Big Billfish Finally Arrive on Moving Day

Thursday has long been known as “Moving Day” for the White Marlin Open and today was no exception.  “Moving Day” refers to the money movement on the leader board.  For the first three days, the bigeye tuna took the spotlight and were holding the bulk of the $8.6 million money because no marlin had qualified. 

That changed at about 6:00 PM when the “Cabana,” out of Fenwick Island, DE, came to the scales with a 511-pound blue marlin.  The blue was taken by Bill Britt from Sandy Spring, MD, to vault into first place as the only qualifier in that division and Bill is currently winning $960,000 for his efforts.   Within a half-hour after weighing the “Cabana’s” blue, the “C- Student” out of Southside Place, TX, cruised to the scales with a boated white marlin flag flying.  Their white was first measured to test the length, (which must meet our 70” minimum) before it can be weighed.  The white measured 73” but still needed to cross one more hurdle:  it needed to meet our minimum weight of 70-pounds to qualify for prize money.  As angler Keeley Megarity from Houston, TX watched, the digital scale confirmed their hopes as it settled at 71.5-pounds taking over first place and the $2,800,000 that came with that achievement.

Read More

Bigeye Tuna Dominate the Leaderboard

While the marlin are still AWOL, the bigeye tuna are providing the electricity and the biggest cheers at the weigh-ins.  After the third fishing day, we still have had no qualifying white or blue marlin weighed at  Harbour Island. However, that did not stop the bigeye tuna from seeing lottery-sized fortunes change hands Wednesday evening.  The Open format is structured to pay out all the prize money even if a category is not won.  If there are no qualifying white or blue marlin that prize money defaults to the heaviest tuna in that category.

At 6:30 PM Wednesday the “Big Stick” out of Cape May, NJ weighed a 246.5-pound bigeye.  Since the “Big Stick” was in all of the added entry levels and there are no qualifying white or blue marlin, that fish was technically winning all of the marlin money in addition to big tuna money which meant they were holding over $5,000,000 in potential prize money.  However, their celebration didn’t last long.  The 7:00 PM bridge opened and with it, the “Southern C’s” (also from Ocean City) cruised to the scale with a bigeye tuna that tipped the scales at 247.5-pounds.  With that extra pound, the “Southern C’s” vaulted into first place and took all of “Big Stick’s” short-lived winnings.  So, if the tournament ended tonight, the “Southern C’s” would walk away with approximately $6 million dollars of marlin, big fish, and tuna winnings.  But there are still 2 more fishing days and many chances for boats to bring in qualifying marlin or even bigger tuna.

Read More