Ocean City Today

More than $785K awarded to tuna tourney winners

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Jul 20, 2017
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli The Sushi crew earned first place in the Heaviest Stringer Weight Division of the 30th annual Ocean City Tuna Tournament, held last weekend, with a total of 470 pounds. The team received $200,013. They are pictured last Saturday at the Ocean City Fishing Center after their first of two fishing days.

(July 21, 2017) Ocean City Tuna Tournament organizers were thrilled with the success of the 30th anniversary event, held last weekend, as 88 boats entered into the competition and more than $785,000 was distributed to the winners.

“It went wonderful. It was a very good year,” said Tournament Director Jennifer Blunt. “We’re very happy with the turnout, number of participants and payout. We had great crowds every day. Everything went smoothly. After 30 years we finally got it.”

Participation jumped by 10 boats from 2016 and the prize money increased from $625,500 last year to $785,280 in 2017.

“We had more added levels this year and we raised the price on some,” Blunt said. “More people are getting into the added levels and more are going across the board.”

Organizers changed the boat size added levels this year. They were: boats 35 feet and under, 36-51 feet and 52 feet and larger. A majority of the tournament boats (42) were in the 52 feet and larger category. Thirty-one fell in the 36-51 feet range, and 15 were in the smaller boat 35 feet and under level.

A majority of the fish caught were yellowfin tuna. A good amount of bluefin were brought to the Ocean City Fishing Center scale in West Ocean City. No big eye tuna were weighed.

Jamie Romero landed the largest tuna of the competition, a 115-pound bluefin. Romero and his Absolut Pleasure teammates were awarded $309,130 for first place in the Single Largest Tuna Division.

A majority of that money – $171,000 – came from the Level H Pro Tuna Jackpot, which is a winner-take-all pool for the largest single tuna. It costs $5,000 to enter and 38 of the 88 tournament boats registered for the calcutta.

No Slack angler Glenda Cahall came in second place with her 109-pound bluefin, worth $35,813. The Wayne’s World crew finished in third place with Annie Roe’s 106-pound bluefin. The group won $27,588.

The Sushi crew earned first place in the Heaviest Stringer Weight Division, with a total of 470 pounds. The team received a check for $200,013. A large portion of that money – $108,000 – came from the Level G Heaviest Stringer Jackpot. Forty-eight out of 88 tournament boats registered for the calcutta.

The Goin In Deep finished in second place with a stringer weight of 364 pounds. The crew pocketed $48,738. The Stalker team took third with 306 pounds. The anglers won $32,275.

Aaron Colegrove hooked a 24-pound dolphin while fishing on Primary Search. The fish was worth $20,320. Dave Gorelick’s 22-pound dolphin caught aboard Fish Whistle, was good for second place. The crew received $2,300 for the fish.

Cahall was the top lady angler with her 109-pound bluefin. She received $1,500 for first place in the division. Roe finished in second place in the division with her 106-pound bluefin. She was awarded $1,000. JL Cropper’s 99-pound bluefin reeled in aboard Myra HT took third. She was presented $500.

Women were well represented in the tournament. At one point, the top three fish on the leaderboard were caught by ladies. Thirty-five participated in the event this year.

“We’re seeing more ladies fish in the tournament, and more fish caught by females being weighed,” Blunt said.

Fifteen-year-old Roe won the Junior Angler division and an additional $1,000. Charlie Coates, 16, came in second place with the 103-pound bluefin he landed aboard Reel Intents. He won $500. Sixteen-year-old Let It Ride angler Walter Jordan finished third in the division with his 60-pounder. He was awarded $250.

Mike Runk caught a 55-pound wahoo while fishing on the Legasea. He won the division and $9,900.

The Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company will be presented $3,330 from the Level Q charity donation calcutta. Absolut Pleasure received the same amount for landing the single largest tuna.

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