a part of such fundraising efforts in his home state.

"I can't (forget)," said Jordan. "This is where I'm from and I never forget home. I'm a true blue Carolinian and every chance I get to come back home, I'm always looking forward to it."

Jordan, of course, is no stranger to success in competitive action during his legendary athletic career. His career accomplishments include numerous championships and honors, ranging from the 1982 NCAA college basketball championship to six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls.

MJ also has two Olympic gold medals in basketball, numerous Hall-of-Fame honors, has had his playing number retired in both Chapel Hill and Chicago, and was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN (Jordan was second behind Babe Ruth in the AP’s similar list of 20th century athletes).

Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame twice, Jordan still reportedly holds the NBA record for the highest career regular-season scoring average with 30.12 points per game along with the highest NBA career scoring average with 33.45 points per game.

Such basketball accolades fueled production of the popular documentary series on MJ’s legendary career, a cable television series that captivated a quarantined nation during the spring. Originally scheduled to run on ESPN this summer, the series—which drew incredible ratings and acclaim—was moved up for early release due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For all his success in the basketball world and now on TV, for this week at least, Jordan has found a different kind of success in the sports world. And with days yet to go in one of the nation’s longest running offshore tournaments, don't count the basketball legend out just yet.

There may not be a net involved with the landing of this kind of billfish and the trophy may look a little different than the others he's hoisted during his career.

And as Jordan has proven time and again, when the ball is in his hand—or this time, a rod-and-reel—anything is possible as time winds down on the clock and the crowd looks on.

Big blue marlin of the Atlantic, beware because Michael Jordan is on the prowl and looking for yet another trophy to add to his immense collection.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Pure Fishing's Andrew Wheeler tells Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead all about the brand new Abu Garcia Virtual rod that integrates Bluetooth technology through a free ANGLR smartphone app.

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

After making the switch to Berkley products heading into the inaugural BPT season, Edwin Evers tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead why Berkley baits played such a key role in his recent angling success.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix them. Fishing How-To

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix...

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the Garden State's hottest bass fishing. Destinations

7 Best Bets for New Jersey Bass

J.B. Kasper - October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the...

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing. Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the cooler.

By Other Freshwater

6 Tips for Nighttime Crappie

Keith Sutton - June 19, 2017

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the...

See More Trending Articles

More News

Wonders of Wildlife, created by Johnny Morris, has been nominated; deadline to vote is July 6. News

Your Vote Counts for 'America's Best Aquarium 2020'

Game & Fish Staff

Wonders of Wildlife, created by Johnny Morris, has been nominated; deadline to vote is July 6.

So far, ICAST still on, but fly-fishing show canceled. Conservation & Politics

COVID-19 Brings Hope, Despair for 2020 Fishing Shows

Lynn Burkhead - April 08, 2020

So far, ICAST still on, but fly-fishing show canceled.

Missouri angler beats his own spotted sucker record; bow fisherman also recognized. News

Possible World Record Breaks Angler's Own Mark

Game & Fish Digital Staff - April 30, 2020

Missouri angler beats his own spotted sucker record; bow fisherman also recognized.

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is personally donating protective masks to medical workers across the U.S. News

BPS's Morris Donates 1 Million Masks: COVID-19

Lynn Burkhead - April 21, 2020

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is personally donating protective masks to medical...

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now