New level should bump WMO tuna payout to $1 million
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.