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50 Years and Over $105,000,000 in Prize Money
The White Marlin Open is a 50-year-old deep-sea fishing tournament held annually in Ocean City, Maryland. Long known as the “World’s Largest Billfishing Tournament,” the Open has awarded over $105 million for catches of the gamefish that migrate up the Gulf Stream each summer. The first tournament was held in 1974 and drew 57 boats, 150 anglers, and paid $20,000 in prize money. The 2023 event drew 400 boats, over 3,500 contestants, and awarded over $10.5 million dollars in prize money, including the top individual prize of $6.23 million dollars which established a new world record award for the catch of a fish!
50th White Marlin Open Closes With a $6.2 Million Dollar Bill
The 400 registered boats for the 50th White Marlin Open were probably the most conservation-minded group that has ever fished the Open – or any other billfish tournament held in recent memory. Of the 605 billfish caught during the five-day event, 602 were released. With over $7 million of the total $10.5 million purse reserved for billfish, it was remarkable that not one boat brought a non-contender to the scale before the closing day on Friday.