OCEAN CITY — An amazing start to the offshore fishing season was capped off with the first white marlin of the season off the coast of Ocean City on Sunday morning, marking the earliest date ever for the milestone.
Angler Dale Downey and the crew on the “Got-R-Done” caught the first white marlin of the season around 10:48 a.m. on Sunday. The May 25 date marks the earliest ever for the first white marlin of the season since records started being kept in the 1930s.
The prior record was May 27 set in 2012. Since records were first kept in the 1930s, the milestone has historically occurred most often in a window of five to seven days in mid-June. The latest date ever for the first white marlin of the year off the coast of Ocean City occurred on July 20, 1940. Last year, angler John Henry fishing aboard the “No Worries” out of Sunset Marina caught the first white marlin of the season on June 11.
Downey and the crew on the “Got-R-Done” will be awarded with a $5,000 check from the town of Ocean City, which recognizes the milestone each year in the White Marlin Capital of the World. Because the “Got-R-Done” is a registered Ocean City Marlin Club member, the crew will also receive a $5,000 match from the club for catching the first white of the season.
The first white marlin of the season is always celebrated at marinas around the resort area as a symbolic start to the offshore billfish season. 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.