The calendar reads August and as the final weeks of summer drift by, white marlin and blue marlin typically get frisky and in a hungry mood along the south Jersey coast. This year August has a “Blue Moon” where a full moon occurs twice in the same month and the days following the first full moon on August 1 saw a dramatic increase in billfish catches along the canyons. Patches of nutrient-rich cobalt blue water brought forage species for marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin to feed on and that scenario got the juices flowing for those heading to the canyons in the Midatlantic region. Boats retuning to Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland have chatted about encounters with billfish and an increase in the number of release flags flying from their ‘riggers verifies what they are reporting. The timing couldn’t be better as the 2023 MidAtlantic tournament is right around the corner! That’s right, we’re a little over a week out from this year’s tournament and the staff at Canyon Club Resort Marina and Sunset Marina have been hard at work preparing for another edition of sportfishing’s “Main Event” where the all the big guns will battle it out for bragging rights and a shot at a portion of the lottery-like purse. According to Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman, registration has been very steady. “We’re about 30% ahead of where we were last year at this time,” he noted, adding online registration at the tournament’s web site www.themidatlantic.com is the quickest and easiest way to secure a spot in the lineup. “Port caps are once again set at 125 boats in Cape May and in Ocean City so by registering online ahead of the Late Registration on Sunday, August 20 you can be sure you’ll get your spot in the tournament. Additionally, you can pay your calcutta fees online as well which cuts down on the time required when picking up your tournament packet prior to the Captain’s Meeting.” Hoffman also highly recommends securing transient dockage space quickly as well so you’re not left out.
As noted above preparation is well underway for this year’s event at Canyon Club Resort Marina, which will once again be the tournament’s headquarters, and at Sunset Marina, the event’s designated satellite venue. Nightly dockside hospitality is scheduled for both marinas and tournament participants will receive specific information in their registration packet. The tournament’s Exhibiting Sponsors will each have designated booths set up in the “Big Top” tent in Cape May where participants can check out their latest products and services. This year’s tournament T-shirt artwork was created by noted marine artist Eddie Forbes and he’ll be in Cape May under the tournament tent during the event with a display of his unique artwork. South Jersey Yacht Sales, a Premier Sponsor of the MidAtlantic, will have a large presence as well including an Invincible 33 and a 30 Jupiter with Yamaha engines on land and an in-water display on “A” Dock that includes the new 41 Albemarle, 39 Yellowfin and 35 Invincible Cat and the 2023 South Jersey Yacht Sales Viking 64 Demo, Polarizer. Viking Yachts, also a Premier Sponsor, will have on display in-water their two tournament demonstrators, the 80 Convertible and 64 Convertible. Both boats are also competing in the tournament as well. Premier Sponsor Yamaha Outboards is slated to have on display the latest in outboard power while Johnson and Towers, also a Premier Sponsor, will have representatives available to discuss the latest in diesel power options MTU has to offer. The Billfish Foundation will have staff members on hand to discuss billfish management and will once again hold a fundraising raffle with valuable prizes.
The 2023 MidAtlantic gets underway on Sunday, August 20 with Late Registration, Calcutta Entries and a Welcome Cocktail Party from 1 pm to 4:30 pm at Canyon Club Resort Marina and Sunset Marina. Participants select three days of five available Monday, August 21 through Friday, August 25 to fish for white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin. The entry fee of $3000 covers all dockside entertainment, dining and hospitality for the week while the total cash purse is drawn from the tournament’s 11 sanctioned calcuttas. These “side bets” have an additional entry fee and there’s a calcutta for every species in the tournament. Participants may enter any or none but as they say, ya gotta be in it to win it and last year’s total cash purse topped $5.23 million! Worthy of note, the entry fee for Christi On the Board Reward calcutta was increased this year to $3000 which will increase the payouts. This calcutta pays out each time a participant has the Heaviest, 2nd Heaviest or 3rd Heaviest white marlin, blue marlin or tuna on the scoreboard at the close of each days weigh-in session.
If you haven’t registered yet the time to get in the lineup is now if you don’t be left at the dock. Act now to be part of what’s sure to be another memorable MidAtlantic. Who knows, you might even get to stand on the stage at the awards ceremony and accept one of those big cardboard checks! It only takes one bite and one fish to be a winner, but it has to be a good one. Come join the fun and perhaps this will be your lucky year, your once in a blue moon year!
For more information contact Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman at 609-884-0177 or visit the tournament’s web site at www.themidatlantic.com where you’ll find all the facts, figures and information about The MidAtlantic complete breakdown of calcuttas, rules, points, and a Tournament Week schedule. You can also follow along on social media Facebook at The MidAtlantic Tournament; on Twitter @midatl and on Instagram @themidatlantictournament.