Now in its 27th year, the MidAtlantic has a long tradition among the elite offshore tournaments on the east coast. From its renowned dockside hospitality to its multi-million dollar cash purse the event continues to attract the best offshore boats and crews each year. The tournament’s unique scaled entry fee structure allows participants to compete in calcutta levels of their choice while still positioning themselves to win a sizeable cash prize and the tournament’s prize format of well over 60 individual cash awards consistently awards six figure payouts to numerous winners each year including last year which saw seven winners receive six figure payouts while an additional 10 winners received checks of $25,000 or more from a tournament record cash purse of nearly $3.25 million!
This year’s MidAtlantic is set for August 19-24 and is shaping up to be another exciting event and with entry fees already flowing in at a brisk pace it will no doubt be a sizeable field of the best bluewater anglers found anywhere looking for a share of a cash purse expected to exceed $3 million! Last year’s event was one for the record books as for the first time in the tournament’s 26 year history one winner nabbed two of the top prizes in the event. Larry Hesse’s crew aboard his Goin’ in Deep based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida pocketed a cool $1,100,634 for their 680 pound blue marlin and 184-pound tuna which were the heaviest fish in their respective categories. The overall billfish bite wasn’t too bad either as the total catch of 454 billfish for the tournament fleet was an average of one billfish per-boat per-day! Worthy of note is well over 95% of the billfish caught were released.
The 2018 MidAtlantic once again allows boats to select their home port for tournament week and participants may sail from Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey, the event’s home port, or the tournament’s only official satellite port, Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland. Port caps will limit the number of boats at each port to 95. Crews will gather at both venues on Sunday, August 19 for Registration and Calcutta entries during the Welcome Cocktail Party followed by a Captain’s Meeting which will review the week’s events, rules and other important information. Fishing gets underway on Monday, August 20, and runs through Friday, August 24. Boats will select three days to fish and all boats must comply with the tournament’s boundary which is 125 miles from the Cape May Sea Buoy whether they sail from Cape May or Ocean City. Boats may not pass their respective sea buoy before 3 a.m. each morning and Lines In is set for 8 a.m. each day. Lines Out is 3:30 p.m. and all fish to be weighed must be at their respective scale by 9 p.m. on the day of the catch to qualify. IGFA rules apply except that a fish may be hooked by any crewmember provided the rod is handed off immediately to the angler who then must fight the fish until lost, released or boated. Additionally, no harpoons, dart gaffs or green sticks are allowed and live baiting is not permitted. This is a trolling only tournament and there is no limit to the number of rods or teasers.
The tournament’s basic entry fee of $2500 covers six anglers for all dockside activities and hospitality for the week. Participants can select among 10 different optional calcuttas with fees which range from $1000 to $6000. The choice to enter any, all or none is strictly optional but participation in these calcuttas allows crews to compete for a portion of the projected cash purse of over $3 million. Prizes awarded vary by participation but species available to win cash include white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo. The minimum weight to win cash for white marlin is 65 pounds while a blue marlin must weigh 400 pounds. Only big eye, yellowfin or true albacore can win cash in the tuna category where the minimum weight is 50 pounds. There is no minimum weight for wahoo or dolphin to win cash.
In addition to cash prizes for weighed fish and released billfish for participants in those specific calcuttas, valuable awards will be presented for the top three point winners in the white marlin, blue marlin and tuna categories as well as the most points overall.
The 2018 offshore fishing season is off to an exciting start as big eye and yellowfin tuna have already invaded the offshore canyons within the MidAtlantic tournament’s boundaries. The first white marlin and blue marlin have also been caught which means dolphin and wahoo can’t be far behind. We hope you’ll plan to join us for the 2018 MidAtlantic in August where the entire family is always welcome and an important part of the event’s tradition. For further information please contact Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman at 609-884-0177 or visit the tournament’s extensive web site at www.themidatlantic.com where you’ll find a complete rundown of the event’s rules, schedule and calcutta breakdown and you can also download a tournament eBrochure and entry form. Additionally, the MidAtlantic is now accessible through the South Jersey Tournaments App! Download it today for free on your IOS or Android device from the Apple App and Google Play stores. Whether you’re fishing the event or following the leaderboard you can stay on top of all the action as the MidAtlantic is now viewable anywhere, anytime.