(July 25, 2014) Female anglers of all ages will cast their lines next Friday and Saturday during the Ocean City Marlin Club’s sixth annual “Heels and Reels” Ladies Tournament.
“We started the ladies tournament after many requests from our members. We wanted to give the ladies another event to fish,” said Franky Pettolina, president of the Ocean City Marlin Club and co-director of the tournament with Amanda Shick. “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” is scheduled for Aug. 1-2, and 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.
Registration for “Heels and Reels,” open to both Marlin Club members and non-members, will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, at the Marlin Club, on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captain’s meeting will follow at 8 p.m.
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.
The cost is $300 per boat for up to six anglers. 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.
Added entry level calcuttas, or wagering pools, ranging in price from $200 to $500 are available and include a billfish release and a meatfish (tuna (no bluefin) and dolphin) divisions. A junior angler division is open to anglers 16 and younger.
An awards banquet is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the OCMC.
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.
In 2013, approximately 120 female anglers fished on 20 boats, and a total of $20,610 was awarded to the winners.
“With all the great tuna fishing this year, marlin fishing has kind of been on the back burner for many of the crews, but there have still been very solid numbers of billfish released,” Pettolina said. “I am expecting a good turnout and some quality catches.”
For more information, call 410-213-1613 or visit www.ocmarlinclub.com.