The 2018 MidAtlantic, the 27th edition of sportfishing Main Event, came to an exciting close last night for the 157 participating boats and crews with award ceremonies featuring lavish buffet dinners and record cash payouts for numerous winners celebrated at Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland. The week saw numerous records set once again including a cash purse of well over $3.36 million up for grabs, record single payouts for the top winners in the white marlin and tuna categories and a record number of blue marlin (55) caught and well over 750 white marlin released! The final day of the 2018 MidAtlantic dawned sunny and clear with a light breeze and full moon in the sky. Once again, a bit of tournament history was set as for the first time in the event 27-year history the entire fleet of 157 boats was eligible to fish on the final day. Day Five saw several changes on the leaderboard on what has traditionally been called Moving Day at the MidAtlantic. This event was the first billfish tournament to use the phrase in reference to the major shake-ups which occur on the leaderboard and this year would be no different. Sea conditions improved dramatically from the previous day and the billfish bite continued its scorching pace. The most significant changes occurred in the white marlin category when Captain Doug Ortlip backed Sean ODonnell Cape May-based Got Game to the scales at Canyon Club in Cape May and weighed a 78-pounder for angler ODonnell to jump to the top of the leaderboard. ODonnell and crew later in the evening accepted the winner check of $905,408 in Cape May, a record payout for white marlin! Got Game 78-pounder pushed Thomas Colquhoun Special Situation from Ocean City, Maryland and Justin Branning 3 Enough from Wall, New Jersey, leaders from Day One of the tournament, into a tie for second place as each had weighed white marlin of 73-pounds. 3 Enough received $293,712 while Special Situation netted $134,006. Worthy of note is the difference in payouts reflects the level of side bets, known as Calcuttas, each participant enters. Another significant change to the leaderboard on Day Five occurred when Captain Paul Robertson weighed a 69-pound white marlin for angler Joey Hurley from their Dayton, Maryland-based FFMD and moved into a tie for third place with Leonard Tallo Gusto from Islamorada, Florida. For their efforts Gusto received $169,466 while FFMD netted $141,376. A record setting 55 blue marlin were caught during the tournament and two were weighed on Day Five though both fell short of the event 400-pound minimum weight. As a result, the blue marlin prize money was equally divided among the winners of the white marlin category. Though numerous tuna were weighed on Day Five all fell short of the leaderboard. Ed Dunn DA Sea from Grasonville, Maryland captured the top prize and a record payout $571,289 for their 116-pound big eye caught on Day Two. Captain Mark DeBlasio Blue Runner from Manasquan, New Jersey and Chad Jackson Toddy Time from Ft. Meyers, Florida tied for second place with big eyes of 114 pounds which were both caught on Day Two. DeBlasio received $209,260 while Jackson walked away with $114,790. Third place and $16,807 went to Curtis Campbell of Baltimore, Maryland with a 111-pound big eye caught aboard his Reel Estate on Day One. Jim Rodgers First Light from Hobe Sound, Florida took the heaviest dolphin award and won $27,847 for his 43-pounder caught on Day Two while John League of Annapolis, Maryland finished in second place aboard his Espadon with a 34-pounder caught on Day Four and took home $54,731. Chuck Weishaar The Natural from Hampstead, Maryland had the third heaviest dolphin which was also caught on Day Two at 33 pounds and won $25,004. Ed Zajdel of Ocean City, Maryland won the wahoo category with his 71-pounder caught aboard The Zipper on Day Two and received $19,787 while Michael Chase of Villanova, Pennsylvania aboard his Contrail finished in second with his 49-pounder caught on Day Four and took home $50,149. Chase also weighed a 46-pounder on Day Five which moved him into a tie for third place with Joe Posillico Torta from Farmingdale, New York who weighed his 46-pounder on Day Two. Posillico received $23,735 while Chase received and additional $18,753. Some of the boats with significant billfish catches on Day Five include Art Kontos Let it Ride and Tim Tanghare Big Oil with eight white marlin released each while Michael Savino Texas Tea released seven white marlin. Thomas Colquhoun Special Situation, Anthony Martina Sea Wolf and Anthony Matarese Reel Chaos each let go six white marlin. Jeff Donohue Hatterascal released five white marlin while John Gudelsky Reel