OCEAN CITY- The 2nd Annual Branch Kreppel Blue
Marlin Tournament, named for a beloved local angler and diver who passed away
unexpectedly in 2008, gets underway next weekend with a captain’s meeting and
registration on Thursday followed by three full days of fishing action next
Friday through Sunday.
As an avid diver and owner of Diver Services, Kreppel was
a popular man around the marinas in the resort area and often kept the local
sportfishing fleet up and running. He passed away in November 2008 and the
first-ever blue marlin tournament in his name, which gets underway next week,
is one small way to honor his endless contributions to the community.
As the name of the event implies, blue marlin are the main
species targeted in the tournament, which could become an annual precursor to
the prestigious White Marlin Open a week later. The minimum size requirements
for a captured blue marlin in the tournament is 400 pounds and 105 inches in
Each qualifying blue marlin brought to the scale at Sunset
Marina will be awarded one point per pound. Each blue marlin released will be
awarded 200 points. Other billfish releases will also be rewarded, with 20
points awarded for each white marlin, spearfish or swordfish released. There
will also be several meatfish categories including awards for the heaviest
tuna, dolphin and wahoo.
Nineteen boats competed in the inaugural event last year
and over $60,000 in prize money was doled out in several categories. For the
record, the crew aboard the “Billfisher” took first place in the tournament
with two white marlin releases and one blue marlin release for 480 points and a
check for $30,850. The “Billfisher” also weighed a 63-pound yellowfin tuna.
The “Tighten Up” crew took second place with 400 release
points and earned $8,115, while the “Reel Joy” was third in terms of release
points with 220, but was awarded $11,350 because of added entry levels. The
“Legasea” weighed the heaviest tuna during the tournament, a 171-pound bluefin
While the action offshore will certainly be the center of
attention for the tournament, the activities at the docks should be no less
exciting. The weigh-ins at the scale at Sunset Marina will be held each fishing
day from 4-9 p.m. There will also be plenty of the associated food, drink,
music and favorite stories associated with the tournament’s namesake.