Fo;;owing is Jeff Merrill’s official wrap-up of an exciting Day 3:
As expected, the offshore weather changed dramatically on Day Three with light, variable winds and calm seas providing a refreshing change from the past 36 hours. On the day, 143 boats headed offshore including 95 from Ocean City and 48 from Cape May. The tuna bite continued but more importantly the billfish bite improved dramatically compared to the past week and the first qualifying white marlin of the tournament was also weighed today and several boats had multiple white marlin releases as well.
Captain Kyle Peet at the wheel of Michael Peet’s New Castle, Delaware-based No Quarter got the evening’s weigh-in off to an early start as minutes after the scales opened he was in position in Ocean City to weigh a blue marlin for angler Michael Peet. After stretching the measuring tape out to 116¼” the marlin tipped the scales at 539 pounds to move into the lead in the category. However, No Quarter’s time at the top of the leaderboard would be short lived as the next boat in line, Christopher Kinsley’s Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania-based Kilo Charlie, also had a sizeable blue marlin to weigh for angler Andrew Kinsley. After measuring the length at 119 7/8” the blue marlin pulled the scale down to 607 pounds to jump in to the lead and push No Quarter in to second place. Langhorne, Pennsylvania’s Michael Pintozzi aboard his Random Chaos now sits in third place with his 490 pounder.
The white marlin bite improved dramatically and in addition to a significant number of that species being released by the tournament fleet, the first qualifying fish in the category were weighed as well. Captain Stetson Turney pulled Michael Jordan’s Jupiter, Florida-based Catch 23 to the scale in Ocean City and weighed a 73 pounder for angler Patrick Field to take the lead. Captain Austin Robbins put Matthew Weber’s Max Bet from Vero Beach, Florida in second place after weighing a 65 pounder for angler Anthony Weber. Third place remains vacant.
The Right Place of Summit, New Jersey’s Bob Hugin continues to hold the top two places in the tuna category with big eyes of 193 and 152 pounds. Random Chaos remains in third place with their 80-pound yellowfin tuna.
Michael Murray of Brick, New Jersey aboard his Caitlin remains in control of first and second place in the wahoo category with 43 and 28 pounders. Third place now belongs to Elberta, Alabama’s Chris Hood aboard his It Just Takes Time after he weighed a 23 pounder today.
The dolphin category filled today as Captain Spencer Bradley put Randolph, New Jersey’s Billy Wrede aboard his Lovin’ Life in the lead with a 39 pounder. Second and third place belong to Wilmington, Delaware’s William Doherty aboard his Undertaker with Captain Corey Kennington at the wheel after weighing 24 and 21 pounders.
Some of the boats with significant billfish releases on Day Three include John Gudelsky’s Reel Joy with two blue marlin and one white marlin and Rusty Carter’s Stream Weaver with two white marlin and one blue marlin. Bill Hoagland’s Lights Out and Victor Roof’s Miss Maxine each released a white marlin and a blue marlin. Howard Berger’s Boss Hogg, Rocky Hardison’s Wolverine, Brian Dwyer’s Slabjack and Stephen Phillips Shearwater each released a blue marlin. John Dougherty’s Outrage released six white marlin while Pat Healey’s Viking 80 released five white marlin. Matthew Weber’s Max Bet, Keely Megarity’s C-Student and Kenneth Johnson’s Espadon each released four white marlin. Mike Penza’s Oil Slick and Robert Boyce’s Lucky 7 each released three white marlin. “