Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 White Marlin Open - Big Blues Too

Rock Doc Fishing Team at 2014 White Marlin Open
Click for their White Marlin Go Pro Video

Five days of white marlin fishing is only one part of what is known as the world’s largest billfish tournament. Sportfishing boats from up and down the East Coast congregate in this central location for an annual August shootout. With a million dollars on the line for white marlin, the blue marlin can sometimes be overshadowed but that was not the case in 2014 with three big blues weighed in.
With 288 totals boats registered to fish in the 2014 White Marlin Open, organizer Jim Motsko is appreciative for all the support. “This is our third year of increased registration after the economy dipped,” said Motsko. “Our heyday was back in 2006 when we had 400 boats fishing. The event is such a fun experience that anglers keep wanting to come back.” The fun and the 2.77-million dollar purse too!
“The weigh-in and festivities happen at Harbour Island in Ocean City which is off of 14th street,” said Mostko. “There is public transportation to Harbour Island which helps with our large crowds of spectators, and we have been using this facility since we started the tournament. My cousin Andy performs the emcee duties at the weigh-in and I stay behind the scenes out on the dock.”
September cover - Boston Whaler!
In past years the white marlin bite has been rampant but not so in 2014, and the White Marlin Open rules stipulate that any white marlin must weigh a minimum of 70-pounds or measure a minimum of 67-inches in order to be considered legal. Only one white marlin met these standards, weighing in at 78.0-pounds and giving angler John Bayliss the first place prize payout of 1.29 million dollars.

Two boats went out on Thursday August 7 and found pay dirt in the form of big blue marlin. The Gratitude out of Virginia Beach, Virginia brought a 738.5-pound blue marlin to the scales that afternoon. The Generation out of Cape May, New Jersey was fishing within sight of Gratitude and landed their own blue marlin that tilted the scales at 564.5-pounds.The crowd was in frenzy from the double dose of blue marlin, but one more fishing day remained.

On Friday August 8 a fleet of 270-boats went fishing for a white marlin that could displace Bayliss, or for another big blue marlin. The white marlin remained shy but Rhonda’s Osprey out of Ocean City, Maryland landed a blue marlin that went 723.5-pounds, which narrowly missed being in first place. Organizer Mostko told me he can’t recall a year when they had two blue marlin over 700-pounds at their tournament.

To read the remainder of this feature article click on All At Sea.

To view the latest Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report click here.

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