(June 21, 2019) Despite a poor offshore weather forecast, the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 40th annual Small Boat Tournament turned out better than anticipated.

“It went way better than expected, given the weather forecast,” said Boz Jefferson, co-chair of the tournament with Colin Campbell and Bill Regan. “We didn’t anticipate a large tournament because of the weather, but we doubled the amount of boats we expected. We were thinking about 15 boats and we got 30, so that was great.”

Of the 30 boats, 29 fished last Saturday, the first day of the competition. Many of the teams were successful as 23 of the 29 boats that went out last Saturday brought fish to the Sunset Marina scale in West Ocean City.

Many headed back to shore early, because as the day went on, conditions got worse offshore, Jefferson said.

“They probably got a half-day of good fishing,” he said.

The one boat that fished on Sunday landed the largest flounder of the tournament.

“A lot fish were weighed. Twenty-four out of the 30 boats weighed fish. That’s a great percentage,” Jefferson said.

The Sea Salt team won the tuna division with a 55.2-pounder. The group took home $3,937.50.

The Sindaco crew finished in second place with a 53.4-pound tuna. It was worth $823.50.

The Little Buddy team caught a 51.4-pound tuna, good for third place and $549.

The Black Magic’s 14-pound dolphin earned first place in the division and $3,937.50.

The Oppor-Tuna-Ty Too group placed second with a 13.8-pound dolphin. They received $823.50.

The Gulf Stream team finished in third with an 11.8-pound dolphin. They were presented $549.

The Hot Flounder team swept the bluefish division. They landed 1.6-, 1- and 0.8-pound bluefish. The won $90.

The Teacher’s Pet II crew boated a 3.6-pound flounder on Sunday to win the $500 Dale Brown Award.

The award is named in memory of Brown, who was a Marlin Club member and avid fisherman. The $500 bonus goes annually to the angler who lands the heaviest flounder.

The Fish Magnet II caught a 2.4-pound flounder and took home $270.

The Ready or Not team swept the sea bass division. The group hooked a 3.2- and two 2.8-pound sea bass. They received $270.

A total of $11,750 was presented to tournament winners. The competition was open to “small boats,” 34 feet long (as stated on the manufacturer’s specifications) and smaller.

The Ocean City Marlin Club’s next tournament is the 37th annual Canyon Kick Off, July 5-7.

Final registration will take place Wednesday, July 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Marlin Club, on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. The event is open to Marlin Club members and non-members.

Crews will fish two of three tournament days, July 5-7. Weigh-ins will be held at Sunset Marina from 5-7:30 p.m. daily.

There are added entry level calcuttas for billfish release, meat fish (tuna and dolphin) and heaviest bluefin tuna.

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

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