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OCMC hosts ‘Heels and Reels’ tourney

(Aug. 1, 2014) Lady anglers will take center stage today and Saturday during the Ocean City Marlin Club’s sixth annual “Heels and Reels” Tournament.

Franky Pettolina, president of the Ocean City Marlin Club and co-director of the tournament with Amanda Shick, said earlier this week the weather forecast looked great for the event and he is hoping for a big turnout in participation.

“Fishing was good for marlin with some boats seeing double digits (last weekend),” Pettolina said. “There was also good action on bigeyes and yellowfin. Some nice 25-plus pound mahi were caught as well.”

Anglers are permitted to fish one of two tournament days: Friday, Aug. 1 or Saturday, Aug. 2. Weigh-ins will take place both days from 5-7:30 p.m. at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City. They are free to attend and open to the public.

Anglers who reel in the three heaviest tuna and dolphin will take home prize money. First, second and third place in the billfish release division will also win prize money.

A portion of the entry fee will be donated to the Ocean City Marlin Club Auxiliary’s Scholarship Fund. A total of $2,500 was presented to the fund from 2013 tournament proceeds.

“We started the ladies tournament after many requests from our members. We wanted to give the ladies another event to fish,” Pettolina said. “The [Capt. Steve Harman’s] Poor Girls [Open] is such a great event, and I spoke with the Harman family prior to starting ours and explained to them that we were not trying to compete with the Poor Girls, we just wanted to give lady anglers more opportunities to get out there and show the men how it is done. Donna, Shawn and Joslyn have been very supportive of our event and we have tried to reciprocate as well. It is really cool that Ocean City has a ladies tournament on either side of the White Marlin Open and both benefit great charities.”

“Heels and Reels” benefits the Ocean City Marlin Club Auxiliary’s Scholarship Fund. The Poor Girls Open, out of Bahia Marina on 22nd Street in Ocean City, will take place, Aug. 14-16. The ladies-only tournament benefits the American Cancer Society with funds earmarked for breast cancer research.

The competitions flank the White Marlin Open, the world’s largest billfish tournament, set for Aug. 4-8. Weigh-ins are at Harbour Island on 14th Street.

In 2013, about 120 female anglers fished on 20 boats, and $20,610 was awarded to “Heels and Reels” winners.

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

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