OCEAN CITY — The first white marlin of the year off the coast of Ocean City was caught on Tuesday morning, signaling another significant milestone to the start of the summer offshore fishing season in the White Marlin Capital of the World.
Angler John Henry of Ft. Lauderdale was fishing aboard the “No Worries” out of Sunset Marina with Captain Mike Corbosiero on Tuesday morning when he landed the first white marlin. The white was caught in the Poor Man’s Canyon in about 150 fathoms on a ballyhoo around 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
Catching the first white marlin of the season is a significant achievement and the “No Worries” crew will receive a $5,000 check from the Town of Ocean City, which awards the cash bonus each year to the first white. In addition, the Ocean City Marlin Club will match the town’s $5,000 bonus because the “No Worries” is a club member boat.
While the first white marlin is always celebrated at the marinas in and around the resort, there is nothing too significant about the date this year. Since records started being kept in the late 1930s, the milestone has historically occurred most often in a window of about five- to seven days from mid- to late-June. Last year, the “No Quarter” crew caught the first white on June 15.
In 2012, the first white marlin of the year was caught on May 27, the earliest date ever for the milestone. The latest date ever for the first white marlin recorded in the annals of the Ocean City Marlin Club was July 20, 1940. The very first recorded catch of a white marlin off the coast of Ocean City occurred in 1936, not long after an epic storm cut the now famous Inlet between Ocean City and Assateague and started to put the resort on the map as a world-class sportfishing destination.
What was significant about Wednesday’s first white marlin of the year was the size. The marlin was estimated by the crew to weight 90-100 pounds, which would have more than likely large enough to win the prestigious White Marlin Open and the million-plus dollars it rewards to the winner. In the 40 year history of the tourney, only five times has the winning white weighed 90 or more pounds. The record set in 1980 was 99 pounds. Most recently, the winning white topped 90 pounds twice, at 97 in 2010 and 93 in 2009. Before that, one would have to go back to 99-pound winner in 1980 to find a white marlin that size.