OCEAN CITY -- The White Marlin Open will pay a world-record $414,000 cash prize for a white marlin caught Monday by a Virginia angler on the opening day of the five-day tournament.
But the angler who won the most awards is Carlos Bentos, an Annapolis restaurateur who usually fishes alone.
During the competition which ended yesterday, Bentos caught and released five white marlin, which earned him angler of the year, mate of the year, captain of the year and boat of the year.
"When you look at the cash the winning white marlin won, the prizes Carlos is going to get might not seem like much," said tournament director Chuck Motsko. "But that was quite a performance for one man. It is hard enough just to catch one white marlin, let alone five."
The tournament got off to a fast start last Monday, with 194 boats heading for the offshore fishing grounds. By Friday, all but 48 boats had fished their allotted three days of the five-day competition.
After Day 1, anglers in the white marlin category might just as well have stayed in port.
John Brown of Broad Run, Va., caught his cash-record 73.5-pounder on the first day of the tournament, and the catch held up through the week.
Motsko said that Tuesday, Day 2 of the tournament, was "unreal," and neither Dan Orenberg of Clark, N.J., nor Robert Ham of Sulzburg, Pa., would disagree.
On Day 1, Orenberg caught a 268.5-pound blue marlin with a potential cash prize value of $241,000. But before the weigh-ins were over on Day 2, two larger blue marlins had been checked in and Orenberg's prize money had diminished to $1,500.
Ham, on the other hand, had checked in a 446-pound blue marlin worth $167,000, and the catch held up. Orenberg eventually was knocked out of the money.
Pub Date: 8/10/96