OCEAN CITY- Despite a low pressure system offshore that kept almost all of the 117 boats entered at the docks in Ocean City and Cape May on Monday, the 19th Annual Mid-Atlantic $500,000 rallied on Tuesday with big fish weighed in nearly every category.
Now in its 19th year, the Mid-Atlantic $500,000 continued to be one of the top sportfishing events in the region, perhaps second only to the White Marlin Open, with an estimated $1.5 million expected to be doled out to the winners in several categories. The tournament has always been based out of Cape May and that hasn’t changed, but MA500 organizers five years ago opened up Sunset Marina in West Ocean City has a sister port for the event and in the years since, the number of boats participating has been split about 50-50 at each marina.
For the last three years, an boat fishing out of Ocean City has swooped in on the last day to take first place in the MA500’s high dollar white marlin division, and while it remains to be seen what happens at the end of the tournament this year, especially with Hurricane Irene lurking off the Atlantic Coast, there was plenty of action at both ports as of mid-week.
Just 13 of the 117 boats in the tournament fished on Monday, the event’s first day, but the when the scales opened for business in Ocean City and Cape May on Tuesday, there were plenty of qualifying fish weighed in nearly every category.
At the end of the day on Tuesday, angler Shon Craig and the crew on the “Amarula Sun” out of Ocean City sat atop the white marlin leaderboard with a 72-pound weighed at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City. The “Inappropriate,” which fished out of Cape May, sat in second place with a pair of 69-pound white marlins, but there was plenty of fishing yet to come.
In the blue marlin division, angler Steve Scioseir and the crew on the “Tail Spin” sat atop the leaderboard with a 565-pounder, while the “Hubris” sat in second with a 498-pound blue marlin. Angler Tim Hake and the crew on the “Pumpin Hard 66” out of Ocean City sat in third place in the blue marlin division with a 494-pounder weighed at Sunset Marina on Tuesday.
The tuna division saw the most fish weighed in both Ocean City and Cape May on Tuesday. When the dust settled after whirlwind day, Ocean City’s own Peggy Mumford, fishing aboard the “Par Five,” sat atop the tuna leaderboard with a 71-pounder. The “Dumb and Dumber” crew was in second with a 63-pounder, while the “Trust Me Too” was in third with a 58-pounder. The local crew on the “Crush Em,” which swept the Ocean City Tuna Tournament this year, was in fourth place with a 55-pounder.
Local angler Art Boykin, fishing on the “Lucky Duck II,” was in first place in the dolphin division as of mid-week with a 38-pounder, the only qualifier on the board. In the wahoo division, the crew on the “Black Beard’s Revenge” was in first after Tuesday with a 50-pounder, while “Milling Around” crew was in second with a 47-pounder.