After a busy day at Harbour Island Marina the winning marlin was brought in by the crew of the Wire Nut. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
When Glen Frost woke up early Friday morning, he had no idea his life was about to change.
Along with his shipmates, Frost set out aboard the Wire Nut, an Ocean City boat, to compete in the final day of the White Marlin Open tournament. A native of Stevensville, Maryland and a longtime fisherman, Frost was determined to get his hands on his first white marlin.
Like all tournament participants, Frost and the Wire Nut had a seven-hour window to net a potential million-dollar fish and be crowned the winner of the annual competition.
After hours of waiting, Frost looked over and saw a tug at his line.
Sprinting to his fishing rod, Frost and his mates prepared for one of the biggest battles of their fishing careers.
“It was a tough reel. I had an 80-pound class rod, but I had to get it in,” Frost said. “It jumped several times; we knew it was a really large fish. We thought it was a blue marlin at first, and it was absolutely unbelievable when we got it into the boat.”
A half-hour battle with the tournament’s most prized fish finally resulted in the catch of what would later be weighed as the third largest white marlin in the history of the White Marlin Open.
Once Frost looked down at his prize catch, he knew right away something big was about to happen.
“We had a feeling (it was a first-place white marlin),” Frost said. “The length isn’t that long, but the girth was just out of this world.”
But nothing would be official until the marlin was brought to the scales at the Harbour Island Marina. After cracking open a few beers to celebrate, the Wire Nut crew set their course for 14th Street, where they hoped to put their name atop the white marlin leaderboard.
“We fished hard for these three days, so we were very excited,” Frost said.
Although Frost was confident he possessed an award-winning catch, every member aboard the Wire Nut knew the obstacle that awaited them at the marina.
Two days earlier, Mike Donohue of Wilmington, Delaware brought in an 86-pound white marlin, giving him at the time a double-digit lead over the next-heaviest catch.
Many were skeptical anyone could top Donohue’s catch, but once tournament officials hoisted the newly caught white marlin, the doubters were quickly silenced.
In front of a giant crowd, 95.5-pounds flashed across the board, officially putting Frost in the category's top spot.
“That was unreal. I saw my parents in the background, and it was an honor to have them here, and it’s an unbelievable tournament,” Frost said.
Bringing the catch in just before 5 p.m., Frost and his mates had four hours to see if any other angler could top their historic catch.
While a handful of white marlin were still brought to the scales, nothing came close to the 95.5-pounder. Once 9:15 p.m. hit — the official closing time for the scales — the wait was over and Frost was a millionaire.
“It’s a great feeling. We have a great crew, the crew did a great job today fishing, so we’re very excited,” Frost said.
Pending a successful polygraph per tournament rules, Frost will receive just over $1.65 million. Donohue will earn $1.52 million after coming in second, while local fisherman Joe Andrew will receive $164,673 for his third-place 79.5-pound catch in the white marlin category.
“There weren’t a lot of white marlin caught, but the quality was there instead of the quantity — last year we had just the opposite,” tournament founder Jim Motsko said. “I’m very, very happy.”
In other tournament categories, Joe Sadler of the Intents took home the top tuna after catching a 68.5-pounder worth just over $866,000.
Andrew Cohen of the Silly Money caught the only qualifying dolphin, which weighed 23 pounds and cashed in at $74,000, while Gary Capuano aboard the Hog Wild captured the top wahoo at 55 pounds and earned $27,000.
Much like the dolphin category, there was just one qualifying shark caught on the tournament's final day. The Restless Lady’s Frank Snover reeled in a 126-pound mako and will earn $7,000.
“We went out for (sharks and white marlins), and we brought meat back to the scales. We wanted our name on the board and that’s what we did,” Snover said. “Took me about 10, 15 minutes to get it to the boat, and the boys did what they had to do, and I just did my job.”
Due to no qualifying catches, the blue marlin category was left open.
In its 44th year, 353 boats participated in the White Marlin Open, with a record $4.97 million raised in prize money.
A tornado warning early in the week, the first all-women’s team and countless fish made it a memorable competition, preventing Motsko from taking the smile off his face when addressing the tournament’s success.
“I’m happy — life is good,” Motsko said. “It’s been a really great week.”
Date, boat, angler, weight, price
1. Aug. 11, Wire Nut, Glen Frost, 95.5, $1,654,800
2. Aug. 9, Griffin, Mike Donohue, 86, $1,525,960
3. Aug. 11, M.R. Ducks, Joe Andrews, 79.5, $164,673
1. Aug. 9, Intents, Joe Sadler, 68.5, $866,553
2. Aug. 8, Blue Runner, Jim Boynton, 67, $90,380
3. Aug. 9, Warden Pass, Kris Rainear, 67, $52,950
4. Aug. 11, Slabjack, Jared Brown, 65.5, $36,180
5. Aug. 10, Caitlin, Jim Murray, 64, $36,180
6. Aug. 7, Milling Around, Jim Stavola, 64, $36,180
7. Aug. 7, Lisa (Small Boat), Mike Cutler, 59, $112,050
8. Aug. 11, Dawg Haus (Small Boat), Jimmy Michael, 58, $51,300
1. Aug. 7, Hog Wild, Gary Capuano, 55, $27,841
2. Aug. 10, G-Force, Seth Obetz, 53.5, $26,841
3. Aug. 11, Karen Marie, Jonathan Bennett, 50.5, $24,841
1. Aug. 11, Silly Money, Andrew Cohen, 23, $74,841
1. Aug. 11, Restless Lady, Frank Snover, 126, $7,091