The White Marlin Open, the world’s biggest billfish fishing tournament, begins today and we’ll have results here on the blog, asap! Anglers leaving ports from New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia will be competing to take home cash prizes and bragging rights, for the biggest white marlin, biggest fish overall, biggest tuna, biggest mahi, and biggest wahoo.
Though the field is reduced this year (the final count of contenders was 255 after registration closed, which is down from a high of nearly 400 boats a few years ago), the purse still holds the promise of 1.8 million dollars in prizes. So plenty of boats steamed through the inlet this morning, even with a so-so weather report of East by North/East winds of 10 to 15 knots and seas of three to six feet. Though this isn’t a heavy wind, North/East seas are usually the worst for Mid Atlantic anglers, with regards to both sea conditions and fishing. (Remember the old Ocean City saying: “North/East = Never ever”).
Tomorrow’s forecast holds a bit more promise, with the breeze dropping and seas subsiding to three to four feet. On Wednesday, however, they’re forecast to rise again.
In either case, the white marlin bite has been existent but not exactly hot from the Baltimore to Washington canyons, with most boats reporting one to three bites per day. Blue marlin bites have been rare lately, with tuna bites even rarer. Since this is a five day tournament, of course, a lot can change between today’s catch and Friday’s. Check back on the blog, because we’ll have daily results updates here, and good luck to the anglers competing in the White Marlin Open, the world’s biggest billfish fishing tournament!