Band the billfish

Since it’s inaugural year in 1989, the NCDU Billfish Tournament has produced some memorable and enviable results within the communities of both N.C. Ducks Unlimited and the avid tournament sport fisherman in the state.

  • Created an awareness of the scientific value of tagging and accounted for more than 500 tagged billfish in the early years of the tournament. In the early years of the tournament, tag sticks were part of the Captains Bag, and tagging workshops held to educate in proper tagging technique.

  • Working with National Marine Fisheries, created the required minimums for Blue Marlin of 110 or 400 lbs. These minimums protect smaller fish that are not yet in the breeding population. These minimums have been recognized by all the tournaments in the N.C. Governors Cup series and are also the standard in many other tournaments up and down the East Coast.

  • 1032 billfish have been released.

  • The tournament has a release rate that exceeds 99% for all years of the tournament and is 100% for the last 10 years. That 100% release rate has been achieved in 19 of the 25 years of the tournament.

  • A 1002 lb. Blue Marlin, the largest ever taken out of Morehead City, was taken aboard Capt. Howard Basnights Wave Runner in 1989.

  • 100s of thousands of dollars in prize money has been paid out to participating anglers, with special recognition going to Lady Anglers and Greenwing anglers.

  • More than $1,000,000 has been generated to create & maintain numerous D.U. habitat projects within North Carolina and in the northern breeding grounds that produce the birds that winter here.