(July 26, 2019) Despite poor weather and fishing conditions for the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 10th annual “Heels and Reels” ladies-only fishing tournament last year, 35 boats still registered and $43,110 was paid out to the winners.
“We are hoping for good weather. If it is there should be more than 40 boats,” said Franky Pettolina, Ocean City Marlin Club president and co-director of the tournament. “The ladies like the tournament because it is a relaxed format with prizes for billfish, meatfish and top junior angler as well.”
Many women participate in the tournament annually, including the crew on Pettolina’s boat, the Last Call. Many of the teams will wear matching outfits or make costumes.
“My girls have fished it every year since the beginning,” he said.
Registration for Heels and Reels, open to both Marlin Club members and nonmembers, will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Marlin Club, on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captains’ meeting will follow at 8 p.m.
Anglers are permitted to fish one of two tournament days: Friday, Aug. 2 or Saturday, Aug. 3.
Weigh-ins will take place both days from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Atlantic Tackle on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City.
The cost is $300 per boat for up to six anglers. A portion of the entry fee will again be donated to the Marlin Club Crew of OC Scholarship Fund.
Added entry level calcuttas, or wagering pools, ranging in cost from $200 to $500, are available and include a billfish release and a meatfish (tuna (no bluefin) and dolphin) divisions.
A junior angler division is open to girls 16 and younger.
“Tuna is a little slow, but marlin and mahi has been good,” Pettolina said on Monday. “I look forward to the event every year, and giving money to the OCMC Crew Scholarship Fund is a great cause.”
An awards banquet is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 3, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Marlin Club.
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 also win prize money.
For more information, call 410-213-1613 or visit www.ocmarlinclub.com.