During the White Marlin Open Thursday has long been known as “Moving Day,” as in there is movement in the leaderboard, and this year was no exception as $3.6 million dollars changed hands within two hours today at the Harbour Island scale to the delight of thousands of spectators, and agony of a few anglers.
The big story of Thursday’s weigh-ins may become the biggest fish story ever told! Only one white marlin had qualified after 3 fishing days, and Bill Haugland’s 75-pound white caught aboard the Lights Out from Ocean Reef FL on Tuesday was worth over $2.6 million dollars.
At 6:15 PM the Under Dog out of Virginia Beach, VA. pulled up to the scale with two white marlin to weigh. The first marlin pulled from the ice had been caught by Brandon Bartlett at 9:30 AM and met all the measurements to be a qualifier, but fell short of the 70-pound minimum by 4.5 pounds. The second white was boated by Gregory Giron of VA Beach at 2:53 PM and looked bigger than his teammate’s fish. It was bigger, and the roar of the crowd confirmed that it was much bigger as the scale flashed 83-pounds. The VA Beach team raced into first place and grabbed $2.6 million from the Light’s Out treasure chest along the way. If that fish holds, Gregory Giron may have a legitimate claim on the biggest fish story ever told.
The other big raider of the day was the Buckshot out of Ocean City, MD carrying angler Gary Sansburry from Hobe Sound, FL. Stansbury boated a 75.5 tuna snatching $900,000 from Blinky IV who had snatched that same amount from Brass Monkey the day before.
The billfishing has been terrific as 568 marlin have been caught with 559 released through Day 4. This is the unseen, yet most prestigious competition in the tournament.
Viking 72 leads the Release Classic with 7 white marlin and a blue marlin release good for 735 points. The Uno Mas has 7 whites and a blue release for 735 points as well. The Let It Ride is in third with 630 points.
The Top Anglers are Greg Lentz - Trust Me Too - with 455 pts, Eric McDowell Viking 72 385 pts. and Joe Rahman on the Auspicious with 363 pts.
The weather looks perfect again for the final day of fishing and 324 boats are eligible to fish. Friday could be a day to remember at the Harbour Island scales.