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Ocean City Area Features

White Marlin Tournament

Photo Credit: White Marlin Open

When the 2016 White Marlin Open ended at 9:15pm Friday, Aug. 12, some new White Marlin Open tournament records blended together to create true milestones in the 43-year-old history of the event. The first and arguably most meaningful record broken during the 2016 event took a backseat to the dazzling amount of total prize money awarded and the staggering size of individual winnings. But it was the number of marlin caught and released that set a new standard for the White Marlin Open and served as a confirmation of Ocean City’s place at the center of Atlantic white marlin fishing. The success achieved by the 2016 White Marlin Open anglers reinforced Ocean City’s long held title as “The White Marlin Capital of the World.” Over 5 fishing days, the 329 registered boats caught a record 1,412 total billfish. Of that total, 1,358 were white marlin, surpassing the previous White Marlin Open tournament record of 1,104 set in 2002. Of the 1,358 that were caught, 1,334 were released.

The White Marlin Open was the first tournament to award one million dollars for catching a fish including a White Marlin Open tournament record $1,500,000. In 2015, the White Marlin Open awarded $3.9 million, which included two separate million-dollar winners. This past summer, there was a record-smashing $4.45 million up for grabs, solidifying the White Marlin Open’s title of World’s Largest and Richest Billfish Tournament.
While the white marlin are usually the star of the show, in 2016 a record-breaking $760,000 was awarded for the Heaviest Tuna, a 236.5-pound bigeye caught by Rich Kosztyu from Hamilton, NJ aboard the Forked River, NJ based Hubris.

The Open offers something for everyone.  A variety of added-entry levels are offered ranging from $50 to $10,000. The Open offers flexible schedules – you only need to fish one of the three fishing days to be eligible for prizes. There is no limit on boat size and there are several small boat categories for boats under 40 feet. Anglers can choose their fishing days and enter the levels that best match their skill level and budget.
Not an experienced angler? The Open offers opportunities for anglers of all levels of experience to enter and win! For example, in 2003, Doug Remsberg took home $1.3 million for the 78.5-lb. billfish he caught – his first ever! If you’re new to fishing, it’s crucial to hook up with an experienced captain and crew, so start your charter boat search early.

Even if you’re not on one of the competing boats, the Open provides quite a show. Weigh-ins are held each evening of the tournament from 4-9:15pm at Harbour Island Marina, 14th St. & the Bay. Weigh-ins are open to the public and free of charge. It’s a great place to bring the whole family to watch beautiful boats, view the day’s catch, and join
in on the excitement. If you go, here’s a parking tip: there is no parking available at Harbour Island. The Presbyterian Church on 14th St., just
 a block away, offers parking for a small donation. Parking is also available at the Convention Center with access to the free express trolley to Harbour Island. Park for free there and catch a bus to the weigh-ins.

The 44th Annual White Marlin Open is scheduled for Aug. 7-11, 2017. For more information, write White Marlin Open, P.O. Box 737, Ocean City, MD 21843, or call 410-289-9229. You can also visit their website at www.whitemarlinopen.com for more information and to purchase a world famous White Marlin Open T-Shirt. 

 

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