OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 34th 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.
Last year, in the Billfish Release division, it was the crew on the “Poore Sport” taking first with 450 release points worth a tournament-high $13,000. The “Streaker,” the “Tighten Up” and the “Canyon Hunter” each finished with 400 release points to earn a share of second. The “Tighten Up” earned $2,133 in prize money, while the “Canyon Hunter” collected $1,422.
In the Dolphin Division, the “Tighten Up” took first with a 24.8-pounder. However, the “Jezebel” took second with a 21-pounder and earned $8,100 in prize money because of added entry levels. Rounding out the dolphin division were the “Dawg Haus” with a 19.6-pounder worth $2,025, the “Canyon Hunter” with a 19.2-pounder worth $1,350, and the “Grande Pez” with an 18.8-pounder worth $9,900 because of added entry levels.