OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 40th Annual Small Boat Tournament gets underway on Saturday with the first of two fishing days.
With several major offshore tournaments looming later this summer, some of the smaller boats in the resort’s sportfishing fleet will get their chance in the spotlight this weekend with the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 40th Annual Small Boat Tournament. The Marlin Club’s annual Small Boat Tournament provides an opportunity for smaller boats to compete in a tournament before the bigger events such as the Ocean City Tuna Tournament and the White Marlin Open arrive on the summer fishing calendar.
Participating boats must decide to fish one of two fishing days, Saturday or Sunday, with daily weigh-ins the Sunset Marina in West Ocean City from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. As its name implies, the Small Boat Tournament is open to all boats with a length of 34 feet or under. The event is divided into two divisions; the Offshore Division and the Inshore Division. Inshore, participating anglers will target flounder, sea bass, tog, bluefish and rockfish. The offshore division targets tuna, dolphin, shark and billfish, the latter of which will be recorded and released in a points division.
Last year in the billfish release division, the crew on the Joken took first-place and the crew on the De-Bait-Able took second, each with 100 release points. In the dolphin division, In the Black took first place with a 13.4-pounder worth a tournament-high $6,255. In the tuna division, Offshore Hooker took first- and second-place with a pair of bigeyes weighing 98.6 pounds and 92 pounds and earned $5,382 in prize money. Carol’s Teakettle was third in the tuna division with an 84-pound bluefin worth $873.
In the inshore portion of the tournament, the Fish in OC/Hooked on OC crew took first- and second-place in the bluefish division and earned $453. In the flounder division, the Fish Magnet II took first place and the Dale Brown Award with a 5.2-pounder and earned $827. The SeaCraft 23 took second and third in the flounder division. The Jezebel swept the top three spots in the sea bass division and earned $390 in prize money.