Mid-Atlantic Tournament Returns Next Week

OCEAN CITY- The resort area’s collective hangover from last week’s White Marlin Open has just about worn off in time for the next big event on the summer sportfishing calendar- the 26th Annual Mid-Atlantic, a Cape May, N.J.-based tournament that will again have a strong presence in Ocean City again this year.

Now in its 26th year, the Mid-Atlantic continues to be one of the top sport fishing events in the region with over $3 million in prize money expected to be doled out again this year. Tournament headquarters has always been the Canyon Club in Cape May, and that hasn’t changed, but the increased number of boats from the resort area has given the event a decidedly Ocean City flair.

Over a decade ago, Mid-Atlantic organizers opened up Ocean City as a second port from which to fish and the change was met with great enthusiasm. For the first two years, however, any Ocean City boat that caught a qualifying fish had to transport it to the official scales in Cape May. Nine years ago, however, Sunset Marina in West Ocean City was added as an official sister port for the event and local anglers participating in the Mid-Atlantic began to weigh potentially-winning in at their homeport.

This year, in order to maintain the Mid-Atlantic’s high standard of dockside service and hospitality, caps have been set at 95 participants from each of the two host ports. As of mid-week, Ocean City was already near its cap of 95 participants, while Cape May entries were way ahead of last year.

The tournament gets underway on Sunday with captain’s meetings, registration and a kick-off party at the two venues in Ocean City and Cape May, but the real action gets started on Monday with the first of five fishing days. Participating boats must choose to fish three of the five days and weigh-ins will be held each day at Sunset Marina and in Cape May.

There were several anomalies during the 2018 Mid-Atlantic tournament including records in payouts and blue marlin releases. The leaderboard in the signature white marlin category changed on the last day with a 78-pound white marlin caught by angler Sean O’Donnell on the Got Game taking over first place. The first-place white marlin earned a tournament-record $905,408 in prize money.

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.