Billfish Bite Builds as 2020 MidAtlantic Gets Underway!
Tournament week has arrived and it couldn’t happen at a better time! The 2020 MidAtlantic kicks off today at Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland with final registration this afternoon followed by a captain’s meeting at both venues and if the days leading up to the tournament are a barometer of the fishing it’s going to be a heck of a week! Numerous boats spent the past week getting prepared for the 29th edition of sportfishing’s “Main Event” and part of that prep included pre-fishing to work out the kinks and hone their circle hook skills. Among those from Cape May who were on “The Rip” this week include Jamie Diller who ran offshore to 1000 fathoms with his Canyon Lady on an overnight trip from Canyon Club Resort Marina to get the lay of the land. Diller and his crew scored big releasing five blue marlin ranging from 150 to 800 pounds and five white marlin over two days of fishing! Rob Cola also got in on the action as well aboard his Cape Mayhem out of South Jersey Marina and his crew released two white marlin and a blue marlin on one day trip and two white marlin and two blue marlin on a second day trip this week! Rest assured with these reports tournament crews will be anxious to get in on the action!
Though rain covered the marinas at both venues early today, crews kept busy checking gear, rigging baits and attending to last minute details before fishing gets underway. Participants will select three days from five available tomorrow through Friday to fish the canyons off the mid-Atlantic coast. All boats, whether sailing from Cape May or Ocean City, must sail and return to their designated port and must fish within 125 miles of the Cape May Sea Buoy. Boats may not clear either inlet’s sea buoy prior to 3 a.m. on fishing days. Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and any fish to be weighed must be at the scale by 9 p.m. Cash payouts are awarded for the three heaviest white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo as well as for billfish released.
Tournament entries have been pouring in over the last few days and both tournament venues are busting at the seams with a fleet of well over 150 boats already entered. Beautiful sportfishing vessels from up and down the entire east coast with world class crews and captains have gathered to battle for a cash purse that’s expected to top $3.5 million! Last year a tournament record $3,528,760 was handed out to nearly three dozen various winners including seven checks of over six figures and another 17 checks of $15 thousand or more!
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 22. You can follow all the action of the 2020 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 2020 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.