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Estimated payout of $270K new record as 919 anglers participate on 183 boats

(Aug. 16, 2019) Thursday was the first fishing day of the 26th annual Capt. Steve Harman’s Poor Girls Open, and female anglers will have two more days – today and Saturday – to compete for cash prizes.

Twenty-eight teams fished on Thursday.

As of Thursday morning, 183 boats carrying 919 lady anglers have entered this year’s competition, although there is still time to register. Teams can sign up through Saturday, but are not eligible for the added entry-level calcuttas.

The entry fee is $450 per boat for up to three anglers. Additional anglers may be added at $50 each, with a maximum of six total per boat.

Teams have the option to fish one of the three tournament days: Thursday, Aug. 15, Friday, Aug. 16, or Saturday, Aug. 17. Weigh-ins will take place from 4-7:30 p.m. at Bahia Marina, 22nd Street, bayside. The ladies will be competing for an estimated $270,000 in prize money – a new tournament record.

That’s about a $40,000 increase from 2018, when $229,565 was paid out with 149 boats registered.

Many women, including cancer survivors, make it a tradition to fish annually. Although it is a competition, there is camaraderie among the lady anglers.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top-three teams with the most billfish release points. Anglers who boat the three heaviest tuna, dolphin and wahoo will also receive cash prizes. Girls 16 and younger may compete in the junior angler division.

An awards luncheon is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 18, at Harrison’s Harbor Watch at the inlet in Ocean City, from noon to 2 p.m.

Pink Ribbon merchandise will be for sale near the weigh-in scale in the Bahia Marina/Fish Tales parking lot and several vendors will also have booths set up featuring art, clothing and jewelry. There will also be a 50/50 raffle. Donations will be accepted as well.

Women enjoy fishing in the tournament because it benefits a worthy cause — breast cancer research.

Proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society and earmarked for breast cancer research and program development as part of the “Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series” – an assortment of local activities to raise breast cancer awareness while garnering money for the organization.

Last year’s event was another record-setter, despite registering a few boats less than in 2017.

A total of 725 lady anglers fished on 149 boats during the 25th annual Open. A record $229,565 – an increase of about $6,600 from 2017 – was paid out to tournament winners.

Event organizers presented $140,000 to the American Cancer Society.

The mantra for the 25th annual Open was “March to a Million” and the goal was accomplished. Since 2005, the total donated to the American Cancer Society by the Harman family through the tournament and other events broke the $1 million mark.

In 2004, the tournament was renamed to honor the founder of the event, the late Capt. Steve Harman.

He and his wife, Pam, started the Poor Girls Open in 1994 to provide women with an opportunity to compete for prizes and money in a ladies-only tournament, and to raise money for local charities.

Harman died in February 2004, so organizers thought it was appropriate the tournament be renamed in his memory.

“This tournament has been a family-run event since the beginning,” Mary Bellis, senior community development manager, Northeast Region, for the American Cancer Society Inc. said last week. “It is an example of the generosity of the Harman family. They have impacted many lives and have made a significant contribution to finding cures for breast cancer.”

This will be the first tournament without Kathleen Harman, who passed away on July 23 at the age of 92.

“We want to make this year in memory of her,” Open co-Director Earl Conley said.

Proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society and earmarked for breast cancer research and program development as part of the “Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series.”

The Open is the first event of the Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series.

Most of the events will take place in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Other events this year include a card game and party; mah-jongg and golf tournaments; Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk and run; pickleball round robin; and the Pamper Yourself For Charity Raffle.

For more information and to register for events, visit

The Pink Ribbon Classic Series was started in 1996 by a group of volunteers. Since its inception, the series has raised about $3.6 million for breast cancer research, awareness, programs and services.

Some of the local programs and services available in this area include free wigs for patients and Road to Recovery, which connects local drivers with patients to transport them to and from treatment.

There is also the Hope Lodge, which provides lodging during treatment; Cancer Survivors Network available at, a 24-hour-a-day cancer information center; and 1-800-227-2345 for patients to access ACS services.

In addition, resources for caregivers, information on screening and prevention, and referral to local, regional and national outlets is available.

For more information about the Poor Girls Open, call Bahia Marina at 410-289-7438.

To learn more about the American Cancer Society, visit or call 1-800-227-2345.

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