White Marlin Open win­ner to re­ceive over $2.5 mil­lion

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Sports -

Pas­cual Jimenez, of Puerto Aven­turas, Mex­ico, is the big win­ner of the White Marlin Open af­ter reel­ing in an 83-pound marlin Fri­day on the last day of the tour­na­ment in Ocean City.

Gre­gory Giron, of Vir­ginia Beach, caught the same size fish on Thurs­day, but lost a tiebreaker be­cause a gaffe was used to bring the fish aboard.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween us­ing a gaffe and not us­ing a gaffe: $2,454,476.

Jimenez’s prize win­nings are $2,584,260 as the WMO truly lives up to its slo­gan as the World’s Largest & Rich­est Bill­fish Tour­na­ment.

“I was so ner­vous. I kept say­ing, ‘C’mon, give me it, give me it,’” Jimenez said with a laugh. “When it came up, we didn’t know it was a keeper. Once it got close to the boat, it start­ing jump­ing ... we thought, ‘Wow, that’s a keeper.’”

Jimenez caught the win­ner aboard the Wel­dor’s Ark out of More­head City, N.C., one of over 350 boats fish­ing on the fi­nal day.

The Wel­dor’s Ark crew hooked three white marlin in about an hour’s time and re­leased the small­est one.

“We didn’t cel­e­brate be­cause we didn’t know — we weren’t sure if any­one had brought in an­other fish,” Jimenez said. “You re­ally don’t know any­thing un­til you get here and see the scale.”

Two world records were set dur­ing the tour­na­ment. The $2.58 mil­lion payout was the most ever awarded for the catch of a bill­fish, and the $5.45 mil­lion-dol­lar purse was the most ever paid in any fish­ing tour­na­ment.

By far, the largest fish caught dur­ing the tour­na­ment was an 881-pound blue marlin caught by Joe Rah­man of Wanaque, N.J. The huge fish was caught on the first day of the tour­na­ment aboard the Aus­pi­cious, out of Palm Beach, Fla. It was the only qual­i­fy­ing blue marlin weighed in.

The Tuna Di­vi­sion edged closer to anoint­ing its first mil­lion-dol­lar tuna as Gary Sans­burry, from Hobe Sound, Fla., won $904,851 while fish­ing on the Buck­shot out of Ocean City. The 75.5-pound tuna was the big­gest of a close group that split the rest of the tuna purse of $1,300,000. The Blinky IV, out of Freeport, Mass., was sec­ond with a 73.5-pound tuna caught by an­gler Charles Matat­tal, from Black­stone, Mass., good for $135,421. The Brass Monkey and Jake Pilk­er­ton, from Leonard­town, took third place and the top small boat tuna money with a 71-pounder, good for a to­tal of $215,916.

The Wa­hoo Di­vi­sion’s big win­ner is Kevin Gray­bill of Mor­gan­town, Pa., who reeled in a 63-pounder on Fri­day while fish­ing aboard the Over Board out of Ocean City. The wa­hoo won Gray­bill a to­tal of $115,271. “Wa­hoos pull real good and they come off real fast, so we were just glad when we had it in the boat,” Gray­bill said. “A cou­ple of the guys saw it come out, and we knew we had a good wa­hoo.”

Dol­phin-fish pro­vided ac­tion all week. Top win­ners were Fin-Nom­i­nal from In­dian River, Del. ($19,464), Rigged Up from Man­teo, N.C. ($18,646), the Moxie Boys from Ocean City ($16,646), Sea Note out of Ore­gon In­let, N.C. ($15,300), and the Bon­nie Lynn from Ocean City ($15,300). *** Som­er­set duck hunt­ing Hunters can now sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tions for the an­nual per­mit-only waterfowl hunt­ing days at Deal Is­land Wildlife Man­age­ment Area and Fair­mount Wild-

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