The 32nd edition of the MidAtlantic tournament kicked off today as crews gathered in Cape May, New Jersey at the venerable Canyon Club Resort Marina and at Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland, the event’s official satellite port, for last minute registration and an event hosted Welcome Party followed by a Captain’s Meetings at both locations to review the rules and week’s events. Crews from all along the Atlantic coast have gathered annually in August since the inaugural tournament back in 1992 for sportfishing’s “Main Event” where a cash purse of several million dollars is up for grabs. Today last-minute preparation by the tournament fleet kept crews busy as baits were rigged, drags set and other gear was checked for the intense week of fishing ahead. Over the next five days the fleet will focus on the canyons off the mid-Atlantic coast searching for white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin. Five available fishing days are provided for crews to select three to head offshore from Monday through Friday of tournament week. Though participants are permitted to sail from either Cape May or Ocean City based on the port they designated during registration all boats must fish within 125 miles of the Cape May Sea Buoy. No boats may clear their respective inlet’s sea buoy before 3 a.m. and fishing hours are set at 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. There’s no limit to the number of anglers, lines or teasers though live bait is not permitted in this trolling-only tournament.
The weigh stations at Canyon Club Resort Marina and Sunset Marina will open at 5 p.m. each afternoon and any fish to be weighed must be at the scale by 9 p.m. Strict minimum weights and lengths for billfish include 69 inches and 65 pounds for white marlin while blue marlin must measure 102 inches and weigh 400 pounds. Minimum weight for tuna is set at 50 pounds and only big eye, yellowfin and true albacore are eligible. Wahoo and dolphin (mahi mahi) each have a 20-pound minimum weight to qualify. You can catch all the excitement of each night’s weigh-in session streamed live on the tournament’s web site www.themidatlantic.com. beginning at 5 p.m.
A series of tournament administered calcuttas, 11 altogether, provides the cash purse which last year topped $5 million. These “side bets” are optional to enter but obviously increase the payout possibility for each boat’s based on their level of participation. Cash prizes are awarded in various breakdowns with some of the payouts awarded for the three heaviest fish in each category while others award a cash prize for the single heaviest or two heaviest fish. Many participants enter in numerous calcuttas while others may opt to only enter those which focus on the species they plan to target for the week. Last year’s tournament saw four winners received checks of $871 thousand, $658 thousand, $604 thousand and $580 thousand respectively while five other winners received checks of $168 thousand or more! An additional five winners received checks of $57 thousand or more. We will provide a total purse for this year’s tournament once all the calcutta entries have been tabulated.
Updates will be provided each night after the scales close at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday including highlights from the day’s fishing action. A complete tournament wrap-up will be sent out by 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 26. You can follow all the action of the 2023 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.
For further information contact Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman at 609-884-0177 or check out the tournament’s web site at www.themidatlantic.com for all the facts, figures and information about this year’s MidAtlantic including a complete rundown of calcutta payouts, rules, points, tournament records, photos, and an event schedule. There’s also a link to purchase tournament apparel as well as links for all tournament sponsors. On social media follow the MidAtlantic on Facebook at The MidAtlantic Tournament; on Twitter @midatl and on Instagram @themidatlantictournament.