56th Labor Day Marlin Tourney On Tap Next Week

OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s Annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament returns next weekend for the 56th time as the “granddaddy” of resort area sportfishing tournaments.

While it may lack the glamour and high payouts of the White Marlin Open, the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 56th Annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament trumps all others in terms of history and prestige. The 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 nearly six decades and several generations of local anglers.

The tournament gets started next Thursday with registration and a captain’s meeting, while the action offshore gets underway next Friday, the first of three fishing days. As the name implies, the focus of the tournament is on white marlin, but unlike the 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 5:30 p.m. p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event will culminate with an awards banquet next Sunday at the Marlin Club.

Last year in the Billfish Release Division, it was the crew on the “Par Five” taking first place with 1,300 release points worth $8,415. Angler Peggy Mumford on the “Par Five” also earned the Master Angler Award for five self-hooked marlin releases. The crew on the “Reel Joy” took second in the billfish release division with 800 points worth $1,539. The “Canyon Hunter” crew took third in the division with 700 release points worth $2,826.

In the Tuna Division, it was the “Reel Fantasy” taking first place with a 1555.6-pounder and a 150.2-pounder worth $5,940. In the Dolphin Division, the “Kylee’s World” took first place with a 15.4-pounder worth $4,207. The “Shadowfax” was second with a 14-pounder worth $1.039, and the “Reel Fantasy” was third with a 13.6-pounder worth $693.  A total of $24,660 in prize money was awarded to the winners.