In a few short weeks, a fleet of powerful sport-fishing yachts will blast through the Destin Pass in a mad dash to fame and fortune as the 2016 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic gets underway at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
At stake will be nearly $2 million in prize money and bragging rights for one of the premier events in the sport.
Tournament Director Adam Alfonso said they have already surpassed all previous records for the number of sponsors and donations for the tournament, which will be held June 22-26.
“We’ll have a ton of great gifts for all the anglers and especially the winners,” he said.
Boat owners will receive an exclusive package from presenting sponsor Wind Creek Casino & Hotel-Atmore along with a custom fishing shirt from Hook &Tackle, while the captains will take home a special Wind Creek gift bag.
Get a look inside the festivities from last year:
Category winners will be awarded goodies from Costa, Orion Coolers, Jackson Fishing Kayaks, Glas Designs custom jewelry, Larry Rackley paintings and custom sculptures from beneath the blue.
“Best of all, based on the pace of pre-tournament registrations, we’re on track to top our record number of boats and record $1.68 million in overall prize money,” Alfonso said.
“I’ve ordered plenty of beautiful Florida weather and some really big fish, so it’s shaping up to be another fantastic tournament week here at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.”
Now celebrating its 14th year, the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic draws teams from across the Gulf Coast and Southeastern United States. Eligible species include blue marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin, plus a billfish release division.
In 2015, Johnny Dorland’s Cotton Patch crew from Orange Beach, Alabama, set the new tournament benchmark by weighing in an 899.6-pound blue marlin.
The record billfish was measured at 134 inches with a girth of 74 inches to earn Team Cotton Patch first place and a payout of $195,277. The tournament held at Baytowne Marina at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort doled out more than $1.5 million in winnings during the 2015 event.
Check out this video with the Cotton Patch crew:
“This year adding new boats that have never fished with us before, so that bodes well for spirited competition and more available prize money,” Alfonso added. “We’ve also re-arranged the weigh station to increase the viewing area to accommodate more spectators for the Friday and Saturday weigh-ins. The public is welcome to come watch all the festivities as the boats unload their catch.”
The 2016 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, presented by Wind Creek Casino & Hotel—Atmore, runs June 22-26 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. For registration forms, dockage or more information, visit www.fishecbc.com.