958-Pound Tournament Record Blue Marlin and a Brace of Big Eye Tuna Headline Day Three of 30th MidAtlantic
While the billfish bite slowed a bit on Day Three of the 30th Annual MidAtlantic for the majority of the 157 boats fishing today compared to yesterday which saw 132 white marlin and 11 blue marlin released, it was a very busy day for one particular boat that landed a memorable billfish. Rocky Hardison of Beaufort, North Carolina created quite a stir when he wheeled his Wolverine to the scale with a massive blue marlin in the cockpit caught by angler Gary Fletcher that was so long its tail was hanging out the transom door!
When the tape was stretched out the big blue measured 135”, a full five inches longer than any blue marlin ever weighed in the MidAtlantic’s 30-year history. Tournament staff worked diligently to carefully maneuver the billfish from the cockpit to the scale. Weighmaster Frank Ingram placed the tail rope over the scale and yelled out the weight of 958 pounds and now Wolverine leads the category! That’s also a new tournament record besting the previous record of 847 pounds set by Wade Lober aboard his Why Not back in 2014. Congratulations to the crew of the Wolverine! Larry Hesse’s Goin’ in Deep out of Manasquan, New Jersey is now in second place with his 681-pounder followed by Steve Pilipauskis’ Reel Tight from Riva, Maryland with his 487-pounder.
Big Eyes Big Weight
The tuna bite continued to be very good and once again on Day Three and numerous big eyes and yellowfins were weighed and a major shake-up occurred in the standings. Captain Bryan Boyle had Chip Caruso’s Colts Neck, New Jersey-based Pipedreamer at the scale shortly after tonight’s weigh-in session got underway at 5 pm. with a pair of barrel-sized big eye tuna in the cockpit that anglers Caruso and Andy Confortini battled. The pair of big eyes weighed 235 and 227 pounds and moved Pipedreamer into the lead and second place in the tuna category. Bob Hugin’s Summit, New Jersey-based The Right Place is now in third place with a 188-pound tuna.
Anthony Martina’s Sea Wolf from Middletown, Delaware remains atop of the white marlin division with his 82-pounder followed by Art Boykin of Berlin, Maryland on his Lucky Duck II with his 80-pounder. Andrew Dotterweich’s Fish On from Jupiter, Florida sits in third place with his white marlin of 75 pounds.
In the dolphin category William Keller’s Blood Money from Brielle, New Jersey remains atop the board with his 31-pounder followed by Jeff Spencer’s Bent Tent from Easton, Maryland, and Jeremy Blunt’s Wrecker’s out of Ocean City, Maryland who are tied at 26 pounds.
There’s a new leader in the wahoo category after Captain Danny Veid of Tarpon Springs, Florida weighed a 57-pounder for angler Gerry Imparato aboard Amarula Sun. Patrick McGovern’s Mack 900 based in Somerset, New Jersey was bounced to second place with his 32-pounder. John Homick’s Salt Lick hailing from Annapolis, Maryland is now in third place with his 18-pounder.
Some of the boats with notable billfish releases on Day Three include Jamie Diller’s Canyon Lady with seven white marlin and David Bowen’s Big Stick with five. Dave Anderson’s Krazy Salts and Luke Blume’s C Boys each released four white marlin. John Dougherty’s Outrage, Pat Healey’s Viking 80, Sid Gold’s Can Do Too, Andrew Kevlahan’s Dorothy Marie and Adam Youschak’s Reelin’ Feelin’ each released three white marlin today. George Robinson’s Polarizer and Jim Walker’s Conspiracy each released a blue marlin.
Please note the MidAtlantic tournament is a private event. Nightly weigh-in sessions at Canyon Club Resort Marina and Sunset Marina as well as other tournament venues are not open to the general public and require credentials for entry. All local, state and federal procedures with regard to Covid-19 are being followed to ensure the health and safety of all tournament staff, sponsors and participants.
Thanks to Jeff Merril for the intel.