OCEAN CITY- With several major offshore tournaments looming later this summer, some of the smaller boats in the resort’s sportfishing fleet will get their chance in the spotlight next weekend with the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 35th Annual Small Boat Tournament.
The Marlin Club’s annual Small Boat Tournament provides an opportunity for smaller boats to compete in a tournament before the bigger events such as the Ocean City Tuna Tournament and the White Marlin Open arrive on the summer fishing calendar. The event gets underway next Thursday with registration and a captain’s meeting at the Marlin Club, with the action offshore getting started next Saturday and Sunday.
Participating boats must decide to fish one of two fishing days, Saturday or Sunday, with daily weigh-ins the Sunset Marina in West Ocean City from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. As its name implies, the Small Boat Tournament is open to all boats with a length of 34 feet or under. The event is divided into two divisions; the Offshore Division and the Inshore Division. Inshore, participating anglers will target flounder, sea bass, tog, bluefish and rockfish. The offshore division targets tuna, dolphin, shark and billfish, the latter of which will be recorded and released in a points division.
Last year in the offshore portion of the tournament, the crew on the “Empty Pockets” took first place in the tuna division with an 87.8-pounder worth $945. The “Mm Mm Good” took second in the tuna division with a 67-pounder, but earned $5,967 in prize money with added entry levels. The crew on the “Salt Weapon II” took third in the tuna division with a 58.4-pounder worth $1,098. The crew on the “Joken” took first place in the dolphin division with a 10.4-pounder worth $1,800.
On the inshore portion of the tournament, the “Fish Box” took first and second place in the flounder division, while the “Kokomo” was third. The “Jezebel” was first in the sea bass division, followed by the “Fish Box” and the “Just Add Sauce.” The “Just Add Sauce” was also first in the taug division, followed by the “Jezebel. The “Myra HT” swept the bluefish division with a trio of whoppers, the largest of which was over 13 pounds.