OCEAN CITY- The 16th Annual Mako Mania shark tournament got underway this morning with dozens of boats and teams of anglers competing in the first significant offshore tournament in the summer-long series in Ocean City.
With warm water and shark, tuna, dolphin and even billfish showing up early in the canyons off the coast of the resort, the offshore fishing season is starting to heat up just in time for the annual Mako Mania tournament hosted by Bahia Marina. Over the last few weeks, a significant number of makos and other shark species have been caught in the waters off the coast of Ocean City, signaling the fish are arriving just in time for the annual Mako Mania tournament.
Last year, first place in the signature Mako Division went to angler Franky Pettolina, fishing aboard the “Blackjack,” with a 171-pound mako worth $12,854. The crew on the “Tighten Up” came in second in the division in terms of weight with a 169-pound mako, but took home the tournament’s biggest prize, a check for $31,545, because of added entry levels. The “Moore Bills” took third with a 168-pound mako and was awarded $9,773.
While the event is all about fishing, and particularly sharks, as its name implies, the activity on land is no less exciting. Curiosity seekers will cram into Bahia Marina each afternoon during the tournament for a chance to see a potential winning shark raised at the scale in what has become a festival of sorts celebrating the arrival of another summer offshore fishing season.