TWO WEEKS OUT FROM THE START OF THE 2018 WHITE MARLIN INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT

Tournament organizers say the 49th Annual WMIT is shaping up to be best in recent years 

[Beach Haven, NJ, 7/10/18]   The oldest White Marlin Invitational fishing tournament in America kicks off on Tuesday, July 24th and runs through Saturday, July 28th.  Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club’s White Marlin Invitational Tournament (WMIT) enters its 49th consecutive year building off the success of 2017’s tournament, and represents some of the finest offshore fishing in the Northeast while playing host to hundreds of offshore enthusiasts, spectators, guests and the public enjoying the festivities at the Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club.   A first class tournament in a first class way!

2018’s tournament honors and respects the heritage of this storied event, while maintaining the format changes introduced in 2017 in response to prior year’s participant feedback.  The two most significant changes, which are in-place again for 2018, were well received by tournament participants in 2017.

First, and perhaps most importantly, the tournament added a day.  The tournament for many years was fish two of three days, but that can be bruising to run offshore on back-to-back days if the seas are sporty, so the registration and captain’s dinner were moved to Tuesday and made the fishing a pick of two of four days between Wednesday and Saturday.

Secondly, a second weigh station was added at Hoffman’s Marina in Brielle to encourage boats in Northern NJ to participate.  Last year there was a Nor’easter during the second half of the tournament, but 6 great boats fished the WMIT from the /Brielle Manasquan area including Crisdel, The Right Place, Let it Ride, Placid C’s, Goin in Deep and Jersey Nutz, who was the overall winner in 2017.

While significant payouts ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 are very much a part of the tournament for catches of white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, and dolphin, there is also a treasure chest payout of up to $23,000 which can be won by any participant – regardless of entering the Calcuttas.  In addition to the traditional Calcuttas, there are new categories for dolphin and wahoo as well as for boats 29’ and under in size, signaling that the tournament is far from limited to the big sport-fishing boats.

The White Marlin Invitational holds a special place in the annals of offshore fishing history.  Captain, sportswriter and BHMTC member Karl Anderson wrote in 2017 about the history of the WMIT: “Many early club members had also been fishing up and down the coast and invited offshore anglers to come to Beach Haven to sample the good fishing. Awaiting them was a nice clubhouse, great meals each night and good camaraderie with a group of dedicated offshore fisherman.”

The WMIT is, in many ways, different than the larger White Marlin Open and The MidAtlantic tournaments.  “I hear from a lot of White Marlin Invitational participants that they fish the WMIT year-after-year because they love the camaraderie, the fishing can be excellent in late July, and there is something special about the atmosphere at the Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club after coming in from a great day offshore”, added Dave Ridley, tournament director.  “This is not to take away from the WMO or MidAtlantic, as those are both very successful, well run tournaments that we hold in high regard; however, they have the infrastructure to handle hundreds of boats, while we are a non-profit club with more limited funding, so we are happy to have 50-75 boats participate.”  The BHMTC has hosted as many as 105 boats in the WMIT in the years before Sandy, but that was the far upper limit of what the BHMTC can handle logistically, and we don’t strive to be the biggest tournament – we just want to put on a great event year after year that offshore fisherman from up and down the east coast circle on their calendars as part of their tournament fishing circuit as a “must-fish”.  “We also love that the WMIT is the last week in July (July 24th – July 28th in 2018) since many participants have told us they love fishing the WMIT, followed by the White Marlin Open two weeks later, and finally the MidAtlantic two weeks following that.  “It’s the triple-crown of fishing in the Northeast, added Ridley.”

With over 20 boats preregistered to date, the WMIT committee expects to have over 50 boats fish this year.  While there was a year or two where we had about 100 boats, there have been two fairly significant challenges in recent years which have taken a while to climb back from.  First, super storm Sandy totaled our clubhouse in Beach Haven, which is where we have hosted the tournament since the start.  Even without a clubhouse, the BHMTC still hosted the event successfully the year following Sandy. Through the dedication and time of our members, a new clubhouse was built a few years ago.  The second significant challenge had been navigating Little Egg Inlet’s heavy shoaling, which kept a number of larger boats away.  However, this winter, the inlet was dredged so we hear many of the larger boats are returning to the WMIT.  To have a mile-long, 350 foot wide, and 29 feet deep inlet freshly dredged inlet is huge, added Ridley.

Additional information is available on the tournament website (www.TheWMIT.com) or by calling Dave Ridley at (908) 963-5924 or emailing wmit@bhmtc.com.  In-person registration will take place at the Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club on Tuesday, July 24th at 6 pm followed by the captain’s meeting and dinner.

On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (July 25-28th), the BHMTC is open to the public and free of charge so spectators are encouraged to come down to BHMTC to watch weigh-ins between 4:30-8pm daily, enjoy an adult beverage at the cash bar, get a bite to eat at the food trucks, buy tournament merchandise, or just bring friends and family down to watch the fish weigh-ins.

The WMIT is possible in part due to the generosity of our platinum sponsors including United Rentals, Morrison’s Marina, South Jersey Yacht Sales, Jersey Cape Yachts, Construction Risk Partners, Marine Max, Fisherman’s Headquarters and Mack Boring.

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If you would like more information, please contact Dave Ridley at (908) 963-5924, or email wmit@bhmtc.com

 

2018 WMIT – Schedule of Events

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018Reserved for Tournament Participants and Sponsors

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Registration in Person – Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club (BHMTC)

8:00 PM – Captain’s Meeting and Dinner – Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club

Live music – Garage Kept Band

Double Nickel Brewery

 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Fish Day Option 1

Scales open at BHMTC & Hoffman’s Marina from 4:30 PM – 8PM

Food Truck and drinks available at BHMTC

Live music

 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fish Day Option 2

Scales open at BHMTC & Hoffman’s Marina from 4:30 PM – 8PM

Food Truck and drinks available at BHMTC

Live music

 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Fish Day Option 3

Scales open at BHMTC & Hoffman’s Marina from 4:30 PM – 8PM

Food Truck and drinks available at BHMTC

Live Music – Franklin Turnpike Band

 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Fish Day Option 4

Scales open at BHMTC & Hoffman’s Marina from 4:30 PM – 8PM

Food and drinks available at BHMTC

Awards Ceremony – Approximately 9 PM

Live Music – Ryan Zimmerman followed by The Pickles Duo