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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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.
As impressive as the payouts were, equally remarkable was the huge number of marlin caught & released. By definition nobody saw them at the scales, but the release flags flew all week. The tournament record was 1,358 whites caught in 2016 but the anglers toped that by over 100 fish. The final count was 1,459 whites caught with 1,429 released with the top release boat, “Big Deal” out of Brielle, NJ breaking a 39-year-old record for most billfish releases by boat. The previous record was 26 white taken by the “Escapade” in 1980. In addition to the white marlin, the boats took 47 blue marlin with 46 released, and 13 sailfish were released as were the 2 spearfish caught. The total number of all billfish caught in the 46th Open was a staggering 1,521.
In the money divisions, basically, the big fish in most categories on Thursday held their spots after the last day of fishing. Ocean City, Maryland native Tommy Hinkle weighed a 79.5-pound white marlin on Thursday while fishing aboard the “Fish Whistle out of Indian River DE. The fish took 1st place and netted Tommy $1,504,720. Hinkle had also won the top white marlin in 2008 making Tommy the first angler in tournament history to win the top white marlin twice! The “Backlash” out of VA Beach, VA kept their $1,502,450 for the 73.5-pound white caught on Monday by angler Michael Wagner from La Plata, MD. “Chasing Tails” with angler Nate Walker, both from VA Beach, VA caught their 74-pound white on Monday and earned $135,000 (they were entered in fewer added entry levels than Backlash).
The 465.5-pound blue marlin caught on Tuesday by Craig Dickerson from Pasadena, MD aboard the “Haulin N Ballin” out of Ocean City, MD was the only qualifier in that division and Dickerson won $962,165 for his blue.
The “Crisdel” out of Ocean City, MD weighed in a 201-pound bigeye caught by Russell Garufi from Bishopville, MD on Monday and stayed in first the whole week to kept $935,915. The
“Seakeeper” from Wilmington, DE weighed a 150.5-pound Allison tuna on Friday. The angler was Andrew Semprevivo from Mystic Island, NJ who took 2nd place and won $135,432 for his efforts. Ocean City native Ronnie Fields weighed a 145.5-pound tuna off the “Mjolnir” out of Bay Point, FL on Tuesday and held on to win $128,675.
The 277.5-pound mako shark caught Monday by Greg Robinson aboard the “Polarizer” out of OC, MD was the only shark weighed and held onto $231,300 won from the “Big Fish” pool.
The “Give It Away” out of Jupiter FL took over 1st place in the wahoo division with a monster 91-pound fish caught by Anne Aramandia from New Braufels, TX who won $24,475. Other winners in the wahoo division were the “The Natural,” who won $23,475, “Keepin It Reel” who won $20,475 and the “Nighthawk” out of Brielle, NJ with angler Jay Monteverdi, also from Brielle who won $20,475.
The big winner in the dolphin division was the “Miss-Tress” out of Brielle, NJ with Randy Drozd also from Brielle. The “Miss-Tress” was in the small boat dolphin division and the 38-pound dolphin weighed on Friday won $74,900. The 1st place 41-pounder taken off the “Playmate” out of OC, MD won $20,380 while the 2nd place dolphin was caught off the Stewart, FL boat
“Irene”. Angler Frank Sinito form Jupiter, FL won just $3,000 as the boat was not entered in extra added skill levels.
In the Small Boat Division, it was Tommy Hinkle with the top white which helped his winnings grow to $1,504,720. The heavy fish was taken by the “Reeldiculous” angler Graham Ward who caught a 121-pound yellowfin good for $108,000.
Top Release Anglers
White Marlin Open Grand Champion
Ed Russo from Carlstadt, NJ
Fishing on “Big Deal” out of Brielle, NJ
1,190 points, 17 white marlin released
2nd Place Angler
Robert Wedeking from Princeton, NJ
Fishing on “Override” out of Brielle, NJ
910 points, 13 white marlin released
3rd Place Angler
Victor Roof, Jr.
Fishing on “Game On” out of Charleston, SC
875 points, 10 white marlin and 1 blue marlin released
4th Place Angler
Nicholas Rodriguez from Dover, DE
Fishing on “Par Five” out of Dover, DE
735 points, 8 white marlin and 1 blue marlin released
5th Place Angler
Dante Rodriguez from Egg Harbor, NJ
Fishing on “MJs” out of Cape May, NJ
735 points, 8 white marlin and 1 blue marlin released
Top Release Boats
1st Place Boat
“Big Deal” out of Brielle, NJ
1,960 points, 27 white marlin released*
2nd Place Boat
“Uno Mas” out of Ocean City, MD
1,785 points, 23 white marlin and 1 blue marlin released
3rd Place Boat
“Tar Heel” out of Wanchese, NC
1,750 points, 25 white marlin released
* Broke a 39-year-old Tournament Record for most release points by a boat. The previous record was 1,949 billfish pts. by the “Escapade “ in 1980 which consisted of 24 white marlin released and 2 boated. The “Big Deal” out of Brielle, NJ caught and released 27 white marlin to earn the WMO top release boat ever.
46tTH ANNUAL WHITE MARLIN OPEN – This is the BIGGEST one yet! There’s a total of 404 boats entered and over $6.1 MILLION in prize money.
World’s Largest & Richest Billfish Tournament
DAY 4 –
Scales just opened up and there’s a new front runner! Fish Whistle with a 79.5 white marlin caught by angler Tom Hinkle. Worth approx 1.4m Let’s see what comes in next!
New Small Boat Tuna Leader!
It was a rainy day at the scale but the fish don’t care! There were several dolphin weighed, with HELLSEA bringing in the heaviest at 22 pounds which took the Daily Dolphin category and $16,000. A 54.5 pound wahoo caught aboard the Nighthawk III took the Daily Wahoo category and will make some delicious dinners. The big story of the day was the 121 pound tuna caught by Graham Ward on Reeldiculous. It is the new leader in the Small Boat Tuna category and took the Daily Tuna prize. It is currently worth $100,000. Check out all of the live action tomorrow streaming live on the MarlinCam!
DAY 1 –
Day 1 Leaderboard:
8/5/19, Chasin Tail, Nathan Walker, 74, $1,450,000.00
8/5/19, Reel Chaos, Brandon Dick-Giordano, 70, $1,500,000.00
8/5/19, Crisdel, Russell Garufi, 201, $940,000.00
8/5/19, Theresa Jean, Chuck Metz, 101, $88,000.00
8/5/19, BAR South, Rob Gothier, 77.5, $36,000.00
8/5/19, Eastbound, Billy Fox, 69, $66,000.00
8/5/19, Priceless, Sean Garry, 64.5, $98,000.00
8/5/19, Game Changer, Rob Howes, 35.5, $18,000.00
8/5/19, Ditchdigger Too, John Albanese III, 30.5, $1,500.00
8/5/19, Top Notch, Jim Kwortnik, 27, $1,000.00
8/5/19, Heatwave, Brett Clarence, 26.5, $75,000.00
8/5/19, The Natural, Kyle McLaughlin, 82, $18,000.00
8/5/19, Caneelin, Sarah Bohlman, 54.5, $2,000.00
8/5/19 Sweetums, Terry Dorris, 50.5, $1,500.00
8/5/19, Polarizer, Greg Robinson, 277.5, $225,000.00
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.