Combine a high-profile, big fish, big money
event with a terrific waterfront venue at The Wharf Entertainment Complex in Orange Beach, Alabama, then add a high-energy, forward-thinking management team and the result is the Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf. It’s been dubbed The Greatest Show in Sportfishing
by those fortunate enough to participate in this annual tournament, and for good reason. The nightly weigh-ins regularly draw thousands of spectators and the roar of their cheers and applause can be heard for miles around. Anglers say they feel like rock stars or royalty emerging onto the stage. There are two Jumbotron video screens, a Miss Billfish pageant, live music and much more.
And the fishing’s pretty good too. In 2013, the 24-year Alabama state record for blue marlin was broken not once but twice during the first night’s weigh-in. First up was the Rising Sons team, who weighed a blue marlin of 789.8 pounds, eclipsing the previous state record by 24 pounds. Normally this would lead to certain victory but the teams participating in this event are among the best in the world–they had even bigger things in store. A short while later, the Reel Fire team scaled a beast of a marlin that weighed 845.8 pounds, taking home the lion’s share of the $1,035,250 prize purse. For months afterward, the marine industry media buzzed with the accomplishments of these two teams. It was nearly anticlimactic when it was announced that Jon Gonsoulin’s Done Deal team had won the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series for the second year in a row!
And 2014 is shaping up to be even bigger and better. The Blue Marlin Grand Championship is limited to just 55 teams. Priority invitations will go out January 1st to those who participated in the 2013 tournament, so they will have the first opportunity to fish. Sixty days later, the remaining invitations will go out to those on a waiting list on March 1, 2014. According to Tournament Director Scott Burt, the event will fill up quickly so those interested in participating should return their invitations as soon as possible to hold their spot.
The Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series kicks off with the Orange Beach Billfish Classic, slated for May 14-18, 2014. The OBBC will also be hosted by The Wharf in Orange Beach, the premier entertainment complex in the Southeast. The Triple Crown then moves to Venice, Louisiana for the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, and then over to Biloxi for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic.
Next up is the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin in Florida before the Series comes full circle for the season finale, the Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf, at The Wharf in Orange Beach. The top team at the conclusion of the season wins a truly stunning six-foot custom marlin trophy by marine artist Frank Ledbetter, presented at the conclusion of the Blue Marlin Grand Championship event.
For more information, visit
Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf
or call Tournament Director Scott Burt at (850) 527-2882.