There should be an exciting end to the 49th White Marlin Invitational run by the Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club. That contest finishes with 21 of the 22 boats fishing and nothing unbeatable on the board — though the 356-pound blue marlin weighed by Melina will be tough to beat. I’m sorry I couldn’t update this last night, but the WMIT doesn’t change the leaderboard as new entries come in and this info wasn’t available until the morning.
Saturday’s fishing wasn’t up to Friday’s standard when all nine boats fishing had at least a catch or release for a slightly revised total of just four white marlin releases plus the boating of an exceptional nine bigeye tuna along with 18 yellowfins, two dolphin and the 356-pound blue marlin.
Dave Ridley reports that only five of the 14 boats fishing Saturday scored with the unusual showing of bigeyes continuing as 16 up to a 140.5-pounder were caught along with only five yellowfins up to 57.85 pounds and just one of the targeted white marlin was released.
The big money would be won by a white marlin large enough to weigh, though the scarcity of whites makes that look like a long shot. Mary Joe’s 156.2-pound bigeye is looking good despite the relative abundance of those tuna. Jersey Nutz won the Treasure Chest last year with only a 62.5-pound tuna, but could be in line for the dolphin money as they lead in that species at just 8.95 pounds. The wahoo category is wide open on the last day which ends with weigh-ins from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the awards party. If provided in time, I’ll add a blog with the results tonight – or otherwise Monday morning.