WELDOR’S ARK WINS RECORD PAYOUT IN THE WHITE MARLIN OPEN
Last-day heroics determine the winner
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