The White Marlin Open

The White Marlin Open out of Ocean City, Maryland has quickly become one of the world’s biggest and richest billfish tournaments.

With over 380 boats and 5.4 million dollars on the line this year, everyone had the same plan in mind, get the biggest white marlin.

Ocean City Maryland has been called the white marlin capital of the world

Ocean City Maryland has been called the white marlin capital of the world and in 1974 The White Marlin Open was born.

Everyone wants to be an angler in a big money tournament but with tournament fishing comes a lot of responsibility and pressure.

A single missed bite can mean the difference between a couple million dollars or no money at all.

Of course everyone wants to be perfect when hooking fish but that is not always the case. If someone misses a fish, they need to shake it off and get ready for the next bite.

Keeping high spirits on the boat with this much pressure is a big part of the game. Anglers need to be ready to stay on their feet all day and hold a rod ready for a bite.

The second you take your eyes off the spread a fish will sneak in

The second you take your eyes off the spread a fish will sneak in.  With millions of dollars on the line fishing against the top boats crews, everyone will do everything they can to give their boat the upper hand.

Preparation the day before involves rigging dredge baits, hook baits, re-spooling reels, and making sure everything is tournament ready.

Fishing these big money tournaments, dead ballyhoo and mullet are the baits of choice for dredges. It’s not uncommon to have 400+ baits ready to go on large multi-tier dredges.

Along with dredge baits teams rig enough dink ballyhoos as hook baits to make it through a day of white marlin, tuna, and dolphin bites.

At the end of a fishing day it’s a good idea to trip back all the light tackle reels and spool them with 25-30-pound mono.

The last thing a crew wants is to lose a million-dollar fish from a little chaff on the mainline.

The alarm goes off at 3am after an almost sleepless night…. it’s game time!

The boats begin their 100+ mile run to the fishing grounds in search of the million-dollar white marlin.

Patrick Brogan

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