As this is being written, boats have just concluded fishing in the canyons before making the long run back to Ocean City, Md. for the final weigh-in to determine how the White Marlin Open purse of $6, 143,000 will be split up.

As noted in last night’s late blog, there was a dramatic change in the biggest money division of the contest as Jimmy Hinkle brought a 79.5-pound white marlin to the scale on Fish Whistle. He was a winner in 2008 and is entered in the Small Boat Division which builds his prospective earnings up to $1,460,000. Nathan Walker on Chasin Tail led from the first day with a 74-pound white. Though the huge pay-off was denied, he should be able to make it home with $135,000.  The third place Backlash +will provide Michael Wagner with a $1,500,000 award for buying into all the Calcuttas.

Haulin N Ballin has had no competition in blue marlin for their 465.5-pounder and $740,000. Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club boated a 201-pound bigeye tuna the first day, and I predicted that would be hard to beat. So far that’s been true, and it could be worth 940,000.

Game Changer has been leading the way in dolphin with a 35.5-pounder, and The Natural has made a runaway in wahoo with an 82-pounder.  The shark division doesn’t attract much attention, but 277.5-pound mako on Polorizer is also in the Big Fish Calcutta and could pay off $225,000.

There were 268 boats eligible to fish on the last day.

The species count for Thursday included 38 white marlin released and two boated; one blue marlin released; three tuna boated; and one dolphin brought to the scale.

I’ll have the major winners in my late blog, and all the details as soon as they become available over the weekend.

Phil Fischer reports he dodged thunderstorms in Raritan Bay yesterday, but came up with two legal weakfish up to a 4-pounder plus kingfish and two keeper fluke — but not the porgies which had been plentiful at this time last year.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported very good jigging today for 2-4-pound bluefish plus some sea bass.

Capt. Howard Bogan hasn’t been reporting this week because he was fishing in Ocean City with Nighthawk III. They got a thrill when J.P. Monteverdi fought a 54.5-pound wahoo that tied for third at that time and was the daily winner which could lead to a $16,000 pay-off. He said Wednesday was the only slow day locally for the Big Jamaica 7:30 a.m. daily trips, though bonito have been scarce this week while chub mackerel dominate.

The Monmouth County surf continues to produce a few school stripers on poppers. At least it did for Vinny D’Anton who released two and Frank Manzi who hooked one — though I couldn’t buy a hit among all the surfers enjoying the swells.

Capt. Vinny Vetere said striper fishing in Hudson River was no good today, but he ran to L.I. Sound with his Katfish from Great Kills to limit with bass up to a 46-incher.


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