OCEAN CITY- With clear weather and calm seas, the 15th Annual Captain Steve Harman Poor Girls Open last weekend was a huge success with plenty of boats and lady anglers participating, dozens of fish caught and released or weighed at the scale and thousands of dollars raised for a worth charity.
With the high-dollar, high profile White Marlin Open out of the way, the lady anglers got their turn last weekend to head out the canyons off the coast of Ocean City and compete in their own Poor Girls Open. Of course, plenty of lady anglers compete in the WMO and other tournaments throughout the summer, but the Poor Girls Open is a uniquely female event.
The tournament, which typically falls on the weekend after the White Marlin Open, was founded in 1994 by the late Captain Steve Harman and his wife Pam to provide a ladies-only fishing event with the proceeds donated to a local charity. In recent years, the American Cancer Society has been the charity of choice in conjunction with other “pink ribbon” events held in and around the Ocean City area.
Last weekend, a total of 91 boats and 408 lady anglers participated in the event with $71,535 in prize money doled out the winners in several categories. The big winner, however, was the American Cancer Society, which received a check totaling $52,000. The ACS was set to receive $47,000 from the tourney this year, but the release division winning team aboard the “Reel Joy” donated $5,000 of its winnings back to the Poor Girls Open so tournament organizers could reach the nice round number of $250,000 for its 10-year cumulative gift to the ACS.
Despite its charitable overtones, the tournament is still all about fishing and this year’s event produced some remarkable results from the 91 teams participating. For the record, 25 white marlin and two blue marlin were caught and released during the tournament, which got underway last Thursday and concluded when the scales at host Bahia Marina closed on Saturday. Several large tuna and dolphin were caught and weighed at the scale, creating a fun atmosphere at the marina all weekend.
As mentioned before, the team of lady anglers on the “Reel Joy” out of Sunset Marina took first in the billfish release division with four white marlin releases, including two by young angler Taylor McCart, to earn a tournament-high total of $23,765. The “Amanda Sue” team took second in the release division with three white marlin releases and was awarded $7,131. The “D.A. Sea” team also released three white marlin and was awarded $11,882. The “Pumpin’ Hard 58” and the “Par 5” each released two white marlin and were awarded $3,690 and $1,062 respectively.
In the tuna division, it was the team aboard the “Mojo” taking first place with a 97.6-pounder worth $6,400. The “Marli” team took second with a 46.7-pounder and earned $3,240, while the “Why Not” took third with a 35.2-pounder and was awarded $2,160.
The team aboard the “Pumpin’ Hard 66” took first place in the dolphin division with a 30-pounder worth $6,602. The “Cah-Ching” team took second with a 24.6-pounder worth $3,361, while the “Cerveza” took third with a 24.1-pounder worth $2,241.
Finally, in the junior angler division, Taylor McCart came in first with two white marlin releases and was rewarded with a $100 savings bond, a trophy, a rod and reel and a tackle box. Lindsey Rush was second with a 16.4-pound dolphin and earned a rod and reel and tackle bag, while Shelby Moore was third and earned a Calcutta chair.