Weather kept all but 22 the fleet of 117 at dockside Monday for the opener of the Mid-Atlantic $500,000 offshore tournament based in Cape May and Ocean City, Md.

Anthony Matarese Sr. of Pennsville brought a 134-pound bigeye tuna to the scales at Sunset Marina in Ocean City to take the lead in the tuna category.

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Andy Schlotter of Southampton, Pa., fished out of the Canyon Club in Cape May and weighed a 54-pound yellowfin tuna. Cort Hessler III, who brought his boat Nutmegger from Mystic, Conn., caught a 14-pound mahi, also weighed at Canyon Club.

The best action of opening day was in the points standing competition for released billfish. Irish Ayes with Brett Johnson registered three white marlin and one blue marlin, according to a tournament news release.

The tournament runs this week to Friday. The total cash prize list is $1,808,910.

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.

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