OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 5th Annual Kids Classic was a big success last week with hundreds of young anglers catching all sizes and species of fish both inshore and offshore all for the benefit of the Wish-A-Fish Foundation.
The annual event is open to all young anglers age 19 or younger and takes 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 were plenty of opportunities for all of the participants to get on the leaderboard one way or the other and the action off the coast did not disappoint as fish were weighed in just about every category.
In the Billfish Division, the young anglers on the “Reel Joy” took first place with 350 points based on white marlin releases by Taylor McCart and Parker Kreppel and the blue marlin release by Spencer Cropper. The “Cyntinory” took second with 300 points with white marlin releases by Gavin Gray and Neil Villanueva. William Mengason and Mason Motes each released a white marlin on the “Predator” to earn 200 points and third place in the division.
In the Tuna Division, it was Justin Layer on the “Riptide” taking first place with a 150.6-pounder. Jacquelyn Barnett took second place in the division with a 142.4-pounder caught on the “Crush Em,” while a team effort on the “Predator” brought in a 54.8-pound tuna to take third place in the division.
Young angler Ben Hild on the “Espodon” took first place in the dolphin division with an 18.6 pounder. Michael Murray on the “Pumpin Hard 66” took second in the dolphin division with a 17.8-pounder, while Frank Mattes, Jr., on the “Playmate” took third in the division with a 17.2-pound dolphin.
The inshore categories produced a significant amount of action at the scales with dozens of nice fish weighed during the tournament. In the bluefish division, Parker Kreppel, fishing on the “Reel Joy,” took first- and second- with a 9.2-pounder and a 3.6-pounder. Noah Good on the “Good For Pop” and Brody Field on the “Git-R-Done” tied for third place each with a 2.6-pound bluefish.
In the flounder division, Tyler Stierhoff on the “Moe Trouble” took first place with a 5.4-pounder, while the young anglers on the “Senor Cigars” swept second- and third-place. Kaitlyn Kennington Wendler took second with a 4.6-pound flounder, while Caroline Kennington took third with a 4.2-pounder. Nicholas Roy on the “Bill$ 4 Bills” took first in the mackerel division with an 8.6-pounder, while the team on the “Get Sum” took first in the rockfish division with a 13.4-pound striper.
Sean Hemphill on the “Morning Star” was first in the seabass division, followed by Michael Rutka, Ava Usavage and Hailey Shea. Two anglers tied for first in the croaker division, while three shared second place and nine more tied for third. A similar situation played out in the spot division with 12 anglers sharing first place and 13 more earning a tie for second.
In the unusual catch division, triggerfish swept the top three spots. Wyatt Richins on the “Magic” took first with a three-pound trigger, while Sean Hemphill on the “Morning Star” and Frank Mattes, Jr. on the “Playmate” shared a tie for second each with a 2.6-pound trigger. Garret Richardson on the “Tuna Box” was third with a 2.4-pound triggerfish.