OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 11th 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 46th annual White Marlin Open got underway this week, the Ocean City Marlin Club last week hosted its 11th 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 66 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 tens of thousands of dollars 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.
In the signature billfish release division, the crew on the Ringleader took first place with 650 release points and earned $28,665 in prize money. The No Quarter crew finished second with 600 release points and earned $6,669, while the Theresa Jean finished in third with 400 release points and earned $4,446.
In the dolphin division, it was the No Quarter taking first place with a 26-pounder worth $15,525. The Talkin’ Trash I too second place with a 21-pounder worth $3,780, while the Cabana took third in the division with a 20-pounder worth $2,520.
In the tuna division, the crew on the M.R. Ducks took first place with a 112-pound yellowfin worth $15,525 in prize money. The Tighten Up took second in the division with a 68-pound yellowfin worth $3,780, while the M.R. Ducks took third with a 61-pound yellowfin worth $2,525. The top junior angler award went to Emma Helwig on the Roll Groove for releasing two white marlin.