fishing pole

(May 24, 2019) Bluefish and bluefin tuna fishing is decent right now, just in time for the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 10th annual Memorial Day Tournament.

“Tuna looks good. Bluefish looks good,” said Franky Pettolina, Ocean City Marlin Club president and tournament co-director.

Last weekend, Pettolina said a good number of bluefin tuna were caught, ranging from 70 to 80 pounds. Most hooked, he added, were between 30 and 50 pounds.

“Many boats caught their limit [and then] released extras,” he said.

For private boats, the limit is two bluefin tunas ranging from 27 inches to less than 47 inches, and one from 47 to less than 73 inches. For charter boats, it’s three and one, Pettolina added.

The tuna have been landed offshore between the Baltimore and Washington canyons.

Pettolina said about the last 10-12 years right around this time is when the bluefin tuna show up in the area.

Yellowfin tuna have been spotted, but no quality keepers, he added.

Bluefish are much closer to shore, Pettolina said. Anglers have been catching quality-size bluefish between the Route 50 bridge and the inlet.

“It’s as good as it has ever been for the spring [in the bay],” he said. “It’s been spectacular, and some big fish too, like seven to eight pounds.”

A number of boats met their limit of 10 bluefish per person over the past week, Pettolina added.

Registration for the 2019 tournament begins at 6:30 p.m. today, Friday, at the Marlin Club on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captains’ meeting will follow at 8 p.m. Anglers do not have to be Marlin Club members to participate.

The boat entry fee is $300 (for four anglers). Participants will fish one of two days: Saturday, May 25 or Sunday, May 26.

A portion of the entry fee will again be donated to the Catherine & Charles Kratz Memorial Foundation and Scholarship Fund, which provides support, encouragement and a better life for veterans.

Weigh-ins will take place at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City on Saturday and Sunday from 4:30-7 p.m. Prize money will be awarded to anglers who hook the three heaviest fish in the bluefish and tuna divisions.

Added entry-level calcuttas, or side wagers, ranging in cost from $100-$500 are available for bluefish and tuna. Participating in the additional calcuttas increase the prize money payout for top fish.

An awards banquet will take place on Sunday from 6:30-9 p.m. at the club. Four banquet tickets are included with each boat entry fee. The cost for each additional ticket is $15.

“As long as we have good weather I think we’ll have a good tournament,” Pettolina said. “I hope we have a good turnout so we can raise some money for a good cause.”

Anglers on nine boats fished in less than desirable weather conditions during the ninth annual Memorial Day Tournament last year, and $2,880 was paid out to the winners.

The Spring Mix II crew took first place in the tuna division with a 43.6-pound yellowfin. They were awarded $1,980.

The Husevo team landed a 43.4-pound yellowfin, good for second place and $756. The Brenda Lou crew came in third place with a 40-pound yellowfin. The group received $144.

No bluefish were caught.

For information, call 410-213-1613.

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