35T Pelagic Hunter Wins Big Rock!


Congrats Capt. Cruise and Crew!

Big Rock Tourney Results

1st Place: PELAGIC HUNTER II 495.2 lbs. $206, 688
2nd Place: SEA STRIKER 495, $1,056,138
3rd Place: PREDATOR 494.2 lbs., $273,750
4th Place: HATTER-DONE 488.1 lbs., $130,050
Full results from Big Rock

The 62nd Annual tournament hosted 205 boats & racked up a total of 185 releases- 144 blue marlin, 22 white marlin & 19 sailfish for a 93% release rate! 

Photos courtesy of Grace Bell Photography

First Outboard Boat Victory in Over 30 Years!

Contender Boats, Inc. would like to send a warm congratulations to Capt. John Cruise III, Riley Adkins, Kyle Kirkpatrick., and  Norm Bowen, —  the four man crew of the Pelagic Hunter II for their win edging out the competition catching a 495lb. blue marlin to take home over $200k in prize money.

Making this even more impressive is that the crew boated this fish on a 35T center console Contender proving once again that with a Contender, you’re always in the game.  The Pelagic Hunter Team was the first outboard boat to win the Big Rock in OVER 30 Years!

The crew hails from Sneeds Ferry, NC and fishes offshore regularly. They ousted world class fishing teams from all over the country including the Catch-23, Michael Jordan’s 80’ Viking that weighed a 442 lb. marlin early in the week.

Capt. John is an active duty marine, serving his country when he’s not catching giant tournament winning fish off the coast of North Carolina. Capt. John Cruise III has fishing the coastal and offshore waters for more than two decades, and is available for charter fishing via his company Pelagic Hunter at http://www.carolinaoffshorefishing.com/

Congratulations Capt. and crew on an incredible win, and an amazing story!

Watch Big Rock TV on Facebook, to Capt. John talk about the ride of his Contender 35T, and the story of catching this big blue marlin on a center console.

The 35T is team Pelagic Hunter’s boat of choice – The predecessor to the 35ST, is one of the hand-laid fiberglass hulls built by Contender that go to sea like no other.

These boats are built for speed, and built to fish effectively during top-tier fishing tournaments like the Big Rock, White Marlin Open, Bluewater Movements Quest for the Crest, and others.

From the marlin rich waters off the coast of North Carolina, to the canyons of the Northern states, and back down to South Florida – You’ll find Contender Boats. 

Always in the Game.

Contender Boats are always custom made and crafted with multiple options to accommodate your boating and fishing style and application.  A center console fishing machine for the dedicated anglers who fish a little harder.

Capt. John Cruise III when asked on the ride of his Contender:

“I did my research – I looked at  – what are the best boats out there that can work well for the company, but can also handle the sea state when the going gets tough, and it gets rough out there like it does…something for me to put the tabs down and go 20-25 and get in safely.  Big thing for my clients, but also for us when we’re doing this type of (tournament) fishing. I did my research, and found that the 35T climbed to the top unequivocally.”

Not just a competitor…

A Contender.

Not just a competitor…


… A Contender