White Marlin Open Adds New Categories

OCEAN CITY – Always finding ways to improve the tournament, the White Marlin Open is adding a few new wrinkles for the 2019 event set for the first week in August.

The White Marlin Open will be held in Ocean City from August 5 through August 9 and the payout this year is expected to reach $6 million, eclipsing last year’s record payout of $5.5 million. Since its inception, the WMO has doled out over $68 million in prize money over the decades.

As the name implies, the white marlin division continues to be the glamour division and that won’t change. However, in the interest of providing opportunities for all angler and boat sizes, the tournament continues to evolve with different categories and this year is no different.

A few years ago, the WMO added a small boat category for certain species targeted. This year, the tournament is adding a small boat level for dolphin. Prizes will be awarded to boats 40 feet and under in the dolphin division for the first time for an added entry fee of $1,000.

“Our small boat divisions have grown every year and we wanted to add yet another option for this growing category,” said WMO founder and president Jim Motsko.

Another new wrinkle this year is a new biggest fish category. The added entry level will award anglers and boats that catch the single largest fish in the tournament, whether it be a white marlin, blue marlin, swordfish, tuna, dolphin, wahoo or shark.

Yet another new category added in 2019 is a lady angler category which will recognize the first, second and third place lady anglers with the most billfish points during the tournament.

“We’re seeing more and more ladies participating each year and we’re excited to award the top female anglers for billfish points,” said tournament director Madelyne Rowan.

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.