OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND – May 27, 2020 — The White Marlin Open, an offshore billfish tournament held in Ocean City, today announces plans for its upcoming 47th annual tournament to be held August 3 through August 7. The tournament will follow local and state guidelines for crowd size, which have yet to be determined.
Awarding more than $77 million in prizes to date, The White Marlin Open expects to give out more than $6.5 million to this year’s tournament winners, topping not only the record $6.1 million payout from 2019 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 wand dolphin.
“We are excited to announce that the White Marlin Open will go on this year. A record boat turnout is expected, as people are ready for sports to return and anglers are anxious to get back out on the water, especially as fuel prices are drastically lower than last year,” said Jim Motsko, Founder of the White Marlin Open tournament.
“The main impact we’ll see due to state and local guidelines for social distancing is around spectators viewing the weigh-ins, however nothing about the fishing experience will be altered,” added Tournament Directors. “Our goal is to share the tournament experience as best we can–especially the weigh-ins–in the safest manner possible so that families can continue to enjoy Tournament Week here in Ocean City.”
The 2020 White Marlin Open will feature a new category, Level Pay Day:
The total purse will be divided by five days. Each day’s purse will be split evenly among those winning first, second or third place white marlin, blue marlin and tuna that day. If there are no winners for a particular day, the un-won prize money will be split evenly among the purses of the other days.
Boats can save $350 on the basic entry fee by registering before June 1. 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.
The White Marlin Open 2020 tournament is presented by Pure Lure. Sponsors include Rick Bogert Marine Art, Park Place Jewelers, Pelagic, Maryland Live Casino, Bank of Ocean City, Okiaya Chesapeake Urology, Boston Scientific, Under Armour, HUK, Yacht World, South Jersey Yacht Sales, Miller Lite, Mid Shore Electronics, Clarion, Viking, Ocean Ready, Garmin, Sunset Marina, Jarrett Bay, Chesapeake Whalertowne,
Travelers Insurance, Christi Insurance, WB Diesel/Johnson & Towers, Big Game Fishing Journal, Fish Unlimited, Bevanda, Bayliss Boatworks, Spencer Yacht Brokerage/Spencer Yacht Sales, Fin & Field, Atlantic Tackle, Phillips Seafood Restaurants, Phillips Beach Plaza Hotel, Harborside Bar & Grill, Baitmasters of South Florida Cummins Power Systems, Seacrets, and Bad Monkey.
About White Marlin Open
The White Marlin Open is a 47-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 $77 million dollars since 1974 to the lucky winners among more than 105,000 anglers aboard over 14,000 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.
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If you’re looking for world-class blue marlin fishing along the East Coast, you need to be in Hatteras, North Carolina May 12 – 16, 2020 for the Hatteras Village Offshore, an InTheBite Captain of the Year sanctioned event. Hatteras Village offers a laidback atmosphere for the opening tournament in the North Carolina Governor’s Cup Series, where year after year quality blue marlin are brought to the dock.
In addition to the great fishing, fun evening activities are scheduled giving you an opportunity to hang out with your fellow competitors and friends and to enjoy all that Hatteras has to offer. Hatteras has been known as the Blue Marlin Capital of the World for years. The Hatteras Village Offshore Open exemplifies this designation. May is peak blue marlin time in Hatteras, and the catch per boat effort is higher than any other tournament in the U.S.
Since its inaugural year in 1995, there have been six blue marlin over 600 pounds that won the biggest blue marlin category, with an 861-pound giant in 1998. Over the last five years, the biggest blue marlin have ranged in size from 531-pounds to 690-pounds. Last year, four blue marlin were brought to the dock with the largest a 656-pounder.
The Hatteras Village Offshore Open has a three out of four-day fishing format and offers seven different levels in which to win money. Levels include heaviest blue marlin, daily release points and game fish (tuna, dolphin and wahoo), with the overall winner scoring the most release points.
There is a safe and well-marked channel from the docks to the fishing waters, easily accommodating larger boats. There are four marinas – Oden’s Dock, Hatteras Harbor Marina, Village Marina and Teach’s Lair – to handle any size boat, or pull up to the Hatteras Marlin Club.
The Hatteras Village Offshore Open could not happen without the support of our sponsors, some of them have been with us since the very first tournament. We give special thanks to our Grand Slam Sponsor, the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, and Blue Marlin Sponsor, Atlantic Packaging. Other sponsors include Western Branch, Spencer Yachts, Gregory Poole, Bayliss Boatworks, Bonze Lures, Bray’s House Moving, Flying Fish and Jernigan Oil.
