$5.45 MILLION DOLLAR PURSE CAPS RECORD-BREAKING WHITE MARLIN OPEN

WELDOR’S ARC Tops 382-Team Field; PELAGIC’s Pres. & Founder Earns Prestigious Title of Grand Champion Master Angler

August 11, 2018 – Ocean City, MD – The 45th Annual White Marlin Open lived up to its mantra as the “World’s Largest & Richest Billfishing Tournament,” with two mind-blowing world-records set during the Mid-Atlantic’s preeminent sport fishing event. A $2.58 million-dollar payout was the most ever awarded for the catch of a single billfish, and the $5.45 million-dollar overall purse was the most ever paid in any fishing tournament.

Large crowds of onlookers anxiously await fish arriving to the scales // PELAGIC is a proud partner of the White Marlin Open and stationed on-site at tournament HQ in Harbour Island Marina Pelagic White Marlin Open 2018 Crowds

Pelagic White Malin Open 2018 Pelagic Booth

In an extremely close finish, Team Weldor’s Arc (Morehead City, NC) edged out the 382-boat field by weighing an 83.0 lb. white marlin in front of a raucous crowd at Harbour Island Marina to collect first place in the tournament and the astounding payout of $2.58M.

Team Weldor's Arc with PELAGIC Pro Team Angler, Pascual Jimenez (white PELAGIC visor), stand tall with their 83-lb. white marlin and whopping $2.58 million check! Pelagic White Marlin Open 2018 Welder's Arc Scales

Weldor's Arc_2018 White Marlin Open Winners_PELAGIC

For comparison, the award of $2.58 million-dollars paid to Weldor’s Arc was more money than was paid to the winner of the 2018 Master’s Golf Championship ($1.98 million) & the 2018 U.S. Open Golf Championship ($2.16 million)!

Target quarry for White Marlin Open anglers Pelagic White Marlin Open 2018 white marlin jump

Fishing aboard the custom 58’ Buddy Harris, Fin Planner (Oregon Inlet, NC), with Capt. Chris Gornell was PELAGIC’s President & Founder, Ron Kawaja. By releasing a perfect 8 for 8 on white marlin for a total of 560-points, Kawaja surpassed 2,000+ anglers to earn the award as Top Overall Angler while claiming the prestigious ‘Grand Champion Ring’ and a stout trophy to boot. And while the tournament’s most-coveted prize does not garnish a grand payout, the prestige of holding the title of “Grand Champion Master Angler” will never fade.

PELAGIC'S Fearless Leader, Ron Kawaja, shows off the top angler hardware Ron Kawaja_PELAGIC President_White Marlin Open Top Angler

Kawaja said, “While this is a really nice individual award, I can honestly say it was a total team effort… our team ended up going 11 for 11 on white marlin, which is an amazing achievement under any circumstances, let alone in the largest marlin tournament in the world!”

Fin Planner concluded the tournament with a total of 11 white marlin releases for 770-points, earning third place release team.

Fin Planner's laundry hanging to dry with 6 white marlin releases on tournament fishing day 2 Pelagic White Marlin Open 2018 Flags Flying Fin Planner

Kawaja continued, “The real credit should go to Capt. Chris Gornell, and mates, Danny Prettyman & Jack Graham, of the Fin Planner – those guys fished hard and put us in position to win each and every day.”

An 881 lb. blue marlin weighed by Auspicious (Palm Beach, FL) stole the show on the first day of the tournament earning the team the second largest payout of the 2018 White Marlin Open - $924,936.

Tough to beat an 881-lb. blue marlin! Pelagic White Marlin Open 881-lb blue marlin auspicious

A $904,851 check was written to hometown boys, Buckshot (Ocean City, MD), for weighing the largest tuna of the tournament at 75.5 lbs.

Not a bad payday for a 75-lb. tuna! Pelagic White Marlin Open 2018 Buckshot check

PELAGIC is a proud sponsor of the White Marlin Open. Annually, the best-of-the-best tournament fishing teams take part in this contest of skill and drive, bringing large throngs of crowds and tournament participants alike to Ocean City each August. The Motsko Family-owned and operated event is truly the pinnacle of east coast sport fishing competition and PELAGIC is thrilled to join them as a tournament partner.

2018 White Marlin Open_PELAGIC_Crowd

Mark your calendars and come fish with PELAGIC! Below you will find our tournament calendar. Fish one, or fish them all!

PELAGIC Rockstar Tournaments


  • PELAGIC Rockstar! Tuna Tournament – Cabo San Lucas, MEX – November 2-4, 2018 INFO >>
  • PELAGIC Rockstar! Offshore Tournament – Marina Pez Vela, Costa Rica – January 11-13, 2019
  • PELAGIC Triple Crown of Fishing – Cabo Summer Slam – Cabo San Lucas, MEX – June 6-8, 2019