OCEAN CITY- With strong, gusty winds in the forecast for much of the weekend, the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 37th Annual Small Boat Tournament scheduled for this weekend has been moved back to next weekend, June 24-26.
With several major offshore tournaments looming later this summer, some of the smaller boats in the resort’s sportfishing fleet will get their chance in the spotlight next weekend with the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 37th Annual Small Boat Tournament. The Marlin Club’s annual Small Boat Tournament provides an opportunity for smaller boats to compete in a tournament before the bigger events such as the Ocean City Tuna Tournament and the White Marlin Open arrive on the summer fishing calendar.
The event was set to get underway today with registration and a captain’s meeting at the Marlin Club, with the action offshore getting started on Saturday and Sunday, but tournament officials moved it back to next weekend because of the weather forecast. The forecast each day calls for strong winds at 20 miles per hour plus with higher gusts.
Participating boats must decide to fish one of two fishing days, Saturday or Sunday, with daily weigh-ins the Sunset Marina in West Ocean City from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. As its name implies, the Small Boat Tournament is open to all boats with a length of 34 feet or under. The event is divided into two divisions; the Offshore Division and the Inshore Division. Inshore, participating anglers will target flounder, sea bass, tog, bluefish and rockfish. The offshore division targets tuna, dolphin, shark and billfish, the latter of which will be recorded and released in a points division.
Last year, in the offshore portion of the tournament, the “Four Eights” won the billfish release division with 200, points, while the “Family Tree” and the “Tide Up” each finished with 100 points, the crew on the “Family Tree” took home the division’s top cash prize of $2,700 because of an earlier catch and release time and added entry levels.
In the Dolphin Division, the “Tide Up” took first with a 19.4 pounder and earned $4,612. The crew on the “Canyon Hunter” was second with an 18.6 pounder and earned $985, while the “Ridin Thirty” took third with an 18.2 pounder worth $261. The “Natiboht” was fourth in the division and earned $396. In the Tuna Division, the crew on the “Polecat” took first with a 59.4 pounder worth $4,941, while the “A Salt Weapon” was second with a 43 pounder worth $1,314.