57 white marlin released off Maryland coast, sets new catch-and-release record

Jeff Dennis

September 03, 2010 at 11:28 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Flags were flying by the dozen after a white-marlin blitz Aug. 30.
Dave Messick
Flags were flying by the dozen after a white-marlin blitz Aug. 30.
The summer offshore fishing has been incredible for the crew of "Billfisher," a 62-foot Paul Spencer based in Ocean City, Md. They achieved 200 marlin releases in 32 days of fishing, including a new record 57 white marlin released on Aug. 30 when a fleet of nine sportfishers left Sunset Marina, and caught and released 267 white marlin during the all-day fishing frenzy.

“We went 57 for 85 on white marlin bites, and we fished nothing but small naked ballyhoo rigged on 8-ought Eagle Claw circle hooks,” said Capt. Jon Duffie, who runs his family’s boat as a charter operation.

A photo will be posted as soon as possible.

Brother Jeremy, and parents Jonathan and Judy Duffie were onboard for the incredible trip. His mates John Prather and Anthony Pino stayed busy rigging about 135 baits that day.

A northwest wind was blowing 10 to 15 knots with seas running 3 to 4 feet, and the boat was in 700 fathoms at the Washington Canon – where they had released 22 white marlin the day before. There was scattered grass in the 79-degree water.

“There were lots of sailor gulls in the area, and they always seem to be around the white marlin,” Duffie said.

Billfisher raised a 500-pound blue marlin on the same day, but couldn’t get hooked up.

As for the white marlin, they had singles, doubles, triples, quadruples and even went five for six on one particular pass.

“All the white marlin weighed between 30 and 60 pounds, and when we got hooked up we continued to fish by circling the boat and working the flat lines over the dredges,” Duffie said.

Other boats joining in the frenzy that day included Osprey with 22 white marlin releases, Sea Slammer with 15 releases, Reel Joy with 32 releases, Pumpin Hard 58 with 19 releases, Makara with 32 releases, Legasea with 27 releases, Cerveza with 33 releases, and Tarheel with 30 white marlin releases. Tarheel added a blue marlin release for good measure.


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