61st Labor Day Tournament Underway

OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club’s annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament is underway for the 61st time as the “granddaddy” of resort area fishing tournaments.

While it may lack the glamour and high payouts of the White Marlin Open, the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 60th Annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament trumps all others in terms of history and prestige. The tournament is the oldest among the tournaments held in and around the resort area each summer. The first was held in 1958 and the annual event has endured for six decades and several generations of local anglers.

The tournament got started on Thursday with registration and a captain’s meeting, while the action offshore gets underway on Friday, the first of three fishing days. As the name implies, the focus of the tournament is on white marlin, but unlike the other high dollar tournaments in recent weeks, there won’t be any billfish weighed at the scale at host Sunset Marina. The tournament’s winner will accumulate the most release points over the three days of fishing.

Last year, the crew on the Buckshot with Captain Gary Stamm took first place in the billfish release division with 2,450 total points for 23 white marlin releases and one blue marlin release over two days of fishing worth $9,270. The Haulin’ and Ballin’ took second in the release division with 1,550 total points worth $2,322. The Reel Joy took third with 1,200 release points worth $1,548.

In the tuna division, the Pumpin Hard took first place with a 150-pound big-eye worth $9,720. In the dolphin division, the Grande Pez took first place with a 28-pounder worth $6,660. The Reel Joy was second with a 25-pounder worth $1,836, while the Burn’n Bills took third with a 20-pounder worth $1,224.

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.