UPDATED – 8-11-18 – The 45th White Marlin Open ended with a close finish with two white marlins weighing in at 83 pounds to take first and second place. Pascual Jimenez from Mexico takes home $2.58-million after he brought in his marlin on the last day of the event. (The rules state that if there is a tie, the fish that is not gaffed is the winner of the two. Jimenez’s fish was not gaffed and the other one was.)
There were two world records set during the open – the $2.58-million payout is the most ever awarded for the catch of a billfish and the $5.45-million purse was the most ever paid in any fishing tournament. Just one blue marlin was brought in during the event – Joe Rahman of Wanaque, NJ landed an 881-pound blue on Monday aboard the Auspicious, which was not challenged all week. 382 boats registered for the tournament.
This year’s 45th Annual White Marlin Open began with sunny skies and a new tuna winner take all entry level – T4 – which makes a million-dollar tuna a possibility this year! There are 382 boats registered for this year’s open and for 319 of them, the first day of fishing is now over (at 3:30pm) and the Marlin cam will be watching for the winners at the Harbor Island Marina dock in Ocean City as they weigh-in. With millions in prize money on the line, tournament officials will continue the use of lie detector tests to ensure all winners play by the rules.
Two years ago, the big winner was disqualified when he failed the polygraph test. That resulted in a court case and an interpleader action was filed by the WMO asking the Court to determine if the White Marlin Open acted appropriately in withholding the winnings. The interpleader put the lie detector policy on trial – and the Court did find in favor of the WMO’s actions.