OCEAN CITY — As expected, there was a big shake-up on the White Marlin Open (WMO) leaderboard on Wednesday, day three of the annual event, after stormy weather and rough seas limited the action on Monday and Tuesday, but the bar is now set high for what should be remarkable finish on Thursday and Friday.
Two days of rough offshore conditions essentially boiled the 2017 WMO down to three days with the leaderboard in the glamour white marlin division and blue marlin division still wide open after Monday and Tuesday. Just 136 of the registered 353 boats went out on day one on Monday and 12 fished on Tuesday, setting up Wednesday as the first day with a full complement of nearly 300 boats heading out and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
An 86-pound white marlin caught by angler Mike Donohue aboard the Griffin out of Palm Beach, Florida now sits atop the white marlin leaderboard and is currently worth $2.6 million heading into Thursday’s action. Also brought to the scale at host Harbour Island on Wednesday was a 76-pound white marlin caught by angler Michael Logan aboard the Business currently worth $120,000. Sitting in third place in the white marlin division is a 70.5-pounder caught by the Team Player out of Stone Harbor, N.J. currently worth $80,000.
There was also movement in the tuna category Wednesday. The top tuna and $450,000 that goes with it has changed hand four times in three days. Currently sitting in first place is angler Joe Sandler and the Intents out of Jupiter, Florida with a 68.5-pound yellowfin late Wednesday that is currently worth $460,000. A pair of 67-pound tuna are tied for second with the Blue Runner’s worth $80,000 because of added entry levels and the Warden Pass’s worth $50,000.
There is one big category that is still vacant. The $900,000 prize money in the blue marlin division is still untouched and most boats will be trolling extra heavy tackle in case a big blue strikes.
There is one big category that is still vacant. The $900,000 prize money in the blue marlin division is still untouched and extra efforts will likely be made Thursday and Friday to boat one.