(July 31, 2020) Female anglers will head offshore this weekend in search of marlin, tuna and dolphin during the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 12th annual “Heels and Reels” fishing tournament.

Close to a dozen teams signed up to participate in advance before Thursday night’s final registration.

“I think it will be a good turnout,” Franky Pettolina, Ocean City Marlin Club president and co-director of the tournament said on Tuesday. “The weather looks good for Friday and Saturday. Saturday looks to be the better day.”

If weather and fishing conditions are favorable, Pettolina said the 2020 event could break last year’s record of 66 boats entered. A total of $83,930 was distributed among the tournament winners.

Pettolina said marlin fishing has been good, as a number of white and blue billfish were caught during the Huk Big Fish Classic, held last weekend in Ocean City.

Tuna fishing was OK, this past weekend, he added, and the mahi bite was slower than he would have liked to see. He was hoping it would pick back up for the tournament.

A number of ladies participate in the tournament annually, and many started off as junior anglers.

Anglers are permitted to fish one of two tournament days: Friday, July 31 or Saturday, Aug. 1.

Weigh-ins will take place both days from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Atlantic Tackle on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City. Space will be limited due to covid-19 restrictions.

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 win prize money as well. There is also a junior angler division.

There will be no awards banquet this year because of the coronavirus.

A portion of the entry fee will again be donated to the Marlin Club Crew of OC Scholarship Fund.

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

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