Home | Advertise | Issues | Fishing Info | Tournaments | Buy a Photo | Delivery Locations | Merch | Send a Photo

Vol 47 | Num 14 | Aug 3, 2022

Offshore Report Ocean City Report Ship to Shore Chum Lines Delaware Report The Galley Virginia Report Issue Photos
Offshore Report

Article by Larry Budd

This Week Last Year
• The OC Marlin Club’s Heels and Reels Tournament was held with “Knot Again” taking top honors in the Billfish Release Division with 4 white marlin releases. They started at the Rockpile and worked their way east.
• East of the Baltimore Canyon in deep water was the hot spot for white marlin. The “Bent Tent” also released a spearfish there. Blue marlin were spread from the lower Wilmington to the Poor Man’s Canyon.
• The “Nina’s Revenge” caught a 257 lb. bigeye tuna after a 5 hour fight and having to clear the line from their running gear.
• Several large wahoo were caught including a 92 lb. speedster caught on the “That’s Right”. The big ones were at the Hot Dog and 19 Fathom lumps.

It was exciting this past week offshore! Mostly decent weather gave anglers lots of options to get on the rip. We also saw an explosion of activity during the 9th Annual Big Fish Classic last weekend. Last week saw many captains were still chunking for yellowfins with butterfish at inshore lumps, but as the week progressed into the weekend, many returned to trolling in the canyons and began to target bigeyes as the ‘big fish’ with great success. The marlin bite remains fickle and hard to find, but another billfish jumped into the scene over the past week with dozens of swordfish catches and releases reported, with some nice ones during the tournament. With over 90 boats participating in the 9th Annual Big Fish Classic, most of the offshore action from the weekend was tied into this 3 day event, so let’s get into it!

The 9th Annual Big Fish Classic again had a purse of over a million dollars this year. This event offers anglers a number of ways to participate, from basic entry levels to more advanced levels and Winner Take All Jackpots resulting in a nice distribution of winnings. You can see all the many options in our tournament summary on page 66. Unique to this event is also the concept of fishing ‘window’. Most other tournaments allow boats to fish a certain amount of day with daily line in and line out limits. The White Marlin Open for example is a 5 day event where boats may fish 3 of the five days with lines out by 3:30 each day they fish. In contrast, the Big Fish offers boats a choice of two 32 hour fishing windows. One from 7AM on Friday through 3PM on Saturday, or the same hours from Saturday to Sunday. The weather often plays into which window is selected and the same was true for this year. A forecasted Friday overnight storm offshore resulted in only 6 of the 97 boats registered heading out for the first window. Boats do have the option to return to the scales before their window closes if they feel they have an exceptional catch or are looking for some of the daily prize money, but this year saw no boats come to the scales on Day 1. Day 2 saw 5 of the 6 boats in the first window find their way to the scales. Two of which set the lead in a category and held it! Notably the “Low Profile” from New Jersey was waiting at the dock for the scales to open at 4PM. Little did they know they were setting the tone for the tournament with the 3 bigeye and 5 yellowfin tuna they caught in the Wilmington Canyon. All the eyeballs were over 100 lbs. with the largest at 225 lbs. that took 3rd Place for Heaviest Fish. They also weighed a 66.5 lb. yellowfin tuna that resisted a lot of competition to take 1st Place in the Heaviest Yellowfin Division, besting the 2nd Place fish by 0.5 lbs.! The “Big Stick” also came in strong, weighing a 170.5 lb. swordfish they caught in the Poor Man’s Canyon. While nearly 10 swords came to the scales, theirs held onto 1st Place in the Heaviest Swordfish Division as well as 2nd Place for Heaviest Billfish.

Day 3, Sunday was crazy. Of the 91 boats that were eligible to weigh fish that day, an amazing 51 did! That shows you how tight the categories were, especially for heaviest yellowfin and heaviest stringer with most of the fish being similar in size. The yellowfins ranged from the 40’s to the eventual top fish at 66.5 lbs., so it was worth weighing anything you had! The marlin categories were also wide open and two boats made a truck load of money bringing in the only white marlin and blue marlin. The “Gret’s Three J’s” was first with a 436 lb. blue marlin they caught in the Baltimore Canyon, only taking 20 minutes to get in the boat. That singular blue took top honors at the single Heaviest Fish, Heaviest Billfish as well as several other categories to earn the 2nd largest payout of the tournament. The next marlin to the scales came from the “Boss Hogg”. They went deep past the Wilmington Canyon and worked their way back to the shallows where they hooked into a 76 lb. white marlin. It too was the only fish in its category taking all of the white marlin purse totaling the events largest payout! There is so much more and you can see our coverage starting on page 66.

From the data we captured during the tournament, let’s break down the best catch over the last week.


This past week was all about bigeyes. During the tournament over 20 were brought in with 11 over 200 lbs.! Most started with targeting the eyeballs. Many who started there and did not see any bites switched to targeting yellowfins on the troll or chunk. The latter did not produce the kind of catch volume of the past week, usually only 2 or 3 fish. More success was had trolling and finding a pod of 50 or 60 lb. fish. The Wilmington Canyon was the clear winner for both the heavier yellowfins and the 200 lb.+ bigeyes.


We had a dozen reports of swordfish catches as well as releases last week from the Baltimore Canyon to the Poor Man’s Canyon being where most were reported. They ranged from just under 100 to about 130 lbs. with the tournament winner at 170.5 lbs.
While marlin fishing remains tough, we did have reports of about a dozen white marlin catches and a handful of blue marlin as well. Beyond the white caught by the “Boss Hogg”, the “Showtime!” released one in the Wilmington and the “No Limit” found one in the Poor Man’s. Blue marlin releases were reported from the Wilmington by the “Hall Pass” and the “Restless Lady” who had an 83” fish. The “Blood Money” released two in the Baltimore Canyon during the tournament. With the upcoming White Marlin Open we are hopeful this fishery continues to improve.

Until next week, I will see you at the scales! §

Upcoming Tournaments
•Up next this weekend is the Ocean City Marlin Clubs “Heels & Reels” Ladies Tournament to benefit the Marlin Club Crew of OC Scholarship Fund. This is the 14th year for the event that will be held on August 5th & 6th with weigh ins at Atlantic Tackle. Always a fun event with lots of action and costumes from the lady anglers. Registration is Thursday from 6:00 - 8:00 PM and scales from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. More at OCMarlinClub.com.
• The big show is next week! The 49th White Marlin Open hosted at Harbour Island in Ocean City is from August 8th - 12th. The world’s richest white marlin tournament is always a show! Different for 2022 is the location of the Marlin Fest viewing and vendor area which is being held in the Ocean City Inlet parking area immediately adjacent to the Inlet. This location is a great option to watch the boats come back as well as see the weigh ins on the jumbotron. Scales are from 4:00 - 9:15 PM every day.

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



Buy a Photo