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(Aug. 28, 2020) The Ocean City Marlin Club’s 62nd Labor Day White Marlin Tournament kicks off next weekend with a new category added.

This year, the Marlin Club has included a Heaviest White Marlin division. The minimum size to be eligible to weigh a billfish is 70 inches. Limit of one boated billfish per boat per day.

It was added to hopefully draw more participation in the tournament, said Jim Giles, event co-chair with Gary Stamm.

The response has been “extremely positive,” Giles said.

There are three added entry-level calcuttas in the division - $200, $300 and $500.

Final registration for the tournament, the resort’s longest-running fishing competition, will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, at the Ocean City Marlin Club on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. One representative from each team. Social distancing and masks required.

Teams can also register in advance by calling the Marlin Club at 410-213-1613.

The captains’ meeting will be virtual this year because of covid-19.

Seventy-five percent of the entry fee will be returned in guaranteed prize money.

The tournament is open to both Marlin Club boat members and nonmembers. The cost to participate is $500 per boat.

Anglers are eligible to fish two of three days: Friday, Sept. 4, Saturday, Sept. 5 and/or Sunday, Sept. 6.

“Fishing is good right now, the last two-three weeks particularly the billfish fishing,” Giles said.

Participants can leave from either the Indian River inlet or Ocean City inlet.

One hundred points will be awarded for each released white marlin, sailfish and spearfish. Anglers will earn 150 points for blue marlin released.

Added entry-level calcuttas, or wagering pools, which range in cost from $200 to $500, for billfish release are available.

In addition, anglers can sign up for the daily billfish release division, which costs $500 to enter. Winner takes all.

A billfish release calcutta for boats 34 feet and smaller is also available. It costs $500 to enter and is winner takes all.

A Master Angler Award, newly named in honor of William O. Fenwick, former OCMC board member and Labor Day tournament co-chair for over a decade, will be presented to the person who self-hooks and releases the most billfish.

“He’s a Marlin Club member and he’s been fishing 40-plus years,” Giles said. “He’s extremely dedicated to the club and to fishing, so we wanted to name it in his honor.”

Giles will be fishing in the tournament with Fenwick, as well as Jim Motsko, director of the White Marlin Open, and Jim Frack on Pat Svehla’s boat, Grande Pez.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

There are also divisions for heaviest meatfish (tuna and dolphin) brought to the scale.

The anglers who boat the three heaviest tuna (yellowfin, big eye or longfin) and dolphin will win prize money. Added entry-level calcuttas for meatfish cost $200, $300 and $500.

The minimum qualifying weight for tuna is 30 pounds and 10 pounds for dolphin.

Daily catches will be weighed at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City from 6-8 p.m.

Last year, 22 boats participated and $39,970 was paid out to the winners.

For more information, call the Marlin Club at 410-213-1613 or visit www.ocmarlinclub.com.

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