(July 5, 2019) The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 37th annual Canyon Kick Off Tournament starts today and runs until Sunday.
Most people who participate are boat club members and compete in the tournament annually, Bob Althauser, director of the Canyon Kick Off with Al Rittmeyer, said last week.
Fishing days are Friday through Sunday, July 5-7. Participants will fish two of the three days.
Boats may leave from the Indian River inlet or Ocean City inlet. Weigh-ins will take place from 5-7:30 p.m. at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City each day.
Cash prizes will be awarded for white and blue marlin, sailfish, spearfish and swordfish releases, as well as for the three largest tuna and dolphin brought to the scale.
The minimum weight for all tuna (yellowfin, big eye, bluefin and long fin) is 30 pounds. The minimum weight for dolphin is 10 pounds.
“Fishing has been pretty strong this year, at least on the tuna side,” Althauser said. “Billfish [fishing] usually turns on right around the tournament.”
Added entry-level calcuttas, which cost $200, $300, $500 and $1,000, are offered in the meatfish (tuna and dolphin), bluefin tuna and billfish divisions. Anglers can win additional prize money if entered into these calcuttas. The billfish division is catch-and-release only.
One hundred points will be award for white marlin, sailfish and spearfish, and 150 points for blue marlin and swordfish releases.
An awards banquet is scheduled for Sunday, July 7, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Marlin Club. Any calcutta participation will allow free entry to the awards banquet. Without participation there will be a $200 charge to attend for up to six people.
Althauser hopes this year’s tournament will be as successful as the 2018 edition.
The 2018 tournament saw the largest turnout and payout, and most billfish released in the event’s 36-year history.
“We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather last year,” Althauser.
A total of $107,730 was presented to 2018 tournament winners. Seventy-seven boats were registered for the 2018 competition.
Sixty-eight white marlins and nine blues were released during the tournament.
Fish On took first place in the billfish release division with 750 points. The crew released six whites and one blue. They were awarded $35,550.
Nontypical came in second place with 700 points (four whites, two blues). The team was presented $2,052.
The Moore Bills team released five whites and one blue, good for third place and $4,446. Par Five anglers cut loose two whites and two blues and won $2,052.
Marlin Gale took top honors in the dolphin division with a 37.2 pounder. The crew earned $14,332.50.
Canyon Hunter landed in second place with a 23.4-pound dolphin. The team was presented $3,739.50.
The Last Call crew boated a 22-pound dolphin to finish in third place. They took home $2,493.
Hall Pass received prize money for its 18.2-pound dolphin for participating in added entry-level calcuttas. The group got a check for $11,250.
The Tighten Up team hooked a 110.8-pound bigeye and won $25,582.50. The Second Chance crew brought a 109.8-pound bigeye to the Sunset Marina scale in West Ocean City, good for second place. They were awarded $3,739.50.
The Stalker anglers caught an 83.6-pound yellowfin to finish in third place. They earned $2,493.
Fore more information, call 410-213-1613 or visit www.ocmarlinclub.com.