The 2013 Mid-Atlantic $500,000 fishing tournament begins today and comeptition runs through Friday in ocean waters within 125 miles of the Cape May Sea Buoy.
A tournament field of at least 125 boats assures cash proceeds of $500,000, and side bets known as Calcuttas increase the prizes.
Last year's payout was more than $1.5 million.
The host marinas are Canyon Club Resort Marina and South Jersey Marina in Cape May, and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Md. Fishing begins at 8:30 a.m. each day and runs until 3:30 p.m. All fish must be weighed by 9 p.m.
The three heaviest white marlin and blue marlin are worth $100,000, $50,000 and $25,000, respectively. The three heaviest tuna are worth $75,000, $35,000 and $20,000, respectively. The heaviest wahoo and dolphin (mahi mahi) are each worth $10,000.
White marlin must weigh 65 pounds, and blue marlin must weigh at least 400 pounds. Tuna, including big eye, yellowfin or longfin, must weigh at least 50 pounds.
Last year's Mid-Atlantic $500,000 had more than 500 billfish caught, including 460 white marlin, 40 blue marlin and four sailfish.