The 2017 White Marlin Open has hit the mid-week stage, and the inlet was an absolute mad-house this afternoon as all 297 boats that fished today seemed to hit the beach at the same time. We did a ride-along on one of the competitor's boats today, and on the way in snapped off these pictures to share the view from inside the inlet at around 5:00 p.m.
Unfortunately, the day was on the disappointing side for many of the anglers. After a very rough Monday (136 boats still chose to fish, but the catch was rather meager) and an essentially un-fishable day on Tuesday (12 boats made the attempt, which generated a 67 pound tuna for the leaderboard) the prizes were still very much up for grabs. But it was slow, at best. The Woman's Offshore Alliance team, which we joined for the day of fishing, found nothing but huge swaths of not-too-pretty water in the low 70's even after venturing out beyond 500 fathoms outside the Poor Man's. Talking with a number of boats back at the dock, the story was essentially the same from Baltimore clear down to the Norfolk - water temps in the low 70's (where just a week ago it was 80-degrees), few breaks, and even less life. Most boats hit the docks with empty boxes or a small mahi or two, a few had single white marlin catches, and fewer still had a pair of whites to show for their efforts.
Out of the few marlin weighed today, however, there were a couple of nice fish. The Griffin weighed in an 86-pounder, worth a prize currently pegged at approximately $2.6 million. Considering past tournament results, this fish has a very real shot at remaining in first place. The Business is currently in second with a 76-pounder, and Team Player is in third with a 70.5 pound white marlin. The top tuna (worth about $460,000) is a 68.5 pounder caught on the Intents. We certainly wish the Intents the best of luck, but we also suspect a lot of boats will decide to target tuna during the next two days to go after that rather vulnerable mark.
Our thanks go out to the Woman's Offshore Alliance (WOA, for short) and its sponsors, Everglades Boats, Annapolis Boat Sales, and Shore Tackle, for making room for us on the boat today. Stay tuned to FishTalk for our feature article on who and what WOA is all about. But for now, just know that these gals are planning to out-fish all you testosterone-laden tournament anglers - and from the teamwork and effort we saw today, we're thinking they just might do it. Good luck to everyone fishing in the White Marlin Open, and especially to team WOA.