Marlin Club’s 33rd Canyon Kick-Off Underway

OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 33rd Annual Canyon Kick-off tournament got underway today with the first of three official fishing days.

With tuna practically jumping in the boat for most of the resort area’s sportfishing fleet for the last few weeks, and billfish and dolphin turning up in good numbers offshore, there should be plenty of action in this year’s Canyon Kick-off. Cash prizes will also be awarded for first-, second-and third-place in the heaviest fish division. Points will accumulate for each fish brought to the scales including the heaviest tuna (minimum 30 pounds), the heaviest wahoo (minimum 20 pounds) and the heaviest dolphin (minimum 10 pounds).

In the points division, fish will be caught and released, while in the heaviest fish division, potential winners will be brought to the scales for weighing. Weigh-ins will take place at Sunset Marina on each of the three fishing days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting at around 5 p.m. until about 7:30 p.m. The Canyon Kick-off is the first significant event for the Marlin Club each year and serves as a prelude to the more high-profile tournaments of the season including the Ocean City Tuna Tournament and the White Marlin Open in August.

In last year’s Canyon Kick-Off, the biggest splash came from the crew on the “Jenny Poo,” which landed a 267-plus pound big eye tuna. The 267-pounder netted the “Jenny Poo” crew a tournament high $9,967 in prize money. Taking second in the tuna category was a 163.8-pound big eye caught by the “No Quarter” crew worth $1,525. The “Absolut Pleasure” took third in the tuna category with a 158.4-pound big eye worth $1,017.

In the billfish release category, it was the omnipresent “Billfisher” taking the category with three white marlin releases worth 300 points and a prize of $7,920. The “Canyon Hunter” was second with two white marlin releases worth 200 points and $810 in prize money. The “First Light” was third in the billfish release category with one white marlin release, but earned $1,510 in prize money because of added entry levels. The “Last Call” also had a white marlin release, but finished behind the “First Light” based on the time of the catch. The “Last Call” earned $648 in prize money for its release. In the dolphin division, the “Billfisher” and the “Proud Papa” tied, but the “Billfisher” took the division’s top prize of $6,003. The “Dilligaf” took third in the dolphin division.