Headed out at 5 AM this morning for Day Three of the Mid Atlantic $500,000 aboard the George Charysahthopoulos’ custom Carolina boat Tarheel with Capt. Chris Warrin and renown mate Daniel “Backlash” Davis. We were in the company of 111 boats from both Ocean City and Cape May with light winds, calm seas and the earthquake of yesterday just a memory.
The bite today was a bit funky with good water, scattered weed, bait and all the good signs you could want along with a decent number of bites, but an unusually high number of misses to go along with them. Top boats like Jon Duffie’s Billfisher were putting up numbers like one for six. The Tarheel went one for five and when I got back to the dock most boats were flying one to four release flags with a few notable exceptions.
Talk on the dock was about the inordinate amount of missed fish. It seemed a lot of fish were coming into the pattern half heartedly, bit lightly and were lost on the first jump or not hooked at all. A few boats had good days including Bryan Keith’s Predator with nine white marlin released and Jeff Citron’s Singularis with seven released. Pat Healy’s Viking 70 and Bobby Pastorius’ Rhonda’s Osprey each released six white marlin.
Even with the unusual bite the leader board in the white marlin category changed hands a few times this afternoon with Steve Ramsey’s Lady Luck taking the lead with an impressive 82 lb fish at the end of the day followed by Chuck Arnold’s Big Dog and Sonny Shepanski’s Sailmaker tied for second with matching 75 pound whites.
The blue marlin division remains unchanged from yesterday with the 565-lb blue weighed by Steven Scioscia’s Tail Spin in first and second the third place unchanged. There was a significant change in the tuna category with the first bigeye of the tournament to come to the scales, a 148-pounder caught aboard Adam Demeusy’s Impulse V caught by angler Frank Massa III.
It appears the majority of the boats that have only two fishing days under their belts will be on the water again tomorrow morning. The forecast is fishable, but the calm seas of the prior three days are a thing of the past. Stay tuned for more developments tomorrow as the Mid Atlantic $500,000 winds down toward it conclusion with Hurriance Irene taking a bead on the region.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene was still on everyone’s minds as weather updates continued to forecast the little lady building strength and striking the U.S. mainland around Cape Hatteras and riding the coast northward as a Cat 3 storm! Brian Tingler, GM of Sunset Marina, told me that they were beginning to haul boats in anticipation of the storm on Thursday and many of the tournament boats would be coming out on Friday as the big blow and major tidal surge approached. Form all the snooping this correspondent could do it appears very few boats are planning on fishing on Friday, even though it might be a fishable day and fishing action tends to get pretty frenetic on the front edge of a major storm.
The Ocean City contingent of the tournament continues to grow as Sunset Marina devotes itself to this great billfish tournament. The South Jersey Marina/Canyon Club complex in Cape May, NJ and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, MD are two of the finest sportfishing marinas and tournament hosts to be found anywhere in the world. All the comments I have heard about the facilities, the way the tournament has been handled and the cocktail and dinner parties have been nothing but the highest praise.
The Mega Marlin Raffle to benefit the Recreational Fishing Alliance and the Guy Harvey Foundation as generated over $25,000 and tickets were still selling this evening. That’s about it for now. Check back tomorrow for more tales and lies from the Mid Atlantic.