Heasley reels in nearly $3 mil­lion aboard Kal­lianassa

Record Observer - - Sports - CHRIS KNAUSS

The re­cently com­pleted 2016 White Mar­lin Open in Ocean City awarded the most to­tal prize money and paid the largest in­di­vid­ual cash prize in sport­fish­ing his­tory.

Phil Heasley, aboard Kal­lianassa of Naples, Florida, caught a 76.5-pound white mar­lin to win an es­ti­mated $2,818,660. Yes, nearly $3 mil­lion for catch­ing a fish, some­thing he wanted to do any­way.

Heasley, just so you know, was al­ready do­ing pretty well. Ac­cord­ing to proxy state­ments, as pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at ACI World­wide, he made $7,774,431 in to­tal com­pen­sa­tion for the 2015 fis­cal year.

Of the 23 white mar­lins boated dur­ing the tour­na­ment, Heasley’s was the only one to make the 70-pound weight min­i­mum. All of the money in the white mar­lin added en­try-level cal­cut­tas went to the Kal­lianassa.

That was just the top of the prize win­nings. There were plenty more win­ners col­lect­ing $4,450,000 in to­tal prize money. Rich Kosz­tyu, aboard Hubris, won $767,091 for catch­ing a 236.5-pound tuna, and Jim Con­way, aboard Get Reel, won $258,995 for reel­ing in a 790-pound blue mar­lin.

Over the five days, 329 regis­tered boats caught a record 1,412 to­tal bill­fish. Of that to­tal, 1,358 were white mar­lin, sur­pass­ing the pre­vi­ous WMO tour­na­ment record of 1,104 set in 2002. The re­sults also con­firmed a com­mit­ment to con­ser­va­tion demon­strated by the saltwater re­cre­ational angling com­mu­nity. Of the 1,358 white mar­lin that were caught, 1,334 (98.2 per­cent) were re­leased.

More info and pho­tos of all the win­ners can be found at whitemar­linopen.com.

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Re­lief for for­age fish The Mid-At­lantic Fish­ery Man­age­ment Coun­cil has ap­proved an amendment to pro­tect un­man­aged for­age species in the Mid-At­lantic. If ap­proved by the Sec­re­tary of Com­merce, the Un­man­aged For­age Om­nibus Amendment would pro­hibit the de­vel­op­ment of new and ex­pan­sion of ex­ist­ing di­rected com­mer­cial fish­eries on a num­ber of un­man­aged for­age species in Mid-At­lantic fed­eral wa­ters.

The pro­hi­bi­tion would con­tinue un­til the coun­cil has had an op­por­tu­nity to as­sess the avail­able sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion for th­ese species and con­sider the po­ten­tial im­pacts to ex­ist­ing fish­eries, fish­ing com­mu­ni­ties, and the ma­rine ecosys­tem.

For­age fish are small, low trophic level fish that play a cen­tral role in the ma­rine food chain. Th­ese species fa­cil­i­tate the trans­fer of en­ergy to higher trophic lev­els by con­sum­ing very small prey and then be­ing eaten by larger, preda­tory fish and other ma­rine an­i­mals.

The amendment was not in­tended to ad­dress all un­man­aged for­age species in the Mid-At­lantic but rather to fo­cus on those species that have high eco­log­i­cal im­por­tance and those that have high po­ten­tial for the de­vel­op­ment of a largescale tar­geted com­mer­cial fish­ery.

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Fish­ing re­port Up­per Ch­e­sa­peake Bay lo­ca­tions hold­ing striped bass in­clude the western side of Craighill Chan­nel

from Sandy Point Light to Bal­ti­more Light on the 30foot edge. The 30-foot chan­nel edge west of Love Point Buoy has also been a good place to find stripers as has the Swan Point area. Chum­ming is still pop­u­lar but livelin­ing spot and white perch is tak­ing the lead as a bet­ter grade of rock­fish is pos­si­ble with th­ese larger baits.

Trolling can be a good al­ter­na­tive and work­ing the chan­nel edges is a good place to start. An­glers are hav­ing good luck with um­brella rigs or small spoons pulled be­hind in­line weights or plan­ers to get down to the fish. Break­ing fish com­prised of small rock­fish and blue­fish can be found now and then and jig­ging deep un­der­neath can pay off with larger fish.

Spot have moved into some of the shal­lower shoal and reef ar­eas in the up­per bay’s tidal rivers and can be caught on blood­worms. White perch are ea­ger to take blood­worm baits over good bot­tom and medi­um­sized croak­ers are also part of the bot­tom fish­ing mix.

There is plenty of ac­tion to be found near the Bay Bridge py­lons and rock piles as a nice grade of stripers are be­ing found sus­pended near the struc­ture. Rock­fish, blue­fish, and Span­ish mack­erel can be found chas­ing bait along the eastern and western edges of the ship­ping chan­nel, near the mouth of Eastern Bay, and the mouth of the Chop­tank and Lit­tle Chop­tank rivers. Most of the sur­face ac­tion is com­prised of small stripers, blues, and some speedy Span­ish mack­erel rac­ing through the melee.

Re­cre­ational crab­bing con­tin­ues to be good in all re­gions of the bay. Salin­i­ties are up and crabs have moved far­ther up the tidal rivers and creeks. The largest crabs are be­ing found in deeper wa­ter in many ar­eas.

On the At­lantic Coast, king­fish are be­ing caught in the surf with the best fish­ing oc­cur­ring dur­ing the morn­ing and evening hours. Blue­fish can be caught on fin­ger mul­let and some croak­ers and floun­der are also be­ing reeled in.

Out­side the in­let there is good floun­der fish­ing on the in­shore wreck and reef sites; sea bass fish­ing has been fair at best. Far­ther off­shore a mix of large blue­fish, false al­ba­core, wa­hoo, and oc­ca­sional yel­lowfin tuna are be­ing found at 30-fathom lo­ca­tions. At the off­shore canyons, chicken dol­phin and a few gaffers are be­ing caught along with white and blue mar­lin, yel­lowfin tuna, and big­eye tuna.

* * * Duck blind know-it-all The et­y­mol­ogy of the name wood­chuck is un­re­lated to wood or chuck­ing. It stems from an Al­go­nquian (pos­si­bly Nar­ra­gansett) name for the an­i­mal, wuchak.

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