(Aug. 2, 2019) Numerous records were broken during the sixth annual Huk Big Fish Classic last weekend.
“It was amazing. Absolutely amazing,” Brian Roberts, co-director of the Big Fish Classic, said. “Fishing was great. The weather was great. Everything ran smoothly.”
Records were set for both participation and payout. Seventy-two boats were registered for the tournament and a total of $503,302 was distributed among the winners.
The Pumpin Hard crew took first place for heaviest fish and largest stringer weight. The 455-pound blue marlin the crew brought to the Talbot Street Pier broke the tournament record for largest fish. They also landed a 114-pound swordfish.
The team was awarded $199,771.
The MJ’s crew came in second place in both the single largest and stringer weight.
The group caught a 438-pound blue marlin and 39-pound wahoo. They were awarded $63,351.
The Hubris team finished in third place with a 345-pound blue marlin. The crew took home $18,915.
The Whiskey Kilo crew finished in third place in the heaviest stringer weight division, with a total of 473.5 pounds.
Contributing to the third-place finish was an 85.5-pound yellowfin tuna, 285.5-pound swordfish and 69-pound white marlin.
The group won $12, 848.
The Rebel crew was presented $19,350 for a 294.5-pound swordfish and the Lovin’ Life team received $31,500 for a 72-pound white marlin.
The Gret’s Three J’s team released 12 white marlins and two blues. The group was presented $10,080.
The Reel Chaos team came in second in the billfish release division with 10 white marlin releases and one blue. They were awarded $4,320.
The No Limits crew earned $30,712 for reeling in a 112.5-pound yellowfin tuna and 51-pound dolphin.
The FFMD team landed a 188-pound tuna and won $14,625.
The Chaser team caught a pair of bigeye tunas, weighing 123.5 and 122.5 pounds. The group was presented $54,585.
The Goin’ In Deep crew reeled in 68-, 58.5- and 44-pound tunas. They were awarded $6,750.
The Sea Wolf team hooked 51- and 61-pound tunas and took home $2,700.
The Primary Search team scored a check for $13,500 for a 49-pound wahoo.
The No Limit crew boated an 85.5-pound bluefin tuna and received $15,840.
The Over Billin team’s 60.5-pound white marlin was worth $2,430.
The Restless Lady II crew caught a 68.5-pound yellowfin to win $2,025.
“Everything fell into place,” Roberts said. “[We had] talented and dedicated fishermen that believe in the tournament [who] are willing to think outside of the box of the format of this tournament.”
Teams could choose between two 32-hour slots: 7 a.m. Friday, July, 26 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27, or 7 a.m. Saturday, July 27 to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 28.
They could fish the entire 32 hours or come back to the dock and head out offshore again after a break with the same or different anglers.
A record 900 pounds of meat from fish caught during the tournament was donated to Diakonia, which provides emergency housing, food services, counseling and assistance for its guests, and the Ocean City Baptist Church.
The tournament will again benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Raymond A. Wood Foundation, which provides quality of life support for childhood brain tumor survivors and their families, as well as Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.
“I want to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers and everyone who helped out,” Roberts said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Talbot Street Pier is the original spot where some of the first fish caught off the coast of Ocean City were weighed.
Nearly 100 years ago, the pier in downtown Ocean City was bustling with activity as anglers took their daily catches there. Organizers of the Big Fish Classic wanted to bring the action, and big fish, back to the pier so they created this tournament six years ago.