Maryland resident John Ols caught a 640.5-pound blue marlin at the 50th annual White Marlin Open this weekend, earning a $6.2 million grand prize — a world record for the catching of a fish. The total purse for this year’s event in Ocean City, Maryland was $10.5 million.
Ols was fishing off the Ocean City boat Floor Reel, which makes this the third consecutive year a local boat won the competition. His fish was one of 46 blue marlins caught during the five-day event. There were also, unofficially, 551 white marlin caught. According to the competition’s website, three billfish were brought in and only two were weighed.
“The blue marlin from the Floor Real left no doubt when it was measured at 118′ in the boat before electrifying the crowd while tipping the scales at 640.5 pounds,” read an official statement from the White Marlin Open. “It proved to be the only qualifying billfish and wins most of the money for both white and blue marlin.”
The tournament was first held in 1974, and it is now known as “World’s Largest and Richest Billfish Tournament.” The previous world record for the catching of a fish was $4.45 million, which came in last year’s White Marlin Open when Jeremy Duffie, fishing off Billfisher, caught a 77.5-pound white marlin.
The $6.2 million grand prize was not the only headline from this year’s competition. Ocean City has now seen a hometown three-peat, but there was another competitor who knows all about winning titles as basketball legend Michael Jordan took part.
The six-time NBA champion was there in style on Catch 23, his $8 million custom 84-foot Viking. This has become an annual tradition for Jordan. In 2021, Catch 23 earned $20,000 after angler Trey McMillan caught a 23.5 pound mahi. But even though Jordan has broken multiple NBA records, it looks like he hasn’t earned the GOAT title in fishing yet.