WELDOR’S ARK WINS RECORD PAY­OUT IN THE WHITE MAR­LIN OPEN

Last-day hero­ics de­ter­mine the win­ner

Marlin - - BEFORE THE STRIKE -

Ocean City, Mary­land, has played host to the White Mar­lin Open for 45 years, with this year’s event break­ing records for the

largest pay­out ever recorded in a fish­ing tour­na­ment for a sin­gle fish, $2.58 mil­lion, and for an over­all tour­na­ment purse, $5.45 mil­lion.

On Day One, Joe Rah­man weighed an 881-pound blue mar­lin for his team on the Vik­ing 80 Aus­pi­cious — a fish that would eas­ily hang on to the end. With no other blues in con­tention, the tour­na­ment paid out a stag­ger­ing $924,936.

Capt. Ch­ester Sims on Lights Out pro­duced the first white mar­lin qual­i­fier on Day Two. The 75-pounder landed by owner Bill Haug­land got bumped to sec­ond place on Day Four, when Gre­gory Giron, fish­ing aboard Un­der­dog, landed an 83-pound white to take the lead with just one day to go.

For the next 24 hours, the Lights

Out and Un­der­dog teams would sit on pins and nee­dles while sev­eral white mar­lin were hoisted from cock­pits and low­ered from the scale.

But on Day Five, in ver­i­ta­ble White Mar­lin Open fash­ion, ev­ery­thing changed. Aboard Weldor’s Ark, Pas­cual Jimenez edged out his com­peti­tors by land­ing the tour­na­ment-win­ning 83-pound white mar­lin, earn­ing Weldor’s

Ark $2.58 mil­lion of the to­tal purse for the largest white mar­lin.

With two white mar­lin weigh­ing the same, tour­na­ment rules state the fish that was not gaffed shall be deemed the win­ner. And so, it was Weldor’s Ark that re­frained from tak­ing the gaff shot, bump­ing Giron’s fish to sec­ond place, and Haug­land’s fish to third, to round out the 2018 event.

The 382-boat field pro­duced a to­tal of 705 re­leased white mar­lin, boat­ing 18; 56 blue mar­lin re­leased, boat­ing two; and 22 spearfish and five sail­fish re­leased in the five-day event.

Team Weldor’s Ark

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