History Made At The 2019 White Marlin Open With Local Winner
August 9th, 10:14 PM EDT
OCEAN CITY, Md - For the first time in White Marlin Open history there is a two-time champion. Tommy Hinkle's Day 4 catch of 79.5 pounds earned the Ocean City resident and Stephen Decatur High School teacher a pay day of $1.46 million.
"And we all know that this is just a one bite tournament. And that's all it takes is preparation, teamwork and opportunity and it's all gotta come together. And I can't believe it all came together again. Once in 2008 and once in 2019. It just goes to show you, man, this tournament is up for anybody to win. You've just got to get out there and put the time in," Hinkle said.
Hinkle also won the event in 2008 with a catch of 81 pounds. The scales of the Harbor Island Marina have been a good place for Hinkle. It started in 2002 when he proposed to now his now wife at this event.
Day 5 began with a procession of boats bringing white marlins to the scales all with the intent of knocking Hinkle from his top spot or at the least crack the top three. None accomplished either of those goals. The closest challenger arrived just before 5:00 p.m. The boat was named the Beast with John Belansen the angler. His marlin weighed 73.5 pounds. It was matched at 8:30 p.m. by Jim Myers aboard the Clamaholic.
The scales closed at 9:15 but five boats in line were allowed to bring fish to be weighed. The second to last was the Oil Slick and it produced a qualifying catch of 71 pounds. Once that number posted a roar from the crowd went up and Hinkle was in the middle celebrating with family and friends.
The scales closed at 9:15 p.m. giving the title to Hinkle. " 2008 was a different year, you never think about going back to the scales again after you have done what you have accomplished," Hinkle said. "To do it again and even to have a qualifying fish it is just amazing."
248 boats competed on Friday out of a tournament record 404 that registered this year. The Michael Jordan owned Catch 23 never appeared at the scales during the week nor did Emeril Laggasse's Miss Victoria.