There was some wild canyon fishing during yesterday’s White Marlin Open competition at Ocean City, Maryland. My late night Word Press report transmission got screwed up, so I’ll try to get it straightened out as the competition continues through Sunday.
With no bottom line established in the white marlin category, there was a flood of barely eligible by length whites brought in for weighing that didn’t make the 70-pound minimum. While 360 boats out of 433 entered released 207 whites, there were 24 boated for a total of 231. However, there were enough qualifying whites to fill that big money category.
John Morton’s Reel Estate from Ocean City started it off with a 72-pound white, but ended the day in a tie for third. Adam Fye of Pasadena, Md. brought in a 74-pounder on Hook and Settle that’s in line for a $1.1 million payoff, but another Md. angler, Timmy Collins, is in more Calcuttas and his 72.5-pounder on Sea Toy can win $1.7 million. Reel Estate and John Verzalena’s Reel Steel from Mountain Lakes, N.J. each can earn $115,000 for third place 72-pounders.
Though the blue marlin category remains unfilled with a 114-inch minimum, but there was finally some sign of them as 17 were released. There were also two releases each of spearfish and sailfish.
The tuna category got a new leader as Sentient boated a 121-pounder in Norfolk Canyon. Five big dolphin were weighed, and the last was the most likely leader to survive as Ian West of Hershey, Pa. boated a 54-pound bull on Security.
With 270 boats out today, there are bound to be many changes by tonight. I’d be surprised if all leaders except that dolphin aren’t knocked back as long as the weather holds through Sunday.