Anglers will cast their lines Friday, July 5 during the first fishing day of the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 31st annual Canyon Kick Off Tournament.
“This really kicks off bill fishing in Ocean City,” said Bill Regan, tournament chairman with Annette Cropper. “Most other tournaments are based for sharks or inshore fishing but this is really the first true kind of tournament to bill fish and it has been for many years.”
Registration for the event will begin Wednesday, July 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Marlin Club, on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captain’s meeting will follow at 8 p.m. The competition is free for Marlin Club boat members and costs $400 for non-members.
Fishing days are Friday through Sunday, July 5-7. Participants will fish two of the three days. All fish must be weighed from 5-7:30 p.m. at Sunset Marina.
“Bill fishing has been slow this year but we’re starting to see a little bit of good water move up from the south,” said Regan.
Cash prizes will be awarded for marlin, sailfish, spearfish and swordfish releases, as well as the largest tuna and dolphin brought to the Sunset Marina scale. Added entry-level calcuttas, are offered in the meatfish (tuna and dolphin), bluefin tuna and billfish (blue and white marlin, sailfish, spearfish and swordfish) divisions. Anglers can win additional prize money if entered into these clacuttas. The billfish division is catch-and-release only.
The awards banquet is scheduled for Sunday, July 7 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Marlin Club. Six tickets to the banquet are included in the tournament entry fee.
Last year 53 boats participated in the tournament and a total of $28,710 was awarded to the winners.
“I’m really looking forward to getting offshore,” said Regan. “I haven’t done it yet this year and I know most people are excited, too.”
For more information, visit www.ocmarlinclub.com or call the Club at 410-213-1613.