We’re less than a week away from the start of the 30th Annual MidAtlantic tournament and entries are flowing in at a steady pace! The tournament field is already way ahead of last year at this stage as well over 135 boats are signed up to battle it out in what has become sportfishing’s “gotta be there” event in late August each year. Additionally, it’s been a summer to remember so far this year as the action offshore for billfish and tuna has been off the charts! All this sets up for what’s sure to be another exciting MidAtlantic Tournament Week and it’s right around the corner! The MidAtlantic runs from Sunday, August 15 through Friday, August 20 and can be fished from either Cape May, New Jersey where Canyon Club Resort Marina will be the tournament’s host venue or Ocean City, Maryland where Sunset Marina is the event’s satellite port. Fishing days are Monday, August 15 through Friday, August 20 and participants will choose three of the five days to fish the canyons within 125 miles of the Cape May Sea Buoy where they’ll be setting their sights on white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo with hopes of claiming a piece of what will most likely be a total cash purse well in excess of $4 million! All boats must sail from and return to their respective home port during the tournament. Weigh-in will take place beginning at 5 p.m. each fishing day and all fished to be weighed must be at the scale of either Canyon Club Resort Marina or Sunset Marina by 9 p.m.
Whether your rig is a hard charging center console or an 80-plus foot mega-fisherman, the MidAtlantic has a place for you in its lineup and offers superior dockside hospitality while also providing an opportunity to win some serious cash! For years the tournament’s payout philosophy has been spread the wealth versus one big check for a single fish and the format has worked out quite well. In fact, last year 11 different winners received checks of six figures or more including Mike Yocco’s MJ’s tournament record payout of $913,883 for the two heaviest tuna! Additionally, eight other winners received checks of $20,000 or more. That’s a lot of crews celebrating on the winner’s podium at the end of the week! Base entry fee is $3000 and that gets you in the lineup with all the big names from up and down the east coast and beyond! The base entry fee also covers all the dockside dining and hospitality each tournament venue for a crew of six. Prize money distributed at the tournament is tallied from the various calcuttas which are sanctioned by the event. These side bets range from $1,000 to $30,000 and there’s a calcutta payout available for all species in the event. While the glamourous billfish often get the most attention and the largest payouts, those who chase tuna are rewarded handsomely as well as was the case last year noted above. Additionally, while dolphin and wahoo are always considered by-catch in many billfish events, the calcutta structure of the MidAtlantic offers a substantial payout for both species. Last year, the heaviest wahoo netted over $135,000 while the heaviest dolphin won well over $100,000! Not a bad payday for “by-catch!”
As the MidAtlantic celebrates 30 years of competition, opportunity and camaraderie this year, a special calcutta has also been added for those with a lust for cash and want to go “all in” so to speak. With a $30,000 entry fee the 30th Anniversary Mega Marlin Calcutta is not for the faint of heart. But as they say, no guts, not glory so if ya dig deep and get lucky you can score big! The total sum of this special calcutta will be split in half and payout to the top two white marlin and the top two blue marlin with 32% going to the heaviest of each billfish and 18% to the second heaviest of each. A portion of the total proceeds of the calcutta will be donated to The Billfish Foundation, International Game Fish Association and Recreational Fishing Alliance.
One important change this year involves the white marlin category where a concerted effort is being made to reduce the number of undersized white marlin brought to the scales not only at the MidAtlantic, but at other east coast billfish tournaments as well. For 2021 at the MidAtlantic a white marlin must measure at least 69 inches and weigh a minimum of 65 pounds to qualify for cash. The minimum weights for blue marlin and tuna remain at 400 and 50 pounds respectively and there is no minimum weight for dolphin or wahoo.
If you’re anxious to be part of the 30th MidAtlantic you must act now to avoid being left at the dock! To reserve dockage space in Cape May contact Canyon Club Resort Marina at 609-884-0199 and South Jersey Marina at 609-884-2400. If you plan on sailing from Ocean City, contact Sunset Marina at 410-213-9600. Come join the fun!
For further information contact Tournament Director Aaron Hoffman at 609-884-0177 or visit the tournament’s official web site at www.themidatlantic.com where you’ll find all the facts, figures and information about this year’s event including a complete breakdown of each calcutta’s payout, rules, points and an event schedule. You can also purchase tournament merchandise as well. On social media follow the MidAtlantic on Facebook at The MidAtlantic Tournament; on Twitter @midatl and on Instagram @themidatlantictournament.