World’s largest billfishing tournament adds lady angler, small boat dolphin and big fish categories for 2019 event
OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND – June 26, 2019 – The White Marlin Open, an offshore billfish tournament held in Ocean City, today announces plans for its upcoming 46th annual tournament to be held August 5 through August 9. The tournament, which has awarded more than $68 million in prizes to date, expects to give out more than $6 million to this year’s tournament winners, topping not only the record $5.5 million payout from 2018 but also almost every other professional sports payout in the world. Prizes are awarded for catches of white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, dolphin, and shark, as well as most release points by boat and daily catches of wahoo, tuna and dolphin.
This year’s event features three new categories:
New Small Boat Dolphin Level
A new addition to the 2019 tournament is a winner-take-all small boat (under 40 feet LOA) level to the dolphin category (level SBD) available for a $1,000 entry fee. “Our small boat divisions have grown every year and we wanted to offer yet another option for this growing category,” stated Jim Motsko, Founder and President of the White Marlin Open.
New Big Fish Category
Another new entry level in 2019 is the big fish category (level BF) for all boats, which is winner take all for heaviest overall white marlin, blue marlin, swordfish, tuna, dolphin, wahoo or shark. The category is available for a $1,500 entry fee.
Also new this year is a high lady angler category which recognizes a first, second and third place winner with the most billfish points. “We’re seeing more and more ladies participating each year and we’re excited to award the top female anglers for billfish points,” commented Madelyne Rowan, Tournament Director at the White Marlin Open.
Participating boats can depart from anywhere within the 100 nautical mile limit fishing boundary. As a result, boats do not have to leave from the Ocean City Inlet to participate and can depart from as north as Barnegat, NJ and Cape May Inlet, all the way south to Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center. Additionally, smaller boats may compete against the whole fleet or enter categories limited to boats under 40 feet.
In addition to tournament participants, the White Marlin Open draws thousands of families who schedule their vacations around “Tournament Week” in Ocean City. Spectators are welcome to view the weigh-ins free of charge at the official scale at Harbour Island each day from 4:00 pm to 9:15 pm.
The White Marlin Open 2019 tournament is presented by Quiet Storm. Platinum sponsors include Rick Bogert Marine Art, Park Place Jewelers, Pelagic, and Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel. Diamond sponsors include Bank of Ocean City, OKIAYA, and Warriors Ethos. Gold Sponsors include Tawes Marine Insurance, Scatterbrain, Fish Whistle, Jarrett Bay, Clarion Hotel, Chantilly Air, HUK, Garmin, Sunset Marina, Viking Yachts and Miller Lite. Silver sponsors include Big Game Fishing Journal, Fish Unlimited Taxidermy, Travelers Insurance, Christi Insurance, Atlantic Tackle, Bayliss Boatworks, Fin & Field, Sportsman Boats Manufacturing, Midshore Electronics, ElectroSea and Caza Offshore. Bronze sponsors include Seacrets, Release Marine, Johnson & Towers, Spencer Yachts Brokerage, Cummins Power Systems, Phillips Seafood Restaurants, Harborside Bar & Grill, and Baitmasters of South Florida. Tournament partners include Coastal Fisherman, Hooked on OC, Fish in OC, Explore Ocean City, Maryland Food Bank, Pure Lure and Huck Performance Buckets.
About White Marlin Open
The White Marlin Open is a 46-year-old offshore fishing tournament held annually in Ocean City, Maryland. The tournament awards prize money for catches of white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, dolphin, and shark. Long known as “World’s Largest Billfishing Tournament,” the White Marlin Open (WMO) has awarded over $68 million dollars since 1974 to the lucky winners among more than 100,000 anglers aboard over 13,000 registered boats. Along the way, the WMO became the largest billfish tournament and holds the world record for prize money payouts for any type of fishing tournament. To learn more, please visit https://whitemarlinopen.com.