OCEAN CITY — Within an hour on Tuesday, the leaderboard of the White Marlin Open was drastically overhauled.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">
No billfish were brought to the scales on Monday, despite 202 of the 262-boat fleet heading offshore, but that storyline was changed early on Tuesday when the “Lucky Duck II” showed up at Harbour Island Marina with a 72.5-pound white marlin. On Tuesday, 220 boats ventured out to the canyons off the coast.
Amid high-gives and celebration from the “Lucky Duck II” team, the “Billfisher” was quietly waiting its turn in the marina with a beast of a white marlin. Jeremy Duffie’s 77-pound white marlin quickly took over first place and withstood a challenge later from a 76.5-pounder caught aboard the “Reel Estate” by Baltimore’s John Morton and another 72.5 pound beauty by Columbia, S.C. resident William Turbeville III aboard the “Full Pull”.
After two days of fishing, The “Billfisher” stands to win a cool $980,000 with its first-place white marlin, followed by the “Reel Estate” in second place with a payout of $90,000 and then the “Full Pull” with a $60,000 payday possible.
In the tuna division, the Mia Joes shook up the dock with a double that overwhelmed the tuna division. Bayonne, N.J. resident Jeremy Gers’ 248.5-pound tuna is currently in first place with an estimated payout of $166,000, followed by boat mate Dante Soriente, who was credited with a 233.5-pound beauty that could bring an additional $65,000 to the crew of the Mia Jones. In third place after two days is Monday’s 226-pound catch from Red Bank, N.J. resident Rick Stavola aboard the “Tarheel”. Rounding out the tuna division at this time is a 148.5-pounder caught by Smyrna, Del. resident John Coleman aboard the Ocean Dan-Sar.
It was a good day for the wahoo division on Tuesday, as the “Heavy Metal” and angler James Shenk of Glen Rock, Pa. brought to the docks a 41-pound beauty that currently stands to make $16,900 for the “Heavy Metal” boat. A 40-pound wahoo caught by Middletown, Pa. resident Chris Cichocks aboard the “Out-Rea-Geous” is in second place and worth currently $3,000.
In the dolphin division, a 29.5-pounder caught on Monday by Greg Fellers of Fairless Hills, Pa. on the “Incorrigible” is in first place with an estimated payout as of now of $14,000. Tied for second place with 25-pound beauties is Kyle Clarke of Savannah, Ga. On the “Trash Man” and Bryan Graul on the “Krazy Salts”. Due to added entry levels, Graul’s fish is worth $10,000 while Clarke’s is worth $3,000.
A 133.5-opund shark caught by Wilmington, Del.’s Mike Peet aboard the “No Quarter” is currently holding down the shark division with a payout of $4,000.
It’s unknown at this point how many boats are heading out today, but it’s expected to be a lay day for most of the fleet after two big fishing days on Monday and Tuesday.