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Over the history of The MidAtlantic the last day of the tournament has become known as “Moving Day” as the leaderboard typically sees a compete shake-up. That was not the case this year as Moving Day came a day early! The billfish bite continued at a wild pace and bigeye tuna showed up in force. As a result, the categories reshuffled on Day Four. And the 11 remaining boats (of the 181-boat fleet) fishing on the final day had no impact on the final scoreboard.
Carmine “Chip” Caruso’s Pipe Dreamer, a Viking 70, won the Blue Marlin division with an 889-pound fish. Captain Rich Fernandez pulled up to the scale with a massive blue marlin stretched across the cockpit. Andy Confortini fought the big blue on a 130-pound class outfit and had the fish to the boat in just 20 minutes. When extended, the huge marlin measured 133 ½”. The Pipe Dreamer crew, which has been fishing together for the better part of two decades, landed the fish at 9am on Wednesday then held their breath until the scales closed at 9pn on Friday. Of note, Pipe Dreamer’s payout is a tournament record for a blue marlin and it’s the 3rd heaviest blue marlin in the tournament’s history.
An hour later captain Danny Veid wheeled Shon Craig’s Viking 80 Amarula Sun to the scale with a 114 ¼” billfish which weighed 548-pounds for Shon who was also the angler. The fish was good for 2nd Place Blue Marlin.
Michael Jordan’s Viking 80 Catch 23, with captain Stetson Turney at the wheel, took 3rd Place White Marlin with Jimmy David’s 75-pounder that measured 71 ½”.
Captain Evan Millas put Bob Hugin, aboard his Viking 62 The Right Place, into 2nd Place Tuna after weighing a bigeye of 234 pounds for angler Deane Lambros. Minutes later captain Blaine Birch pulled Ken Hager’s Viking 62 Taylor Jean to the scale and weighed a 216-pounder for angler Tony Chieffo – which claimed 3rd Place Tuna. Most Points Tuna went to Wiiliam Wrede’s Viking 62 Lovin’ Life.
The Dolphin category saw David Schockley on the Viking 62 Liquidity take the Heaviest Dolphin award for his 45-pounder. Joe Bernert, on his Viking 72 Quick Raise, weighed a 34-pound dolphin for 2nd Place. Jeff Kogok finished in 3rd Place with a 33-pounder angled from his Viking 68 Too Many Martinis.
Jim McArthy, aboard his Viking 58 Covert Mission, finished with a 2nd Place Wahoo for his 52-pound ‘hoo.
After spending some time at the top of the white marlin leaderboard with a 72” fish, the Viking 80 demo took the Most Points Cape May title with 21 white marlin releases. Marty Judge and his Viking 64 Judge was the 3rd Place Most Points Cape May Boat. There were 750 white marlin caught and 735 were released – the 3rd highest in tournament history. It’s also a 98% release rate.
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