White Marlin Open Prepares for 50th Anniversary After Memorable 2022 Tournament

It was a White Marlin Open for the ages…

The final payout for the record prize-winning  fish at the White Marlin Open: $4,536,926. It was won by the Billfisher out of Ocean City and Jeremy Duffie of Bethesda on the final day of the tournament Friday.

The winning fish is a White Marlin weighing 77.5 pounds. It was the second consecutive year that the Open’s final white marlin to make it to the scales was the winner.

Billfish fishing during the tournament was described as “lousy,” however. The first marlin did not arrive at the scales until Thursday. A total of 155 whites were caught with 151 released, while 58 of 59 blue marlin that were caught were released.

The prize-winning 511-pound blue marlin was caught Thursday by Bill Britt of Sandy Spring, Maryland on the Fenwick Island – based Cabana. The blue was worth a prize of $1,208,420.

The Cabana of Fenwick Island captured the prize-winning blue marlin at The White Marlin Open (photo courtesy of the White Marlin Open)

The White Marlin Open will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023.

The WMO recapped other tournament results:

There was a lot of money shared in the tuna divisions lead by 247.5-pound bigeye taken by Jason Hersh from Maple Glen, PA.  Hersh was fishing aboard the “Southern C’s” out of Ocean City, MD, and received a check for $1,278,197.   The “Big Stick” also out of OC, MD took 2nd place tuna with Anderson Bowen from Suwanee, GA weighing a 246.5-pound bigeye good for $152,405.00.  Because they were in more of the added skill levels, the 242.5-pound bigeye taken off the “Komotose” out of Manteo, NC netted $437,918 to Richard Hawse from Pasadena, MD.  

The wahoo division saw approximately $74,000 split among the “Jenny Poo” out of Palm Beach, FL which took $24,566.00 for a 71-pounder caught by Chris Thompson from Mount Airy, MD.  $23,566 was awarded to Hans Mulford from Seaford, DE fishing on the “Water Marlin” out of Seaford, DE for their 54-pounder.  Third place wahoo was a 51-pounder taken by Patrick Brown from Miami, FL aboard the “Irish Twin” winning $22,566 for his effort.

The ”Irene” out of Stuart, FL took first place in the dolphin division with a huge 59.5-pound fish caught by Frank Sinito Jr from Cleveland, OH who earned $31,297.  It was the 29-pounder taken aboard the “10-4 Joker” out of Chincoteague, VA that earned the biggest dolphin payday.  Because they were also in the small boat heavy dolphin added entry, Vernon Merritt Jr. also from Chincoteague, VA netted $104,447 for his efforts.  The 28-pound dolphin caught off the “JEB” out of Ocean City, MD earned $28,297 for Lutherville, MD native Vince Piccinini.

The most prestigious categories in the WMO are unseen.  They are for the boats and anglers that release the most billfish during the event. 

The Top Anglers in the 2022 WMO were:

  1. Bill Haugland on the “Lights Out” with 490 pts.
  2. Kelly Weber on the “Max Bet” with  420 pts.
  3. Victor Roof  on the “Miss Maxine” with 420 pts
  4. Noah McVicker on the “Billfisher” with 350 pts
  5. Rusty Reddish on the “Bar South” with 350 pts.

The Top Boats in the 2022 WMO were:

  1. “Billfisher”         708 pts
  2. “Mama C”          700 pts
  3. “Lights Out”      490 pts
  4. “Hydrosphere” 490 pts.
  5. “Catch 23”        455 pts.