fishing poles

Participants have option to fish from paddleboard or kayak for inaugural event

(June 28, 2019) The inaugural Fish N Paddle Saltwater Slam is a unique tournament for the area as participants don’t need a boat to compete, but instead they will use a kayak or paddleboard.

“It’s totally different,” said Brian Roberts, creator of the tournament. “Inshore and bay fishing is one of my passions and I’m a big fly fishing fan.”

For the past seven years, Roberts has run private stand-up paddle board fishing excursions in Ocean City.

Roberts, who is also the co-founder of Huk Big Fish Classic, based out of the Talbot Street Pier, wanted to start a tournament where participants could fish from a kayak or paddleboard.

“It’s a great way to get out and fish and enjoy the outdoors,” he said. “It’s a simplistic way to fish.”

Final registration will take place today, Friday, from 5-8 p.m. at Shark on the Harbor, on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City. An anglers’ meeting will follow.

The cost is $125 per angler.

Fishing hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Anglers are permitted to fish all waters within Worcester County, up to three nautical miles from the shore.

Weigh-ins will take place each day from 1-5 p.m. at Atlantic Tackle in West Ocean City.

During weigh-ins, which are open to the public, there will be music by DJ Wax, vendors and kayak demos.

One of the tournament’s sponsors, Lightning Kayaks, will feature its new pedal drive kayak during the weigh-ins.

In addition, Robert Field of YakfishTV and YouTube influencer, will be on hand to cover the tournament.

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

A Saturday Night Social party will take place beginning at 8 p.m. in Seacrets Distillery on 49th Street in Ocean City.

Over $7,000 cash purse will be distributed to the top three anglers. Kayaks and paddleboards as well as other prizes such as rods and reels, will also be awarded.

Each angler’s top-three fish will be weighed. The three heaviest combined weight will win cash prizes. Anglers can weigh three of the same species or different fish.

There will also be daily winners for each qualifying species.

Each fish will be given a weight point system equal to 100 points per pound. Anglers will receive a bonus 50 points for each fish deemed alive by the weighmaster that is released after weigh-in by tournament officials.

Roberts said a number of people have been interested in the tournament. As of Wednesday, 22 people had registered for the event, all from outside the Ocean City area. Some participants hail from Long Island, New York, Virginia Beach, Pennsylvania and from the Western Shore of Maryland.

“My goal is to have a great event that people will talk about and to make Ocean City a destination for kayak and stand-up paddleboard fishing,” Roberts said. “I think it’s really going to take off. If we have 30 or 40 people, I think it will be a huge success.”

For more information, rules and added entry level calcuttas, visit https://fishnpaddle.com.

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