OCEAN CITY- With a couple of the major offshore tournaments looming later this summer, some of the smaller boats in the resort’s sportfishing fleet are getting their chance to shine this weekend with the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 34th Annual Small Boat Tournament.
The Marlin Club’s annual Small Boat Tournament provides an opportunity for smaller boats to compete in a tournament before the bigger events such as the Ocean City Tuna Tournament and the White Marlin Open arrive on the summer fishing calendar. The event gets underway tonight with registration and a captain’s meeting at the Marlin Club, with the action offshore getting started tomorrow. Participating boats must decide to fish one of two fishing days, Saturday or Sunday, with daily weigh-ins the Sunset Marina in West Ocean City from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
As its name implies, the Small Boat Tournament is open to all boats with a length of 34 feet or under. The event is divided into two divisions; the Offshore Division and the Inshore Division. Inshore, participating anglers will target flounder, sea bass, tog, bluefish and rockfish. The offshore division targets tuna, dolphin, shark and billfish, the latter of which will be recorded and released in a points division.
Last year in the offshore portion of the tournament, the crew on the “Bimini” won the white marlin release division with a white released at 8:23 a.m. worth $1,260. In the tuna division, it was the “Strike Fever” taking first place with a 56.4-pounder worth $2,052. The “Empty Pockets” was second with a 52-pounder worth $337, the “Vapor Trail” was third and the “Notorious” was fourth in terms of weight, but first in terms of prize money in the division, taking home $2,556 because of added entry levels.