9th Big Fish Classic Tourney Returns

9th Big Fish Classic Tourney Returns
The Big Fish Classic fishing tournament returns to the historic Talbot Street docks this year. Last year’s tournament was highlighted by a new state record 301-pound swordfish for the crew on the Real One worth over $542,000. Submitted photo

OCEAN CITY- The 9th annual Big Fish Classic tournament returns to the historic docks at Talbot Street this weekend with plenty of excitement buzzing.

The Big Fish Classic returns for the ninth year this weekend at the pier on Talbot Street, which is essentially the epicenter for Ocean City’s rich fishing history. The tournament is a three-day event that has boats and teams of anglers deciding to fish in one of two 32-hour windows.

Some will choose to fish Friday and Saturday, with lines in a 7 a.m. on Friday and lines out at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Others will choose a similar window with lines in at 7 a.m. on Saturday and out at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The scale at Talbot Street will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

As the name implies, the Big Fish Classic is all about bringing the single heaviest fish of any species to the scale at historic Talbot Street. There are also other categories in which boats and teams of anglers can win prize money, but it essentially which boat will bring the single largest fish to the docks during the two 32-hour fishing windows.

Last year, the tournament certainly lived up to its name with a new Maryland state record 3-1-pound swordfish brought to the scale by the crew on the Real One. The big sword was worth $542,648 in prize money for the Real One captain and crew. All in all last year, there was a record number 110 boats competing and a new tournament record $1.2 million in prize money doled out, exceeding the $1 million in prize money for the first time in the nine-year history of the tournament.

All weekend, the Talbot Street docks between the Angler restaurant and MR. Ducks will be a festival of fishing, live music, vendors and other amenities. A few new wrinkles for this year include new added entry levels for small boats, a new stringer category for small boats and a new small boat tuna category. There will be no qualifying sharks weighed during the tournament because of recent changes in the mako fishing regulations.

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.