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43rd Annual 

White Marlin Open

August 8rd - 12th, 2016

World's Largest Billfish Tournament

Harbour Island Marina, 14th St. & Bay ~ Ocean City, Maryland 


The 42nd Annual White Marlin Open drew 307 boats from up and down the East Coast to fish for a record purse of nearly $4,000,000. After a dramatic week, the anglers landing the top two white marlin had each earned over $1,000,000 for their team.

The top fish of the tournament was the 94 pound white marlin caught on Wednesday by Cheryl McLeskey from Virginia Beach, VA. McLeskeys white was notable for several reasons: it was the 3rd largest white marlin caught in the tournament's 42 year history and it's the first time a women has taken top white marlin honors. The fish earned McLeskey and the Backlash, also out of Virginia Beach, VA $1,176,113. The other million dollar winner, the Lights Out, up from Ocean Reef, FL made the 6 o'clock bridge on Friday and cruised to the Harbour Island scales with a 79 pound white caught by Bill Haugland from Coral Gables, FL that took 2nd place good for $1,006,247.  

Larry Hesse Jr. from Ft. Lauderdale, FL weighed the first qualifying billfish. The 551 blue marlin caught on Monday beat the tournament minimum by 51 pounds. Caught off the Goin' In Deep also from Ft. Lauderdale, FL the blue went wire to wire to win $778,728.  

The tuna category also produced big winnings and last minute drama. Rumor Has It out of Chincoteague, VA weighed in a 177 pound bigeye tuna on day one that was worth almost $400,000 until late Friday when the Miss Annie of Palm Beach, FL rolled in with a 200.5 pound bigeye that cut into the 177 pounders winnings. The final standings had Miss Annie winning $399,209 and Rumor Has It taking second and $174,495. Other tuna winners were: the Pez Machine from Ocean City, MD, Plane Simple up from Satellite Beach, FL and MJs from Ocean City, MD.  

The dolphin division was won by the Streaker from Fenwick Island, DE with 46.5 pounds earning $25,222 followed by Ocean City boat Tra Sea Ann winning $24,222 with 42 pounds and Turn Me Loose from Centreville, MD who took third with 36.5 pounds good for $23,222.  

Warden Pass out of Cape May, NJ caught a 45 pound wahoo Monday and hung on to the top spot to earn $33,626. The Just Right V from Port Delmarva, DE was 2nd with a 44 pounder taking $34,636 and Sweet Water was 3rd with a 43.5 pounder worth $1,375. I 

In the Release division, the Fishaholic topped 96 other boats with 15 white marlin and one blue marlin released and received $60,2019. The Fishaholic also was the top boat in 307 boat field with 1295 total points and was named White Marlin Open Boat of the Year. I 

In the prestigious top angler division, John Gudelsky aboard the Reel Joy out of Ocean City, MD released 6 white marlin, a blue marlin and a spearfish to gather 665 points to edge out Thomas Zebro and Bill Meyer on the Fishaholic.

Boats fishing the WMO may depart from any inlet between Rudee Inlet, VA and Barnegat Light Inlet, NJ

Ocean City Inlet, MD

Bahia Marina, 22nd St. & the Bay 410-289-7438 

Fisherman’s Marina, West OC 410-213-2478 

Harbour Island Marina, 14th St. & Bay 410-289-3511 

Ocean City Fishing Center, West Rt. 50 Bridge 410-213-1121 

Sunset Marina (Captain’s Point) 410-213-9600 

Talbot Street Pier, Talbot St. & Bay 410-289-9125 

White Marlin Marina, Somerset St. & Bay 410-289-6470 

William Bunting Dock, Talbot St. & Bay 410-289-7424 

Wachapreague, VA

Captain Zed’s Bait & Tackle & Marina 757-787-3222 

Port of Wachapreague Town Marina 757-787-1930 

Wachapreague Marina & Wachapreague Seaside Marina 757-787-4110 

Rudee Inlet, VA

Fisherman’s Wharf Marina 757-428-2111 

Virginia Beach Fishing Center 757-491-8000 

Indian River Inlet, DE 

South Shore Marina, Indian River Inlet 

Seashore State Park, Indian River Inlet 302-227-3071 

Cape May Inlet, NJ

South Jersey Marina, Cape May NJ 609-884-2400 

Absecon Inlet, NJ

Frank S. Farley State Marina 609-441-8482

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