There were no lead changes in either of the billfish divisions of the White Marlin Open yesterday, but officials of the Ocean City tournament have determined that John Brown of Broad Run, Va., stands to win a world-record payoff.
On Monday, the first day of the tournament, Brown caught a 73 1/2 -pound white marlin, whch has held up as the leader in its division through three days of the five-day competition.
According to tournament organizer Chuck Motsko, if Brown's catch holds up through the end of fishing tomorrow, it will be worth $414,000, "the highest cash award for any fish ever caught in the world."
Robert Ham of Strasburg, Pa., still leads the blue marlin division with a 446-pounder caught Tuesday. If Ham's catch stands up through the end of the tournament, it will be worth $166,800.
Weigh-ins are open to the public and held each evening at the Harbour Island Marina on 14th Street.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has closed the fisheries for Atlantic bluefin tuna in the small-medium (47 inches to less than 59 inches) and large-school (59 inches to less than 73 inches) classes coast wide after determining the annual catch quota has been reached. Earlier, NMFS closed the school-size class (27 inches to less than 47 inches) from Delaware south.
Upper Chesapeake Bay: Bluefish from 1 to 3 pounds finally have made an appearance, breaking in schools from the Bay Bridge to Love Point at times, and offer an alternative to perch, catch-and-release rockfish and catfish. White-perch fishing has been steady over western shore lumps and in the lower Chester River. Catfish action remains hot.
Middle Chesapeake Bay: Charter boats from Chesapeake Beach and Tilghman have begun to hit large numbers of medium to jumbo spot at the Diamonds, mouth of the Choptank and buoys No. 7 and 9. Croaker again are feeding heavily at Sharps Island Light, Breezy Point, James Island and in the Choptank near the 12 buoys. Some sea trout mixed in with spot and croaker.
Lower Chesapeake Bay: Sea trout numbers have increased dramatically, according to the Department of Natural Resources, with the Mud Leads producing almost a 50 percent ratio of keepers to under-sized fish. Middle Grounds and Tangier Sound also are good locations, where trout often have been seen schooled under breaking bluefish, which also are becoming more plentiful.
Susquehanna River: Smallmouth to 4 pounds on spinners, shiners and crayfish from edges of moving water around islands and rocky outcrops. Catfish to 12 pounds on chicken livers.
Freshwater rivers and reservoirs: Deep Creek Lake has great bluegill and yellow-perch fishing around piers and docks, smallmouth action at night or very early or late in the day, and some trout action near the dam. . . . Liberty Reservoir continues to have fantastic striped bass action, with Jerry Sauter of Catonsville leading the pack. Sauter, who recently broke his year-old state record for freshwater stripers, on Monday caught another striper exceeding 46 inches. Good crappie fishing along shoreline structures. . . . White perch suspended in deeper channels at Prettyboy. . . . Upper Potomac River was high early this week, and most fishing was from shorelines for catfish.
Ocean City: Inshore, flounder fishing has been good this week in the back bays, with increased numbers of keepers. Route 90 bridge area good for croaker. Flounder and sea trout at the inlet, along with some croaker and sea bass. Croaker, sea trout and kingfish in the surf.
Offshore, some action for yellowfin tuna at Washington and Norfolk canyons.
Pub Date: 8/08/96