Ocean City Today

Community celebrates first white marlin catch this week

Two separate ceremonies held to honor Dave Taylor’s $11,000 win this summer
By Katie Tabeling | Jul 06, 2017
Photo by: Katie Tabeling Fishermen United Ocean City awarded Dave Taylor, center, with a $6,000 check for catching the first white marlin of the Ocean City fishing season in front of the marlin fountain on North Division Street on July 3. Fishermen United representatives, from left, are Earl Conley, Brian Tinkler, Mary Jock, Shawn Harman and Rolfe Gudelsky.

(July 7, 2017) The man who caught and released the first white marlin of the year is officially $11,000 richer, as the Ocean City Council and the local business community awarded him two checks during separate ceremonies on Monday.

“It was a Cinderella story, since we weren’t expecting it,” said angler David Taylor of Baltimore during Monday night’s presentation. “It was a very foggy day, and we caught tuna in five minutes, and three more in the same spot.”

Taylor and his crew were fishing on the Reel Buster out of Sunset Marina on June 14 in Poor Man’s Canyon when he caught the white marlin. He added that it was luck that he was the one to reel it in.

“The newest guy on the crew asked if I wanted to reel the next one in. When we saw a bit of color, we thought it was a shark, we reeled it in and thought big tuna, saw the bill and I said, ‘grab that fish!’” Taylor said.

Taylor received a $6,000 check from the Fishermen United of Ocean City, a coalition of local business owners, at a small ceremony at noon in front of the white marlin fountain on North Division Street.

Hours later, Taylor received the customary $5,000 check from Ocean City government during the City Council session.

During April budget sessions, the City Council voted to eliminate the longstanding tradition of awarding a $5,000 prize to the angler who lands the first white marlin of the season. Following outcry from the local fishing community, six local businesses agreed to replace the city’s prize with one of their own.

The Bank of Ocean City, Coastal Fisherman, Sunset Marina, Bahia Marina, which hosts the Mako Mania and Poor Girls Open fishing tournaments, Ocean City Fishing Center and Atlantic Tackle donated $1,000 each.

Because of the citizen outcry, the City Council voted to restore the prize, while the businesses agreed to make good on their own pledge.

“Fishermen United of Ocean City is proud to support Ocean City’s fishing industry and the long-lasting history fishing brings to the white marlin capital of the world,” said Earl Conley, spokesperson for the Fishermen United and vice-president of Bank of Ocean City. “Big thanks to Dave Taylor catching the first White Marlin out of Ocean City.”

Traditionally, the Ocean City Marlin Club also offers $5,000 to the first white marlin boated of the year, which created a $16,000 prize. But Ian Schwing, a crewmember of the Fish Whistle, reeled one in Delaware waters on June 16. Since the marlin club’s requirements is that the fish must be caught within 100 miles of Ocean City’s buoy, Schwing won the $5,000.

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