(July 5, 2019) The inaugural Fish N Paddle Saltwater Slam, held last weekend, was a success, with 34 anglers competing and $7,000 awarded to the winners.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said Brian Roberts, creator of the tournament. “Everyone said we knocked it out of the park. All of the anglers loved it.”

Thirty-three anglers fished from a kayak and one from a paddleboard. Participants traveled from Long Island, New York, Virginia Beach, Delaware, Pennsylvania and from the Western Shore of Maryland, as well as locally, for the event.

Angers were permitted to fish all waters within Worcester County, up to three nautical miles from the shore.

Qualifying fish included flounder, striped bass, bluefish, sea trout, sheepshead, tautog, black sea bass, spot, croaker, cobia, red and black drum, and Spanish and king mackerel.

Each angler’s top-three fish were weighed. The three heaviest combined weight received cash prizes. Anglers could weigh three of the same species or different fish.

Morgan Mericle of Silver Spring, Maryland, took first place with 2,450 points. Mericle brought three bluefish weighing 11.3, 7.5 and 5.7 pounds to the Atlantic Tackle scale in West Ocean City.

He was awarded $4,000 and a Lightning Kayak.

William Ragusky of Virginia Beach, came in second place with 1,760 points. His top-three bluefish weighed 7.8, 7.4 and 2.4 pounds.

He was presented $2,170.

Nick Denny of Ocean City, finished in third place with 1,250 points. His top-three fish were a 6.5-pound bluefish and 3.4- and 2.6-pound flounder.

Denny received a check for $1,000.

Fourteen-year-old junior angler Hanley Kyger landed flounder weighing 2.2 and 1.6 pounds and a 2.6-pound trigger.

The junior angler, who celebrated his birthday during the tournament, won a Penn Battle II rod and reel combo, courtesy of Atlantic Tackle, Powell fishing rod from Bust Em’ Baits, and Costa sunglasses, provided by Coastal Conservation Association.

“It was great,” Roberts said. “We couldn’t have done it without our sponsors. I want to thank Atlantic Tackle, Shark on the Harbor, Seacrets, Aloft Hotel Ocean City.”

Roberts plans to offer the tournament the same weekend next year, June 27-28. For more information, visit https://fishnpaddle.com.

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