Big Thresher Highlights 22nd Mako Mania

Big Thresher Highlights 22nd Mako Mania
The crew on the SeaMent weighed this 200-pound-plus mako last week to take first-place in the Mako Mania tournament and earned nearly $29,000 on prize money. Photo courtesy Hooked on OC

OCEAN CITY- The 22nd Mako Mania tournament was a big success last with a big mako taking the event’s top prize and a huge thresher causing quite a stir at host Bahia Marina.

A total of 37 boats and 176 anglers competed in the 2018 version of the Mako Mania and the estimated total prize money doled out after the event came in at $87,590. Participating boats had to pick two of three days over the weekend to fish and most got theirs out of the way on Friday and Saturday with Sunday essentially a wash because of rain and pour conditions offshore.

Mako Mania was a little different this year with release divisions added because of new federal guidelines on the minimum length for catching and keeping a shortfin mako. As a result, there were fewer mako weighed at the scale at host Bahia Marina but at least one met the minimum requirements and took home the tournament’s top prize. The crew on the SeaMent weighed a 200-pound-plus mako and earned $28,900 in prize money.

The big story over the weekend was a massive thresher weighed at the scale by the crew on the Fishful Thinking. The thresher, which was practically the length of the boat and had to be hauled in alongside the SeaMent weight out at 644 pounds, which would qualify as the new Maryland state record for the species. However, the crew had to shoot the big thresher for humane and safety reasons which could jeopardize its state record status. Nonetheless, the big thresher qualified for the Mako Mania’s top prize in the division and earned $6,225 in prize money.

In the mako release division, the SeaMent also took first place with six releases and earned $17,700. The Portabella was second with three releases and earned $3,690. The Absolut Pleasure was third with two releases and earned $8,667. The Siren was third fourth with two releases and earned $3,690 and the Nontypical was fifth with one release and earned $684.

The SeaMent was second in the thresher division with a 355-pounder and earned an additional $10,035. Third place in the thresher division went to Fishful Thinking with a 183-pounder worth $1890. The Teaser swept the bluefish division with two fish totaling over $5,000 in prize money. The W.W. Harmon Award for most mako released went to the SeaMent.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.