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OCMC’s ninth annual Kid’s Classic this weekend

(July 19, 2013) Young anglers will cast their lines Saturday, July 20, in the first fishing day of the Ocean City Marlin Club’s ninth annual Kid’s Classic tournament, a partnership with Wish-a-Fish foundation.

“This is really a pretty big tournament,” said Bill Regan, tournament chairman with Annette Cropper and Pat Svehla. “It’s the funnest tournament of the year because it’s what fishing is all about.”

Registration will begin today, Friday, at 6:30 p.m. at the Marlin Club, located on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City. A captain’s meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m.

The tournament is open to anglers 19 and younger.

The cost is $200 per boat with unlimited anglers. Those who don’t have access to a boat can participate for $25 and fish from areas including the surf, Route 50 bridge, Ocean City fishing pier and Assateague Island.

Regan said he expects approximately 350 anglers to participate.

Children from the Wish-a-Fish foundation will also be able to fish for free on a boat provided by the Marlin Club.

Fishing days are Saturday and Sunday and participants can fish one or both days. Weigh-ins will take place Saturday 3-6:30 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m. at Sunset Marina.

Regan said the tournament encourages young children to fish and that there are minimal rules for which species count.

“If any kid brings a fish in we’ll be happy to weigh it,” he said. “As long as it’s something they could eat, they can bring it in. The tournament is open to any species, really.”

If the fish is edible, the angler can keep it. If not, Regan said, the angler can take a picture with it at the weigh station then throw it back in the water.

There are additional prizes for most billfish released and heaviest fish including bluefish, bonita, dolphin, flounder, mackerel, rockfish, sea bass, tog, tuna, wahoo, shark and unusual catch.

“No money is involved in the fishing, they just go out and have fun with the family and there are no calcuttas to worry about,” said Regan. “It’s a family-oriented tournament and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.”

A cookout will take place Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in the Clubhouse for Wish-a-Fish participants. A carnival and awards banquet will follow on Sunday from 5-8 p.m. under the clubhouse. There will be food, games and prizes and the awards presentation will take place at 7 p.m. Every angler who participates in the tournament will receive a reward.

Last year, 59 boats carried 334 anglers during the competition. Participants donated $1,405 to the foundation and the Marlin Club provided Wish-a-Fish with the Classic’s proceeds of $4,200.

Wish-a-Fish is a foundation whose mission is to “provide a little relief for a family from the daily stress of having a child with special needs, such as a life-threatening illness, mental or physical disability, by taking the entire family out for a day of fun and fishing on the water,” according to its Web site.

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

Myra and Hugh Thomas Cropper hold the black drum and silver perch they reeled in during the Ocean City Marlin Club’s eighth annual Kid’s Classic tournament last year.

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