10th Heels and Reels Tourney In The Books

10th Heels and Reels Tourney In The Books
The crew on the M.R. Ducks took home the top prizes in the annual Heels and Reels tournament last weekend with a first-place finish in the billfish release division and the first-place tuna. Submitted photo

OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 10th Annual Heels and Reels Tournament last weekend was a big success with plenty of big fish in several categories along with a lot of billfish releases.

Just before the 45th annual White Marlin Open got underway this week, the Ocean City Marlin Club last week hosted its 10th Annual Heels and Reels Tournament. The Heels and Reels Tournament is the club’s only ladies-only event in its summer-long tournament series and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Ocean City Marlin Club’s Bertha Holloway Auxiliary Scholarship Fund.

This year, a total of 35 boats and hundreds of lady anglers participated in the annual Heels and Reels event and there was no shortage of action as they competed for over $43,000 in prize money. The tournament got started last Friday with the first of two official fishing days. Essentially, it’s a boat tournament, meaning awards were distributed to the top boat teams and not individuals.

According to tournament rules, anyone may hook the fish, but it must be immediately handed off to a lady angler on board. The Heels and Reels Tournament is largely a billfish release tournament with points awarded for releases of white and blue marlin, swordfish and sailfish. There are also heaviest fish divisions for tuna including yellowfin, longfin and big-eye along with dolphin.

This year, it was the M.R. Ducks crew making the biggest noise in the tournament. M.R. Ducks took first place in the billfish release division with 450 points including a white marlin, blue marlin and spearfish and earned $15,840 in prize money. The M.R. Ducks crew also took first place in the tuna division with a 68-pounder worth an additional $10,655, bringing its total winnings during the tournament to $26,505.

Bluewater Advertorial  

The Reel Joy took second in the billfish release division with 400 points and earned $3,564. The Buck Shot took third in the billfish release division with 300 points and earned $2,376.

In the dolphin division, the Grande Pez took first place with a 16-pounder and earned $7,947 in prize money. The Leslie Anne took second place with a 13-pounder and earned $2,214 in prize money. The Slaughterhouse took third in the dolphin division and earned $504. The top junior angler award went to Helen DiGiovanni on the Reel Estate.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

Alternative Text

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.