(May 23, 2014) Anglers will be searching for bluefish this weekend during the Ocean City Marlin Club’s fifth annual Memorial Day Bluefish Tournament.
Registration for the 2014 competition begins at 6:30 p.m. today, Friday, at the Marlin Club on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captain’s meeting will follow at 8 p.m. Anglers do not have to be Marlin Club members to participate.
Participants will fish one of two days, May 24 or 25.
Anglers will have the option to fish inshore or offshore. Boat entry fee is $200, while fishing from the shore costs $50.
A portion of the entry fee will again be donated to the Catherine & Charles Kratz Memorial Foundation and Scholarship Fund, which provides support, encouragement and a better life for veterans.
Weigh-ins will take place at Sunset Marina on Saturday and Sunday from 3:30-6 p.m.
Prize money will be awarded to anglers who hook the three heaviest bluefish. Added entry levels ranging in cost from $50-$250, are available. Participating in the additional calcuttas increase the prize money payout for top fish. Franky Pettolina, OCMC president and tournament co-director said there are “lots of bluefish in the bay [and] a fair showing out to the 20 fathom line.”
“Right now, the weather conditions look great for the weekend,” he said Tuesday.
An awards banquet will take place Sunday from 6:30-9 p.m. at the club. Four tickets are included with each boat entry fee. One banquet ticket is included with each shore entry. The cost for each additional banquet ticket is $15.
Despite poor weather and fishing conditions, 17 boats entered the 2013 tournament. Initially, anglers had the option to fish one of two tournament days, but because of the unfavorable fishing conditions, a third day was added.
All 17 boats headed offshore on the final day, Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. Only one brought a bluefish to the Sunset Marina weigh station in West Ocean City.
“Fishing was well short of what we expected,” Pettolina, said after last year’s tournament. “Bluefish fishing was very slow in the ocean. It was very good in the bay, but everyone in the tournament went offshore.”
Angler Mike Levasseur caught a 1.2-pound bluefish aboard Kylee’s World, earning him and his team $6,345.
Approximately $2,000 was presented to the Catherine & Charles Kratz Memorial Foundation and Scholarship Fund last year. Since 2010, the OCMC has donated more than $8,800 to the foundation.
For more information, call 410-213-1613. To learn more about the Catherine & Charles Kratz Memorial Foundation and Scholarship Fund, visit www.kratzmemorialfoundation.com.