Ocean City Today

Overnight fishing allowed this year

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Aug 24, 2017

(Aug. 25, 2017) The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 59th annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament, the resort’s longest-running fishing competition, will take place next weekend, with a new format.

“We extended the hours. This year we’re allowing anglers to stay overnight,” Bill Fenwick, co-director of the competition with Steve Poore and Bob Wimbrow, said. “And chunking is allowed. Most will chunk for tuna and swordfish at night.”

Fenwick said tournament organizers hope to see an increase in participation with the format change. The competition was canceled last year because of Tropical Storm Hermine. In 2015, 30 boats participated and $13,590 was paid out to the winners.

“We’re estimating about 65 boats [to participate],” Fenwick said. “All of the Marlin Club tournaments have been strong this year, and fishing isn’t good, which is surprising.”

Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31 at the Ocean City Marlin Club on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captains’ meeting will follow. There is no cost to enter for OCMC boat members. The cost for nonmembers is $500.

Anglers are eligible to fish two of three days: Friday, Sept. 1, Saturday, Sept. 2 and/or Sunday, Sept. 3. Day one, lines in at 8 a.m. and out at midnight. Day two, lines in at midnight and out at 3:30 p.m. Crews can choose to fish overnight for their two tournament fishing days. Fenwick said he will be fishing on the boat Grande Pez and plans to stay overnight, depending on the weather.

Participants can leave from either the Indian River inlet or Ocean City inlet.

The billfish division is catch and release only. One hundred points will be awarded for each released white marlin, sailfish and spearfish. Anglers will earn 150 points for blue marlin and swordfish released. No points will be awarded for boated billfish.

Added entry-level calcuttas, or wagering pools, which range in cost from $200 to $500, for billfish release are available. In addition, anglers can sign up for the daily billfish release division, which costs $500 to enter. Winner takes all.

A billfish release calcutta for boats 34 feet and smaller is also available. It costs $500 to enter and is winner-takes-all.

A Master Angler Award will be presented to the person who self-hooks and releases the most billfish during the tournament.

There are also divisions for heaviest meatfish (tuna and dolphin) brought to the scale. The anglers who boat the three heaviest tuna (yellowfin, bigeye or longfin) and dolphin will win prize money. Added entry-level calcuttas for meatfish cost $200, $300 and $500.

The minimum qualifying weight for tuna is 30 pounds and 10 pounds for dolphin.

Daily catches will be weighed at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City from 5:30-7:30 p.m. An awards banquet is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3, at the club. Banquet tickets cost $15 per person. For more information, call the Marlin Club at 410-213-1613 or visit www.ocmarlinclub.com.

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