Even the threat of a hurricane coming up the coast hasn’t bothered organizers of the 47th White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Md. from gathering tomorrow for a captains meeting prior to Monday’s start of the big money event. The only concession to the storm so far has been extending fishing days through next Sunday. Contestants choose which three days they will fish.
Last year’s WMO drew 202 boats and a purse of over $6.25 million – but the pandemic and the storm threat may impact those figures.
Capt. Freddy Gamboa is coming in on a hot streak with Andrea’s Toy after a fine season of N.J. tuna action and the release last week of a blue marlin estimated at 500 pounds. He’s docked next to another strong competitor — Michael Jordan on his $8 million, 80-foot Viking, Catch 23. Jordon fished his first tournament in June at the Big Rock out of Morehead City, N.C., and weighed in a 442.3-pound .blue. A great catch, but short of Strike Hunter’s 495.2-pounder in an amazing finish in which less than one pound separated the top three entries.
Gamboa also reported on Facebook about another great catch last week as follows: “Had Dan and Anthony back for second trip of the summer. Guys wanted a mixed bag, started off with a dozen mahi, then went on the troll, missed a few bites then saw a big Mako, asked the boys if they wanted to step up.” They sure did as a 650-pound mako was weighed in at Hoffman’s in Point Pleasant after a long battle. That’s the largest mako I’ve heard of this year.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc said fluking on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands wasn’t up to mid-week standards due to poor conditions. He’ll be sailing in the morning, and then looking ahead at the forecasts day-to-day as the storm gets closer.
Sunday’s forecast is for south winds at 10-15 knots before increasing to 15-20 in the afternoon. Showers and thunder storms are possible.