Sean O’Donnell and the Cape May-based Got Game set a prize-money record on the final day of the 27th annual MidAtlantic fishing tournament Friday.
O’Donnell, captain Doug Ortlip and the crew of Got Game made the biggest change on the leaderboard Friday, catching a 78-pound white marlin to take first place in the category. They earned a tournament-record white marlin payout of $905,408.
The tounament had a record overall cash purse of more than $3.36 million.
Friday’s final day was sunny and clear. Day 5 is traditionally called Moving Day. For the first time, the entire fleet of 157 boats from Cape May and Ocean City, Maryland, was eligible to fish on the final day.
Got Game’s catch pushed Thomas Colquhoun’s Special Situation, of Ocean City, Maryland, and Justin Branning’s 3’s Enough, of Wall, into a tie for second place. Both caught a 73-pound white marlin earlier in the five-day tournament.
3’s Enough earned $293,712, while Special Situation received $134,006. The difference in payouts reflects the level of side bets, known as Calcuttas, that each participant enters.
Another Day 5 catch was a 69-pound white marlin for angler Joey Hurley, captain Paul Robertson and the Dayton, Maryland-based FFMD, which moved them into a tie for third place with Leonard Tallo’s Gusto, of Islamorada, Florida. Gusto won $169,466, while FFMD received $141,376.
A record 55 blue marlin were caught during the tournament, but none made the 400-pound minimum weight. More than 750 white marlin were released.
Michael Chase, of Villanova, Pennsylvania, aboard Contrail, weighed a 46-pound wahoo Friday to tie for third place in that category and won $18,753.
White marlin: 1, 79 pounds, Got Game, Sean O’Donnell, Cape May, $905,408 (record payout); 2, (tie) 73 pounds, 3’s Enough, Justin Branning, Wall, $293,712, and Special Situation, Thomas Colquhoun, Ocean City, Maryland, $134,006; 3, (tie) 71 pounds, Gusto, Leonard Tallo, Islamorada, Florida, $169,466, and FFMD, Paul Robertson, Dayton, Maryland, $141,376.
Blue Marlin: No qualifying blue marlin (400 pounds) were weighed. The prize money was divided equally among the white marlin category winners.
Tuna: 1, 116 pounds, DA Sea, Ed Dunn, Grasonville, Maryland, $571,289 (record payout); 2, (tie) 114 pounds, Blue Runner, Mark DeBlasio, Manasquan, $209,260, and Toddy Time, Chad Jackson, Fort Myers, Florida, $114,790; 3, 111 pounds, Curtis Campbell, Baltimore, Maryland, $16,807.
Wahoo: 1, 71 pounds, The Zipper, Ed Zajdel, Ocean City, Maryland, $19,787; 2, 49 pounds, Contrail, Michael Chase, Villanova, Pennsylvania, $50,149; 3, (tie) 46 pounds, Torta, Joe Posillico, Farmingdale, New York, $23,735, and Contrail, Michael Chase, Villanova, Pennsylvania, $18,753.
Dolphin: 1, 43 pounds, First Light, Jim Rogers, Hobe Sound, Florida, $27,847; 2, 34 pounds, Espadon, John League, Annapolis, Maryland, $54,731; 3, 33 pounds, The Natural, Chuck Weishaar, Hempstead, Maryland, $25,004.
Atlantic Tackle Billfish Points Calcutta (Cape May): 1, 1,275, Big Oil, Tim Tanghare, Vincentown, $10,810; 2, 900, Canyon Lady, Jamie Diller, Stone Harbor, $6,486; 3, 898, 3’s Enough, Justin Branning, Wall, $4,324.
Atlantic Tackle Billfish Points Calcutta (Ocean City, Maryland): 1, 1,650, Billfisher, Jon Duffie, Ocean City, Maryland, $19,270; 2, 1,425, Texas Tea, Michael Savino, Staten Island, New York, $11,562; 3, 975, Give It Away, Anne Aramendia, New Braunfuls, Texas, $7,708.