It's been a long time since I've been in front of a computer so I apologize for the lack of reports (by the way the tuna fishing has been terrible with our 48? only catching a small handful of fish per trip and most are small fish so don?t rush to go offshore ? more of these reports to follow today) but I guess I have a good excuse.
I ran our 60? Ritchie Howell down to Ocean City, Maryland to fish the White Marlin Open with Brad Burgess, John Timken, Mike Elton and Dr. Mark Smith. We planned on pre-fishing Saturday but 30 miles off the Northstar 6100i showed me vicious thunderstorms that were going to hit us as soon as we hit the fishing grounds so I turned southwest and hit the storms (with 40 knot winds and plenty of lighting) 20 miles off on my way inlet Ocean City.
Once we pulled into Sunset Marina we met up with Ritchie Howell, who also fished the tournament with us, who then indicated how happy he was we didn?t pre-fish as a lot of the Carolina boys (including him) thinks it is bad luck. Turns out he was right as we ended up in the money.
Day 1 and Day 2 saw us in the Baltimore and Wilmington Canyons seeing only 1 white each day and catching and releasing both. On Day 3 we stayed in the Baltimore and worked our way offshore to 2500 feet when around 1pm we had a big white hot on the moldcraft squid chain. We teased him right up to the back of boat and Brad Burgess baited him on a Penn International 16VS.
On his first jump I knew he was big and immediately called for us to go after him when another nice size white came up on the Canyon Runner squid spreader bar (trolled hookless as a teaser) on the outboard side of the turn. We made a half turn to try to get him again but were starting to get strung out on what we know was a contending white so we pulled the dredges and went after her. A quick 10 minute fight had the 74 ¼ inch white in the boat.
The rest of the day was spent nervously awaiting the ride home to the scale. When the weighmaster read off 80.5 pounds there were high-fives all around but then the waiting game ensued for the rest of Thursday?s fleet to weigh their fish and all day Friday. In the end, she was good enough for 3rd and a $69,000 check.
More interestingly though this marks the second year a Ritchie Howell boat has placed in the money in the white marlin category in this event and this year with 300 boats fishing and only 5 Ritchie Howell boats entered in the tournament 3 of his boats - 60? Canyon Runner, 58? Press Time, 58? Liquidity - all placed in the money with Press Time getting the second place blue marlin ? not a bad ratio of wins versus boats fished!!!! At the awards dinner there were more than a few comments to this effect and we all couldn?t be happier for Ritchie. He is a great Captain, a great boat builder but most importantly a great guy and we are glad he is now part of our white marlin tournament fishing team.
This post edited by MakoMike 07:29 AM 08/14/2008