As expected the weatherman cooperated on Day Four of sportfishing’s Main Event and a wind direction swing to the northwest brought a refreshing light breeze and lowered the humidity along the mid-Atlantic coast as 121 boats headed offshore to what most reported as calm seas. With several categories including the white marlin and blue marlin having places available for participants to fill, many focused their efforts targeting those species and several key changes to the leaderboard occurred. In fact, based on today’s changes over $1.7 million of tournament prize money theoretically changed hands!
In Ocean City, Larry Hesse’s Goin’ in Deep from Fort Lauderdale, Florida with Captain Walter Harmstead on the bridge was at the scale shortly after the evening’s weigh-in session got underway at 5 p.m. and caused a lot of commotion after weighing a big blue marlin caught by Hesse which tipped the scales at 680 pounds and measured 120 3/8”. As the evening wore on rumors of another big blue marlin in the boat began to circulate around both tournament venues. In this age of satellite communication several captains were able to verify these rumors to be true and the wait was on to see how much the marlin would way. Shortly after 7 p.m. Captain Jacob Farley pulled the Let It Ride of Art Kontos from Vero Beach, Florida to the scale in Ocean City and weighed a 677-pounder which measured 120 5/8” for angler James Kontos. In a tournament with millions of dollars at stake the difference between places often comes down to fractions of an inch and just a few pounds!
The white marlin category also saw a major change after Captain Patrick Brogan wheeled Michael Savino’s Texas Tea based out of Staten Island, New York to the scale in Ocean City and weighed a white marlin of 70 pounds for angler Savino. Texas Tea currently has the second heaviest white marlin in the tournament behind Ken Hager’s Taylor Jean from Tinton Falls, New Jersey which sits atop the leaderboard with his 72-pounder.
Adding to their celebration for the day Goin’ in Deep also jumped to the top in the tuna category by weighing a 184-pound Allison yellowfin tuna for angler Mike Cassidy and if the tournament ended today their combined cash payout would top $1.1 million! In other news in the tuna category Mike Murray of Brick, New Jersey aboard his The Caitlin got on the leaderboard after weighing a 72-pounder in Cape May. Others making the leaderboard in the tuna category on Day Four include Rob Lawson of Marco Island, Florida with a 70-pound yellowfin from his Conspiracy weighed in Ocean City while George Robinson of North Palm Beach, Florida aboard his Polarizer also weighed a yellowfin of 70 pounds. Stephen Lewis aboard his Ocean City-based M.R. Ducks weighed a 67-pound tuna to make the board.
In the dolphin category Bob Hugin of Summit, New Jersey aboard his The Right Place weighed a 17-pounder to get on the board in that category.
Some of the boats with significant billfish releases on Day Four include Ed Dunn’s D.A. Sea and William Miller’s Buckshot with five white marlin each while Charlie Duerr’s Sea Hag and Jamie Diller’s Canyon Lady each released four white marlin. Jim Foulke’s Trust Me Too and Ed Bondarchuk’s Moore Bills each released a blue marlin
Please note the MidAtlantic tournament is a private event and not open to the general public and 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. You can also follow all the action on Facebook at The MidAtlantic Tournament; on Twitter; @midatl and on Instagram; @themidatlantictournament.