The Big Top tent is up and the players have arrived as the 2018 MidAtlantic tournament kicks off today for its 27th consecutive year! Final registration and captain’s meetings will be held this afternoon in Cape May at Canyon Club Resort Marina and the event’s satellite port, Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland. Teams will pick three of the next five days, Monday through Friday, trolling the offshore canyons in pursuit of white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin. Participating boats may not pass their respective inlet sea buoy prior to 3 a.m. and lines in is set for 8 a.m. each day. Fishing ends each day at 3:30 p.m. and all fish to be weighed must be at the scale of either Canyon Club or Sunset Marina by 9 p.m. each day. All participants must fish within 125 miles of the Cape May Sea Buoy whether fishing from Cape May or Ocean City. To win a portion of the projected $3 million-plus cash purse a white marlin must weigh at least 65 pounds while a blue marlin must weigh at least 400 pounds. Tuna must weigh 50 pound minimum to win cash though dolphin and wahoo have no minimum weight.
Earlier this week an important rule change was announced by the tournament committee and was sent out to all participants and reads as follows:
“In response to recent concerns regarding slow trolling and in consultation with other tournaments we have decided to prohibit the use of Chub Mackerel (also known as Tinker Mackerel) and Atlantic Mackerel (also known as Boston Mackerel) in this year’s tournament. Also, we are clarifying that the existing prohibition on live baiting also includes “live teasering” as well as fishing for bait during the tournament.
We understand that anglers are innovators and we support that. Through the years, offshore fishing has shifted and bent as anglers incorporated new techniques and technologies into the sport. Tournament Directors, however, must balance that innovation with having the overall best experience. We don’t want any one boat, group, or region to have too much of an advantage over the others. This solution addresses the current situation without impacting the traditional trolling fishery.
We are announcing this change now rather than at the Captain’s Meeting to give teams time to prepare and adjust.
Rule 11 is changed to: This is a trolling tournament. While hook-ups are accomplished with no headway are permissible if they occur at a time when baits settle while fighting another fish, the use of live bait or stopping
or stopping and casting or pitching to tailing fish or fish balling bait is not permissible. Live baiting shall include live teasering and fishing for bait during the tournament. The use of Chub Mackerel or Atlantic Mackerel is prohibited.”
Crews kept busy today making final preparations while also consulting sea surface temperature data in an effort to find the best potential starting spot on Day One. Several boats pre-fished with hopes of getting an edge on the competition by getting a first-hand look of where and where not to fish as well.
The tournament entry fee is $2500 and includes dockside hospitality including dinners, drinks and entertainment for up six crewmembers. Tournament prize money is derived from participation in the event’s numerous calcuttas where participants may enter any, all or none to boost their winnings. As they say “Ya ‘gotta be in it to win it!” Last year’s purse was a tournament record $3.24 million-plus and was shared among 30-plus different winners.
We will provide nightly updates shortly after the scales close at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday via e-mail which will include the day’s fishing activity. A complete tournament wrap-up will be sent out via e-mail by noon on Saturday, August 25. As a reminder the 2018 MidAtlantic is accessible through the South Jersey Tournaments App. Be sure to download this free app today for your IOS or Android device from the Apple App and Google Play stores so you can follow all the action all week long!
Please note the MidAtlantic tournament is a private event and not open to the general public. Tournament venues require credentials for entry.
For further information contact Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman at 609-884-0177. Be sure to visit the tournament’s official web site at www.themidatlantic.com where you’ll find all the facts, figures and information about this year’s event including a complete rundown of calcutta payouts, rules, points and an event schedule. There’s also a link to purchase official tournament merchandise. Each night you can follow the weigh in session from both marinas via a link on the web site. You can also follow all the action on Facebook at The MidAtlantic Tournament; on Twitter; @midatl and on Instagram; @themidatlantictournament.