Mid-Atlantic Still Wide Open With Two Days Left

OCEAN CITY- After three days of the 24th Mid-Atlantic fishing tournament held this week in both Ocean City and Cape May, there were big fish on the board in every category, but with two days remaining heading into Thursday, much can and likely will change based on the event’s previous history.

Now in its 24th year, The Mid-Atlantic as the tournament is now simply called continues to be one of the top sportfishing events in the region with a record $2.8 million expected to be doled out to the winners in several categories. Tournament headquarters has always been the Canyon Club in Cape May, N.J., and that hasn’t changed, but The Mid-Atlantic is now about 50-50 in terms of the number of boats fishing out of Cape May and Ocean City.

Ten years ago, The Mid-Atlantic opened up Ocean City as a second port from which to fish and the change was met with great enthusiasm. For the last few years, Ocean City boats have dominated the event and that hasn’t changed thus far this week with many of the top spots on the leaderboard in several categories filled in by boats fishing out of Ocean City.

However, on Wednesday, angler Joe Napolitan on the “Naps V” out of New Jersey weighed a 71-pound white marlin to take the top spot in that category. The “Naps V” white marlin was worth $256,244 heading into Thursday. A pair of 65-pound white marlin were sharing second place in the category heading into Thursday and each stood to win $324,394, or more than the first-place white marlin because of added entry levels.

Wednesday also saw a big change in the blue marlin division when angler Thomas McMurray on the “Makara” out of Ocean City rolled into Sunset Marina with a big 566-pounder worth $196,836 heading into Thursday. However, another Ocean City boat, the “Ringleader,” sat in second place with a 543-pound blue marlin and stood to earn $455,024 because of added entry levels. The “Fish On,” also out of Ocean City, sat in third in the blue marlin division with a 437-pounder currently worth $65,612 heading into Thursday.

In the tuna division, Ocean City’s “Plane Simple” stood atop the leaderboard after three days with a 214-pounder worth $432,300. The “Canyon Runner” out of Cape May was in second with a 199-pounder and stood to earn $193,898. Cape May’s “Operating Room” was in third with a 198-pounder worth $167,150. In the dolphin division, it was the “G-Force” out of Cape May in first with a 27-pounder worth $48,198. The “Reel Desire III” out of Cape May was in first in the wahoo division with a 57-pounder worth $47,869.