You might say it was the calm before the storm for the 49 boats heading offshore on Day Four of the 2011 Mid-Atlantic $500,000 as cloudy skies broke clear by late morning and seas were reported to be relatively calm. With Hurricane Irene closing in on the East Coast, the decision was made to cancel the final day’s fishing and the 2011 Mid-Atlantic $500,000 concluded on Thursday, August 25. And, as in previous years, the final day of the event saw significant changes to the leaderboard.
The white marlin division witnessed the most dramatic change as Sylvan Cote of Cranberry, Connecticut aboard Espadon moved into second place in the category after weighing a 76-pounder on Day Four and held on to win Cote $104,437. Steve Ramsey of Ocean City, Maryland aboard Lady Luck, with his 82-pound white marlin caught on Day Three, won the Heaviest White Marlin award and received $615,484. Chuck Arnold of Virginia Beach, Virginia aboard Big Dog and Richard Hendrickson of Cinnaminson, New Jersey aboard Sailmaker finished in a tie for third place as each weighed white marlin of 75 pounds earlier in the week. Since Arnold was in all of the calcuttas, he received $53,902 in total prize money and Hendrickson received $11,700 in tournament proceeds as he was not in any of the optional calcuttas.
Elizabeth, New Jersey’s Steven Scioscia aboard his Tail Spin won the blue marlin category and received $193,440 for his 565-pound billfish. Damien Romeo of Forked River, New Jersey on Hubris finished in second place with his 498-pounder and won $121,894. Ocean City, Maryland’s Dan Burt aboard Pumpin’ Hard 66 took third place with a 494-pound blue marlin and received $73,749.
Adam Demeusy of Bloomfield, Connecticut, winner of the Heaviest Tuna category in 2010, repeated the feat this year and his 148-pound big eye tuna caught aboard Impulse V was worth $161,893. Dover, Delaware’s Nick and Trish Rodriguez on their Par Five finished in second place with a 71-pound yellowfin tuna and received $82,251. Tuckerton, New Jersey’s Tom Jarvis aboard his Dumb and Dumber finished in third place with a 63-pound yellowfin which earned him $69,069.
Riviera Beach, Florida’s Byron Russell, aboard his Hit ‘N Run, weighed a 53-pounder dolphin on Day Four to win the category and received $9,360. Dave Migliore of Brielle, New Jersey aboard Blackbeard’s Revenge won the wahoo division with a 50-pound ‘hoo and received $9,360.
The following received calcutta money for various positions on the leaderboard during the week though they did not receive tournament proceeds:
Amarula Sun – Raymond Craig – Holiday, Florida – 72 lb. white marlin - $8,146.
Inappropriate – Frank Holtham – Hackensack, New Jersey – 69 lb. white marlin - $16,292.
Trust Me Too – Jim Foulke – Bluffton, South Carolina – 58 lb. tuna - $8,146
Final Point Standings
Most Points – Predator – Bryan Kieth – Selbyville, Delaware – 1650 pts.
2nd Most Points – Par Five – Nick and Trish Rodriguez – Dover, Delaware - 1050 pts.
3rd Most Points – Billfisher – Bill Zimmerman – Ocean City, Maryland – 1050 pts.
Most Points – Lisa K – Ernest Audet – Lincoln, Rhode Island – 300 pts.
2nd Most Points – Tail Spin – Steve Scioscia – Elizabeth, New Jersey – 282.5 pts.
3rd Most Points – Hubris – Damien Romeo – Forked River, New Jersey – 249 pts.
Most Points – Crush ‘Em – John Ruskey – Baltimore, Maryland – 80.5 pts.
2nd Most Points – Impulse V – Adam Demeusy – Bloomfield, Connecticut – 74 pts.
3rd Most Points – Trust Me Too – Jim Foulke – Doylestown, Pennsylvania – 55.5 pts.
Most Points Overall – Predator – Bryan Keith – Selbyville, Delaware – 1650 pts.
* Note that point ties were broken based on time of catch.
White Marlin Released – 442
White Marlin Boated – 16
Blue Marlin Released – 17
Blue Marlin Boated – 4
Tuna Weighed – 23
Dolphin Weighed – 6
Wahoo Weighed – 2
Longbill Spearfish Released – 1
Total Billfish Caught – 480
Total Billfish Released – 460
Even with the event shortened by a full fishing day, the billfish catch was indeed significant as a combined 480 white marlin, blue marlin and longbill spearfish were caught by the 117 participating boats and 460 were let go for a release rate of nearly 96%. The average of 1.36 billfish per-boat-per-day also falls just short of the tournament record 1.42 billfish per-boat-per-day set in 2010.
For further information on the 2011 Mid-Atlantic $500,000 call 609-884-2400 or visit the tournament’s official web site.
The 2011 Mid-Atlantic $500,000 is proudly sponsored by Premier Sponsors BMW of North America; Ocean Yachts; Raymarine; South Jersey Yacht Sales; XM Satellite Weather and Premier Engine Sponsor Johnson & Towers/MTU. Additional sponsors include Alexseal Yacht Coatings; Baitmasters of South Florida; Big Game Fishing Journal; Boat Pix; Canyon Club Resort Marina; Christi Insurance Group; Costa Marine Canvas; Engines Incorporated; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Fineline Studio; FLIR Systems, Inc.; Fraser-Volpe; Garmin; Guy Harvey; Interlux; KRU82 Vodka; Lucky Bones Backwater Grille; Mack Boring and Parts; MAN Engines and Components; Midlantic Gold Rush; Nauticomp; Ocean LED; Oceanview Marine Welding; Offshore Electronics; Offshore Financial and Pelagic Offshore Gear. Other sponsors include Penn Reels/Pure Fishing; Pompanette; Premier Detailing and Boat Cleaning; Premier Yacht Management; Ransome Engine/Caterpillar; Rick Bogert; Seakeeper Inc.; South Jersey Marina; Sperry Top-Sider; Sturdy Bank; Sunset Marina; ZF Marine, LLC and Washington Inn.