It was not the story anyone expected back at the docks after the first day of the White Marlin Open tournament in Ocean City—instead of bringing home a big fish, the Fishbone crew brought back six fellow anglers they rescued from a sinking 34-foot boat 60 miles offshore.
Cheryl Costello got to talk with the captains of both the rescuing vessel and the crew of Knot Stressin‘, who watched the boat sink before their eyes. Incredibly, the victims are trying to get back out on the water before the White Marlin Open ends this weekend. Watch below:
This year’s tournament has a $9 million purse—shattering the record $6.8 million record purse from 2020—and 444 boats entered, up from 433 registered boats in 2020. Teams can choose any three of the five fishing days (Monday. Aug. 2 through Friday, Aug. 6) to go out. On good weather days, the “parade” of entrants leaving the Ocean City Inlet is a spectacle in itself that can take from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. On the first two days of fishing, nearly all boats went out.
Most of the boats head 50 to 70 miles offshore seeking white and blue marlin, tuna, dolphin (mahi-mahi), and wahoo in search of a prize-winning fish. Qualifying catches return to Ocean City’s Harbour Island where they’re weighed on the tournament’s official scales from 4 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Weigh-ins are free and open to the public each day at the 14th Street Marina.