(June 7, 2013) Anglers will head offshore in search of mako and thresher sharks and bluefish during the 17th annual Mako Mania Shark Tournament, which starts today, Friday, and concludes Sunday.
The Mako Mania event, presented by Bahia Marina Tournaments, is the first major offshore fishing tournament of the season.
It was a cold winter and cool spring in Ocean City and anglers are ready for warm weather and the 2013 tournament fishing season to get under way.
The first mako of the season, a 138-pounder, was caught on May 10 by Wayne Mull aboard the Restless Lady. A number of makos have been boated since.
“Mako fishing has been pretty good,” Mako Mania co-organizer Earl Conley said last week. “I hear there’s lots of bluefish. If there’s lots of bait, there will be lots of [makos].”
The entry fee is $500 per boat for up to four anglers. Two additional anglers — to make a six-person team — may be added to a boat at $50 each. There is also a one-day (different team) entry fee of $300 for charter boats.
Anglers will fish two of three days, Friday through Sunday, June 7-9.
All fish must be weighed in at Bahia Marina on 22nd Street. Scales will open at 3:30 p.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to watch the weigh-ins, which typically draw a large crowd.
This tournament has added entry categories for the heaviest thresher shark and bluefish. Prize money will be awarded for the three heaviest mako sharks and top two bluefish. Winner takes all for the heaviest thresher.
There will also be a $1,000 bonus mako (heaviest mako winner takes all) calcutta. Entering this category will increase the amount of prize money paid out to the angler who lands the largest mako.
The boat that releases the most sharks will receive the “W.W. Harman” $1,000 award in honor of the late William W. Harman, who launched shark tournaments in the resort more than 20 years ago.
There will be a $150 registration fee to be in the running for Ocean City “Sharker of the Year.” Points will be accumulated in both the Mako Mania and OC Shark tournaments (June 13-15) for sharks weighed and released.
Thirty-five boats transporting 154 anglers entered the 2012 event and $61,700 in prize money was awarded to the winners.
In the mako division, Keep Er Wet earned first-place honors with John Loar’s’ 280.9 pounder. The fish was worth $33,935.
The Jade II team finished in second place with Matt Keller’s 213-pound mako and received $10,101.
Dave Blanch, fishing aboard the Runnin’ Late, hooked a 194.4-pound mako that brought in $4,214 for the crew.
Chasin’ Tales anglers won $2,520 for Buddy Trala’s fourth-place, 187.3-pounder.
The Runnin’ Late team also won the winner-takes-all thresher division, for Dave Nolan’s 576.5-pounder. Nolan fought the fish for about an hour.
The thresher was too large to get into the 23-foot boat, which was one of, if not the, smallest vessel entered into the competition, so it was pulled along side to the Bahia Marina. Once the boat arrived at the dock, about a dozen people grabbed hold of the ropes attached to the fish and hauled it out of the water and to the scale. The fish was worth $3,750.
Keep Er Wet also had the heaviest tournament bluefish. Lauren Stinchcomb took first place with a 13.3-pound bluefish. The crew was awarded $4,542. Baron Daiker’s 11.5-pounder, caught aboard Bluefish Teaser, finished in second place and the team pocketed $1,638.
Keep Er Wet anglers also received the W.W. Harman Award, $1,000 for the most sharks released, with nine.
For more information, call Bahia Marina at 410-289-7438.