Let the party begin! The 2021 MidAtlantic gets underway today with final registration and captain’s meeting at Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland and all indications are it’s going to be another one for the record books! Pre-registration has been very strong with 170 boats already on the roster for the tournament. Additionally, reports from the boats that have pre-fished the last couple days in an effort to scout out the offshore canyons have found the billfish are indeed here and in a hungry mood. The past couple days saw Jamie Diller’s Canyon Lady releasing 22 white marlin and two blue marlin on an overnighter while Dave Anderson’s Krazy Salts and George Robinson’s Polarizer each let go eight white marlin on day trips out of Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May. Meanwhile, recent reports from Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland show Matt Weber’s Max Bet released five white marlin while Ed Dunn’s D.A. Sea let go four and Jon Duffie’s Billfisher released four white marlin and a blue marlin. Captain Ronnie Fields wheeled the Big Stick to eight white marlin and one blue marlin releases while Peter Gudaitis’ Blood Money released nine white marlin.
A string of 90-plus degree days broke overnight as thunderstorms preceded a front that brought a cool refreshing breeze and a sunny sky across the region and the weather looks good for the week. The action gets underway tomorrow and crews with pick three of the next five days to head offshore to the canyons off the mid-Atlantic coast with hopes of catching a white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, dolphin or wahoo that could give the crew a lottery-like payday. Last year’s total cash purse at the MidAtlantic was well over $4 million and it’s expected this year’s total payout should at least match that number! All boats must sail and return from either of the two designated inlets during the week and all participants must fish within 125 miles of the Cape May Sea Buoy. Boats may not clear their inlet’s sea buoy prior to 3 a.m. on their designated fishing days and lines in is set for 8 a.m. with lines out at 3:30 p.m. All fish must be at the scale of their marina for weigh-in by 9 p.m. on the day caught. Minimum weight for white marlin is 65 pounds AND it must also measure 69 inches to qualify. Blue marlin must weigh 400 pounds to qualify and any tuna, which includes big eye, yellowfin or longfin, must weigh 50 pounds. There is no minimum weight for dolphin or wahoo. The tournament’s total cash purse is generated by 11 designated calcuttas and is paid out at various levels for three heaviest white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo and for billfish released.
For three decades the MidAtlantic has always attracted the best crews and boats in the sport and this year is no different as participants from as far away as Louisiana have made the MidAtlantic one of their tournament priorities this summer. Sunday morning found tournament crews hard at work rigging baits, spooling-up reels with fresh line, setting drags and completing last minute tackle, vessel and system checks before the busy week ahead. MidAtlantic tournament staff were also making final preparations at both venues to welcome all participants and sponsors.
We will provide nightly updates after the scales close at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday which will include the day’s fishing activity. A complete tournament wrap-up will be available by 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 21. You can follow all the action of the 2021 MidAtlantic via the South Jersey Tournaments App which is available free for IOS or Android devices from the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Please note the MidAtlantic tournament is a private event. Nightly weigh-in sessions at Canyon Club Resort Marina and Sunset Marina as well as other tournament venues are not open to the general public and require credentials for entry. All local, state and federal procedures with regard to Covid-19 are being followed to ensure the health and safety of all tournament staff, sponsors and participants.
For further information contact Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman at 609-884-0177. Be sure to visit the tournament’s official web site at www.themidatlantic.com where you’ll find all the facts, figures and information about the 2021 MidAtlantic including a complete rundown of calcutta payouts, rules, points, tournament records and an event schedule. You’ll also find a link to purchase official tournament merchandise. Additionally, each night you can follow the weigh-in session with live video feed from both marinas via a link on the tournament’s web site. You can also follow all the action on Facebook at The MidAtlantic Tournament; on Twitter; @midatl and on Instagram; @themidatlantictournament.