Flounder Tournament

Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce volunteers measure a fresh catch at the Pines Point Marina during the 2019 Flounder Tournament.

(July 24, 2020) The Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual Flounder Tournament returns to its roots this year.

Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kerrie Bunting said the tournament, which takes place Aug. 1, was originally staged at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club before being relocated to Pines Point Marina and is now coming full circle back to the club.

“The biggest change we’ve had to make is change of location,” she said. “We had been at Pines Point Marina and now we’re right back where we started.”

The flounder tournament begins at 7 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. on Aug. 1. Fishing lines drop in the water starting at 7 a.m. and are pulled by 3 p.m. with weigh-in at the Yacht Club marina by 4 p.m. Due to space considerations, event organizers request anglers drive netted flounders to the docks for weight verification.

Registration cost is $45 for one angler and $40 per person if registering multiple parties. Also, Calcutta’s for length and weight are $10 each. 

Bunting said participants must pre-register by noon on Friday, July 31, with a steady stream of fishing enthusiasts already on board.

The first 100 anglers to register receive a commemorative T-shirt.

“It’s one of those things that’s weather-dependent,” she said. “Once the forecast comes out that week, I’m sure we’ll get a lot more people registering at that point.”

Bunting said previous tournament participants had expressed concerns about holding the event at Pines Point Marina because its smaller space would make adhering to covid-19 health safety guidelines challenging.

“This year, the Yacht Club patio is huge and there’s more than enough room to socially distance,” she said. “Pines Point didn’t want us there because they were worried.”

The return to the Yacht Club also provides ample space for perusing a wide array of auction items.

“Anybody can show up and check out the auction. You don’t have to have fished to bid on the items,” she said. “We usually have 20-30 items ranging from jewelry … up to hotel stays.”

Bunting said food and beverages would be available for purchase.

Leading the pack among an array of businesses lending financial backing this year is “Captain Sponsor” i.g. Burton.

Bunting said in addition to support from car dealer i.g. Burton, a number of businesses have contributed to the event.

“We’ve got (more than) 15 sponsors at different levels,” she said.

The list includes 1st Mate sponsor 5 Star Plumbing.

Skipper Sponsors are Short’s Marine, Taylor Bank, American Granite and Tile, Shore United Bank, Clutter Angels, Bluewater Advisory, Bank of Ocean City and Donna Frankowski of Shamrock Realty.

T-Shirt Sponsors are The Ocean Pines Association, Mitchell & Hastings, Ocean Pines Stump and Tree Removal, WMDT, The Courier, BB & T Now Trust, Coastal Fisherman, PKS and Red Sun Customs.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three fish, with the venue change providing more of a happy hour or early dinner type atmosphere, Bunting said.

“I really want to emphasize that this is such a larger venue that we can space out appropriately,” she said.

For more information visit the Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce online at oceanpineschamber.org/ or call 410-641-5306.

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