MidAtlantic contestant Captain Dave Graham backed Bob Nabrzeski’s Easy Rider based out of Lighthouse Point, Florida to the scale at Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May with a very large blue marlin in the boat.
After much effort by the crew at the scales to carefully maneuver the fish out of the boat and lift it to the scale the huge blue marlin weighed-in at 754 pounds. A billfish worth over half a million dollars to the crew.
In true MidAtlantic tournament style the Silver Anniversary edition of sportfishing’s “Main Event” came to a close on Friday evening with lavish award ceremonies held at Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland. Indeed there was a lot to celebrate including a record cash purse of nearly $3.16 million and a record billfish catch of well over 800 white marlin and blue marlin, of which, over 93% were released! Worthy of note is the billfish catch record shattered the previous tournament best of 636 caught in 2014 by nearly 200 marlin!
Day Five of the tournament dawned hot with a light southwest breeze and sea conditions were reported calm offshore. The billfish bite slowed a bit in the Wilmington Canyon where a majority of the fleet was fishing on the final day of the tournament after two consecutive red hot days of fishing but the fleet of 109 boats fishing, including 69 from Ocean City and 40 from Cape May still found pockets of white marlin to pick away at.
The evening’s weigh-in session got off to an early when shortly after 5 p.m. Angler Bob Nabrzeski’s blue marlin not only captured the Heaviest Blue Marlin category but it also should be noted it was the second heaviest blue marlin ever weighed in MidAtlantic tournament history . Tony Demarco of South Brunswick, New Jersey aboard his Fantasia won the Second Heaviest Blue Marlin award with the 432 pounder his crew weighed on Day Three. There were no other qualifying blue marlin weighed over the tournament’s 400 pound minimum weight for the species.
Cash Prize Winners
* Please note over fifty individual cash awards are possible due to the wide variety of calcuttas which participants may enter. See below the payout for the species indicated. Payouts vary by the number of calcuttas each participant enters. It should be noted that no less than seven winners received a payout of more than six figures and an additional 13 winners received payouts of $25,000 or more!
Heaviest White Marlin – 77 lbs. – MJOLNIR – James Smith – Stuart, FL – $749,650
2nd Heaviest White Marlin – 72 lbs. – Haulin’ and Ballin’ – Kristin Jezierski – Pasadena, MD – $81,216
3rd Heaviest White Marlin – Three way tie – 68 lbs. – Shark Byte – Peter Cherasia – Rumson, NJ – $110,168
MR Ducks – Stephen Lewis – Ocean City, MD – $53,768
Sea Wolf – Anthony Martina – Mickleton, DE – $31,208
Heaviest Blue Marlin – 754 lbs. – Easy Rider – Bob Nabrzeski – Lighthouse Point, FL – $531,513
2nd Heaviest Blue Marlin – 432 lbs. – Fantasia – Anthony Demarco – South Brunswick, NJ – $181,382
* No qualifying 3rd Heaviest Blue Marlin was caught
Heaviest Tuna – 230 lbs. – Pez Machine – Stuart Hitchner – Barnegat Light, NJ – $374,096
2nd Heaviest Tuna – 156 lbs. – Miss Budweiser – Michael Flanigan – Palm Beach, FL – $263,035
3rd Heaviest Tuna – 76 lbs. – Reelin’ Feelin’ – Adam Youschak – Wildwood, NJ – $176, 015
Heaviest Dolphin – 53 lbs. – Fishing for MD – Dayton, MD – $26,226
Heaviest Wahoo – 75 lbs. – Moore Bills – Edward Bondarchuk – Lighthouse Point, FL $69,442
See all the tournament results and prize values on the Midatlantic website.