433 Boats and Record $6.7 Million in 47th Annual White Marlin Open

By Scott Lenox

433 Boats and Record $6.7 Million in 47th Annual White Marlin Open

The Super Bowl of fishing tournaments has arrived and it is going to be one for the record books.  433 total boats have entered the 47th Annual White Marlin Open and they will all be looking for their share of over $6.7 Million dollars in prize money.  Last year’s purse of $6.1 Million was the largest purse ever seen in a fishing tournament and this year the White Marlin Open has outdone itself by over 1/2 a million dollars.

Things are definitely going to look different this year thanks to some circumstances beyond anyone’s control.  COVID-19 threw the entire planet a curve ball earlier this year, and with the way the world has been looking we’re thankful that the WMO is even happening.  Last week there was buzz around the docks that the WMO could have a reely good turnout like some of the other tournaments have been seeing this year…..Enter Tropical Strom Isaias.  WMO tournament directors decided based on the early forecast for this coming week to extend the tournament through Sunday, August 9.  That allows two extra days of fishing making this year’s tournament a fish 3 of 7 day event.

Right now TS Isaias is skirting Florida and battering residents with heavy rain and strong winds.   The forecast is for Isaias to stay out to sea, skirting the east coast and heading away from the US by Thursday.  Isaias is expected to impact Ocean City, and in turn the WMO on Tuesday into Tuesday night.  The offshore forecast for Tuesday is currently S to SE winds 35 to 45, becoming south 40 to 50 knots, seas 11-19 feet so I don’t think anyone will be fishing on Tuesday.  Isaias is forecast to move through the area very quickly and the offshore forecast for the remainder of the week is more than favorable.  Most days after Tuesday are forecast to have winds of 15 knots or less with seas of 3 to 4 feet or less.

Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond the control of WMO directors, there will be no public access to the official scales at Harbor Island this year.  There will be a satellite viewing area at 3rd street in downtown Ocean City Monday through Friday with music, vendors and a large screen to watch the weigh-ins live.  Folks visiting 3rd street will also be able to see all of the beautiful boats heading to Harbor Island to weigh their catch.  The Hooked on OC crew and myself will be bringing you the live broadcast of the WMO all week long.  We encourage everyone to watch it live at www.WhiteMarlinOpen.com

Good luck to all of the teams fishing this year’s record breaking event.  Not only will some anglers have the potential to say that they are White Marlin Open winners….they’ll also have the potential to say that they won money off of Michael Jordan.

There wasn’t a lot of fishing going on today thanks to a strong south wind that had the bay completely jacked up, and most offshore boats were tied to the dock preparing for this week’s main event.  I did see some white marlin flags at Sunset Marina this afternoon and one of them was on the rigger of the Rhonda’s Osprey with Captain Joe Drosey.

Rich McCullough sent this photo in of a trip he had with Chef Paul Suplee of Boxcar 40 and crew aboard the Fish Bound with Captain Kane Bounds and mate Kevin Twilley.  The crew had 29 keeper flounder, some ribbonfish, a nice triggerfish and a couple of sea bass.

Captain Marc Spagnola of Dusk to Dawn Bowfishing would be a lock for the WMO if you were allowed to shoot the fish, but unfortunately for him it is not permitted.  What is permitted is some awesome shooting for his crews for cow nosed and southern rays and it doesn’t matter if its day or night.

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