OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament returns next weekend for the 57th time as the “granddaddy” of resort area fishing 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 got started yesterday with registration and a captain’s meeting, while the action offshore gets underway today, 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, next 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 on Sunday at the Marlin Club.
Last year, the “Billfisher” took the top prize in the Billfish Release Division with 2,650 points and earned $10,035. The “D.A. Sea” was second with 2,400 points and earned $4,671. The “Fin-Ness” took third with 1,300 points and earned $1,314. The “Brenda Lou” was fourth with 500 points and earned $1,800.
There were no tuna weighed during the tournament, but the dolphin division produced good results. The “Fin-Ness” took first with a 31.4 pounder worth $9,720. The “Jezebel” was second with a 28.8-pounder worth $3,132. The “Sea-N-Red” was third with a 24.8-pounder worth $1,008, while the “Fin-Ness” was fourth with a 24.6-pounder worth $1,080. Ed Dunn won the Master Angler Award with 12 white marlin releases, all of which were self-hooked.