OCEAN CITY- The 18th Annual Captain Steve Harmon Poor Girls Open fishing tournament last weekend was once again a huge success with a record number of boats and lady anglers participating, dozens of billfish released and more than a few dolphin and tuna weighed at the host Bahia Marina, and most importantly, thousands of dollars raised for breast cancer research and awareness.
With the high dollar, high profile White Marlin Open dispensed with a week earlier, the lady anglers got their turn in the spotlight last weekend with the return of the annual Poor Girls Open. Right off the bat, the eventual winning team, the crew on the “Rhonda’s Osprey,” set the bar high with six white marlin releases on the very first day and also held all three spots in the dolphin division temporarily.
The tournament, which typically falls on the weekend after the White Marlin Open, was founded in 1994 by the late Captain Steve Harman and his wife Pam to provide a ladies-only fishing event with the proceeds donated to a local charity. After the charity of choice bounced around in the early years, a decision was made a few years back to make the American Cancer Society the beneficiary as a kick off of sorts for a series of “pink ribbon” events held in and around the resort area. In the years since, the tournament has raised well over $100,000 for the organization.
This year, 88 boats and 403 lady anglers participated in the annual tournament and $81,390 in prize money was dispersed to the winners in several categories. Each boat and team of anglers chose to fish one of three days from Thursday to Saturday and the fishing days were dispersed fairly evenly as with 26 boats fishing on day one, 22 on day two and 40 on day three.
However, it was the team on the “Rhonda’s Osprey” taking the lead on day one and holding on through the weekend to take first place. The “Rhonda’s Osprey,” out of Sunset Marina, released six white marlin on Thursday and was awarded $28,670 in total prize money. The crew on the “Second Chance” was fittingly second with five white marlin releases and earned $4,775, while the “Give It Away” released three whites and a blue marlin to take third and was awarded “$15,671. The “Predator” was fourth with four white marlin releases and earned $8,334.
In the Tuna Division, it was angler Devynn Maurer on the “Give It Away” taking first place with a 51.6-pounder worth $7,480. Annie Tingle on the “Bimini” was second with a 46.1-pound tuna worth $4,320. Angler Nancy Jannuzzio on the “Predator” was first in the dolphin division with a 31.1-pounder worth $6,535, while the “Bimini” was second with a 28-pounder worth $3,321 and Christine Sullivan on the “Tuna Box” was third with a 23-pounder worth $2,214. Brooke Schmeusser on the “No Quarter” was the top junior angler with two white marlin releases.