30th OC Shark Tourney a Huge Success

OCEAN CITY- The 30th Annual Ocean City Shark
Tournament last weekend was a rousing success with near-perfect weather
conditions and calm seas yielding plenty of big fish at the scales and scores
more caught and released.

The bar was set early when angler Paul Seaberger of Ocean
City and the crew aboard the “All In” weighed a 471-pound mako on Thursday, the
first official day of fishing, to take the early lead in the signature mako
division. The 471-pounder held on throughout the weekend and took home a
tournament-high $20,123 in prize money.

Also on Thursday, angler Jeanette Bennett of Pennsylvania,
fishing aboard the “Crush Em,” caught and weighed a 248-pound mako that settled
into second place in the division. Another 248-pound mako was caught later in
the weekend by angler Bill Oass of Berlin, fishing aboard the “Reel
Instigator,” which was officially the third place winner in the division
because it was caught after the 248-pounder caught by the “Crush Em.”

The “Crush Em” crew was awarded $13,124 for the
second-place mako, while the “Reel Instigator” crew took home $9,199. Angler
Felipe Ordono on the “Lucky Duck II” caught a 175-pound mako, good enough for
fourth place in the division and $1,350 in prize money.

In the Open Division, angler Steve Meehan took first place
in terms of weight with a 290-pound thresher worth $7,725. Eric Ralph, fishing
aboard the “Real-N & Deal-In,” took second in the open division with a
192-pound blue shark worth $3,098. Third place in the open division, in terms
of weight, went to angler John Brown on the “White Lightning” weighed a
158-pound blue shark, which was awarded the most prize money, $15,954, in the
division because of added entry levels.

In the Bluefish Division, angler Jim Walsh, fishing aboard
the “Rain E-Daze,” took first place with a 13.3-pounder worth $17,116. Angler
Chris Tremmel aboard the “Something Fishy” took second in the bluefish division
with an 11.0-pounder worth $2,340. Third place in the division went to Nick
Kuczarski on the “Keep ‘Er Wet” with an 11.5-pounder worth $9,806 because of
added entry levels. Jeremy Hudson on the “Fish Box” took fourth in the bluefish
division with an 11.2-pounder worth $945, while Ricky Kramer on the “Adventurous”
took fifth, but was awarded $4,365 because of added entry levels.

In the equally important Release Division, the crew aboard
the “My Bait’s Dragon” took first place with two makos, two duskys and three
tiger sharks for 24 total points worth $3,000. The crew aboard the “Jezebel”
also accumulated 24 release points with two makos, a hammerhead and three
tigers, but reported in after the “My Bait’s Dragon” and was awarded the $1,500
second-place money.

The “Toy Boy” crew released three makos, a blue shark, a
hammerhead and a tiger for 19 total release points, good enough for third place
in the division and a check for $1,000. The “Shark Tooth” had 20 release points
and was awarded $6,367 in prize money, while the “Pumpin Hard” won $4,179 in
release division prize money, the “Here Fishy Fishy” won $2,386 and the
“Nontypical,” which won the tournament last year with a new state record mako,
won $2,370 in the release division this year.

In the Tuna Division, angler Jennifer Wojcik, of Ocean
View, Del., fishing aboard the “Play-N Hook-E,” took first place with a
39-pounder worth $2,070. The 2010 Ocean City Sharker of the Year award went to
Captain Willie Zimmerman on the “Playmate,” which was awarded $1,425 in prize
money. The sharker of the year award goes to the boat that accumulates the most
release points combined in the Mako Mania tournament and the Ocean City Shark

All in all, the Ocean City Shark Tournament paid out a
little over $142,000 this year to the winners in several categories. A total of
18 sharks were weighed at the scale at the host Ocean City fishing center
including 12 makos, five blue sharks and one thresher.

tournament prides itself on its strong conservation ethic and the numbers bore
that out again this year. While just 18 sharks were brought into the marina to
be weighed, 146 were released over the three fishing days including 66 makos,
32 blue sharks, 24 sandbar or dusky sharks, seven hammerheads and 17 tiger