First Qualifying White Marlin for the 43rd Annual White Marlin Open

By Scott Lenox

First Qualifying White Marlin for the 43rd Annual White Marlin Open

It was another busy day at the scales for day two of the 43rd Annual White Marlin Open.  249 boats ventured out today to take advantage of the good sea conditions and try their luck at landing something that would put them on the leaderboard and maybe win them a share of the $4.4 Million in prize money.  There were a couple of wahoo that hit the board, there was movement in the dolphin category, a big old tuna fish hit the scale and the first qualifying white of the tournament is now on the board.  Here is where everything stands after two days of fishing.

Second Place wahoo was weighed today by the crew of the Second Chance.  Brian Leader’s 54 pounder is currently worth $3,000.


First place in the wahoo category was caught by Richard Hammond on the Two Timing Connie.  His 79 pound wahoo is currently worth $17,000.


After some movement in the dolphin category the third place fish is a 34 pounder caught by Bill Haugland fishing on board Light’s Out.  Bill’s fish is currently worth $2,000.  WMO fish mover and weigh master Alex dropped a pretty good photo bomb on the crew.


Second place in the dolphin category was yesterday’s first place fish.  Delta Dawn’s 34.5 pound dolphin was bumped to second place today, but is still worth $17,000.


The first place dolphin was weighed today by my good friend John Gudelsky fishing on his Reel Joy.  John’s 36 pound dolphin is currently worth $17,000.


The third place tuna is a nice 69 pound yellowfin caught by Robert Rodelsperger.  Robert was fishing on the Full Pull and his yellowfin is currently worth $2,000.


Second place in the tuna category was caught by Pat Horning yesterday on the Fish Whistle.  Pat’s 71.5 pound yellowfin is currently worth $70,000.


The new first place tuna was weighed today and it was a whopper!  Mark Hutchinson pulled into the scale this afternoon on the Magic Moment and had the crowd roaring when he weighed his 233 pound bigeye.  The big tuna is currently worth $400,000!


There was no blue marlin weighed today so the 790 pound blue that was weighed last night is still the only blue marlin on the board.  Jim Conway caught the fish while fishing on the Get Reel and if his fish holds he will hold a check for $150,000.


So far there is only one qualifying white marlin on the board for the 43rd edition of the White Marlin Open.  The crew of the Kallianassa was the first boat to the scale today.  Angler Phil Heasley’s 76.5 pound white marlin is currently worth $2,400,000!!


Outside of the tournament the crew of the Spring Mix II with Captain Chris Watkowski had an awesome family trip on board. The crew released a white marlin and had 16 mahi up to 20 pounds.

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I got a report from my buddy Wes Pollitt from the Morning Star with Captain Monty Hawkins that I’m not used to hearing in August.  The first part of the report wasn’t too crazy….a young man caught a nice 6.5 pound flounder.  The second part of the report was pretty remarkable.  The local party boats don’t catch many tautog in the summer, and they rarely catch a big fish.  Not only did the Morning Star have a tautog today, they had a big one….on a strip bait fishing for flounder.  The angler initially thought that he was hung on the bottom, but after a fight of a couple of minutes and a couple of wrong guesses a huge tautog came to the surface.  The big “tog” weighed 15 pounds and is definitely the biggest tautog I’ve seen caught this time of year.

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