Waste Knot Wins the 15th Annual VBBT with a 683-Pound Blue Marlin, Five White Marlin Releases
The 15th annual Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament wrapped up Saturday night and closed the chapter on a historic event. A record 80 boats competed this year for a new benchmark $620,000 in prize money. For the first time, two blue marlin were weighed and one of them made a huge difference for the Manteo, North Carolina team, Waste Knot. Angler Ed Groce boated a 683-pound blue and combined with five white marlin releases, gave the team the top score (1,033 points) and the top payout, $282,000.
2018 MidAtlantic Comes to a Close in Record Setting Fashion!
The 2018 MidAtlantic, the 27th edition of sportfishing’s “Main Event,” came to an exciting close last night for the 157 participating boats and crews with award ceremonies featuring lavish buffet dinners and record cash payouts for numerous winners celebrated at Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland. The week saw numerous records set once again including a cash purse of well over $3.36 million up for grabs, record single payouts for the top winners in the white marlin and tuna categories and a record number of blue marlin (55) caught and well over 750 white marlin released!
The final day of the 2018 MidAtlantic dawned sunny and clear with a light breeze and full moon in the sky. Once again, a bit of tournament history was set as for the first time in the event’s 27-year history the entire fleet of 157 boats was eligible to fish on the final day. Day Five saw several changes on the leaderboard on what has traditionally been called Moving Day at the MidAtlantic. This event was the first billfish tournament to use the phrase in reference to the major shake-ups which occur on the leaderboard and this year would be no different. Sea conditions improved dramatically from the previous day and the billfish bite continued its scorching pace.
The most significant changes occurred in the white marlin category when Captain Doug Ortlip backed Sean O’Donnell’s Cape May-based Got Game to the scales at Canyon Club in Cape May and weighed a 78-pounder for angler O’Donnell to jump to the top of the leaderboard. O’Donnell and crew later in the evening accepted the winner’s check of $905,408 in Cape May, a record payout for white marlin! Got Game’s 78-pounder pushed Thomas Colquhoun’s Special Situation from Ocean City, Maryland and Justin Branning’s 3’s Enough from Wall, New Jersey, leaders from Day One of the tournament, into a tie for second place as each had weighed white marlin of 73-pounds. 3’s Enough received $293,712 while Special Situation netted $134,006. Worthy of note is the difference in payouts reflects the level of side bets, known as Calcuttas, each participant enters. Another significant change to the leaderboard on Day Five occurred when Captain Paul Robertson weighed a 69-pound white marlin for angler Joey Hurley from their Dayton, Maryland-based FFMD and moved into a tie for third place with Leonard Tallo’s Gusto from Islamorada, Florida. For their efforts Gusto received $169,466 while FFMD netted $141,376.
InTheBite is proud to announce that AIRMAR Technology Corporation as the sponsor of the East Coast Division of the Captain of the Year Cup. The leader in Chirp-ready transducer technology, AIRMAR products make it possible for captains to view what goes on underwater with unparalleled clarity. Given the direct link between installation of AIRMAR products and tournament performance, the sponsorship is a natural fit. To take the relationship a step further, AIRMAR is sweetening the pot with a $2,000 bonus for the East Coast Captain of the Year if his boat is equipped with an AIRMAR produced CHIRP-ready transducer.
“Top captains are always looking for an edge and AIRMAR Chirp-ready transducers can make that happen,” states AIRMAR director of marketing, Craig Cushman. “We’re excited to reward the winning captain with $2000 if his boat is properly equipped.”
The rules are simple. To be eligible to win, the AIRMAR produced CHIRP transducer must be in place on the boat by June 1. 2018. If you’ve been considering a transducer upgrade, there has never been a better time. In order to collect the prize, captains and crew agree to allow AIRMAR to use their photo in marketing and promotion. See more fish, perform better in tournament season and win some extra cash. How can you go wrong?
NOTE: AIRMAR makes transducers for every top electronics brand. Check either the cable label or the top of the transducer for the AIRMAR name.