OCEAN CITY- The Mid-Atlantic $500,000, with home bases in
both Ocean City and Cape May, got underway this week with plenty of action in
the early going as a strong white marlin bite continues in the canyons shared
by both ports.
Ocean City’s collective hangover from the White Marlin
Open two weeks ago had just about worn off when the next big event on the
summer sportfishing calendar opened on Monday. The Mid-Atlantic $500,000
continues to be one of the top sportfishing events in the region with an
estimated $1.7 million in total prize money expected to be doled out to the
winners in several categories.
Of the 134 boats entered, just 63 went out on Monday and
79 fished on Tuesday, meaning there were plenty of fishing days remaining as of
mid-week, but already the leader board has started taking on a decidedly Ocean
City look. As of Wednesday, angler Woodie Klein and the crew on the Ocean
City-based “Billfisher” with Captain Jon Duffie sat atop the white marlin
standings with an 88-pounder weighed on Monday worth an estimated $781,748.
The “Cracker” sat in second in the white marlin division
with an 82-pounder temporarily worth $180,605, while three boats were tied for
third with 69-pound whites, most notably the “Topless” an Ocean City boat that
won the tournament on the last day last year.
No blue marlin had been weighed as of mid-week, but the
tuna category had filled out with the “Tarheel” sitting in first with a
71-pounder temporarily worth $160,642 and second with a 66-pound tuna worth
$92,095. Another Ocean City boat, the “All In” sat in third with a 61-pound
tuna worth $48,547.
The dolphin division completely changed on Tuesday with
angler Vincent Baiocco on the “American Lady,” another Ocean City-based boat,
sitting atop the leader board with a 56-pounder worth $10,000. Finally, the
lone wahoo weighed as of mid-week belonged to angler Tim McClenahan on the
“Shelly II” with a 49-pounder temporarily worth $10,000. The “Shelly II” took
the top prize in the White Marlin Open two weeks ago.