Memorial Day Bluefish Tourney On Tap

OCEAN
CITY – The newest addition to the summer-long fishing tournament season, the
Ocean City Marlin Club’s First Annual Memorial Day Bluefish Tournament, gets
underway next weekend in part as a tribute to the men and women of the armed
services past and present.

The
first annual Memorial Day Bluefish Tournament gets underway next Friday with
registration and a captain’s meeting, but the real action starts next Saturday,
the first of two fishing days in the event. Participating anglers and boat
captains must choose to fish one of the two days, and as the name suggests, the
target species in bluefish.

Anglers
can fish from boats, docks, piers or the shore during the tournament, making it
event wide open to all anglers. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three
fish caught during the two-day event. Weigh-ins will be held each day at Sunset
Marina each of the two fishing days from 3:30-6:30 p.m., creating a fun
atmosphere at the marina for participants.

In the
spirit of the Memorial Day holiday, proceeds from the event will be dedicated
to the Catherine and Charles Kratz Memorial Park and Scholarship Fund.
Catherine and Charles Kratz are long-time members of the Ocean City Marlin Club
who recently started a foundation to provide support, encouragement and a
better way of life for the men and women who served in the armed forces.

Marlin
Club president and tournament director Franky Pettolina said last week there
used to be a bluefish tournament each year in Ocean City, but it drifted away
as more and more tournaments sprung up. Pettolina said choosing Memorial Day
and the Kratz’s foundation as the benefactor was an easy decision.

“I
wanted to do the tournament over Memorial Day, and I felt that we should give
back to the men and women who so greatly serve our country,” he said. “Fishing
Committee chairman Pat Svehla brought to my attention that Charlie Kratz, who
is a long-time club member, set up this foundation. What better way for a club
tournament to give back?”

Pettolina
said with the water warming up and plenty of big blues being caught already
this spring, he anticipates a good turn out for the inaugural event next week.

“I am
proud to have this tournament coming together and it sounds like there is a lot

of interest,” he said. “I am hoping for it to be a big one.”

Incidentally, local fishing enthusiasts will

recall Kratz was the skipper on the “Five C’s,” the fishing boat that landed
the largest white marlin ever caught in the state of Maryland. The whopping
135-pounder was caught by angler George Pierson aboard the “Five C’s” back in
1980 with Kratz at the helm. It is now permanently displayed at the foot of the
Boardwalk after Kratz donated it to the town in 2008. 

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