A Cape Charles Boat has the early lead in the Big Rock Marlin Tournament  in Morehead City, North Carolina.

The Mercenaria, a 72 foot Viking boat, based out of Cherrystone Creek, holds the early lead and has already pocketed $777,750 after it became the first to boat a blue marlin weighing over 500 pounds. The boat, owned by Chad Ballard and Captained by Neil Sykes, is named after the genus/species of clams grown by Ballard’s company Cherrystone Aquafarms.

The money fish was reeled in by Matt Brown, a resident of Cape Charles, on Monday and tipped the scales at 572.6 pounds.

Also on the boat with Cherrystone Aquafarms is Tim Rapine, as well as Ben and Ashley Fox.

After the first day, second place is held by the Wall Hanger with a 556.4 lb marlin.  In third place is High Yield with a 536.8 lb. entry.

The Morehead City, North Carolina, tournament annually draws hundreds of boats from along the East Coast to fish for millions of dollars in prize money. The tournament opened Monday and is held daily until Saturday at Big Rock Landing.

big rock fishing tournament