(Sept. 11, 2020) Another Ocean City Marlin Club Labor Day White Marlin Tournament is in the books, with 36 boat entries this year and over $100,000 distributed among the winners.
“We’re very pleased with the results of the tournament from a lot of different perspectives,” said Jim Giles, event co-chair with Gary Stamm. “We had 36 boats, over $100,000 payout, good weather, good participation and good fishing. All in all it was a successful tournament.”
The Reel Joy team won the Billfish Release Division with 1,400 points. The group released 11 whites and two blue marlin and was presented $24,030.
The Tighten Up crew earned 1,300 points for releasing 10 whites and two blues. The team was awarded $7,668.
Anglers aboard Uno Mas came in third place with 1,100 points for releasing 11 white marlin. They received $5,112.
The group won an additional $5,625 for participation in the Daily Billfish Division added entry-level calcutta for day two of the tournament.
The Roll Groove team scored 600 points for six white releases on day one of the tournament and earned $5,625 in the Daily Billfish Division.
In the boats 34 feet & Under Billfish Release Division, the Canyon Hunter crew won $1,350 for scoring 100 points (one white release).
This was the first year for a Heaviest White Marlin category. The minimum to keep a white marlin was 70 inches, with a limit of one fish per day per boat.
“Our minimum was well north of the federal minimum (66 inches measured lower jaw to fork length),” Giles said. “Conservation is always on our minds. We don’t want to kill a fish unnecessarily.”
Only two white marlin were brought to the Sunset Marina scale during the 62nd annual tournament. One made the 70-inch length requirement and was weighed.
Mike Runk’s 70.5-inch white marlin he caught aboard Buckshot weighed 70 pounds. The team won $27,180.
The Blood Money team took first place in the tuna division with a 63.3-pound fish. The group was awarded $9,652.50.
The Fish On crew finished in second place with a 63-pound tuna and received $2,146.50.
The Buckshot team landed in third place with a 60.2-pound tuna. The crew won $1,431.
The Schedule Sea team, which consisted of some junior anglers, caught the first- and second-place dolphin, weighing 30.8 and 16.4 pounds, respectively.
The team was not entered into the added entry-level calcutta for meatfish, but tournament chairmen decided to present the group with $500.
“Their dolphin were caught by their children … the entire Marlin Club is very much all about supporting kids and fishing so we wanted to award them with something for catching the first- and second-place dolphin during the tournament,” said Amanda Shick, the OC Marlin Club’s operations manager/event coordinator/social marketing director. “It was [OCMC board member and secretary] Boz [Jefferson’s] initial idea [and] both tournament chairmen thought awarding them $500 (the cost of the entry fee) would be a great idea.”
The Buckshot team reeled in the third-largest dolphin – a 10.4 pounder – and won $13,230.
The William O. Fenwick Master Angler Award – presented to the person who self-hooks and releases the most billfish – went to Roll Groove angler Darren Helwig, who tallied 750 points for releasing six whites and one blue marlin.
The total payout for the calcuttas was $89,550, and in addition to the $13,500 guaranteed prize money and $500 presented by the tournament chairs, $103,550 was awarded to the winners this year.