OCEAN CITY- Despite gusty winds and rough conditions that altered the format somewhat, the 3rd Annual Black Friday 550 Rockfish Tournament held last weekend was a huge success with dozens of anglers earning thousands of dollars in prize money.
Promoted as an alternative to avoid holiday shopping and large crowds, the third annual Black Friday 550 Rockfish Tournament was held out of the Ocean City Fishing Center last weekend. The event was scheduled for last Friday and Saturday, but with strong winds and less than ideal conditions offshore, it was extended to Sunday as well.
As the name of the event implies, the only species targeted during the tournament was rockfish, or striped bass. Cash prizes for the largest rockfish were awarded at different intervals during the tournament. Taking first place was angler Tim Hopkins, fishing aboard the “Playmate,” with a 20-pound, 38-inch rock worth $2,035. Second place went to angler Doug Southworth on the “Strip Tease” with a 19-pound, 37-inch striper worth $635.
Angler Andy Petrusis on the “Bitter Salt” took third place with a 19-pound, 38.5-inch rockfish worth $690 because of added entry levels, while the crew on the “Get Sum” took fourth place with an 18-pound, 38-inch rock worth $160. Maggie Hopkins, fishing aboard the “Playmate,” was the top Junior Angler with a 15-pound rockfish measuring 35.5 inches.
While the participating anglers enjoyed the two-day event including, of course, the fishing along with tournament parties and an award banquet, perhaps the biggest winner was the Autistic Children’s Support Group of Worcester County, which was the beneficiary of the fundraising event.