Mention the words ‘Black Marlin’ and ‘White Marlin’ to any deep, pelagic angler, and chances are their faces will turn to something that looks like Ahab from Moby Dick. They are all too aware of marlin as a gamefish – hard fighter, magnificent leaper, and incredibly difficult to find at times. After all, these are deep water, majestic fish worthy of your time that can give you the catch of a lifetime.

Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, and White Marlin

Both Black Marlin and White Marlin are found along the east coast from as far south as the Florida Keys and all the way up north to New Jersey. Known for their size and the fishing fight they put up, they are highly sought after on fishing charters and tournament fishermen looking to cash a check. 

Marlin Fishing

Marlin fishing is recognized as the absolute pinnacle of all things saltwater fishing, and people spend quite large sums to catch even a single fish. For these dedicated anglers, there is but one way to satisfy that desire – tournament fishing – and these tournaments start in earnest in January in and around Miami and continue up the coast of Florida as the weather continues to warm. By the end of the summer leading into September, the tournament season ends as anglers prepare for the following year.

Black Marlin and White Marlin Fishing Tournaments

The first few tournaments of the year have passed on, but this does not mean anglers cannot find a tournament to fish. Here are a few Marlin fishing tournaments to consider:

48th Annual White Marlin Open 

The White Marlin Open is a 47-year-old deep-sea fishing tournament held annually in Ocean City, Maryland. The tournament awards prize money for catches of white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, dolphin, and shark. The first tournament, held in 1974, drew 57 boats, 150 anglers and paid $20,000 in prize money with the top award of $5,000. The 2019 event drew 404 boats, over 3,500 contestants, and paid out 6.1 million dollars in prize money, including the top individual award of 1.5 million dollars.

MidAtlantic Tournament 

The MidAtlantic has continually set the standard for big game fishing tournaments in terms of prize money, hospitality, and conservation. In its 30th year, the MidAtlantic has genuinely been a one-of-a-kind experience that continues to create memories to last a lifetime for all participants. This is why each August, boat owners, captains, and crews come together from all over the world to compete in this great event! The event is staged out of two world-renowned ports; Cape May, NJ, where the Canyon Club Resort Marina is the tournament’s home base, and Ocean City, MD, with Sunset Marina serving as the second port’s headquarters. 

Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

When billfish competitors begin to register for the 63rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, they take their first step toward winning part of a cash purse that’s exceeded $1 million for the past twenty-one years.

That’s quite a change from the original Big Rock prize: a child’s red wagon filled with silver dollars.


An anglers dream, the pursuit of world record size Blue Marlin and White Marlin draw some of the finest sport-fishing vessels in the Atlantic, Gulf, and Caribbean to Bermuda each summer to compete in the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship.


Of all the billfish tournaments held worldwide, you will find Skip’s Tournaments especially distinctive. Not only do we host the most elite fleet of tournament teams and industry-respected sponsors, but we’ve also been told we put on world-class events!

Please join us for the 2021 tournament season and see for yourself the benefits sport fishing receives by promoting comradery through competition.

Dare County Boat Builders (Manteo, N.C.) 

North Carolina has a rich tradition of boat building, and the builders host a tournament annually to showcase their new lines.

White Marlin Open (Ocean City, Md.) 

By August, tournaments are still common in Florida, but the brutal summers can be daunting. This tournament in Maryland offers a much more friendly clime and a top prize of 1.85 million in 2020.

Should you find yourself in a marlin fishing tournament, the last thing you will want to have concern over is your gear. Chances are you will have top-quality reels and line, but the best marlin fishing rod is what you need to fight the fish.

There are plenty of commercially available rods, but there is nothing quite like a hand-crafted fishing rod made specifically for marlin fishing. A fishing rod that is specifically designed by marlin anglers for marlin anglers. Blackfin Rods has been making top-of-the-line fishing rods for trophy and tournament anglers since 1997, using top-quality blanks, guides, and thread to build a rod worthy of a million-dollar fish. Visit our website to see the full line of exceptional yet affordable marlin fishing rods.

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