55th Annual Labor Day Tourney Underway

OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 55th Annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament officially got underway today with the first of three official fishing days.
While it may lack the glamour and high payouts of the White Marlin Open, the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 53rd Annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament, which gets underway next weekend, trumps all others in terms of history and prestige. Called the “granddaddy” of the resort area fishing tournaments, the annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament is the oldest among the tournaments held in and around the resort area each summer. The first was held in 1958 and the annual event has endured for five-plus decades and several generations of local anglers.
The tournament gets underway this morning with the first of three fishing days. As the name implies, the focus of the tournament is on white marlin, but unlike other high-dollar tournaments in recent weeks, there won’t be any billfish weighed at the scale at host Sunset Marina. The tournament’s winner will accumulate the most release points over the three days of fishing.
In addition to the billfish release division, there will also be separate meatfish divisions for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Cash prizes will be paid out to the top three finishers in each category and the weigh-ins will be held each day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Sunset Marina from 5 p.m. p.m. to 7 p.m. The event got underway last night with a captain’s meeting and registration.
Last year in the Billfish Release division, the aptly named “Billfisher” took first place with 1,600 total release points. The crew on the “Par Five” was second with 800 points and was awarded $4,265 in prize money. The “Reel Joy” took third in the Billfish Release division with 650 total points and was awarded $1,539. The crew on the “Last Straw” collected 400 points and was awarded $1,026 in prize money.
In the Daily Billfish Division, the “Reel Joy” took first place with 450 points and earned another $1,350 in prize money. The “Par Five” crew earned 500 points in the Daily Billfish Division and also earned $1,350.
In the Tuna Division, it was angler Ron Reid on the “Reel Joy” taking first place with a 54.8-pounder worth $5,750. Sabrina Shannon, fishing on the “Reel Desire” took second with a 54.2-pound tuna and earned $2,233 in prize money. The “Reel Desire” also swept the Dolphin Division. Sabrina Shannon took first place with a 13-pound dolphin worth $2,871. Troy Graham, also on the “Reel Desire” took second with a 11.6-pounder worth $1,114.

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