It’s all on the line during the last two days of the MidAtlantic with 178 boats competing for millions out of Cape May plus Ocean City, Maryland.
After a slow start with marlin, everything came together yesterday as the blue marlin category filled up with fish over 200 pounds while the first couple of qualifying white marlin were weighed along with several others that made the minimum length but not the minimum weight.
The blue marlin leaders are a 607-pounder on Kilo Charlie that’s in line for over $1 million; No Quarter at 539 and Randon Chaos at 490 pounds, However, they are far from safe as was demonstrated last year when the tournament record was broken twice within 48 hours — finally by a Maryland state record 1,135-pounder on Billfisher.
Michael Jorden’s Catch 23 took the lead in white marlin at 73 pounds, which would be worth $1,674,108 — enough to keep his 80-foot Viking running for some time. Most encouraging were the many while marlin releases that included six on Outrage and five on Viking 80.
It was hard to believe that there were no qualifying dolphin at a mere 20 pounds until yesterday. However, that category filled up — including an impressive 39-pounder on Lovin Life. Wahoo are always a shot in the dark, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 43-pound leader on Caitlin topped by the end of the contest Friday evening. The same applies to Bob Hugin’s leading bigeye tuna of 152 and 193 pounds on The Right Place since it’s taken bigeyes well over 200 pounds to win tournaments this summer.
I’ll have a late blog update after the scales close at 9.
The inshore forecast is for southwest winds at 5-10 knots before increasing to 10-15 plus gusts to 20 in the afternoon. Thunderstorms are possible.
Fluke fshing seems to be improving. The Big Mohawk from Belmar had a 9-pounder this week, and the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands reported some limits.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar got into a good early bite of chub mackerel and bluefish. It slowed at mid-day, but they continued to pick as many fares limited on blues.
Vinny D’Anton reports very small peanut bunkers are abundant in the Monmouth County surf, where he’s been picking small stripers on a variety of lures. A switch to Gulp produces lots of fluke, but no keepers so far. Vinnie is surprised that snappers aren’t cutting off the Gulp as yet.