Greetings from Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland after an absolutely beautiful fishing day the competition really heated up. While the weather was excellent with calm seas the big story is the impending affects of Hurricane Irene,
First I have to make a correction from yesterday’s blog. The beautiful 70′ Spencer’s name I fished aboard is actually Makara, not_ Makaira_. Capt. Bill Gerlach ran the boat to his spot near the Baltimore Canyon and we found bait and billfish immediately. We weren’t trolling for ten minutes before we had the first white on, a small fish that was released. We had the spot all to ourselves for another couple hours, released two more whites and a blue and kept a fourth white for weigh in. The crew included anglers Brandon White, Keith Fraser and Daca Thomas with mates Mark Stephans and Rich Hastings working the cockpit.
When word got out we were on a bite the fleet started to converge and by noon there were dozens of boats pounding the same numbers with some interesting results. A lot of whites and blues were caught and fishing was actually solid, but not great by the standards set in this event in recent years.
Day Two saw 111 of the 117 boats entered on the water mixing it up and a fair amount of fish came to the scales in both O.C. and Cape May. The leader board bounced around almost as much as the ground did earlier in the day when the earthquake hit. At the end of the day Raymond Craig’s Amarula Sun held first place in the White Marlin category with a strong 72-pound fish with Frank Holtham’s Inappropriate bringing a pair of twin 69-pounders to the scales, which puts him in a tie with himself for second place! Talk about weird. Steve Scioscia’s Tail Spin leads the blue marlin category with a 565-pound fish while Damien Romeo’s Hubris stands in second with a 498 and Dan Burt’s Pumpin Hard 66 holds a close third with a 494.
Nick and Trish Rodriguez’s Par Five stands atop the tuna category with a 71-pound yellowfin followed in second place by Tom Jarvis’ Dumb and Dumber with a 63-pounder. Third place in the category currently belongs to Jim Foulke’s Trust Me Too with a yellowfin of 58 pounds. Art Boykin’s Lucky Duck II weighed a 38-pound dolphin today to take the lead in the category while Dave Migliore’s Blackbeard’s Revenge now leads the wahoo category with a 50-pounder.
I mentioned earlier that Hurricane Irene is the big story here besides the fishing and it will most likely change the complexion of the tournament. With forecasts pushing its likely strong effects into the Mid Atlantic region as early as Thursday all competitors are hustling to make arrangements to fish Wednesday and Thursday, which would, for all intents and purposes, end the event a day early. At the same time boat captains and owners are running around making arrangements to get hauled in case the storm pushes up the coast from its current forecast landfall in the Carolinas and well into the tournament area. Activity after weigh-in this evening was boarding on frantic.