OCEAN CITY- The 24th Mid-Atlantic fishing tournament finished with a flourish late last week with the appropriately named “Texas Tea” sweeping in on the final day with a 77-pound white marlin worth over $713,000.
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, second only perhaps to the White Marlin Open. 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 the sister ports in Ocean City and Cape May.
For several years, it was an Ocean City-based boat sweeping in on the tournament’s final day to claim the top prize, but Cape May turned the tables on O.C. this year. Shortly after the scale opened in Cape May last Friday evening, angler 16-year-old angler Vincent Savino and the crew on the “Texas Tea” weighed a 77-pound white marlin to take the lead in the premiere division.
Just moments later, the Ocean City-based “Lights Out” weighed a 72-pound white marlin at its home port at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City to settle into second place. Third place was occupied by the crew on the “Naps V” out of Cape May with a 71-pounder caught on Wednesday. When the dust settled, it was the “Texas Tea” crew taking home the tournament’s top prize of $714,259. The “Lights Out” crew earned $137,287 for its second-place white, while the “Naps V” earned $74,213.
In the blue marlin division, it was an Ocean City sweep with boats fishing out of the resort taking the top three spots. The crew on the “Makara” took first place with a 566-pound blue marlin caught on Wednesday last week worth $196,836. The “Ringleader” out of Harbour Island in Ocean City took second place with a 543-pounder caught on Day One that was ultimately worth $420,998 because of added entry levels. Another Ocean City-based boat, the “Fish On,” took third in the blue marlin division with a 437-pounder caught on Day Two that was worth $91,855.
The tuna division featured several big-eyes throughout the week and also included a strong showing by Ocean City-based boats. The “Plane Simple” out of Ocean City took first place with a 214-pounder worth $452,822, which was the tournament’s second highest cash prize. Another Ocean City-based boat, the “Canyon Runner,” took second in the tuna division with a 199-pounder worth $223,496. The Cape May-based “Operating Room” took third with a 198-pounder worth $154,758.
In the dolphin division, it was the “Bar South” taking first place with a 38-pounder worth $48,199. The crew on the “Blue Runner” took first in the wahoo division with a 73-pounder worth $46,506.
Several other boats won significant money in different Calcuttas for placing in various positions on the leaderboard. In the white marlin division, the “Lady Luck” won $34,705 in prize money with a 65-pounder. The “Reel Toy” also won $16,920 for its 65-pound white marlin. In the tuna division, the “MJ’s” won $78,036 for its 146-pounder, the “Goin’ In Deep” won $9,588 for its 141-pounder, the “Lizanne” won $33,088 for its 137-pounder and the “Placid C’s” won $9,701 for its 132-pounder.
In the wahoo division, the “Reel Desire III” won $15,886 for its 57-pounder. The “Triple Bypass” also weighed a 57-pound wahoo worth $19,317. In the dolphin division, the “G-Force” and the “Sea Hag” each earned $14,523 in prize money for their matching 27-pounders. The “Nasty Habit” earned $3,102 for its 24-pound wahoo, while the “Reel Direct” won $1,363 for its 20-pounder.