OCEAN CITY- The 11th Annual Mako Mania shark tournament got underway this morning with dozens of boats and teams of anglers participating in the first significant offshore tournament in the summer-long series of events.
With warm water starting to show up in the canyons off the coast of Ocean City, the early offshore fishing season is starting to heat up just in time for the annual Mako Mania tournament. Sharks of all shapes and sizes are typically the first game fish to arrive in the waters off the coast of Ocean City and this year is no different, although there have been some tuna and even dolphin caught already this year.
Last year, 42 boats and 180 anglers entered the annual Mako Mania tournament fondly remembered for a huge mako caught on the event’s very first day. The crew aboard the “Marli” with Captain Mark Hoos brought a 602-pound mako to the scales at Bahia Marina on Friday evening during the tournament last year, quickly setting the bar for the rest of the weekend. When the tournament ended on Sunday, the 602-pounder raised the first day had stood up and collected the tournament’s top prize and $18,333.
While the event is all about fishing, and particularly sharks, as its name implies, the activity on land is no less exciting. Curiosity seekers will cram into Bahia Marina each afternoon during the tournament for a chance to see a potential winning shark raised at the scale in what has become a festival of sorts celebrating the arrival of another summer offshore fishing season.
The event gets started next Thursday with a captains’ meeting with the first of three official fishing days set for next Friday. Other fishing days include Saturday and Sunday, and the boats and their captains must choose to fish two of the three fishing days. Mako sharks are the featured species in the tournament although there are also divisions for threshers and bluefish, for example.