World Record Fishing Tournament $4.5 Million Payout

By Scott Lenox

Check out our Atlantic Tackle Tour in West Ocean City!

Just got back from the 49th Annual White Marlin Open Awards Banquet and it was a great experience. Andy Motsko announced all the winners ending with what is the biggest win for a fishing tournament in history. It’s really cool that a family and a local business from Duffie Boatworks were the big winners of the OMM this year, as they will be supporting the local fishing community for many years to come. Billfisher stepped into the scales at Harbor Island on Friday and weighed in a 77.5-pound white marlin that won first place in the white marlin category and all Calcuttas white marlin winners. The final tally was $4,536,926, which is a world record for a fishing tournament. Pretty awesome that it happened right here in our backyard! Congratulations to all the winners and the Motsko family for putting on another amazing tournament. I am proud to be part of it!

Braden Fisher threw his own cast net, caught his own mullet and then used it to land this handsome 23-inch, 4-pound flounder. Braden fished the East Channel of OCD from the West OC-based Albatros fishing fleet, commanded by Bruce Bostic.

Captain Marc Spagnola of Dusk to Dawn Bowfishing had another great day on the water putting his shooters on some good radius action.

Morning Star Captain Monty Hawkins saw a big bass over his rail today.

Weatherman has significantly reduced today’s forecast. Barely 15 from the NE is what it looked like.

Oh funny man.


Well, we were there and we solved it.

The day started with the smallest mahi I have ever seen in a school. Perhaps over a hundred swimming around, they were tiny but voracious. We saved a few for bait, a few better ones for a sandwich, and put a bunch back. Come on several other schools and even saw a few decent ones that we couldn’t persuade to chew.

Bass sometimes bite the bottom of a boat when agitated. Not today. It wasn’t a bust, by any stretch – it just had to be worked on. Crazy Horse Custom Rods owner David collapsed – landed his 15 keepers. (Build some sweet sticks – promise! I had a heavy bass rod built, but Courtney caught a bluefin tuna on it and I haven’t seen it since!) Robert sailed the biggest/heaviest bass and Bob was our guest reef builder. My crew (one at a time and on my orders) jigged enough cbass to pay the rent and still have some to fry – even for me. A few comrades did not appear to have taken any medication, which resulted in an extremely low intake for them.

In the afternoon, the bite improved every moment as the wind and the sea went down. By the time I dropped anchor to head home it was almost calm. It wasn’t long before the sea conditions were perfect.

We have a high tech buoy off OC that reads all sorts of instruments including wind and sea level. It’s slamming on a common route offshore so beware. If real pretty water sneaks up towards the shore, you may even catch a mahi below. It belongs to our new ocean partners; uh, whatever wind company currently owns the MD lease. I have heard enough of their great promises and attended dozens of meetings. They’ll do this and that and Wow, that won’t be great – then the lease changes hands and you start over. No matter. You better stop a speeding Amtrak train.

Those wind guys with the fancy buoy, they consider wind speed and wave height exclusive.

No. Will not share real-time weather data. It’s a secret.

Now NOAA had a buoy less than 10 miles north of the modern top secret buoy. It was (east) off the DE Bay SE Seaways buoy. It worked well for centuries when marine weather forecasts and reports were only found on VHF radio. We used to listen carefully to the report from the buoy. Boats going up and down the dock would make him howl. Just when your attention would waver for a moment, the report would play and disappear, then you would have to listen for another 10 minutes in a new cycle.

This buoy started causing trouble for NOAA; damn, 15 years ago? After? Captain Greg Hall even took a repair crew on his “Titan America” ​​for free in the mid-2000s. After several new sets of instruments – none of which ever worked for very long – he remains offline. Firmly in the age of on-demand data, dot-guv has an F minus for real-time wind while our marine partners in ocean and global environmental health and wind power have their secrets.

Maybe an oversight? ..or, “Hey fishermen, meet your new neighbors.”

As the Melians noted a few thousand years ago regarding the tribute to Athens, “The strong do what they can while the weak suffer what they must.”

In 2013, 14 and 15 wind readings brought the bass out over 500 square miles of bottom. NOAA kept their mouths shut while BOEM called me a liar. “The readings have no effect on the fish. None.”

Here is a direct comparison between the exact same reefs from 2004 and 2015

Are things improving?

We lost nearly three weeks of high-volume bass sales in December because NOAA recreational catch estimates, which show private VA boats jogging, catch 15-20,000 bass in November/December the most years through 2020 (that’s really high, nonsense actually, but at least consistent) then – BOOM!! Greedy, overfishing scoundrels! – VA cbass on Nov/Dec 21 shot 240,000 fish – or 500,000 lbs.

Up an order of magnitude as VA Party/Charter reported less than 4,000 fish for the same period.

And CE is the data used to establish the regulations. The VA private boats “overfished” so our entire area grew half an inch and lost almost three weeks of season.

If regulators had a better idea of ​​what was really going on..

Oh, miracle of miracles – when a survey boat was outfitted with all-new gear during the 2021 final surveys, that boat didn’t bother bass and flounder at all.

My God.

Almost as if they knew exactly which frequencies to cut.

But my job?

All nonsense.

It’s still with the feds.




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