OCEAN CITY- Young anglers will get their moment in the spotlight next weekend when the Ocean City Marlin Club hosts its 5th Annual Kids Classic Tournament.
Throughout the summer, the big boys and girls get to show off their fishing skills practically every weekend with one tournament or another, but the focus during this weekend’s 5th Annual Kid’s Classic will clearly be on the younger anglers. The event is open to all anglers age 19 or younger and will take place in the waters in and around the resort area from the back bays to the ocean.
With several categories both inshore and offshore, there will be opportunities for all young anglers participating to get on the leaderboard. Inshore species targeted this weekend include flounder, mackerel, trout, taug, seabass and spadefish. Those opting to go offshore will target tuna, dolphin, wahoo, bonita and even billfish.
Last year, a total of 327 young anglers participated in the event, up from about 200 the year before. Many of the participants fished on the headboat “Judith M” including children sponsored by the Wish-A-Fish Foundation, a national program that provides opportunities for kids with special needs, whether they are suffering from a life-threatening illness or suffer from long-term disability, to enjoy a day on the water catching fish. All of the profits from this weekend’s tournament will be donated back to the Wish-A-Fish Foundation.
The event gets underway next Friday with registration and a captain’s meeting before the action inshore and offshore gets underway next Saturday and Sunday. Participating boats and anglers will fish both days in the bay or ocean or both and weigh-ins will be held each fishing day at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City.
Every angler participating will receive an award, but there will be additional prizes for the top three finishers in the billfish release category and the heaviest fish category in each targeted species. No points will be awarded for a boated billfish and sharks are not an eligible species in the tournament. The entry fee for the Kid’s Classic is a flat $200 per boat although the cost for anglers fishing from a head boat or for anglers without a boat will be $25.
Sunset Marina will host the weigh-ins each fishing day but most of the tournament activity will be centered around the host Ocean City Marlin Club. For example, a cookout will be held on Saturday night at the club at 6:30 p.m., while Sunday’s activities include a carnival and awards ceremony complete with fishing and nautical-themed amusements for the participants. For more information, contact the Ocean City Marlin Club at (410) 213-1613.