The 41st Annual White Marlin Open came to a close on Friday August 8, 2014 with one qualifying white marlin and three qualifying blue marlin being brought to the scales. 282 boats competed for over $2.77 million in prize money, a 26 boat and $330,000 increase over last year. While marlin fishing wasn’t exactly red hot during this years Open, John Bayliss aboard the “Dream Time,” a White Marlin Open Sponsor Bayliss boat, was able to find a 78 pound white that dominated the white marlin category and took home $1,290,411 in prize money.
For the first time in several years, the blue marlin category was full with a 738.5 pounder in first place, 723.5 pounder in second and a 564.5 pound blue taking third.
Angler Sam Lancelotta fishing aboard the “Gratitude” took home a cool $511,000 for his catch. Local boat “Rhonda’s Osprey” and angler Lawrence Julio caught the second place blue and $105,000 in prize money. Robert Guarini and his crew of golden retrievers fishing aboard the “Generation” won $70,000 for their third place blue.
Big Eye Tuna dominated the scales this year with a 183.5 pounder caught by Doug Mazzullo and the “Constant Threat” taking first place. Mike Kalajain fishing on the “Plane Simple” was the big money winner in the Tuna category. He won $397,000 for his 182 pound Big Eye. “Pez Machine” was awarded a total of $96,000 for their third and fourth place Tunas. Small Boat Tuna winner Robert Remo, fishing aboard the “Burn N Bills” has $62,000 more bills to burn thanks to his 170 pound winner.
While the billfish were scarce this year, North Carolina boat “Sea Toy” knew where to find them. With nine white marlin releases, one blue marlin release and two sailfish releases, they took home the top honor of first place boat and first place in the release division. As the winning boat, the crew of the “Sea Toy” received an invitation to fish the IGFA Tournament of Champions.
Joseph Roberts, fishing on the “Love Boat” was named the White Marlin Open grand champion for 455 billfish points. Joseph caught and released four white marlin and one blue marlin.
Overall 422 white marlin were caught during the White Marlin Open, with 12 being boated. 34 blue marlin were caught with 4 being boated. 95% of billfish caught were released back into the ocean.
For complete tournament results, visit www.whitemarlinopen.com. The 42nd Annual White Marlin Open will be held August 3-7, 2015.