BREAKING: City Council Votes To Restore $5K Prize For Season’s 1st White Marlin

File photo by Nick Denny

OCEAN CITY — A little over a week after voting to eliminate or at least redirect the $5,000 dedicated as prize money for the first white marlin of the season, the city’s elected officials voted to restore the funding and vowed to work with the fishing community to market and advertise the annual milestone and make it an even bigger and better event.
Last week the Mayor and Council voted to eliminate the $5,000 prize citing a perceived lack of importance and interest in the annual milestone. Predictably, the fishing community reacted with what can best be described as outrage in the council’s decision to eliminate the prize in the White Marlin Capital of the World.
Various marinas and other businesses rallied to piece together a private sector prize going beyond the city’s annual $5K. It’s important to note the Ocean City Marlin Club already provides a $5k match if the winner is a club member.
During a budget wrap-up session on Friday, the Mayor and Council voted unanimously to restore the $5K prize and vowed to work with the fishing community to really promote the first white marlin of the year and make it a special milestone event.
“Some times you take action and it leads to something good,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “I learned a lot about this in the last week. I wasn’t aware about a lot of the tradition. I think we need to not only support this but improve it and really promote it to make it something special.”
The Mayor and Council will invite fishing representatives to meet with the Tourism Committee to explore ways to enhance the annual milestone event.
This story will be updated.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.