19th Poor Girls Open One for the Books

OCEAN CITY- The 19th Annual Captain Steve Harmon Poor Girls’ Open last weekend was once again a huge success with a record number of boats and lady anglers participating, dozens of billfish released and more than a few qualifying tuna and dolphin weighed at host Bahia Marina, and most importantly, thousands of dollars raised for breast cancer research and awareness.

The tournament, which typically falls on the weekend after the White Marlin Open, was founded in 1994 by the late Captain Steve Harman and his wife Pam to provide a ladies-only fishing event with the proceeds donated to a local charity. A decision was made a few years back to make the American Cancer Society the beneficiary as a kick off of sorts for a series of “pink ribbon” events held in and around the resort area. In the years since, the tournament has raised well over $100,000 for the organization.

This year, 88 boats and 499 lady anglers competed in the annual tournament and $95,980 in total prize money was doled out to the winners in several categories. The tournament got off to a slow start last Thursday as just four boats and teams of lady anglers ventured out due to bad weather. On Friday, however, 44 boats went out and 40 more went out on Saturday.

In the Billfish Release Division, the team on the “Give It Away” took first place with three white marlin and two blue marlin releases and earned $33,260. The “Pumpin Hard 66” took second with four white marlin releases and earned $19,956 in prize money. The “Muff Diver” finished third in the billfish release division and earned $2,000 but was not in the Calcuttas. The “Reel Joy” finished fourth with four white marlin releases, but earned $11,304 because of added entry levels.

In the Tuna Division, it was angler Krissy Meyers on the “Evil Eye” taking first place with a 64.7-pounder worth $8,615. Melissa Wayson, also on the “Evil Eye,” took second and earned $3,969. Lisa Meyers on the “Fin-Ness” took third in the tuna division with a 60.5-pounder worth $2,646.

In the Dolphin Division, angler Patty Link on the “Reel Desire” took first place with an 18.1-pounder worth $8,615. Becky Johnson on the “Miss Kittie” was second with a 13.4-pounder, but was not in the added entry levels. Krissy Baiocca on the “Second Chance” was third with an 11.3-pound dolphin worth $3,969, while Ruth Kloetzi on the “Jezebel” was third with a 9.8-pounder worth $2,646. The Top Junior Angler Award went to Cheyenne Peete on the “No Quarter” with two white marlin releases.