48th Annual White Marlin Open begins, $9.2 million dollars up for grabs
OCEAN CITY, Md.- 444 boats, hoping to reel in some big fish and win big money as this week is the 2021 White Marlin Open in Ocean City.
“We were here last year, but without spectators so to be able to open up Harbor Island, weigh in all the fish and have all the festivities ya know it’s just like the way it should be,” Mayor Rick Meehan, of Ocean City, said.
This year marks the 48th annual White Marlin Open.
It’s the worlds largest and richest Billfish Tournament, drawing many people into the town.
“We are so excited to be here, we think it’s going be very crowded, a lot of people,” Shelly Bruder, owner of Bruder Hill and Bruder Home, said.
“I feel great to be here, the weather is beautiful everyone’s in a great mood to be here today I mean it’s white Marlin open best time of the year down here in ocean city,” Branon Ruble, President and CEO East Coast IV.
With many visitors excited to be back, we are told economically, this is a plus for Ocean City.
“A huge huge financial boom, this is the busiest week of the year for most people down here,” Jim Motsko, President and Director of the White Marlin Open, said.
It’s also a plus for the small businesses attending the tournament, to get the word out that they are in full swing.
“Our little town is wonderful, it’s hopping we have tons of great restaurants great other little stores and we are back now, Berlin’s back,” Bruder said.
“Staying positive as a small business owner and everyone else here this is our livelihood and we give this 110 percent,” Ruble said.
And while this tournament is a steal for the town and small businesses, we can’t forget that there’s money on the line, $9.2 million dollars.
“Any tournaments exciting because you never know who’s going to come in and there’s a lot of money on the line this year with 444 boats and it can be anybody’s game and like everybody knows it only takes one fish,” Lance Shaughnessy, sales event employee, said.
This year we are told they are expanding Marlin Fest on third street.
Where vendors can set up and people can watch the weigh-in being streamed.
It will be open from 3 to 9 p.m.
Jim Motsko said they had a record amount of boats going out in a day.
He said previously they’ve never sent out more than 400 and Monday they sent out 421.