The 2023 White Marlin Open out of Ocean City, Maryland wrapped up over the weekend with the winning team earning $6.2 million for their 640.5 pound blue marlin caught onboard the Floor Reel.
This year’s White Marlin Open ran from August 7-11 with multiple fish earning over a million dollars due to the nature of how this fishing tournament is set up. Angler John Ols from Laytonsville, MD was the man on the reel for the biggest, and most lucrative fish caught in the tournament, a 640.5-pound blue marlin.
That single fish earned their team $6,235,436, the largest grand prize ever paid out in a fishing tournament for a single fish. Angler Brian Stewart fishing onboard the Reel Tight earned $1,019,441 for a 265-pound yellowfin tuna. And angler Rusty Shriver aboard the Ro Sham Bo earned his team $1,753,478 for a 215-pound tuna.
There were also huge payouts for Mahi-Mahi (dolphin) but it was the Marlin and Tuna that earned the big bucks. With teams buying into ‘big fish’ pools as well as bonus options for each individual species.
2023 White Marlin Open Came Down To The Last Day
It wasn’t until the final day of fishing that any boats registered a marlin on the scales. Tunas had been dominating the ‘big fish’ categories up until that point but things changed when the Skirt Chaser weighed a 67.5-pound white marlin on Friday. Unfortunately, white marlin have to be both 70″ (which it was) but also weigh over 70-pounds to qualify for that category, so they missed out.
The winning team onboard the Floor Reel knew they had a special fish when headed to the scales. Their blue marlin measured 118″ and tipped the scales at 640.5 pounds.
Here it is being hoisted out of the boat at the scales. Emotions were running hot knowing that $6.2 million was on the line for the top fish:
The 640.5 lb MONSTER Blue Marlin pulled in by Angler John Ols on the Floor Reel! Worth $6.2 MILLION #whitemarlinopen2023 #whitemarlinopen #marlinfest #marlinfest2023 #OCMD #oceancitymaryland #easternshoreofmdfishing #oceancitymd #fishing #offshorefishing #billfish #billfishing #billfishtournament #marlinfestoc #oceancityfishing
A total of $10,509,679.01 was awarded to teams fishing in the 2023 White Marlin Open.
Floor Reel (obviously) led the field with their $6,235,436 payday. Ro Sham Bo finished 2nd with $1,782,403, Reel Tight in 3rd with $1,019,440, Fishlik in 4th with $366,661, and Game Over rounded out the top 5 with $169,928.
This winning 50.5-pound Mahi-Mahi was good for a $32,065 payday at the 2023 White Marlin Open.
This is the biggest fishing tournament in the world. 400 boats entered this year with a prize pool of over $10.5 million. It’s hard to imagine catching a fish worth $6+ million, it would feel like a dream. Congratulations are in order to the winning team!
For comparison’s sake, the winning team at the 2022 White Marlin Open took home $4.536 million for the grand prize. That was for a 77.5-pound white marlin. Alas, no qualifying white marlin were caught in this year’s tourney.