Jack and Paul Townsend of Selbyville, Del. are given credit for bringing big game fishing to Ocean City. They had fished for marlin off the coast of Florida and speculated that the marlin would follow the warm waters of the Gulf Stream north to the Delmarva coastline. They took VIPs, such as Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees, fishing and the Jackspot, the popular marlin ground 21 miles off the coast, was named for Jack Townsend.
The first white marlin was caught in 1934 by Captain John Mickle and the first blue marlin in 1941 by Harry Tellum, Jr., who was only 13 years old at the time he caught his 350-pound prize fish.
On the warm weekend of July 30, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt caught two white marlins from the presidential yacht “Potomac” and that same weekend a record 161 marlins were boated in one day by the Ocean City-based charter fleet. Ocean City was becoming the “White Marlin Capital of the World.”
Photo courtesy of Virginia Harmon