OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — A late-arriving catch upset the scales and appears to have upended the outcome of the premier competition on the final day of the White Marlin Open on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Butch Wright of Arnold, Maryland, brought in to Harbour Island Marina in Ocean City late Friday an 85.5-pound white marlin. That would give him the top prize at the 48th annual fishing tournament, The Daily Times of Salisbury reported.
Wright, with his boat called Sushi, edged out Mike Atkinson of Virginia Beach, Virginia, whose 82.5-pound white marlin weighed in four days earlier on the competition’s first day.
Wright’s catch was valued at $3.2 million, which would make it the largest payout in the tournament. Atkinson’s catch would have been valued at $5 million had he won. Instead, it was $1.8 million for second place.
Ocean City, MD – (White Marlin Open) Sushi weighed an 85 lbs White Marlin to win the White Marlin Division pic.twitter.com/dxgMzya7cv
— Billfish Report (@BillfishReport) August 7, 2021
“It’s pretty incredible,” Wright said. “It took us about 20 minutes on the fish, and we knew it was a big fish because it jumped right out of the gate.”
Since over 400 of the 444 registered boats fished Friday, the weigh scales remained open late for anglers who called in ahead to say they have a catch.
There are also winners in other fish categories, including blue marlin, tuna and wahoo.
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