With 444 boats entered and $9.2 million dollars up for grabs, the 2021 edition of the White Marlin Open is primed for another world record fishing tournament payout.  Boats and anglers from up and down the Atlantic and Gulf coasts have gathered in Ocean City, MD in pursuit of Atlantic gamefish worth their weight in gold.
Long known as the “World’s Largest Billfishing Tournament,” the Open has awarded more than $71 million dollars since the inaugural event in 1974.  This year’s payout will exceed the world record tournament prize money awards of $6.8 million paid in last year’s event which included $1,850,000 and $1,762,000 paid for the top two white marlin and a tuna worth $1,414,000.
Each of the 444 registered boats can choose any 3 of the 5 fishing days (from Monday, Aug 2 through Friday Aug 6) to compete.  The offshore weather report looks good for Monday, so it’s probable that the “boat parade” through the Inlet Monday morning will be long.  The boats may leave the inlet starting at 4:00 AM and is expected to last until after 6 AM.
Most boats will head for the “canyons” from 50 to 70 miles offshore where the Continental Shelf drops from 50 fathoms to thousands of feet and the Gulf Stream flows.  That is where the Atlantic gamefish of marlin, tuna, dolphin, and wahoo congregate in the summer months and where boats have the best chance to land a prize-winning fish.
The boats may fish from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.  The lucky anglers will bring their catches to the Harbour Island scales each day for the weigh-ins that run from 4:00 PM to 9:15 PM.  The weigh-ins are open free to the public each day at the 14th street marina.