OCEAN CITY- The 25th Annual Poor Girl’s Open last weekend was once again a big success with plenty of fish caught and released over the three-day event and, most importantly, a big contribution to the American Cancer Society.
Sandwiched between the high dollar, high profile White Marlin Open and the Mid-Atlantic Tournament, the annual Poor Girls Open gives the resort area’s lady anglers a chance to shine in the spotlight with thousands in prize money on the line and thousands more dedicated to the worthy cause. The Poor Girls Open was founded in 1994 by the late Captain Steve Harman and his Pam to provide a ladies-only fishing event donated to a local charity.
Last weekend, 149 boats and 725 lady anglers competed in the Poor Girl’s Open last weekend and nearly $230,000 in prize money was doled out to the winners in several categories. More importantly, in recent years, the American Cancer Society has been the beneficiary of the event in conjunction with other “pink ribbon” events held in and around the resort all year long. At the awards ceremony last weekend, host Bahia Marina and Poor Girl’s Open staffers presented a check for $130,000 to the American Cancer Society.
While the fundraising and camaraderie generally takes center stage, the tournament is all about fishing and the competing and the lady anglers take it very seriously and the tournament produced its share of drama in several categories. In the signature billfish release division, the crew on the Absolut Pleasure took first place with 12 white marlin releases and earned $120,965 in prize money.
The crew on the Reel Chaos took second with eight white marlin releases and earned $29,379 in prize money. The Pumpin’ Hard crew took third place with seven white marlin releases and earned $19,586. The Bar South crew also had seven white marlin releases and led heading into the last day, but the Pumpin’ Hard took third place on the time-of-catch tiebreaker.
In the tuna division, angler Nancy Kohl on the A Salt Weapon III took first place with a 112-pounder worth $14,797. Heather Bean on the Whiskey Kilo took second in the tuna division with a 73-pounder worth $7,975, while Megan McDonald on the Spring Mix II took third with a 66-pounder worth $4,869.
In the dolphin division, it was angler Brittany Grove on the Bent Tent taking first place with a 36-pounder worth $15,270. Angler Lindsay Stanton on the Buckshot took second with a 32-pounder worth $8,262. Tasha Davis-Lockhart on the Bent Tent took third in the dolphin division with a 20-pounder worth $5,508.
First place in the wahoo division went to angler Lucy Muhlenbruck on the Blood Money with a 30-pounder worth $1,500. The Top Junior Angler award went to Rilyn Romero, who released three white marlin and earned $1,000 in prize money. The total estimated prize money doled out to the winners in the 2018 Poor Girl’s Open was $229,565.