Ocean City Today
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Over 400 junior anglers compete in Kid’s Classic

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Jul 27, 2017
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Junior anglers fishing aboard Reel Chaos display the fish they caught last Saturday during the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 13th annual Kid’s Classic tournament. The crew took first, second and tied for third place in the flounder division. They are pictured at Sunset Marina.

(July 28, 2017) More than 400 young anglers reeled in an assortment of fish during the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 13th annual Kid’s Classic tournament held last weekend.

“Overall, the tournament was an outstanding success with the most participants to date,” said Amanda Shick, the Ocean City Marlin Club’s operations manager/event coordinator. “All of the kids who came to the scales and the awards were so tickled to share their stories of their catches, both wild and tame. Their excitement was infectious and we hope it continues to stay that way regarding fishing in their future years.”

The Classic was open to youth 19 and younger. Every angler received an award for participating in the contest. Catches were weighed at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City. Those with the top three heaviest fish in each species category as well as billfish release were presented with additional awards during Sunday’s carnival and banquet.

Participants fished from 68 boats. Anglers without access to a boat had the opportunity to fish from areas including the surf, Route 50 bridge and fishing piers in Ocean City and on Assateague Island. A few young anglers fished from shore.

“The catches ranged from yellowfin tuna to a live sea horse to a fireplace screen,” Shick said.

Participants celebrated with a carnival and awards banquet on Sunday.

“The kids were absolutely bubbling over at the awards banquet. It was so fun,” Shick said. “It’s always a tricky event with so many people involved besides the kids, but it was all pulled off smoothly.”

Children from the Wish-A-Fish Foundation fished for free on five boats this year – the Tortuga, Judith M, Calico Jack, 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 Kid’s Classic fishing.

According to 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.”

A little over 100 junior anglers, which included special needs children, siblings and friends, as well as those underprivileged/disadvantaged and in foster care, participated in the event. Including parents, guardians and volunteers, more than 200 went out on the five boats last Saturday. Altogether, the young anglers reeled in about 50 fish. They celebrated with a cookout Saturday evening at the OCMC’s facility.

“[It was] our most attended Wish-A-Fish event since its start,” Goodhart said. “It went well. We got a little wet [from the rain] but everyone dried off. It actually felt good as hot as it was. The kids had a good time.”

Wish-A-Fish will receive more than $2,700 through corporate sponsors, service organizations, private donors and tournament participant donations. The event has raised more than $59,000 for the foundation over the last 13 years.

Thirteenth annual Marlin Club Kid’s Classic Results:

• Billfish release:

Roncito, 200 points; Absolut Pleasure, 100 points; Billfisher, 100 points

•Dolphin:

G-Force, 12.6 pounds; PYY Marine, 9.8 pounds; Slaughterhouse, 9.4 pounds

• Shark:

Just Got Reel, 3.4 pounds; D’Angler, one release; PYY Marine, seven releases

• Tuna:

Reel Vibrations, 54.8 pounds; Talkin’ Trash, 53.8 pounds; No Limits, 53.4 pounds

• Flounder:

Reel Chaos, 6.4, 4.6 and 3.6 pounders; C-Boys, 3.6 pounds

• Bluefish:

Little Critter, 2.8 pounds; Victorious, 1.2 pounds, two 1 pounders; Ashy’s Boat, two 1 pounders

• Bonita:

Island Time, 14.6 pounds, 9.8 pounds; Reel Vibrations, 12 pounds

• Mackerel:

Jeb, two 1.6 pounders, 1.4 pounds

• Croaker:

Partnership, 1 pound, two 0.8 pounders; Reel Byte, 0.8 pounds

• Spot:

Lay Day, 1.6 pounds; Jeb, 1 pound; Partnership, three 1 pounders

• Sea Bass:

Buckshot, 3.2 pounds, 2.6 pounds; No Slack, 3.2 pounds

• Unusual Catch:

Almost Heaven, sea horse, 0.2 pounds, puffer, 0.8 pounds; Partnership, puffer, 0.8 pounds; Reelentless, hooked dad while fishing

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