Who: Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association
When: Aug. 22 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Atlantic Tackle, O.C. Md.
The one-day, inshore tournament is back to the bays of Ocean City for it’s fifth year. Participants in this tournament can fish in the back bays, the Ocean City inlet or as far as 3 miles out. Dave Smith, executive director of Maryland Saltwater and Sportfishing Association, has been with the tournament from the start.
“We really wanted to create a tournament that would include everyone, even those without boats,” Smith said. “This tournament is designed for all anglers, even those fishing from shore, bridge, beach or pier.”
This is an individual angler tournament meaning every man for themselves. Although the tournament isn’t a group effort like many other local tournaments, many people involved will fish together on boats. In the past, the tournament has seen around 150 people each year.
“I’m hoping this year we will see more people than we ever have,” Smith said. “I would like to have at least 160 people participate this year.”
Smith says the first place winner is guaranteed $1,000, however, the prize can go up based on the number of entries. Last years’ winner received a $4,500 prize with the winning flounder weighing 5.06 lbs and 23 inches.
Participants are able to weigh in anytime after 3 p.m. and they can weigh in however many they would like, however, Smith says they typically weigh in just once.
Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association
Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association’s mission includes providing ‘a unified voice to preserve and protect the fisheries resources, the rights of recreational fishermen, and the opportunity to support activities that enhance the marine environment.’ MSSA was started by a few fishermen who came together to save the ‘prized striped bass,‘ when the amount of these fish were becoming sparse. MSSA was launched in 1981 to help advocate their views of Maryland Department of Natural Resources taking measures towards this cause.
According to MSSA, they are now the largest organization of recreational anglers and conservationists in the region. The group claims to ‘sustain all fisheries, including crabs and oysters; to protect the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and the Coastal mid-Atlantic; and to enhance recreational fishing.’