OCEAN CITY- With the rockfish bite in and around the resort area staying red hot, the 9th Annual Black Friday 550 Rockfish Tournament last weekend was a big success with dozens of keeper striped bass weighed and thousands raised for a worthy local charity.
For three days last weekend, dozens of local anglers looking for an alternative to the madness of post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping took to the waters in and around Ocean City for the 9th Annual Black Friday 550 Rockfish Tournament. About a dozen boats entered the annual tournament despite blustery, cool conditions and were not disappointed with the steady rocking bite.
Participating anglers fished each day starting last Friday and concluding last Sunday, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. with weigh-ins held at the host Ocean City Fishing Center in West Ocean City. Each boat was able to weigh four qualifying rockfish on each day and most were able to meet their quota with dozens of big stripers weighed during the event.
For the record, angler Jason Burke on the “Something Fishy II” took the tournament’s top prize with a 23.9-pound rock, while angler Chuck Wenzel on the “Get Sum” took second with a 22.95-pound rock. Angler Dana Kazmaier on the “Paperboy” took third with a 22.05-pounder. Perhaps more importantly, the Autistic Children’s Support Group of Worcester County was the biggest beneficiary of the annual tournament with nearly $3,400 raised for the worthy organization.