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Michael Jordan’s ‘Catch 23’ will reportedly compete in White Marlin Open in Ocean City

During his legendary NBA career, Michael Jordan has tried competing in other sports — namely baseball and golf ― with less-than-middling results.

Now the principal owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, Jordan reportedly has entered his 80-foot fishing boat, “Catch 23,” in what is called the world’s largest billfish tournament.

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According to the event’s website, “Catch 23” is registered in the 2019 White Marlin Open, which is scheduled to be held off Ocean City Aug. 5-9. The entry was first reported by The Dispatch in Ocean City.

Efforts to reach White Marlin Open officials or Jordan’s representatives were unsuccessful.

The 1,062-pound blue marlin caught by Robert Farris Wednesday at the White Marlin Open broke a 20-year-old state record. The previous mark was 942 pounds.
The 1,062-pound blue marlin caught by Robert Farris Wednesday at the White Marlin Open broke a 20-year-old state record. The previous mark was 942 pounds. (Photo courtesy of the White Marlin Open and SportFishermen.com)

The fishing tournament has evolved from its humble debut in 1974 — it drew 57 boats and 150 anglers in what was described as “monsoon conditions” and a paid top prize of $5,000 ― into a big-money event.

Over the past three years, it has attracted nearly 1,000 boats, more than 7,500 competitors and paid out nearly $13 million in prize money.

A year ago, more than $5 million in prize money was paid off, including a record $2.58 million to Pascual Jimenez of Mexico on “Weldor’s Ark.”

If he competes, Jordan won’t be the first Hall of Famer from another mainstream, mainland sport to participate in the White Marlin Open. Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs competed in 2015.

As of Wednesday, “Catch 23” was one of 135 boats entered, including one named “Tar Heel” that belongs to Bill Bayliss of Wanchese, N.C.

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