As with the past 48 WMO tournaments, as soon as one tournament ends, work begins on making the next year’s event even better. The 2021 WMO had 444 boats competing for a world record $9.2 million dollar payout; so, our work is cut out for us. The format is basically unchanged from past years’ events. It was designed to allow boats the freedom to enter the added entry levels of their choice based on their wallet, target species, boat size, and perceived abilities. Last year, that format provided a payout that included individual awards of $3.2 million, $1.9 million, $1.3 million, and $1.1 million dollars. While that’s a tough act to follow, if past trends hold, we project that the 2022 purse will exceed $10 million dollars! By listening to the suggestions of our anglers we have made a few changes that, we hope, will make the 49th WMO the best tournament yet.
New for 2022
There will be no shark division this year. Because of the new federal regulations on sharks, we have eliminated the shark category for 2022. In its place, we have added a swordfish division. Since interest in swordfishing has increased in recent years, we have added that species for 2022 by popular demand. A new heaviest swordfish winner take all category has also been added to up the ante. A new daily billfish points category will be added for small boats. As many small boat (under 40 ft, LOA) anglers have requested, we have added a daily billfish points category specifically to reward the smaller boats for catches and releases of billfish.
There will be an extra 30 minutes of fishing time each day this year. Lines and teasers can be put in the water at 8:00 AM, allowing an extra half hour for boats to fish.
Marlin Fest will stream the weigh-ins live each day on the beach at the Ocean City inlet. The fans and followers of the White Marlin Open have always been a big part of the event. From the early risers who watch the boats pass through the inlet, to the crowds that flock to Harbour Island to watch the nightly weigh-ins, the spectators add an element of excitement found in no other fishing tournament in the world. To accommodate the overflow of fans at Harbour Island, Marlin Fest will offer live streaming of the nightly weighins on a Jumbo-Tron screen on the beach at the inlet along with daily live entertainment, food & adult beverages, a wide variety of vendors, beach tennis, cornhole tournaments and official WMO and Marlin Fest merchandise. The Marlin Fest beach party will be held daily from 1PM-9PM.
The fishing days for the 2022 WMO are August 8-12 with late registration held at Harbour Island Marina in Ocean City, MD and South Jersey Marina in Cape May NJ on Saturday Aug 6th and at Harbour Island Marina on August 7th. The awards ceremony will be held at the Ocean City Fountainebleau Resort on Saturday, August 13th . On that day it is estimated that over $10 million dollars will be awarded to the luckiest anglers! Will you be one of them?