Ocean City, MD – Cape May, NJ – (MidAtlantic) The 24th Annual MidAtlantic tournament concluded in true MidAtlantic fashion with awards presentations and celebration parties at both venues. Earlier, as is always the case a large crowd gathered in the late afternoon at the tournament’s weigh stations at Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland eagerly awaiting the arrival of the fleet of gorgeous sportfishing boats. While most of the major prize categories remained unchanged, the white marlin category was shaken up a bit in true “Moving Day” tradition on Day Five. The final day of this tournament has historically seen several key prize category changes and this year would be no different!
Day Five dawned overcast and cool after a weather system brought thunderstorms through both tournament venues overnight. Sea conditions remained calm thanks to a light breeze and the billfish bite continued at a steady pace. With another day of great weather, 111 boats sailing on the final day of sportfishing’s “Main Event” including 50 from Cape May and 61 from Ocean City, and several categories still with fish on the board within striking range, the stage was set for a wild finish to this year’s event.
The evening’s weigh-in session kicked off early last night as shortly after 5 p.m. Captain Patrick Brogan wheeled the Texas Tea of owner Michael Savino from Brooklyn, New York to the scales and weighed a 77-pound white marlin for Savino’s 16-year old son Vincent to capture the Heaviest White Marlin of the event. Minutes later Captain Chester Sims docked the Lights Out owned by Bill Haugland of Coral Gables, Florida and weighed a 72-pounder and claimed the Second Heaviest White Marlin of the tournament. The Third Heaviest White Marlin of the event belonged to Joe Napolitan of Holland, Pennsylvania with a 71-pounder caught on Day Three aboard his Naps V.
Several blue marlin were caught on Day Five though all were released and the results for the category remained unchanged. Thomas McMurray of Ocean City, Maryland finished with the Heaviest Blue Marlin aboard his Makara with a 566-pounder caught on Day Three. Ryan Carroll of Dallas, Texas nabbed the Second Heaviest Blue Marlin on Day One at 543 pounds aboard his Ringleader. The Third Heaviest Blue Marlin went to Rob Kathery of Fort Lauderdale, Florida with a 437-pounder which he caught on Day Two aboard his Fish On.
The tuna category was quite competitive as numerous large big eyes were weighed during the week including several on Day Five. Captain Walter Harmstead put the Goin’ in Deep on the leaderboard on the final day of the tournament after weighing a 138-pound big eye tuna for owner Larry Hesse, Jr. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bob Mormile of Wallingford, Pennsylvania weighed a big eye tuna of 137 pounds from his Lizanne to also make the leaderboard on Day Five. As the tournament drew to a close the three heavyweights in the category remained unchanged. Jim Jensen of Satellite Beach, Florida weighed a 214-pound big eye on Day Two and recorded the Heaviest Tuna aboard his Plane Simple. Adam LaRosa’s Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant, New Jersey weighed a199-pound big eye on Day One to capture the Second Heaviest Tuna while Thomas Mackell of Gwynned Valley, Pennsylvania took the Third Heaviest Tuna at 198 pounds aboard his Operating Room.
Charlie Duerr of Tinton Falls, New Jersey weighed a 27-pound dolphin on Day Five from his Sea Hag to get on the board while Richard Osborne of Islamorada, Florida also got on the board on the final day of the tournament after weighing a 20-pound dolphin from his Reel Direct. However, neither of those fish was large enough to bump Rob Gothier of Champ Hill, Pennsylvania who nabbed the Heaviest Dolphin of 38 pounds on Day Four aboard his Bar South.
The wahoo category saw a major change on Day Five after Captain Mark DeBlasio backed his Blue Runner to the scales at Canyon Club in Cape May and weighed a 73-pounder for angler Jackson Hsieh of New York, New York to capture the Heaviest Wahoo of the event. Gary Damore of Berlin, Maryland jumped in the fray on Day Five after weighing 57-pounder aboard his Triple Bypass.
Boats with notable billfish catches on Day Five include Danny Jones’ Reel Toy with seven white marlin and one blue marlin released while Ed Katzianer’s Wish You Were Here released six white marlin. Rob Kathery’s Fish On released five white marlin and one blue marlin. Chip Caruso’s Pipe Dreamer and Rob Gothier’s Bar South each released four white marlin. Alan Sadler’s Intents released three white marlin and two blue marlin while Dabiel Hassan’s Swagger released two white marlin and one blue marlin. Boats releasing three white marlin on Day Five include: Marty Judge’s Judge; Edward Russo’s Big Deal; Dan Gentilini’s Super Crew and Matt Lonuzzi’s Over the Top.
Recapping the fish report it’s worth noting that although not a tournament record, the 543 total billfish caught by 139 boats with each fishing three days is indeed significant at these numbers translate to an average of nearly four billfish per boat for the tournament and over one billfish per boat per day for the event. Of the total number of billfish caught, 523 were let go for a release rate of well over 96%!
Heaviest White Marlin – 77 lbs. – Texas Tea – Michael Savino
Brooklyn, NY – $714,259
2nd Heaviest White Marlin – 72 lbs. – Lights Out – Bill Haugland
Coral Gables, FL – $137,287
3rd Heaviest White Marlin – 71 lbs. – Naps V – Joe Napolitan
Holland, PA – $74,213
Heaviest Blue Marlin – 566 lbs. – Makara – Thomas McMurray
Ocean City, MD – $196,836
2nd Heaviest Blue Marlin – 543 lbs. – Ringleader – Ryan Carroll
Dallas, TX – $420,998
3rd Heaviest Blue Marlin – 437 lbs. – Fish On – Rob Kathery
Ft. Lauderdale, FL – $91,885
Heaviest Tuna – 214 lbs. – Plane Simple – Jim Jensen
Satellite Beach, FL – $452,822
2nd Heaviest Tuna – 199 lbs. – Canyon Runner – Adam LaRosa
Point Pleasant, FL – $223,496
3rd Heaviest Tuna – 198 lbs. – Operating Room – Thomas Mackell
Gwyneed Valley, PA – $154,758
Heaviest Wahoo – 73 lbs. – Blue Runner – Jackson Hseih
New York, NY – $46,506
Heaviest Dolphin – 38 lbs. – Bar South – Rob Gothier
Champ Hill, PA – $48,199
Most Points White Marlin – 1125 – Reel Joy – John Gudelsky
Ocean City, MD
2nd Most Points White Marlin – 1050 – Bar South – Rob Gothier
Champ Hill, PA
3rd Most Points White Marlin – 900 – Rhonda’s Osprey – Joe Drosey
West Ocean City, MD
Most Points Blue Marlin – 450 – The Boomer – William Gardin
2nd Most Points Blue Marlin – 421.5 – Ringleader – Ryan Carroll
3rd Most Points Blue Marlin – 368.5 – Fish On – Rob Kathery
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Most Points Tuna – 383.5 – Goin’ in Deep – Larry Hesse, Jr.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2nd Most Points Tuna – 131 – Lizanne – Bob Mormile
3rd Most Points Tuna – 124.5 – Placid C’s – George Conway, Jr.
Riviera Beach, FL
Most Points Overall – 1125 – Reel Joy – John Gudelsky
Ocean City, MD
White Marlin released – 467
White Marlin boated – 19
Blue Marlin released – 34
Blue Marlin boated – 4
Tuna boated – 15
Wahoo boated – 20
Dolphin boated – 24
Sailfish released – 3
Longbill Spearfish released – 16