OCEAN CITY — Less than a week before the 46th White Marlin Open, the crew of fishermen who caught the first white marlin of the season back in June this week received the $5,000 prize from the town of Ocean City.
Each year, the town offers a $5,000 prize to the angler or crew that catches the first white marlin of the season in the White Marlin Capital of the World. This year, the honor went to Captain David Nolan and the crew on the Uncle Keith, who caught and released the first white marlin of the season back on June 1.
Nolan and the Uncle Keith team will also receive a $6,000 prize package from Fishermen United of Ocean City, a coalition of local business owners with an interest in offshore fishing. Fishermen United ponied up the annual prize a few years ago when the town briefly considered dropping the annual tradition during budget deliberations. Mayor Rick Meehan presented Nolan and his family and crew with the $5,000 check during Tuesday’s work session.
“The town of Ocean City offers a $5,000 prize each year to the angler who reels in the first white marlin of the season,” he said. “Of course, we’re the White Marlin Capital of the World, so it’s a big event in Ocean City. The angler wanted to remain anonymous this year, so the check will be going to the captain and crew.”
The Uncle Keith crew will not receive the Ocean City Marlin Club’s annual $5,000 prize for catching and releasing the first white marlin of the season because that honor is bestowed only on club members. Captain Steve Selander on the Hot Rod will receive that prize.
Nolan said on Tuesday he and the crew on the Uncle Keith weren’t even targeting marlin when they made the milestone catch on June 1.
“There were four of us on the boat and we’re all from Cecil County,” he said. “We fish down here a couple of times a year. There was warm water in the Washington Canyon and decided to go looking for a big mahi.”
Nolan said he and his crew of anglers weren’t aware of the honor awaiting them.
“We actually caught two marlin, but we really didn’t know about the prize for the first one of the season, so we stayed out overnight,” he said. “When we came in the next day and filed our report, we learned we had caught the first white of the season.”
Meehan added, “What a great surprise when you didn’t even know about the $5,000 prize. That makes it extra special.”