OCEAN CITY- The 2nd Annual Branch Kreppel Blue Marlin Tournament, named for a beloved local angler and diver who passed away unexpectedly in 2008, gets underway next weekend with a captain’s meeting and registration on Wednesday followed by four full days of fishing next Thursday to Sunday.
As an avide diver and owner of Diver Services, Kreppel was a popular man around the marinas in the resort area and often kept the local sportfishing fleet up and running. Last year, Sunset Marina organized the first-ever blue marlin tournament in his name and the second annual event gets underway next week.
The 2nd Annual Branch Kreppel Blue Marlin Tournament was originally scheduled for late July, but less than stellar sea conditions offshore postponed the event until next week. With Hurricane Earl moving through the area this week followed by a couple of other significant tropical storms, organizers are keeping their fingers crossed for a successful completion of the event next week.
As the name of the event implies, blue marlin are the main species targeted in the tournament. The minimum size requirements for a captured blue marlin in the tournament is 400 pounds and 105 inches in length.
Each qualifying blue marlin brought to the scale at Sunset Marina will be awarded one point per pound. Each blue marlin released will be awarded 250 points. Other billfish releases will also be rewarded, with 20 points awarded for each white marlin, spearfish or swordfish released. There will also be several meatfish categories including awards for the heaviest tuna, dolphin and wahoo.
While the action offshore will certainly be the center of attention for the tournament, the activities at the docks should be no less exciting. The weigh-ins at the scale at Sunset Marina will be held each fishing day from 4-8:30 p.m. There will also be plenty of the associated food, drink, music and favorite stories associated with the tournament’s namesake.