The 46th White Marlin Open at Ocean City, Md. gets underway tomorrow with 403 boats in the hunt for $6.1 million in cash awards. I’ll add a late blog to cover the first day’s fishing after the scales close each night.
Raritan Bay fluking was tough this morning when I joined Debi Decker of Monroe and Jan Navara from Milltown on Capt. Joe Onorato’s Fish N Trish from Gateway Marina in Highlands. There weren’t even many shorts around the TC Buoy, and little drift to work with. It was a little better with shorts in Ambrose Channel, where Joe also caught a legal sea bass. When the tide turned in Sandy Hook Channel we finally got steady action with shorts, but couldn’t get over 17 3/4 inches. Adding Fisherman’s Choice squid strips to Gulp seemed to make the difference. Those strips soaked in Fin Essence shedder crab oil are available at the Tackle Box in Hazlet.
Bottom fishing pro Capt. Kenny Namowitz will be running open Tuesday at 7 a.m. with his Mimi Vi from Point Pleasant. Make reservations for that $75 trip by calling 732 370-8019.
Below is a report from Jeff Merrill about the recent Stone Harbor Marlin Tournament:
Billfish Bite Breaks Wide Open!
Polarizer Takes Top Honors at Yacht Club of Stone Harbor Billfish Tournament!
Cape May Inlet Puts Participants in the Heart of the Action!
It was a wild weekend of billfish action and the timing couldn’t have been any better for
participants at the 53rd Annual Yacht Club of Stone Harbor Billfish Tournament which was held
July 25-28 out of Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey. Not only did the
weatherman cooperate, the white marlin and blue marlin showed in force as well. Over the two
days of fishing in this all-release billfish event the tournament fleet found solid action and
Canyon Club Resort Marina via Cape May Inlet was the perfect vantage point to get in on the
bite at the middle and northern canyons. The fleet of 26 boats racked up an impressive 143
billfish releases including 133 white marlin and 10 blue marlin! That translates to nearly three
billfish per boat per day! Team Polarizer led by George Robinson, President of South Jersey
Yacht Sales, took 1st Place Boat honors with 14 white marlin. The 2nd Place Boat award was
captured by Joe Zerbo’s Fishaholic with eight white marlin and two blue marlin while 3rd Place
Boat accolades went to Tom Kilareski’s Intuition for 10 white marlin.
Team awards were also presented and teams consisting of three boats each were drawn at
random at the Captain’s Meeting. The 1st Place Team award went to the team of Polarizer, Tom
Byrne’s Insure and CJ Eni’s On a Role who together tallied 2700 points. In addition to
Polarizer’s 1400 points, Insure added 900 points for eight white marlin and one blue marlin
while On a Role added 400 points for one blue marlin and three white marlin. The 2nd Place
Team tallied 2100 points and included Fishaholic, Mark Colyar’s Gigabyte 2 and Tom Russell’s
Pursuit 38. Fishaholic added 1000 points for eight white marlin and two blue marlin while
Gigabyte 2 scored 900 points for nine white marlin and Pursuit 38 added 200 points for two
Several individual angler awards were also handed out and as the tournament is always a familyoriented
event, IGFA and non-IGFA rule compliant angler awards were awarded. Rachel Linus
aboard Bob Barbaro’s Badger took 1st Place Angler and 1st Place Female Angler with 600 points
for five white marlin and one blue marlin. Joe Albano aboard Dave Anderson’s Krazy Salts
received the 2nd Place Angler award with 600 points for six white marlin while 3rd Place Angler
went to Noah Citron aboard dad Jeff’s Singularis with 400 points for four white marlin. Kurt
Vonseekam aboard Polarizer won 1st Place IGFA Angler with 600 points for six white marlin
and 2nd Place IGFA Angler went to Matt Sullivan on Fishaholic with 400 points for three white
marlin and one blue marlin. The 3rd Place IGFA Angler was Jesse Bowman aboard Intuition
with 300 points for three white marlin. Top Junior Angler was won by Camryn Diller aboard
dad Jamie’s Canyon Lady with 300 points for three white marlin.
Bob Belansen’s Beast received the Warren Buckingham Memorial Trophy awarded for the Most Outstanding Catch which was a 124-pound yellowfin tuna caught by Tommy Belansen after a three hour battle on light-tackle. Bill Davis, captain of the Polarizer, received the Walt Hendee Captain’s Award presented to the 1st Place Boat Captain. Worthy of note is Polarizer was Top Boat on Day One with 600 points and Intuition was Top Boat on Day Two with 800 points releasing their last billfish of the day a scant one minute before Polarizer!
August is just a few days away and the two highlight events on the 2019 billfish tournament calendar are on tap. With a combined cash purse last year well north of $8.8 million, the White Marlin Open and MidAtlantic offer an opportunity to win a life-changing cash payout and Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey puts you in the heart of the current billfish bite. The White Marlin Open is set for August 5-9 followed by the MidAtlantic which runs August 18-23. For those planning on fishing both events, Canyon Club Resort Marina would like to welcome you to our award winning 300 slip world-class facility and offer free dockage for the week between the two tournaments! That’s right! As a satellite port for the White Marlin Open and the venerable home port annually for the MidAtlantic tournament you can compete in two of the most popular and prestigious billfish events each summer from Canyon Club Resort Marina and save as much as 1/3rd on your transient dockage! There are no tricks, gimmicks or hidden costs. Enjoy a week with family, friends or crew together with other White Marlin Open and MidAtlantic tournament participants at Canyon Club Resort Marina where you’re centrally located to the middle and northern canyons and just minutes from great shopping, dining, beaches and historical sites along one of the most beautiful areas of the Jersey shore. At Canyon Club Resort Marina we put the Mid in MidAtlantic! You don’t need to be a pro angler or even an expert because it only takes one bite from the right marlin or tuna to capture a windfall of cash. Come join us for three memorable weeks in August! See ya on the docks!
To reserve your slip and for more information contact Dockmaster/Ship Store Manager Paul Hoffman at 609-884-0188. For MidAtlantic tournament information contact Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman at 609-884-0177. You can also visit the tournament’s website at http://www.themidatlantic.com.