30th Ocean City Shark Tourney Set for Next Week
OCEAN CITY- The 30th Annual Ocean City Shark
Tournament gets underway next week, and with the action off the coast of the
resort suddenly heating up, there should be no shortage of excitement at the
Hundreds of offshore anglers will chug out to the canyons
off the coast next week in search of sharks of all species and sizes. A decent
number of sharks were weighed during Mako Mania last weekend and quite a few
more were released, setting the stage for what should be a strong Ocean City
Shark Tournament again this year.
From modest beginnings back in 1981, when just 11 boats
and 33 anglers competed in the inaugural event, the tournament has grown over
the years to become one of the premiere shark tournaments on the east coast.
Most of sharks caught during the tournament are safely returned to the sea with
just a small percentage actually weighed at the scales.
The Ocean City Fishing Center just across the Route 50
Bridge in West Ocean City is the host of the annual shark tournament and the
marina will be turned into headquarters for the event with weigh-ins each day
from 3:30-7:00 p.m. Crowds of fishing enthusiasts and curiosity seekers will
cram into the marina each day for the chance to see a big shark weighed at the
scales, and the entire facility is turned a celebration of fishing, food, music
and fun with activities for children included.
Last year’s event was highlighted by a new state record
876-pound mako caught by Jim Hughes and the crew aboard the “Nontypical,” which
was in the midst of a remarkable summer fishing season that also included
winning the Mako Mania tournament a week earlier and catching the first white
marlin of the season off the coast of Ocean City.
The new state record 876-pound mako stunned the big crowd
at the Fishing Center to take the tournament’s top prize. The previous state
record mako, a 766-pounder caught way back in 1984, had stood the test of time
for 25 years before the “Nontypical” crew shattered the record during last
year’s Ocean City Shark Tournament.
While the primary goal of the tournament is to bring the
largest shark in several categories into the scales for a shot at the thousands
of dollars in prize money at stake, most of the sharks caught during the annual
event are tagged and released so their movements can be studied and a greater
understanding of the magnificent creatures can be ascertained. Marine
biologists often set up shop at the marina during the event to take samples and
further study the small percentage of sharks that actually make it to the