OCEAN CITY- The 1st Annual Branch Kreppel Blue Marlin Tournament, named for a beloved local angler and diver who passed away unexpectedly last fall, gets underway next weekend with a captain’s meeting and registration on Thursday followed by three full days of fishing action next Friday to Sunday.
As an avid diver and owner of Diver Services, Kreppel was a popular man around the marinas in the resort area and often kept the local sportfishing fleet up and running. He passed away in November and the first-ever blue marlin tournament in his name, which gets underway next week, is one small way to honor his endless contributions to the community.
The tournament gets started with registration and a captain’s meeting next Thursday at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City. Captains and teams of anglers must choose to fish two of the three official fishing days, which run next Friday through Sunday.
As the name of the event implies, blue marlin are the main species targeted in the tournament, which could become an annual precursor to the prestigious White Marlin Open a week later. The minimum size requirements for a captured blue marlin in the tournament is 400 pounds and 105 inches in length.
Each qualifying blue marlin brought to the scale at Sunset Marina will be awarded one point per pound. Each blue marlin released will be awarded 200 points. Other billfish releases will also be rewarded, with 20 points awarded for each white marlin, spearfish or swordfish released. There will also be several meatfish categories including awards for the heaviest tuna, dolphin and wahoo.
While the action offshore will certainly be the center of attention for the tournament, the activities at the docks should be no less exciting. The weigh-ins at the scale at Sunset Marina will be held each fishing day from 4-9 p.m. There will also be plenty of the associated food, drink, music and favorite stories associated with the tournament’s namesake.