A million dollar white marlin of 67 pounds was caught by Sea Mistress on the first day of the MidAtlantic Tournament out of Cape May plus Ocean City, Md. That was the only white that made the 65-pound minimum, and probably won’t stand up all week. Indeed there aren’t any fish on the leaderboards that are likely to survive the week. The best bets may be the 96-pound tuna leader on Dem Boys (though one blast of bigeyes would change that) and the 33-pound dolphin on Reel Estate. Blue Runner took second, fifth and sixth in tuna with entries of 79, 68 and 68 pounds. There were a surprising number of relatively small wahoo weighed in that category which has no minimum. A 364-pound blue marlin was weighed by The Chaser, but it fell short of the 400-pound minimum.
The official report from Jeff Merrill follows:
Crews were anxious to get offshore on Day One as the 2019 MidAtlantic got off to a busy start with 138 of the 156 boat fleet, including 60 from Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May and 78 from Sunset Marina in Ocean City, heading out before daybreak. A light breeze and moderate chop at the canyons was reported and while late afternoon rain may have cleared the beaches of vacationers, it did little to dampen the enthusiasm at the tournament! It was a late night and busy morning for tournament staff compiling the final entry data and while all calcutta entries are still being tabulated a new tournament record cash purse of over $3.5 million is anticipated! This total would mark the sixth consecutive year a record cash purse has been up for grabs at sportfishing’s “Main Event!” Keep in mind with the wide range of calcuttas (side bets) available to all boats often more than three places will be noted during the week as being “in the money.”
The headline story of the day came from Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May where Avalon, New Jersey’s John Raimondo weighed a 67-pound white marlin for angler Bill Dever aboard Raimondo’s Sea Mistress. No other qualifying white marlin were weighed at either tournament venue so second and third place remain vacant. Additionally, no qualifying blue marlin were weighed.
In the tuna category, Dem Boys hailing from Isle of Palms, South Carolina weighed a 96-pound yellowfin for Tommy Hancock to take the early lead. Mark Deblasio’s Blue Runner from Manasquan, New Jersey sits in second place with a 79-pound yellowfin. Pat Healey’s Viking 72 based out of New Gretna, New Jersey is currently third with a 72-pound yellowfin.
The scales at both tournament venues saw numerous dolphin and wahoo weighed on Day One and the leaderboard was constantly changing. Currently the heaviest dolphin belongs to Baltimore, Maryland’s Curtis Campbell at 33 pounds caught aboard his Reel Estate. Ed Russo of Carlstadt, New Jersey weighed a 27-pounder from his Big Deal to sit in second place tied with Jamie Diller of Stone Harbor, New Jersey aboard his Canyon Lady. Talkin’ Trash and Joseph Stein III of Marriotsville, Maryland aboard his Marli are tied for third place at 25 pounds.
Ocean City, Maryland’s Thomas Colquhoun aboard his Special Situation leads the wahoo category at 29 pounds
followed closely by Hilltown, Pennsylvania’s Andy Schlotter aboard his My Time with a 28-pounder. Currently
tied for third heaviest wahoo are Westfield, New Jersey native Walter Koller aboard his Nasty Habit and Todd
Willard of Greenville, Delaware aboard his Fish On as both weighed 27-pound ‘hoos on Day One.
Some of the boats with significant billfish releases include Brooks Smith’s Uno Mas with seven white marlin and
Tom Gessler’s Boy’s Toy with six white marlin. Mike Penza’s Oil Slick, Todd Dickerson’s Top Dog and Andrew
Hall’s Lucky Linda Jean each released four white marlin. Marty Judge’s Judge released four white marlin and one
blue marlin while Jeffrey Scannelli’s April Fool and David Johnson’s JT each released two white marlin and a blue
marlin. Jim Smith’s Mjolnir let go two blue marlin and a white marlin while Joe Roberts’ Love Boat released two