Unlike some big game tournaments that strive to provide a large cash payout for one single species, thanks to a variety of calcutta options and generous prize structure for each, multiple large cash prizes are paid out year after year at the MidAtlantic. In fact, a review of the tournament’s results of the past five years revealed no less than seven winners received checks in excess of six figures or more each year including eight recipients in 2018! Additionally, over this same period each year at least two winners received payouts of $50,000 or more while 2015 saw three and 2016 and 2017 each saw five winners receive checks of more than $50,000! As they say, “Ya’ gotta’ be in it to win it” and last year a tournament record purse of over $3.36 million provided plenty of happy winners at the MidAtlantic’s awards ceremony. Sean O’Donnell’s Got Game from Cape May, New Jersey set a tournament record payout for white marlin by walking away with $905,408 for his 79-pounder while Ed Dunn’s DA Sea from Grasonville, Maryland also set a tournament record payout as he won $571,289 for his 116-pound tuna!
The 2019 MidAtlantic is set for August 18-23 and will be contested once again from its home port at Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey and the tournament’s official satellite port of Ocean City, Maryland where Sunset Marina will host participants. Dockage enquiries as well as tournament entries are already streaming in for this year’s event on a daily basis at both venues. Though the tournament’s base entry fee of $3000 covers a crew of six for all dockside dining, hospitality and entertainment, tournament prize money is compiled from no less than nine calcuttas, often referred to as side bets, which have additional fees ranging from $1000 to $6000 each. Participants may enter any, all or none though the number of calcuttas entered raises the chances of winning a large cash prize in the tournament. The payout structure varies by calcutta and payouts range from a single prize for one species to multiple payouts for several species as well as a billfish release points payout. For as little as an additional $1000 a tournament participant can win a significant cash prize while those with a lust for cash can go “across the board” and battle for a lottery-winning payday!
The nine available calcuttas are broken down into five categories. The Overall Calcuttas include the Everglades Boats 50’ and Under Overall Calcutta which has an entry fee of $2000 and is reserved for boats 50’ or less in length based on the manufacturer’s stated model. The United Rentals Home Port Overall Calcutta has an entry fee of $4000 and allows participants to compete against each other in their home port of either Cape May or Ocean City. The Cape May Distillery MidAtlantic Overall Calcutta has a $3000 fee while the In Deep Overall Calcutta has a fee of $6000 and both provide participants a chance to win some serious cash. The Overall Calcuttas payout for the three heaviest white marlin, blue marlin and tuna and the single heaviest wahoo and dolphin. The Pro Jackpots are three separate calcuttas and each is a one prize, winner-take-all payout for the designated species. They include the Roff’s White Marlin Pro Jackpot which has a $5000 fee while the Fishing Nosara Blue Marlin Pro Jackpot and the Tuna Pro Jackpot each cost $3000 to enter. The Hank Sauce Tuna, Dolphin and Wahoo Calcutta offers payouts for the three heaviest tuna, dolphin and wahoo and has an entry fee of $2500. One of the more unique calcuttas at the MidAtlantic is the Christi On the Board Reward which pays out each time a participant has the Heaviest, 2nd Heaviest or 3rd Heaviest white marlin, blue marlin or tuna on the leaderboard at the close of each day’s weigh-in. Entry fee for the Christi On the Board Reward is $2000. Finally, the Atlantic Tackle Billfish Points Calcutta is port specific and pays out for the top three billfish point winners. One payout (three places) is awarded for Cape May and another for Ocean City. Both white marlin and blue marlin points count and the entry fee is $1000.
Note that to qualify for any cash payout all species must meet the tournament’s designated minimum weights which are set at 65 pounds for white marlin and 400 pounds for blue marlin. The tuna minimum weight is 50 pounds and only big eye, yellowfin and true albacore are eligible. There is no minimum weight for dolphin or wahoo.
The offshore season is well underway as plenty of white marlin, blue marlin and tuna have already been caught. A mix of dolphin and an occasional wahoo have also made offshore trips interesting for those heading to the canyons. If you want to be part of what has always been known as sportfishing’s “Main Event” on the summer calendar season you should act now to reserve your spot in the line-up by contacting Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman at 609-884-0177. You can also visit the MidAtlantic tournament’s web site at www.themidatlantic.com where you’ll find all the necessary information about this year’s event including all the specific information regarding the event’s calcuttas as well as tournament records, photos, rules, schedule and a downloadable brochure. Additionally, you can access the MidAtlantic through the South Jersey Tournaments App! Download it today for free on your IOS or Android device from the Apple App and Google Play stores. Additionally, follow the tournament on Facebook at The MidAtlantic Tournament; on Twitter; @midatl and on Instagram; @themidatlantictournament.