Ocean City Today
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OCMC’s ‘Heels and Reels’ next wk.

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Jul 27, 2017
Photo by: FILE PHOTO Ladies fishing aboard Grande Pez released seven marline during the Ocean City Marlin Club’s eighth annual “Heels and Reels” Ladies Tournament last year.

(July 28, 2017) The Ocean City Marlin Club’s ninth annual “Heels and Reels” Ladies Tournament, slated to take place Aug. 4-5, is open to female anglers of all ages.

“We are expecting 30 or more boats with multiple ladies and junior ladies on each boat,” said Franky Pettolina, president of the Ocean City Marlin Club and co-director of the tournament. “We have many women who have been with us since the first year. Some of our junior anglers have graduated to adult anglers. It’s one of the most anticipated tournaments on our calendar.”

Registration for “Heels and Reels,” open to both Marlin Club members and nonmembers, will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3, at the Marlin Club, on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captains’ meeting will follow at 8 p.m.

A 50/50 raffle and silent auction will take place during registration. Some of the items featured include beach gift baskets filled with sun protection and towels from Sue Seifert & UBS Financial Services; fishing gear from Bahia Marina; an eclectically-filled basket from HOUSE by Salvaged; gift cards and custom T-shirts from Full Moon Saloon and Sunset Grille restaurants; a tote bag with goodies such as necklaces, wine glasses, apparel and a hat from the Ocean City Fishing Center; a statement necklace from Nest in Berlin; and a free growler plus refill and apparel from Burley Oak Brewing Company.

Anglers are permitted to fish one of two tournament days: Friday, Aug. 4 or Saturday, Aug. 5. Weigh-ins will take place both days from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Atlantic Tackle on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City.

The cost is $300 per boat for up to six anglers. A portion of the entry fee will be donated to the Marlin Club Crew of OC Scholarship Fund. About $2,500 was presented to the Marlin Club Crew of OC Scholarship Fund through 2016 tournament proceeds as well as from a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and individual donations.

Added entry level calcuttas, or wagering pools, ranging in cost from $200 to $500, are available and include a billfish release and a meatfish (tuna (not bluefin) and dolphin) divisions. A junior angler division is open to girls 16 and younger.

The minimum weight for tournament tuna (yellowfin, big eye and long fin) is 30 pounds; 10 pounds for dolphin.

“We are starting to see a little bit more marlin action in the past few days,” Pettolina said Tuesday. “Tuna fishing has been decent for most of the summer and there are mahi anywhere from the inshore lumps out to the canyons. We’re hoping that this little weather change we’re experiencing right now with some north in the wind will improve the conditions even more and stack up the marlins for us.”

An awards banquet is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 5, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the OCMC.

Anglers who reel in the three heaviest tuna and dolphin will take home prize money. First, second and third place in the billfish release division will also win prize money.

In 2016, more than 200 female anglers fished on 42 boats. Participants caught and released 103 white marlins and four blues – a tournament record, by far. A total of $46,260 was paid out to Heels and Reels winners last year.

Pettolina said ladies enjoy the “fun and camaraderie and also getting a chance to show the guys that women really do make the best anglers.”

“We see several boats with team shirts made up, or hats and visors,” he added. “It is as much about the fun as it is the fishing.”

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

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