(Aug. 13, 2021) Thursday was the first fishing day of the 27th annual Capt. Steve Harman’s Poor Girls Open, and female anglers will have two more days – today and Saturday – to compete for cash prizes.
As of Thursday morning, 154 boats carrying 765 lady anglers have entered this year’s competition, although there is still time to register. Teams can sign up through Saturday, but are not eligible for the added entry-level calcuttas.
The entry fee is $450 per boat for up to three anglers. Additional anglers may be added at $50 each, with a maximum of six total per boat.
Teams have the option to fish one of the three tournament days: Thursday, Aug. 12, Friday, Aug. 13, or Saturday, Aug. 14. Weigh-ins will take place from 4-7:30 p.m. at Bahia Marina, 22nd Street, bayside. The ladies will be competing for an estimated $240,000 in prize money.
The annual ladies-only fishing tournament returned this year after a one-year hiatus.
The health and well-being of cancer patients and survivors – who the event supports – was, and is, the No. 1 priority, which is why the event was canceled last year.
“The main reason we canceled last year was because a lot of cancer survivors were unable to partake because of immunodeficiency. We saw that the people we’re trying to support were unable to participate, so that’s why we decided to call it off,” Earl Conley, co-director of the event said last week.
A record 925 female anglers fished on 184 boats during the 26th annual tournament in 2019. A total of $269,940 – a new tournament record – was presented to the winners.
That’s about a $40,000 increase from 2018, when $229,565 was paid out with 149 boats registered.
Perhaps the most talked about accomplishment was Kristy Frashure reeling in a 74.5-pound dolphin aboard Haulin N’ Ballin. The catch was a new Maryland state record.
Many women, including cancer survivors, make it a tradition to fish annually. Women enjoy fishing in the tournament because it benefits a worthy cause — breast cancer research.
Proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society and earmarked for breast cancer research and program development as part of the “Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series” – an assortment of local activities to raise breast cancer awareness while garnering money for the organization.
“We love the cause and we love fishing for breast cancer research,” Conley said.
The funds raised will support the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer initiatives, which includes programs and services for breast cancer patients and survivors, information on prevention, screening, treatment and research, according to Mary Bellis, senior community development manager, Northeast Region, for the American Cancer Society Inc.
Poor Girls Open organizers presented a check for $140,000 to the American Cancer Society during the awards banquet in 2019. Since 2005, the total donated to the American Cancer Society by the Harman family through the tournament and other events is over $1.2 million.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top-three teams with the most billfish release points. Anglers who boat the three heaviest tuna, dolphin and wahoo will also receive cash prizes.
There are added entry levels/calcuttas for billfish releases, tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Girls 16 and younger may compete in the junior angler division.
Pink Ribbon merchandise is for sale near the weigh-in scale in the Bahia Marina/Fish Tales parking lot and several vendors will also have booths set up featuring art, clothing and jewelry. There will also be a 50/50 raffle as well as a silent auction, featuring a bike and paddle board. Donations will be accepted as well.
For additional information or to register, visit www.poorgirlsopen.com.
An awards luncheon is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Ocean City convention center this year, with food provided by Centerplate.
In 2004, the tournament was renamed to honor the founder of the event, the late Capt. Steve Harman.
He and his wife, Pam, started the Poor Girls Open in 1994 to provide women with an opportunity to compete for prizes and money in a ladies-only tournament, and to raise money for local charities. Harman died in February 2004, so organizers thought it was appropriate the tournament be renamed in his memory.
For more information about the Poor Girls Open, call Bahia Marina at 410-289-7438.
To learn more about the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345. Cancer Survivors Network available at www.cancer.org, a 24-hour-a-day cancer information center; and 1-800-227-2345 for patients to access ACS services.