June 9 (UPI) — NBA legend Michael Jordan and the crew on his boat caught a 442.3-pound marlin on Tuesday during the second day of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, N.C.
Video from the event captured Jordan’s boat — named “Catch 23” — pulling in toward the docks. The former Chicago Bulls great drew cheers and whistles when he emerged on the deck of his 80-foot Viking.
The crew’s marlin then was raised for the weigh-in and came in with an official listing of 442.3 pounds, drawing another round of applause as Jordan and his crew posed for pictures with cigars in hand.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve been back in Morehead City. It’s only about 100 miles from Wilmington, and it’s always great for me to be able to come back,” Jordan said. “I’m happy to be back. Thank you for inviting me.”
The North Carolina tournament pays out for the three largest blue marlins caught, with the winner of the event earning $ 1.1 million. There is also a $ 550,000 prize for the first crew to nab a 500-pound marlin.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Jordan’s marlin was the fifth-heaviest pulled in and not eligible for prize money. Jordan and his “Catch 23” crew have two more days to reel in a bigger fish. The leading blue marlin weighed 494.2 pounds.
Jordan said this year’s Big Rock tournament isn’t his first fishing competition, but it is the first marlin tournament in which he has competed in his home state of North Carolina.
“This is a chance for me to come back home,” Jordan said. “Every chance I get, I love to come back home.”