For the second year in a row, the last white marlin weighed netted a world record purse. In 2021, Sushi out of Ocean City, MD, took the top white marlin at the last minute and at the time collected (a then world record payout) of $3,200,000 for catching a fish. That record payout lasted just 10 months when angler Matthew Brown fishing aboard the Mercenaria in the 2022 Big Rock tournament out of Morehead City, NC weighed a 572.6-pound blue marlin and won $3,489,813.
By Nichole Osinski
You would be hard pressed to find two tournament wins that happened the exact same way. Between crew dynamic, trusted tackle, coveted fishing grounds and everything in between, the team that wrangles in that sweet prize-winning fish has their own unique story. This rings true for the team aboard the Sushi, a 57’ Island Boat Works, after angler Butch Wright reeled in an 85.5-pound white marlin earning them a first place spot and $3.2 million at the 48th White Marlin Open at the beginning of August.
White Marlin Open, Aug. 3, 2021—The $9.2 million purse has already started to be divided up after only one day of fishing. The purse is, as expected, weighed more heavily to billfish categories and two Virginia Beach boats are holding onto $5,700,000 of that purse after day 1 of 2021 the White Marlin Open.
White Marlin Open, 1st Place Release – 500 pts.
MidAtlantic, Most Points Overall – 500 pts.
It never hurts to have a former champ in the driver’s seat and for the third time in five years, Capt. Russell Sinclair of Merritt Island, Florida, has earned a coveted Captain of the Year Cup. And with his 2020 showing, Sinclair is the first captain to win different divisions. With tournaments being forced to shutter across the globe, this was unlike any fishing season anyone had ever experienced. “So, we started last year in March and had some great fishing in the Abacos. We had two trips down there. And right before the closure, we moved the boat back to the U.S. and we sat there waiting during the whole quarantine thing to see what to do with our season. We wanted to go down to St. Thomas and fish the BVI and USVI, but we finally just pulled the plug on everything and went to the Northeast. We kinda weren’t supposed to be there,” Sinclair says.
By Keith Bowen
During the 2017 WMO, I fished with Capt. Ricky Wheeler on the Exile 65 Paul Mann out of The Canyon Club Marina in Cape May, NJ. After a classic crashing teaser bite, a plug was pitched on an 80W standup combo and it was ‘game on’ with a decent sized Blue Marlin. I quickly got in my Smitty Built harness and got ready for a fight. Between fishing in Costa Rica and New Jersey, I had caught about 20 Blue Marlin in the past but after one jump, it was clear this was my biggest to date. Everyone was extremely excited during the controlled chaos as there had not yet been a blue weighed in and we were in the right Calcutta’s.