Its summertime and for a lot of us here at the beach that means fishing! There are all kinds of fish in the sea and just about as many ways to catch them. You can fish from a pier, the shore, the surf, a boat or whatever gets you close to the fish. As fishermen and women get to catching inevitably you will begin to compare fish. Who caught the big one? The human competitive spirit takes over. So in turn our summer season here at the Delmarva beaches turns into fishing tournament season. There are world famous tournaments held right here at our local docks. Boats travel all up and down our coast to stop and fish for a few days in search of the big payday.
This past weekend we saw the OC Tuna Tournament. With over a half a million dollars up for grabs the Tuna tournament had a huge draw this year. The big winner was the Sea Slammer. Their 182# Big Eye tuna brought them a whopping $284,776.00. Missing the big paycheck by a single pound the Osprey’s 181# Big Eye tuna brought them in a $45,909.00 paycheck. The OC tuna tournament has several catagories that you can win in. The next biggest payday goes to the stringer weight. This is where you combine the weight of your 5 heaviest fish per day. The two day total will give you the heaviest stringer. This year the Espadon brought back to the dock 398#’s worth of tuna over their two days of fishing. This brought the crew of the Espadon a huge $193,606.00 paycheck. Here are the complete results for the 2015 OC Tuna tournament:
SINGLE LARGEST TUNA
1ST – SEA SLAMMER ROB WAGNER (182 #S) $284,776.00
2ND – OSPREY TYLER NICHOLS (181 #S) $45,909.00
3RD – BLUE RUNNER RYAN YOST (157 #S) $26,872.00
1ST – ESPADON CREW (398 #S) $193,606.00
2ND – THAT’S RIGHT CREW (191 #S) $45,909.00
3RD – FOOLISH PLEASURES CREW (182 #S) $26,872.00
1ST – BLUE RUNNER FRED IPPOLITO (42 #S) $16,620.00
2ND – M KELIJEAN E FRED CRICKENBERGER (22 #S) $1,000.00
3RD – DITCH DIGGER II JONATHAN FERM (21 #S) $500.00
TOP JUNIOR ANGLER
1ST – MYRA HT HUGH THOMAS CROPPER (43 #S) $1,000.000
2ND – BINNACLE ALEX GRAPES (41 #S) $500.00
TOP LADY ANGLER
1ST – THAT’S RIGHT MICHELE LAMBIE (150 #) $1,500.00
2ND – DA SEA VALERIE DUNN (63 #S) PRIZES
3RD – MYRA HT JL CROPPER (44 #S) PRIZES
40′ & UNDER – SINGLE LARGEST TUNA
1ST – SUGARHOLE GEORGE HALL, III (133 #S) $4,050.00
40′ & UNDER – HEAVIEST STRINGER
1ST – FOOLISH PLEASURES CREW (182 #S) $4,050.00
The next tournament up on the roster is the HUK Big Fish Classic. This tournament is in it’s second year running. It is a very unique tournament format as it allows the boats to fish a continuous 32 hour time period over the 3 day tournament. So basically you can fish Friday into Saturday or Saturday into Sunday. The tournament scales open up at 4:00 p.m. each day at the Talbot Street pier. The basic format to win is Biggest fish on the dock wins! Last year the Reel Intents was the big winner. Their 243.5# Big Eye tuna helped them walk away with a nice $35,772.00 paycheck. So if you aren’t doing anything next weekend head on down to the Talbot Street pier in Ocean city to watch some Reel Big Fish get weighed in.
Ocean City has long been known as the White Marlin Capital of the world. As such why wouldn’t they play host to the world’s largest billfishing tournament. The White Marlin Open is in its 42 year running. With over $2,000,000 in prize money up for grabs you can bet that boats from far and wide will be traveling to our Delmarva shores to try and get a piece of the pie. While all the boats and parties that they bring are scattered around the local marinas, the big show is at 16thstreet in Ocean City. Nestled back in the harbor island community is the big weigh scale for the tournament. Every year during the first week in August this sleepy community turns into the big party that is the White Marlin Open. If you head on down early you might get a front row seat to watch the big ones get weighed in. The scales open up Monday through Friday at 4:00 so head on down for a chance to see a million dollar fish weighed in. Last year the big 78# white marlin brought the Dream Time a $1,290,411.00 paycheck.
Next up on the area fishing tournament schedule is the 21st annual Ladies only Capt. Steve Harman’s Poor Girls Open Tournament. This ladies only tournament is a charity billfishing event that benefits breast cancer research. This tournament was started by Capt. Steve Harman as a way for local waitresses and bartenders to have an affordable and fun competition while raising money for a very important cause. The tournament continues to grow with over 100 boats entering. Participation is not limited only to anglers as there are silent auctions, 50/50 tickets, T-shirts for sale, and other fun events helping to raise money for breast cancer research. In the past 3 years alone, the Poor Girls Open has raised over $100,000 that was donated to the American Cancer Society. It is held every year at the Bahia Marina. This year’s tournament runs from August 13 th to the 15th. Weigh ins start at 4:00 so head on down grab a T-shirt, buy some auction items and watch the ladies bring in their catches.
The next tournament on the schedule is the Mid-Atlantic 500. The Mid-Atlantic is a dual port tournament. This tournament splits their tournament venues between the Canyon Club in Cape May New Jersey and Sunset Marina in Ocean City. The Mid-Atlantic is another big money Billfish tournament that generally targets the White Marlin. Every year there is a big rivalry between the two venues. In fact there is an added entry level that paid out over $250,000 to the winners in each port. There are multiple jackpots and ways to win in this tournament, but the big white marlin always is the target. Last years payouts for the Mid-Atlantic 500 was over $2,000,000.00. This years tournament starts on the 17 th of August and runs through Friday the 21st. Scales open at 5:00 so come on down to Sunset Marina in West Ocean City to check out on of the biggest Marlin tournaments in the country.