There is just one day left to fish in the 44th Annual White Marlin Open, and it may be one of the biggest “last days” ever. Of the 353 offshore fishing boats competing, 327 will be heading out of Ocean City at dawn, to take a last stab at the $4.97 million in prize money. That purse is the largest amount ever awarded in any fishing tournament.
The tournament, which runs out of Ocean City, started Monday and runs through Friday, but each boat is only allowed to fish for any three of the five days. Often, crews will space out their fishing days. But this year, weather has been a major factor. Severe storms in the Delmarva area on Monday meant that only about a third of the boats went out. And Tuesday, the forecast on the ocean was so bad that only 12 boats went out. So more boats have been forced to go out Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday than usual.
The largest winnings will be in the white marlin category. On Thursday, the crew of Griffin caught an 86-pound white marlin that may be worth $2.6 million– if no one catches a heavier one Friday.
Some teams will, no doubt, be looking to catch a blue marlin tomorrow, for a possible $900,000 prize.
Weigh-ins take place at Harbour Island Marina, 14th Street and the Bay from 4 to 9:15 p.m and are free to the public. After Friday’s weigh-in, the tournament will officially be declared over.
The White Marlin Open awards ceremony will be held Saturday, and it’s certain that somebody is going to get rich.
There’s one registered boat that’s breaking ground at this year’s tournament. The Women’s Offshore Alliance is competing as the first ever all-women team. Bay Bulletin spoke to the ladies in the weeks leading up to the Open. Click here to learn their story.