Two Boats Win First White Marlin Prize

OCEAN CITY — The crew on the local sportfishing boat Uncle Keith caught and released the first white marlin of the season, earning $11,000 in combined prize money for the feat.

Last Saturday morning, the crew on the Uncle Keith reported catching and releasing the first white marlin of the season. The Uncle Keith was fishing just outside the Washington Canyon when they caught and released the first white marlin of the season and will earn $11,000 in prize money. See page 78 for photo of the white marlin.

The total $11,000 prize includes a $5,000 check from the Town of Ocean City and another $6,000 from Fishermen United, a coalition of local businesses who ponied up the annual prize a few years back when the town considered dropping the annual prize after the decades-long tradition. However, neither the Uncle Keith or fishermen on board are members of the Ocean City Marlin Club, which puts up its own $5,000 for the first white marlin release by a club member each year.

In didn’t take long for the Marlin Club’s $5,000 in prize money to come off the board, however. Last Sunday, Captain Steve Selander on the Hot Rod was fishing near the Hot Dog when he caught and released a white marlin. Selander and the Hot Rod are Marlin Club members and, thus, will earn the club’s $5,000 prize.

While the Uncle Keith crew’s first white marlin of the season is certainly a nice milestone and kickoff of sorts to the summer tournament season, there was nothing remarkable about the June 1 catch date. Historically, the first white marlin of the season has been caught in a window of around five or six days in mid- to late June.

The earliest ever was May 25 three years ago. The latest ever, since records have been kept for 70-plus years since the first white marlin ever was caught off the Ocean City coast in 1936 was July 20.

Last year, the first white marlin of the season was caught by Captain Steve Moore and the crew on the Stalker on June 11, or 10 days later than this year’s first reported white. Because Moore and the Stalker crew were marlin club members, they were awarded the full combined prize from the Town of Ocean City, Fishermen United and the Marlin Club.

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.