Here marlin, marlin, marlin.
That was a common refrain heard from the crews aboard the 237 boats trolling across fathom curves and amongst pods of porpoise and pilot whales at last week’s White Marlin Open off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland.
My team was onboard the Viking 50 Open, Blinky IV, one of this competition’s “smaller” vessels. (We would like to thank the team from the Viking 82 called Business for using their vessel’s flying bridge to block the sun out while we rigged baits on A Dock at Sunset Marina.)
It was a great weather week for a tournament and a good number of fish were caught and released with several top-notch teams seeing double digit days. Our crew had an okay tourney with seven white marlin raised and a 46-pound yellowfin tuna found its way into the fishbox and next to the soy sauce and wasabi on Monday evening.
Wherever we fished, from the deeps of Baltimore Canyon to the 100-fathom line of Washington Canyon, our boat found lots of company. I counted 38 boats around us on Monday, about the same number on Wednesday, and on Friday there were 91 friends nearby with multiple boats hooked up at once. It was a sight.
I’ve been fishing this event since 2004 and it was one of the only ones that I recall (Of course, I recall less each year) that all five available days were quite fishable. When the dust cleared on Friday evening, an 88.5-pound white marlin took the top honors and a 699.5-pound blue marlin swept its division. In addition, a 279-pound bigeye rocked the tuna category and left spectators looking for a pair of chopsticks.
Next stop, the MA500. _** **_
– Capt. Patrick Sciacca