OCEAN CITY- Before the big boys hit the seas for the 36th Annual White Marlin Open early next week, lady anglers throughout the resort area will have their moment in the spotlight this weekend with the first-ever Ocean City Marlin Club Ladies’ Tournament.
The ladies-only tournament got underway yesterday with a captains meeting and late registration, but the real action got started this morning with the first of two official fishing days. Captains and teams must choose to fish one of two days, today or tomorrow. The tournament is the Marlin Club’s first-ever ladies only event and is a complement to the club’s other tournament’s throughout the summer and early fall.
Essentially, it’s a boat tournament, meaning awards will be distributed to the top boat teams and not individual anglers. According to tournament rules, anyone may hook the fish, but it must be immediately handed off to a lady angler on board. Prizes will be awarded in several categories including a billfish release division and several heaviest fish divisions including tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Participating anglers will also compete in several inshore fishing divisions.
In the billfish division, 150 points will be awarded for a released blue marlin or swordfish, while 100 points will be awarded for each released white marlin, sailfish or spearfish. In the heaviest fish divisions, the minimum qualifying weight for a tuna is 30 pounds, while the minimum for a wahoo is 20 pounds and the minimum for a dolphin is 10 pounds.
Weigh-ins will be held on each of the two fishing days, Friday and Saturday, as Sunset Marina from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Friday night, the Marlin Club will host the Heels and Reels Night in conjunction with the tournament. The event concludes with an awards banquet next Saturday at the club.