The crew from Goin’ In Deep, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were the big winners in the 2017 MidAtlantic.
The difference for a healthy chunk of the team’s $1.1 million payout? Just 3 pounds.
Goin’ In Deep, owned by Larry Hesse and captained by Walter Harmstead, won both the blue marlin and tuna categories, thanks to a 680-pound blue marlin and a 184-pound yellowfin tuna, both weighed on the fourth day. Those catches earned the team a whopping $1,110,634 in prize money. The crew also won the blue marlin release category with 320 points.
The blue marlin division was hard-fought though, as Let It Ride boated a 677-pound blue for second place, just three pounds behind the first-place team. No other qualifying blues were caught, meaning the third-place prize money was split between Goin’ In Deep and Let It Ride.
The team aboard Waste Knot, from Morehead City, North Carolina, won the white marlin category with a 75-pounder. The Taylor Jean crew placed second with a 72-pound white marlin and Reed Rodeo placed third with a 71-pounder. A tournament-record $3.24 million purse was awarded to the winners during the awards presentations in Cape May, New Jersey, and Ocean City, Maryland.
In the release division, Capt. Jon Duffie’s Billfisher team placed first in the white marlin release category with 900 points and third in the blue marlin release division with 300 points. Combined, the crew placed first overall with 1,200 total release points. The Marlin Gale team finished second in the white marlin release category with 825 points and DA Sea placed third with 750 points. Following Goin’ In Deep in the blue marlin release division was Moore Bills with 300 points, finishing second on time.
The 151-boat fleet released 427 billfish and featured a billfish-release rate of nearly 95 percent.