The Blue Marlin World Cup is a global fishing tournament that takes place all across the globe. Anglers can fish in any of the Blue Marlin hot spots on the planet using their own boat or a chartered vessel. They have an 8-hour window to fish on the selected date of the tournament.
This means that boats fishing in Bermuda are simultaneously competing against teams in Portugal and Hawaii. Unlike most fishing tournaments, there is only one target species in the Blue Marlin World Cup. Boats aren’t out there trying to catch Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, White Marlin, and other target species. The only species they’re after is the Blue Marlin.
The winner takes homes hundreds of thousands of dollars and this year there were 116 teams competing. The entry fee is $5,000 and there’s a $8,000 ‘Big Blue Challenge’ option where the winner of that prize pool takes home 80% (20% goes to tournament fees) of all that money.
This year the tournament took place on the 4th of July and only four qualifying Blue Marlin weighing over 500-pounds were landed worldwide. A 504.8-pounder was caught in The Bahamas, a 545-pound fish was landed in Portugal, a 667.2-pounder came in second place. That fish was caught by Captain Jason Buck in the Gulf of Mexico.
The winning Blue Marlin World Cup fish was caught by Captain Marty Bates aboard the La Onda Mila fishing in Cape Verde (off the coast of Senegal). They nearly had themselves a ‘grander’ by weighing 964-pound Blue Marlin, one of the largest fish caught anywhere in the world this year. For that catch, they’ll take home 80% of the total tournament entry fee (80% of $5,000 x 116 = $464,000).
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Unfortunately for that crew, they weren’t entered into the additional $8,000 Big Blue Challenge prize pool. That was won by Jason Buck on the Done Deal with their 667.2-pound Blue Marlin caught in the Gulf of Mexico.
They’re still taking home almost half a million dollars for their winning fish but it could’ve been A LOT more if they’d entered the $8,000 Big Blue Challenge prize pool as well. If you’re interested in entering next year, you can check out a full rundown of the tournament’s rules here.