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‘Heels & Reels’ Ladies Tournament next weekend

(July 26, 2013) Female anglers of all ages will cast their lines Friday, Aug. 2, in the first fishing day of the Ocean City Marlin Club’s fifth annual “Heels & Reels” Ladies Tournament.

“We think of fishing tournaments as a group of guys out their and a cooler full of beer but this gets the ladies involved,” said Franky Pettolina, president of the Ocean City Marlin Club and co-director of the tournament with Amanda Shick. “It’s a big day on the water in the summer when they’re just having fun with it.”

Registration for the competition, open to both Marlin Club members and non-members, is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Marlin Club, on Golf Course Road  in West Ocean City. A captain’s meeting will follow at 8 p.m.

Anglers may fish one of two days: Friday, Aug. 2 or Saturday, Aug. 3. Weigh-ins will take place both days from 5-7 p.m. at Sunset Marina.

The cost is $300 per boat for up to six anglers. A portion of the entry fee will be donated to the Marlin Club Auxiliary’s Bertha Holloway Scholarship Fun for Worcester County high school students who plan to attend college or a trade school.

Added entry level calcuttas ranging in price from $200 to $500 are available and include a billfish release and a meatfish (tuna and dolphin, but no bluefin) divisions. A junior angler division is open to women 16 and younger.

An awards banquet is scheduled for Aug. 4 from 6:30-9 p.m. Anglers who reel in the three heaviest tuna and dolphin will win prize money. First, second and third place in the billfish release division will also be awarded prize money.

Pettolina said he is “hoping for good weather, turnout and fishing,” and also said that last year’s results were “absolutely spectacular.”

In 2012, according to catch reports, a total of 114 white marlin and one blue marlin were released during the competition.

Twenty-eight boats carried female anglers offshore for the competition, and a total of $29,250 was awarded to the winners.

“A couple boats probably didn’t even turn in their catch reports because there were boats with 10, 11 and 12 releases and they knew they wouldn’t win,” Pettolina said after the 2012 tournament.

For more information, call 410-213-1613 or visit www.ocmarlinclub.com.

Lady anglers fishing aboard White Lightning released six white marlin during the fourth annual “Heels & Reels” Ladies Tournament last year.

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