Spreading the Wealth

Now in its 32nd year, the MidAtlantic enjoys the solid reputation of not only offering a multi-million dollar total purse year after year but also awarding large cash payouts to multiple winners thanks to its unique prize structure the various calcuttas offered for participants provide. The tournament’s $3000 entry fee includes all the dockside dining, hospitality and entertainment for the crew whether fishing out of Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey or Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland but the tournament’s total purse is set from the calcutta entries in various categories. No less than 11 of these “side bets” sanctioned by the tournament with varied additional entry fees are offered and all tournament species including white marlin, blue marlin, tuna (big eye, yellowfin and true albacore), wahoo and dolphin are eligible depending on the specific calcutta entered. Note that for any fish to qualify for a calcutta it must meet the tournament’s minimum weight for the species. To qualify white marlin must weigh 65 pounds and measure 69” while blue marlin must weigh 400 pounds and measure 102”. Tuna have a minimum weight of 50 pounds and wahoo and dolphin must weigh 20 pounds.

As noted above there’s a calcutta to meet the skill and budget of every participant in the MidAtlantic and entry fees range from $1000 to $32,000. Obviously the higher the risk the higher the reward and while some calcuttas payout the top three places, others are winner-take-all. Last year’s total calcutta purse topped $5.25 million and was shared among 28 different winners. No less than five each received over $575 thousand while three more each received over $265 thousand and two others each received over $160 thousand! Worthy of note the big winners above were all payouts for white marlin, blue marlin and tuna though some serious catch was paid out in the dolphin and wahoo calcuttas where top cash awards were over $78 thousand and $65 thousand respectively! Not a bad payday for what many call by-catch when searching for billfish and tuna.

The Mega Marlin Calcutta debuted back in 2021 to celebrate the MidAtlantic’s 30th anniversary. It was a popular addition and has continued ever since. This year with an entry fee of $32 thousand the 32nd Annual Mega Marlin Calcutta is definitely not for the faint of heart. The total pot is split between white marlin and blue marlin and pays 32% and 18% respectively to the two heaviest billfish in each category. Four Overall Calcuttas are also available and include the In Deep ($6,000 fee), United Rentals Home Port ($4,000 fee), MidAtlantic ($3,000 fee) and Jupiter 50’ and Under ($2,000 fee) and all payout at designated percentages for the three heaviest white marlin, blue marlin and tuna as well as the single heaviest dolphin and wahoo. The United Rental Home Port Overall Calcutta is port specific in that one pot of cash is divided among participating boats in Cape May and the other for participating boats in Ocean City. Additionally, the Jupiter 50’ and Under Overall Calcutta is for boats 50 feet and under based on manufacturer’s given model name for the boat. For example, a Viking 50 Convertible is considered 50’ even though it has a 50’ 6” LOA. The Three Pro Jackpots are each winner-take-all payouts and include the Roffs White Marlin Pro Jackpot with a $5,000 entry fee while the Blue Marlin Pro Jackpot and the Tuna Pro Jackpot each have entry fees of $3,000. Hank’s Sauce sponsors the Tuna, Dolphin Wahoo Calcutta where a $2,500 entry fee provides certain percentage payouts for the three heaviest of the species noted. The Billfish Points Calcutta is sponsored by Salt Life and Atlantic Tackle and has a fee of $1,000. This port specific calcutta pays out based on billfish points only and offers three prizes, 50%, 30% and 20% for the top three winners in Cape May and in Ocean City.

The ever popular Christi Insurance Group On the Board Reward has an entry fee of $3,000 and pays out for the three heaviest white marlin, blue marlin and tuna each time a participant has a fish in any of those categories on the scoreboard at the close of the day’s weigh-in session. The total pot is tallied by the number of the calcutta’s participants in Cape May and Ocean City and is then divided by five for the five days of fishing provided during the tournament. The pot for each day is then divided evenly by the winners for that day. If there are no winners for a particular day, the unwon prize money will be split evenly among the purses of the remaining days. In the event there are no winners on the last day of the tournament, the unwon prize money will be split evenly among the previous four days winners.

Tournament week is set for August 20-25 and with a little over a month to go Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman reports entry fees are coming in at a brisk pace. “If you plan on being part of what we expect to be another memorable MidAtlantic you should reach out to us ASAP so we can reserve your spot in the line-up or go to the tournament web site where you can register online,” he noted, adding transient dockage reservations should also be made as well. “We anticipate another stellar field of world class boats, crews and anglers and from up and down the east coast and we sincerely welcome back those who have fished with us before and also send a warm invitation for those thinking of joining us this 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.

AUTHOR
Picture of Jeff Merrill
Jeff Merrill

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