The 2019 White Marlin Open came to a close over the weekend and the winner took home $1.5 MILLION out of the total $6.1 million in prize money. The White Marlin Open is the richest fishing tournament on the planet with the top angler becoming an overnight millionaire.
Like most fishing tournaments, there are a TON of categories that payout like the biggest White Marlin, Blue Marlin, Sharks, Tuna, etc. It pays to enter all of the categories because you never know what you’re going to catch, and likewise, this REALLY juices the overall prize pool.
There was major drama two years ago when the winners were accused of cheating and took their case in front of a judge, a case that dragged out for pretty much an entire year. I guess it’s worth mentioning that the ‘winner’ is forced to take a polygraph/lie detector test to ensure that they followed all the rules as in there was only one angler fighting the fish, the fish was caught within the allotted timeframe, etc.
Tommy Hinkle was the big winner of the 2019 White Marlin Open out of Ocean City, Maryland. Tommy’s a math teacher at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin, Maryland, which is less than 10 miles down the road from Ocean City. By winning the $1.5 million top prize with a 79.50-pound White Marlin caught on Day 4 of the tournament he became only the SECOND person in history to win the White Marlin Open twice.
Hinkle also won it back in 2008 when he landed an 81-pound White Marlin.
As you can assume from the name of the tournament, the White Marlin is the target species. That’s the one that almost everyone is gunning for because it has the biggest payout. But White Marlin are smaller than Blue Marlin, Sharks, Tuna, and other pelagic species and those heavy fish payout BIG as well.
Angler Craig Dickerson landed a 465.5-pound Blue Marlin which was good enough for a $962,165 paycheck. A 201-pound Bigeye Tuna caught by angler Russell Garufi paid out $935,915. And a 277.5-pound Mako Shark caught by angler Greg Robinson paid out $225,000. And, due to multipliers that you can pay for in a tournament, the 3rd place White Marlin which weighed 73.5-pounds paid out $1,502,450 compared (the second-place White Marlin paid out $135,432).
The heaviest Wahoo was caught by Anne Aramendia and paid out $24,475. The biggest Dolphin/Mahi-Mahi caught was 41-pounds by angler John Kreiner. That paid out $20,380 which is nothing compared to the $74,900 payout for the 3rd place Mahi-Mahi (because of bonuses) that was landed by angler Randy Drozd aboard the MISS-TRES.
If you’re interested in what all of the categories looked like you can click here to check out the full results from the 2019 White Marlin Open.
For a full rundown on that drama from two years ago and the $2.8 million that changed hands, you can click here.