(June 14, 2019) The Ocean City Marlin Club will host its 40th annual Small Boat Tournament this weekend.
“If we have good weather I think it will be a good tournament,” said Boz Jefferson, co-chair of the tournament with Colin Campbell and Bill Regan. “The fish appear to be here. The tuna bit is good. Big eyes, they’re catching a lot of right now, and that’s excited some people.”
The competition is for “small boats,” open to vessels 34 feet long (as stated on the manufacturer’s specifications) and smaller.
Registration is today, Friday, June 14, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Marlin Club on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captains’ meeting will follow at 8 p.m. The tournament is open to Marlin Club members and nonmembers.
“We’re hoping for 50 [boats] or better,” Jefferson said.
Many people fish in the tournament annually, he added.
Participants will fish either Saturday or Sunday, June 15-16. Anglers can participate in the inshore or offshore divisions. They also have the option to compete in both.
The Small Boat competition is for all ages, and young anglers are encouraged participate.
Participants like that they have the option to fish both days, inshore one day and offshore the other day, Jefferson said.
The inshore division includes categories for flounder, sea bass, tog, bluefish and rockfish. Offshore division categories include tuna, dolphin and billfish release.
The Dale Brown Award is a $500 bonus for the angler who lands the heaviest flounder. The award is named in memory of Brown, who was a Marlin Club member and avid fisherman.
“All [species] are stable right now,” Jefferson said. “Bluefin and yellowfin [tuna] are scattered right now, there’s a lot of dolphin around on the smaller side, bluefish have been running in the bay, [and] flounder is spotty, but all it take is a few days of clear water.”
Weigh-ins will take place Saturday and Sunday from 3-6:30 p.m. at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City.
An awards banquet is scheduled for Sunday from 6:30-9 p.m. at the OCMC clubhouse.
The entry fee is $250 per boat to fish offshore or inshore. Five banquet tickets are included in the fee. To fish inshore one day and offshore the other, the cost is $500 and includes 10 banquet tickets.
Added entry-level calcuttas are available for each division and cost $100, $200 and $300. There is also a winner takes all $200 offshore billfish release added-entry level.
For more information, call the Marlin Club at 410-213-1613 or visit www.ocmarlinclub.com.
The Sunset Marina scale in West Ocean City was busy with activity during the first day of the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 39th annual Small Boat Tournament in 2018, as nearly all of the winning fish were caught on that day.
Of the 46 boats entered into the tournament, 38 fished the first day.
A total of $14,180 was presented to tournament winners.
In the billfish release division, the Joken crew took first place, releasing their white marlin at 7:37 a.m. The De-Bait-Able team let theirs go at 2:50 p.m.
The only dolphin landed was a 13.4-pounder aboard In the Black. The team won $6,255.
The Offshore Hooker crew took first and second place in the tuna division. The group hooked 98.6- and 92-pound big eye tunas. They were awarded $5,382.
Carol’s Teakettle slipped into the third-place spot with an 84-pound bluefin tuna. The fish was worth $873.
For the inshore division, Fish in OC/Hooked on OC earned first and second in the bluefish category. The crew reeled in 2.4- and 1.8-pound bluefish. They won $453.
Fish Magnet II caught a 5.2-pound flounder, good for first place. The crew was awarded $827.
They were presented the Dale Brown Award for the heaviest flounder.
SeaCraft 23 reeled in 4- and 3.8- pounders for second and third place.
The Jezebel team swept the sea bass category. They boated two 1.6- pounders and a 1.4-pound sea bass. The group received $390.