Proceeds from the tournament support the Hatteras Village Civic Association in their mission to continue providing scholarships to college-bound village residents as well as supporting charitable
causes within the community. Come and experience the world-class fishing and local hospitality in Hatteras Village all while supporting a great cause.
For more information visit hvoo.org or email@example.com
Desperado ain’t out riding fences no more. The Manteo-based charter boat, a 56-foot Taylor Harrison run by Capt. Rob Barker, went wire to wire to win the 36th annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament. The team added a confirmed blue marlin and sailfish on Friday to accrue 1,000 points overall, good for a payout of $198,519. Jeff James and Braxton Rigsbee are the mates and the anglers included Mickey Carter, Jeff Craven, Craig Sudbrink, Billy Carter, Andy Gay and Ron Wade.
Desperado was the top boat with seven billfish releases (two confirmed blue marlin and five sailfish). The boat also won additional jackpots for points and the Day 1 billfish daily.
“This is the most memorable win for me since the Pirate’s Cove is our local tournament,” Barker said after the awards banquet Friday night. “It really means a lot. My mates and crew did a great job. I’ve been fishing with some of these guys since I was a mate.”
The General, a 55 Buddy Cannady based in Morehead City, NC and run by Capt. Wade Fickling, earned second place boat honors with its last day rally of a verified blue marlin and two sailfish. The General won $104,542.50 by releasing six billfish overall, good for 900 points. Alberto Ramos and Trey Sadler are the mates and the anglers included Brandon Barham, Andrew Farrar, Brad Schendt, Thomas Eller, Adam Johnson and Zack Schuch.
Skirt Chaser, another Buddy Cannady (53 foot) with local Barry Daniels at the helm also earned some serious coin for the week—$136,343–for releasing four billfish. John Elvers, Justin Huntley, Lanier Riddick, Dennis Fitzgerald, and Dillon Jones manned the rods, while mates Billy Dickerson and Gunner Jones worked the ‘pit.
Natural, a 56 Ricky Scarborough (Capt. Carl Beale) was named the fourth place boat with four billfish releases, while Sea Toy, a 59 Spencer Yachts (Capt. Bull Tolson) was fifth with seven releases. Dan Stephano earned the Top Angler Trophy with three sailfish released while fishing on Sea Toy.
Since nearly the entire fleet chose to lay on Day Two, the two-place daily jackpots were split over the three remaining fish days. In addition to Desperado NC and Skirt Chaser, the payouts went to Uno Mas as the top boat for Day 3. Second place prizes ($17,085) went to Fender Bender, Goombay and Pelican. Fin Planner was the top boat in the blue marlin release points, winning $83,300, while Sandra D, Skirt Chaser and Bi-Op-Sea earned money for releasing the first billfish each fishing day.
Owen Maxwell and his team on Ann Warwick, a 76 Paul Mann, are taking home $9,775 for boating the largest tuna in the winner-take-all jackpot. Maxwell’s bigeye tipped the scales at 114.6 pounds. J&B, a 55 Wanchese, scored the largest dolphin of the week, a bull at 45.6 pounds, also worth $9,775, while Triple “S”, a 60 Viking, boated the top wahoo at 54.8 pounds.
Sheree Leach, fishing on Dropped Call, a 61 Viking, was named the Top Lady Angler for releasing one verified blue marlin. Clay Horton, manning the rod on Trophy, a 50 Viking, earned Top Junior Angler honors after releasing a white marlin and sailfish.
A total of 71 boats competed in the 36th annual event, with $702,400 in prize money on the line. A total of 124 billfish were released during the three days of fishing, including 82 sailfish, 31 blue marlin and 11 white marlin. Twenty-eight game fish were brought to the scales.
“It’s been a fun week,” said Tournament Director Heather Maxwell. “Except for some rain, the seas cooperated and it was great to see that many blue ones caught. I’d like to thank all the teams for fishing with us again, my board of directors, all the wonderful sponsors and our hard-working staff and volunteers. I look forward to seeing everyone again next August here on the Outer Banks.”
The 37th Annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament is scheduled for August 10-14, 2020.
The 46th White Marlin Open can be considered the most successful tournament yet for a number of reasons: 404 boats fishing for a World Record $6,186,870 in prize money is a good start. The red hot billfishing set a tournament record for the number of billfish caught and released. The prize money paid included two anglers that each won over $1,500,000, a blue marlin won $962,165, a tuna that took $935,915, a dolphin that won $74,900, and a shark that won $231,300. [Read more…]