Joy, Patrick Kannan Waste Knot, Stephen Lewis MR Ducks and Tom Perry No Limits each released four white marlin. Larry Hesse Goin in Deep let go three white marlin and a blue marlin. Jon Duffie Billfisher, Kenneth Hager Taylor Jean, Nick Rodriquez Par 5, Greg Hill Wanted and Edward Bondarchuck Moore Bills each released a blue marlin and a white marlin. Mike Yacco MJ released three blue marlin while Don Haines Shelly II and Hank Draper Prime Hook each released two blue marlin and a white marlin. Ed Dunn DA Sea and Bill Haugland Lights Out each released a blue marlin. Cash Prize Winners Please note well over 60 individual cash awards are possible due to the wide variety of Calcuttas. See below the payout for the species indicated and please note payouts vary by the number of Calcuttas each participant enters. It should be noted that no less than eight winners received a payout of more than six figures and an additional eight winners received payouts of $25,000 or more! *Denotes tournament record payout Heaviest White Marlin 79 lbs. Got Game Sean ODonnell Cape May, NJ – $905,408* 2nd Heaviest White Marlin Tie – 73 lbs. 3 Enough Justin Branning Wall, NJ – $293,712 Special Situation Thomas Colquhoun Ocean City, MD – $134,006 3rd Heaviest White Marlin Tie – 71 lbs. Gusto Leonard Tallo Islamorada, FL – $169,466 FFMD Paul Robertson Dayton, MD – $141,376 Heaviest Blue Marlin No qualifying blue marlin weighed. Prize money divided equally between white marlin category winners. Heaviest Tuna 116 lbs. DA Sea Ed Dunn Grasonville, MD – $571,289* 2nd Heaviest Tuna Tie 114 lbs. Blue Runner Mark DeBlasio Manasquan, NJ – $209,260 Toddy Time Chad Jackson Ft. Meyers, FL – $114,790 3rd Heaviest Tuna Tie 111 lbs. Reel Estate Curtis Campbell Baltimore, MD – $16,807 Heaviest Wahoo 71 lbs. The Zipper Ed Zajdel Ocean City, MD – $19,787 2nd Heaviest Wahoo 49 lbs. Contrail – Michael Chase Villanova, PA – $50,149 3rd Heaviest Wahoo Tie – 46 lbs. Torta Joe Posillico Farmingdale, NY 23,735 Contrail Michael Chase Villanova, PA – $18,753 Heaviest Dolphin 43 lbs. First Light Jim Rogers Hobe Sound, FL – $27,847 2nd Heaviest Dolphin 34 lbs. Espadon John League Annapolis, MD – $54,731 3rd Heaviest Dolphin 33 lbs. The Natural Chuck Weishaar Hempstead, MD – $25,004 Atlantic Tackle Billfish Points Calcutta Cape May Most Points 1275 – Big Oil Tim Tanghare Vincentown, NJ – $10,810 2nd Most Points 900 Canyon Lady Jamie Diller Stone Harbor, NJ – $6,486 3rd Most Points 898 3 Enough Justin Branning Wall, NJ – $4,324 Atlantic Tackle Billfish Points Calcutta Ocean City Most Points 1650 Billfisher Jon Duffie Ocean City, MD – $19,270 2nd Most Points 1425 Texas Tea Michael Savino Staten Island, NY – $11,562 3rd Most Points 975 Give it Away Anne Aramendia New Braunfuls, TX – $7,708 The following received Calcutta winnings for various positions on the leaderboard during the tournament: White Marlin 68 lbs. Lucky Linda Jean Andrew E. Hall Chester, NJ – $27,040 67 lbs. Tighten Up Tighten Up LLC Mount Airy, MD – $42,300 Tuna 110 lbs. Blue Runner Mark DeBlasio Manasquan, NJ – $38,258 110 lbs. Goin in Deep Larry Hesse Ft. Lauderdale, FL – $46,530 108 lbs. Killin Time John Grimberg Rockville, MD – $17,014 102 lbs. First Light Jim Rogers Hobe Sound, FL – $10,979 100 lbs. Blue Runner Mark DeBlasio Manasquan, NJ – $9,964 85 lbs. M.R. Ducks Stephen Lewis Ocean City, MD – $10,979 Dolphin 27 lbs. Rhonda Osprey Joe Drosey Ocean City, MD – $12,502 25 lbs. Reelin Feelin Adam Youschak Wildwood, NJ – $4,982 19 lbs. Pipe Dream Ted Wills Frederick, PA – $1,457 Point Winners (Trophies) **Ties broken based on time of catch. Most Points White Marlin 1350 – Billfisher Jon Duffie Ocean City, MD 2nd Most Points White Marlin 1275** Big Oil Tim Tanghare Vincentown, NJ 3rd Most Points White Marlin 1275** – Texas Tea Michael Savino Staten Island, NY Most Points Blue Marlin 600 Shelly II Don Haines Berlin, MD 2nd Most Points Blue Marlin 450 MJ Mike Yacco Beach Haven, NJ 3rd Most Points Blue Marlin 300 Rhonda Osprey Joe Drosey Ocean City, MD Most Points Tuna 297 Billfisher Jon Duffie Ocean City, MD 2nd Most Points Tuna 237.5 Blue Runner Mark DeBlasio Manasquan, NJ 3rd Most Points Tuna 131 Reel Estate Curtis Campbell Baltimore, MD Most Points Overall 1947 Billfisher Jon Duffie Ocean City, MD Worthy of note is a total of 818 billfish including 765 white marlin and 53 blue marlin were released which translates to a catch-per-unit-of-effort of 1.73 billfish per-boat per-day! That the second highest CPUE in the event 27-year history behind 2016 which saw a 1.78 CPUE with the same number of entries in the tournament. 2019 MidAtlantic Tournament Dates August 18-23
2018 MidAtlantic Comes to a Close in Record Setting Fashion!