The 48th Annual White Marlin Open started at 4:00 AM Monday morning when 421 of the 444 registered boats passed through the Inlets of Ocean City, MD, Indian River, Delaware, and Cape May, New Jersey heading for the offshore fishing grounds that hold the gamefish that will pay the luckiest of anglers over $9,200,000 in prize money this week. 
The 2021 WMO awards exceed (by more than $2 million dollars) their previous world record fishing tournament payout of $6.9 million set in the 2020 event and, after day 1, there are already claims of lottery-sized winnings.  
The $9.2 million dollar purse is, as expected, weighed more heavily to billfish categories and two Virginia Beach boats are holding onto $5,700,000 of that purse after day 1.  The first boat to the scales was the “Fender Bender” out of Virginia Beach, VA.  Mike Atkinson, also from Virginia Beach weighed an 82.5-pound white marlin that is currently worth $4,900,000!  Not far behind, the “Mama C” and Chris Perry out of Virginia Beach, VA weighed a 559.5-pound blue marlin that is currently holding onto $800,000.  Both boats were fishing in the same area (they aren’t saying where), and each were fighting their fish at the same time within 300 yards of each other.  The bad news for the VA Beach boats is that there are 4 more fishing days left – the good news is that their fish weights will be hard to beat.
There is over $1,200,000 to be awarded in the tuna categories and, after day 1, the bulk of that money is held by the “SEVEN” out of Jupiter, FL with angler Lawrence Morejon from Stuart, FL taking the lion's share of $1,043,000.00 for their 137-pound tuna.
There were no wahoo weighed Monday, but an assortment of dolphin lead by Andrew Kinsley fishing aboard the Kilo Charlie is holding first with a 31.5-pound fish worth $20,000.  The shark category purse of $120,000.00 is currently held by Anthony Sapanero abord the "Go Fish".
444 boats are entered in the 2021 WMO.  Each boat is permitted to fish any 3 of the 5 fishing days which means that there were 1,332 boat fishing days before Monday.  With 421 boats fishing Monday, that leaves 911 boat fishing days left during Tournament Week.  A lot can happen over the next 4 fishing days and the spectators at the Harbour Island weigh-ins can see lottery sized fortunes change hands over the next 4 days.
 

Day 1 White Marlin Fender Bender.jpg
Day 1 blue marlin Mama C.jpg