The White Marlin Open comes to Ocean City, Maryland, every August. The world's largest billfish tournament draws some of the best anglers to Maryland's summertime vacation hotspot. Even if you've never dropped a line or baited a hook before, you can still join in the festivities. Spectators really get into the action and root for the biggest and best fish.
White Marlin Open History and Facts
More than 300 boats participate in the fishing tournament every year for prizes—as high as $1 million. Even more spectators experience the afternoon weigh-in, where some of the white marlins tip the scales. The first White Marlin Open was held in 1973, soon getting bigger and better every year.
Tickets to the White Marlin Open
If you're planning to experience the fishing tournament as a spectator, you won't need any tickets. All you need to do is show up to watch the official weigh-in. It's held between 4 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Anglers need to register in advance and pay an entry fee, which is charged per boat.
Directions to the White Marlin Open
If you can find the Atlantic Ocean, you can find the fishing tournament. Boats can shove off from any the boat launches in and Ocean City, between the Barnegat Inlet in New Jersey and Virginia's Rudee Inlet. Wherever they begin, all boats must stop fishing by 3:30-it usually takes two good hours to return to shore, so the bulk of the weigh-ins happen around dinnertime. The official station is located along the beach and 14th Avenue at the Harbour Island Marina.
To get from Ocean City from New York City or Philadelphia, take Interstate 95 south until Delaware. Follow Exit 4B, Delaware Route 1, until U.S. 113. Take that south to Maryland, where you can follow Route 90 or U.S. 50 onto Ocean City.
From Baltimore, take Interstate 695 to Exit 4, which is Interstate 97, towards Annapolis. Catch U.S. 50/301 and follow U.S. 50 east until you cross the Bay Bridge and arrive at the White Marlin Open Ocean City Maryland.
The route from Washington, D.C. is simple. Take the Capital Beltway, I-495, to U.S. 50 from Annapolis heading towards Ocean City.
Lodging near the White Marlin Open
As a beach resort town, Ocean City has plenty of lodging options to offer. You'll find a mix of beachside hotels, condo rentals, and budget accommodations with plenty of amenities to offer.
The Princess Bayside Hotel at 4801 Coastal Highway overlooks the bay. It's close to many of Ocean City's best things to do and restaurants and a block from beach. All of the guestrooms, 294 in total, are well-equipped with kitchenettes and comfortable beds. If you upgrade to one of the deluxe rooms, you'll have access to more space and private balconies. Five of the rooms have whirlpools, heart-shaped tubs, and upgraded Swedish mattresses. The hotel complex also includes an indoor and outdoor pool, Irish pub, and free Wi-Fi.
The Grand Hotel, an Ocean City Landmark, stands proud at 2100 Baltimore Avenue. The hotel complex includes its own spa and boardwalk shops. Many of the guestrooms have private guestrooms, and all are comfortable and well-appointed. It's a quick trip to the White Marlin Open Ocean City Maryland.
Image: White Marlin Open