OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 27th Annual Canyon Kick-Off Tournament last weekend was a big success with 70 competing and nearly $48,000 in prize money doled out to the winners in several categories.
The annual tournament, held each year on or around the Fourth of July weekend, is the first significant event for the Ocean City Marlin Club and serves as a prelude of sorts to the more high-profile tournaments of the season including the Ocean City Tuna Tournament, going on this weekend, and the White Marlin Open in August.
The big winner during the Canyon Kick-Off last weekend was the “Playmate,” which took first in the billfish release division and second in the dolphin division to collect nearly half of the $47,874 in prize money awarded in the tournament. The “Playmate” released one white marlin to finish in the top spot of the release division and was awarded $11,838 in prize money for that category. The crew aboard the “Playmate” also weighed the second-place dolphin, a 19.2-pounder worth $8,675 because of added entry levels. All told, the “Playmate” crew finished with over $20,000 in prize money.
Second in the billfish release division was the “Par Five,” which also released one white marlin and was awarded $1,572. While the “Playmate” was second in the dolphin division, the “Brenda Lou” was first with a 20.8-pounder and was awarded $1,050.
The tuna division created the most drama in the tournament as well as the single highest award in any one category. The crew aboard the “Fish Whistle” finished second overall in the yellowfin tuna category with a 49.4-pounder, but was awarded the largest prize in the tournament. The “Fish Whistle” was awarded $14,850 for the second-place yellowfin, while the crew aboard the “Jo Jo” finished first with a 49.8-pounder, but was only awarded $2,100 because it was not in across the board. The “Sea Witch” was third in the yellowfin division and was awarded $2,515.
The bluefin tuna category was separated from the other tuna category and produced several nice fish. The crew aboard the “Hammerdown” took first with a 143.2-pound bluefin and was awarded $3,600 in prize money. The “Tighten Up” crew took second and third in the bluefin category with a 124-pounder and a 92-pounder.