Ocean City Today

Ocean City Marlin Club’s 13th Kid’s Classic this wknd.

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Jul 20, 2017
Photo by: FILE PHOTO Junior anglers fishing on Ashy's Boat proudly display the fish they reeled in during the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 12th annual Kid’s Classic last year.

(July 21, 2017) The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 12th annual Kid’s Classic tournament was a huge success last year, as approximately 350 junior anglers participated. Organizers are anticipating another large turnout for the 13th edition, scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday.

While there are some new participants each year, a number of junior anglers compete in the tournament annually.

“Many of them come year after year and look forward to this event,” said Amanda Shick, the Ocean City Marlin Club’s operations manager/event coordinator. “They enjoy fishing and the camaraderie this particular event gives them with other junior anglers. Plus, the carnival and awards ceremony is a fun celebratory event that lets us treat our youngest anglers and gets them excited about fishing.

“And, to hopefully become future members of the Ocean City Marlin Club, to continue working together to create an interest in our area’s sportfishing and to promote the conservation of the sea and her creatures,” Shick added.

Registration for the tournament, a partnership with Wish-A-Fish Foundation, will begin today, Friday, at 6:30 p.m. at the Marlin Club, located on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captains’ meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m.

The tournament is open to anglers 19 and younger. The cost is $200 per boat with an unlimited number of anglers. Those who don’t have access to a boat can participate for $25 and fish from areas including the surf, Route 50 bridge, Ocean City fishing pier and Assateague Island.

The tournament is slated for Saturday and Sunday with participants having the option to fish one or both days in the bay or ocean. Weigh-ins will take place Saturday from 3-6:30 p.m. and Sunday, 3-6 p.m. at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City.

All participants will receive an award. There are additional first-, second- and third-place prizes for most billfish released and heaviest fish including bluefish, bonita, dolphin, flounder, mackerel, rockfish, sea bass, tog, tuna, wahoo, shark and “unusual catch.” Stringer weight includes five fish in a bucket per angler per day for croaker and spot.

A carnival and awards banquet is scheduled for Sunday from 5-8 p.m. There will be food, games and prizes, and the awards presentation will take place at 7 p.m.

Children from the Wish-A-Fish Foundation will be able to fish for free on five boats – the Tortuga, Judith M and Calico Jack, and newly added this year, the Bay Bee and Miss Ocean City.

“Due to the tremendous response this year we have gone to two additional head boats for a total of five,” said Frank Goodhart, coordinator of Wish-A-Fish.

Wish-A-Fish Foundation’s mission: “We can’t cure an illness, make a disability vanish, or remove the daily stress a family with special needs children has to endure. We just try to make one day a little better for the whole family by taking them out on the water for some fun and fishing. The smiles and excitement on the children’s faces when they catch their first fish (and their second, and their third...) is a wonderful experience and a memory that will last for years.”

Last year, nearly 70 children and their families participated. As of earlier this week, 113 youth, which includes special needs children, siblings and their friends, as well as those who are underprivileged/disadvantaged and in foster care, were signed up, according to Goodhart.

“Some kids don’t get the opportunity to do this. The kids and parents are very appreciative of what we do,” he said. “It really melts your heart.”

Including parents, guardians and volunteers, more than 200 will go out on the five boats this Saturday.

‘[This year] will be our most attended Wish-A-Fish event since its start,” Goodhart said. “There’s quite a bit of excitement on the boats. When they do get lucky and catch a fish, everyone is hollering and cheering.”

Many new angers will be fishing this year, he added. First-time participants will receive a rod and reel combo. Those who have fished in the event before will take home a gift from Wish-A-Fish.

All will be presented a goodie bag and participation medal. Prizes will be awarded to those who catch the most, smallest and biggest fish on each boat. A cookout will take place Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the clubhouse for Wish-A-Fish participants.

In 2016, about $3,700 was donated to the Wish-A-Fish organization through tournament proceeds, participant, private and corporate donations. The event has raised more than $57,000 for the foundation over the last 12 years.

For more information, call 410-213-1613 or visit www.ocmarlinclub.com.

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