OCEAN CITY, MD — Sunset Marina in Ocean City, Maryland is hosting a tournament July 24-26 to honor the late Glen Robert “Branch” Kreppel, a commercial diver and owner of Diver Services Company, who died at the age of 44 on Nov. 28, 2008. Registration for the “1st Annual Branch Kreppel Memorial Blue Marlin Tournament” is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 from 4-7:30 p.m. at Sunset Marina, on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City.
Anglers will fish two of three days: July 24-26.
To be eligible for prize money, a blue marlin must weigh at least 400 pounds and measure no less than 105 inches. Teams will receive one point per pound for each qualifying blue marlin weighed. Each blue marlin released will earn teams 200 points. White marlin, sailfish and spearfish releases will earn anglers 20 points.
There is also a Meat Fish Division. An award will be presented to anglers who catch the heaviest wahoo, tuna and dolphin.
For more information, call 410-213-9600. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Kreppel’s family.
Kreppel’s diving skills were in high demand during the 2004 Ocean City Tuna Tournament.
As the Instigator 57 docked into its slip at the Ocean City Fishing Center and the crew was about to load its tuna off the boat to take to the scales at about 6 p.m., on the final day of the tournament, the gaff apparently snapped when the fish was being moved over and it fell into the water.
One of the anglers jumped into the water to try to find it but had no luck. Since the tuna was so big and a possible contender for prize money, Kreppel was called to look for the fish.
By this time, a huge crowd had gathered at boat and all eyes were on the water as spectators watched to see if Kreppel would locate the tuna in time.
The fish had to be to the scales by 7 p.m. to be eligible. It was now close to 6:30 p.m. and Kreppel was still looking.
Just as it looked to be too late, Kreppel’s head popped out of the water and in his hand was the tail of the fish. Cheers swept the dock and a sigh of relief spread through the air as the crew pushed through the crowd dragging the fish to the scale with about a minute to spare. Everyone followed behind, running to see how much the fish weighed.
Up the tuna went and so did the numbers on the scale until it finally read “119” pounds, a tie for first place for the heaviest single tuna.
A diver with 20 years of experience at the time, Kreppel later said the water was so muddy that he had no visibility.
“I knew it was getting close to the time and I was thinking to myself how I was going to tell Dave [Wentling, co-captain of the Instigator 57] that I looked and looked but couldn’t find it,” he said. “Then there it was. I just bumped into it. I felt the tail and was like, all right.”
The crew of the Instigator 57 was awarded a total of $73,645 for the tournament.