Record-Setting 30th MidAtlantic Off to a Fast Start

John Cooke

Record-Setting 30th MidAtlantic Off to a Fast Start

The first ballyhoo hadn’t hit the water on Day One of the 30th MidAtlantic and already two records were set at sportfishing’s “Main Event.” The tournament field is set at 203 boats, smashing the previous record of 183 set last year. Both tournament venues were busy prior to the Captain’s Meeting yesterday handling Calcutta entries and last-minute registration and although cash payouts are still being verified, another cash purse record has been set this year at $5.9 million-plus, breaking the previous record of just over $4 million, also set last year.

On Day One 163 boats headed offshore into light winds and sea conditions were beautiful on the edge based on reports heard around the weigh stations. The evening’s weigh-in session got off to a fast start as Luke Blume’s C-Boys from Berlin, Maryland weighed a 69-pound white marlin but unfortunately, their time atop the leaderboard would be brief. Less than 30 minutes later Art Boykin’s Lucky Duck II, also out of Berlin, Maryland set the standard in the category after weighing an 80-pounder bumping C-Boys to second place. Nick Shriver’s RoShamBo from Leonardtown, Maryland, and Lance Converse’s Lunatico on Effe Mae based out of West Palm Beach, Florida are tied for third place after weighing 68-pounders on Day One.

In the blue marlin category, Larry Hesse’s Goin’ in Deep based in Manasquan, New Jersey with Captain Walter Harmstead at the wheel weighed a blue marlin of 681 pounds and currently sits atop the leaderboard in the category. Steve Pilipauskis’ Reel Tight got on the leaderboard after weighing a blue marlin of 487 pounds and currently is in second place. The third place is vacant.

The tuna bite was very good on Day One with a mix of big eyes and yellowfins weighed at both venues. Summit, New Jersey’s Bob Hugin aboard his The Right Place was definitely in the right place today weighing five big eye tuna including a 188 pounder which leads the category, and a 175 pounder which is in third place. Ken Hager’s Taylor Jean from Tinton Falls, New Jersey weighed a big eye of 179 pounds and is in second place.

With no minimum weight for dolphins, many were weighed on Day One, and Jeremy Blunt’s Wrecker out of Ocean City, Maryland leads the category with his 26-pounder followed by Joe Dorsey's Rhonda’s Osprey with a 24-pounder. The third place currently belongs to Curtis Campbell’s Reel Estate from Baltimore, Maryland with a 23-pounder.

Numerous wahoo were also weighed and Patrick McGovern’s Mack 900 based out of Somerset, New Jersey is atop the category with his 32-pounder followed by John Homick’s Salt Lick out of Annapolis, Maryland with his 18-pounder. The third place is vacant.

Some of the boats with notable billfish releases on Day One include William Keller’s Blood Money with seven white marlins released while Peter Cherasia’s Shark Byte and Wil Thornhil’s Showtime each released six white marlins. Eddie Wheeler’s Cabana, James Davis’ Wave Paver, and Matthew Weber’s Max Bet each released four white marlins. Rusty Carter’s Stream Weaver released three white marlins and blue marlin. Jamie Diller’s Canyon Lady released four white marlins and two blue marlins while Darren Helwig’s Roll Groove let go of two blue marlins and two white marlins. Boats with three white marlins released on Day One include Jon Duffie’s Billfisher, Ryan Putman’s Is That So, Joe Bernert’s Quick Raise, Billy Wrede’s Lovin’ Life, Anthony Alves’ Kaarmaa, Adam Youschack’s Reelin’ Feelin’, John Gudelsky’s Reel Joy, Joseph Stein’s III Marli, Daniel Burt’s Pumpin’ Hard and Warren Halle’s Cookie Monster.

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,

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A 172 pound Tuna caught aboard the Gina Lisa. By day's end was not in the top three heaviest.Jeff Merril

and participants.

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Always passionate about Cape May, John Cooke has been a full-time resident since 2004. And he’s no stranger to the sunrises here. You’ll often see him downtown loading his camera with pictures of sunrises, landscapes, and Cape May visitors. John is a regular contributor to the Cape May Star and Wave and his work has also been published in Cape May Magazine and Exit Zero Magazine. He is also heard regularly on the “Locals of Cape May” a weekly talk radio show on WCFA-LP FM 101.5. While serving as President of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May from 2010 to 2013, he helped facilitate multiple city-wide events including Harborfest, which attracted over 10,000 people to Cape May. An unofficial ambassador for all things Cape May, John now regularly blogs at (THE COOKE REPORT) AKA cookecapemay.Com, actively tweets from @cookecapemay and has an avid Instagram following by the same name. His more than 6000 followers earned him the right to be one of 17 people to watch in South Jersey in 2017 by the Press of Atlantic City.

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