New level should bump WMO tuna pay­out to $1 mil­lion

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Sports -

Tour­na­ment or­ga­niz­ers of the White Mar­lin Open off­shore bill­fish tour­na­ment held in Ocean City have an­nounced an added level to the tuna cat­e­gory for the Au­gust 6-10 tour­na­ment this sum­mer. The new tuna cat­e­gory will be avail­able for a $3,000 fee with the win­ner tak­ing all, which ba­si­cally sets up the tour­na­ment to have a $1 mil­lion tuna win­ner.

“Our tuna di­vi­sion has grown con­sis­tently ev­ery year, with last year’s prize to­tal­ing just un­der $1 mil­lion,” said Jim Mot­sko, founder of the tour­na­ment. “Many peo­ple be­lieve you need to be an ex­pe­ri­enced off­shore an­gler with a large boat and deep pock­ets to par­tic­i­pate and win in the White Mar­lin Open. That’s sim­ply not the case. Many of our par­tic­i­pants have lit­tle to no ex­pe­ri­ence. They also fish in groups where each per­son con­trib­utes to the en­try fee and takes turns fish­ing each day. Any­one can win.”

Par­tic­i­pat­ing boats can depart from any­where within the 100-nau­ti­cal-mile fish­ing boundary. As a re­sult, smaller boats do not have to launch from the Ocean City In­let in or­der to par­tic­i­pate, and can depart from as north as Barnegat, NJ and Cape May In­let, all the way south to Rudee In­let in Vir­ginia Beach at the Vir­ginia Beach Fish­ing Cen­ter. Ad­di­tion­ally, smaller boats may com­pete against the whole fleet or en­ter cat­e­gories lim­ited to boats un­der 40 feet.

“We’re ex­cited to make our 45th year one for the record books,” said Made­lyne Rowan, WMO tour­na­ment di­rec­tor. “With more prize money than ever be­fore, new fish­ing cat­e­gories and op­tions for both large and small ves­sels, we’re ex­pect­ing this year’s pay­out to be our big­gest ever.”

The tour­na­ment awards prize money for catches of white mar­lin, blue mar­lin, tuna, wa­hoo, dol­phin, and shark. It awarded over $63 mil­lion since 1974 to the lucky win­ners among more than 100,000 an­glers aboard over 13,000 boats. Along the way, the WMO has be­come the largest bill­fish tour­na­ment and holds the world record for prize money pay­outs for any type of fish­ing tour­na­ment.

*** Tuna lim­its The Na­tional Ma­rine Fish­eries Ser­vice has an­nounced At­lantic tuna reg­u­la­tions for the 2018 recre­ational sea­son. The bluefin tuna daily re­ten­tion limit is the de­fault limit of 1 school, large school, or small­medium bluefin (27 to less than 73 inches). This de­fault limit ap­plies to both HMS An­gling cat­e­gory-per­mit­ted ves­sels and HMS Char­ter/Head­boat cat­e­gory-per­mit­ted ves­sels, and is ef­fec­tive for all ar­eas ex­cept the Gulf of Mex­ico. An­gling and Char­ter/Head­boat ves­sels may also land 1 bluefin mea­sur­ing 73 inches or greater per ves­sel per year (in all ar­eas).

The recre­ational yel­lowfin tuna re­ten­tion limit is 3/per­son/ day or trip. The min­i­mum size for yel­lowfin and big­eye tuna

From left, for­mer Kent Is­land High lacrosse play­ers, now McDaniel Col­lege team­mates, Michael Scott, Frankie Kra­tovil and Jack­son Kra­tovil are among the tal­ented play­ers help­ing build McDaniel into a Di­vi­sion III power.

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