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MidAtlantic fishing tournament set for August 17-22 off Cape May - Ocean City Sentinel: Events

MidAtlantic fishing tournament set for August 17-22 off Cape May

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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 1:12 pm

Known for more than two decades as the “Main Event” for big game tournament anglers, the MidAtlantic boasts a rich tradition of great fishing, exceptional dockside hospitality and a family-friendly tournament atmosphere at host marinas located within two of the Atlantic coast’s most famous and popular summer resort towns — Cape May, N.J., and Ocean City, Md. Throw in a cash purse that has consistently topped $1.5 million and it’s easy to see why this event is circled on the big game tournament calendars of the top boats and crews along the eastern seaboard each year.

For 2014, the MidAtlantic has a new look that includes a reduced entry fee and more opportunities for participants to share in a cash purse that’s projected to top $2 million.

The $2,500 entry fee covers all the dockside dining, beverages and entertainment for the week for a crew of six. Calcutta options have been expanded to allow entry for as little as an additional $2,000. However, those who wish to splurge can still participate as they have in the past only now there are even more ways to win bigger payouts.

Tournament week is set for Aug. 17-22, and once again Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May and Sunset Marina in Ocean City will welcome participants from New England to Florida and beyond for another exciting week of offshore tournament fishing.

The expanded calcutta options will continue to offer a chance to win large cash prizes for the three heaviest white marlin, blue marlin and tuna while new meatfish calcuttas this year will also include additional payouts for tuna and new opportunities for wahoo and dolphin to win substantial cash. If you are more of a tuna fisherman, you can now put more money in that direction. Keep in mind that boats fishing from Cape May are closest to the Wilmington Canyon as well as the northern tuna grounds.

While the tournament entry fee and prize payout structure have changed, rules to ensure fair competition and an even playing field for boats of all sizes have not. All participants must select a port, either Cape May or Ocean City, from which they will sail and return during the tournament. However, all participants must fish within 125 miles of the Cape May Sea Buoy. Five fishing days are provided during tournament week and the tournament’s Captain’s Choice format allows participants to select three days to fish. Boats may not clear their respective inlet’s sea buoy prior to 4:30 a.m. and fishing hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All fish available for weigh-in must be at the participant’s selected inlet host marina by 9 p.m. each day.

IGFA rules apply in this trolling-only tournament, except that any crewmember may hook a fish and immediately hand off the rod to the angler, who must fight the fish until boated or released. There is no limit to the number of lines or teasers, though live bait is not allowed and greensticks are also prohibited.

Minimum weights to qualify for cash prizes for white marlin and blue marlin are 65 and 400 pounds, respectively, while tuna must weigh 50 pounds. Points will be awarded for billfish released under those minimum weights and valuable trophies will be awarded to the top three winners in each billfish category, as well as the top three for tuna weighed. The prestigious Most Points Overall award will be presented to the top point winner (both marlin and tuna points qualify) for the tournament.

While the competition offshore is fierce, the evening’s dockside hospitality during tournament week is laid back and casual. Each night, participants at both host marinas can relax and enjoy complimentary dinner and adult beverages while recapping the day’s events with other competitors. On several nights live music and DJs will entertain with popular tunes to get the crowd in a dancing mood and this year Thursday night’s entertainment in Cape May will include Hula and Fire Dancers.

Back this year by popular demand is the Mega Marlin Raffle to benefit the Recreational Fishing Alliance in which fishing and boating equipment as well as clothing, artwork, jewelry, marine-related gift certificates and other valuable prizes will be raffled off.

Participants in Cape May can also compete in the Gentilini Challenge and have the opportunity to win a new Rocky Ridge truck. All the big demo boats will be in Cape May for participants to tour during the tournament.

The offshore fishing season is off to a great start, as big-eye and yellowfin tuna, as well as wahoo and dolphin, have begun to show in respectable numbers. White marlin and blue marlin have also made a good showing, with the first of both species caught in late June.

For further information, contact Tournament Director Bob Glover at (609) 884-2400. For additional information including a complete breakdown of the calcutta pools, tournament rules, schedule and printable tournament brochure, visit www.themidatlantic.com.

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