Tournament week is officially under way for the 25th Anniversary Edition of the MidAtlantic!

“At South Jersey Marina and Canyon Club Marina in Cape May, all eyes have been on preparations for the 25th annual MidAtlantic Tournament, being held this week,” said field editor Karen Wall in this week’s edition of The Fisherman, reporting in her weekly offshore column “There were more than 145 boats registered, including a port maximum of 85 in Ocean City, MD.”

“A few scattered reports showed plenty of white marlin being caught and released but captains were, for the most part, very tight-lipped,” Karen said in the New Jersey and Delaware Bay edition being printed Monday morning, August 22. “If reports from other marinas and shops are any indication, there could be some nice fish hung on the scale this week.”

Fishing gets underway as of this morning with Mid-Atlantic participants selecting three of the next five days to fish the offshore canyons searching for white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin. Boats may depart their respective inlet at 3 a.m. though no lines may be put in the water before 8 a.m. Lines Out is set for 3:30 p.m. and all fish to be weighed must be at the scale of either Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May or Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland by 9 p.m. each day.

Whether fishing from Cape May or Ocean City all boats must fish within 125 miles of the Cape May Sea Buoy. The minimum weight for white marlin to qualify for cash is 65 pounds while a blue marlin must weigh at least 400 pounds. Tuna have a 50-pound minimum to win cash though dolphin and wahoo have no minimum weight.

As per the latest NOAA Marine forecast (4:38 a.m. on August 22) from the Hudson to the Baltimore, the first day of the tournament could be a big lay day for most of the field with N/NW winds from 15 to 25 knots and seas 3 to 5 feet with scattered showers. Tuesday NOAA forecasts winds to switch to the N/NE and diminishing with seas 2 to 4 feet, become 2 to 3 on Wednesday. Thursday sees offshore winds from the South and seas falling to 1 to 3 before building slightly overnight and into Friday with wave heights 2 to 4 feet and winds 10 to 20 knots out of the SW.

It’s anticipated the total cash purse will be well over $3 million, with tournament prize money coming from participation in the event’s 10 calcuttas where numerous levels are available and participants may enter any, all or none. Last year’s purse was a tournament record $2.8 million-plus and was shared among 23 different winners with no less than seven receiving payouts of six figures and 11 winners receiving $40,000 or more! It is anticipated this year’s purse will be even bigger with even larger payouts!

The tournament hosts at South Jersey Marina will be providing nightly updates shortly after the scales close at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday via e-mail which will include the day’s fishing activity. You can follow along with tournament weigh-ins as they occur this week by visiting the MidAtlantic Facebook page.

For further information contact Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman at 609-884-0177. Be sure to visit the tournament’s official web site at www.themidatlantic.com where you’ll find all you need to know about this year’s event including a complete breakdown of calcutta payouts, rules, points and an event schedule.