Ever wonder what goes into putting transducers under the hull of new Viking? We stopped by Atlantic Marine Electronics in Riviera Beach, Florida and watched and observed one of the top installers, Angel, demonstrate his skills on building a triple transducer installation. In Angels own words, “This will look like a cruise ship when I’m done with it”. We didn’t stick around for the in-hull application but we were certainly amazed how much goes into one of the captains biggest tools for finding fish.
Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic Sets Single Team Payout Record
Miramar Beach, Florida—Sunday night couldn’t come soon enough for Nick Pratt and the crew aboard It Just Takes Time, a 62 Viking based in Orange Beach, Alabama. After weighing a 574-pound blue marlin on Saturday night, the crew had to wait it out to see if any other qualifiers would make it to the scales Sunday. None did. As a result, the team swept the blue marlin division, multiple optional entries and won the 2019 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, earning $596,025. That single team payout is the new ECBC record and one of the largest ever for a Gulf big-game fishing tournament. A total of 80 boats competed in the 17th annual event for more than $1.86 million in cash prizes.
“There are a lot of good boats in this fleet,” Pratt said at the awards ceremony at the Baytowne Marina. Pratt was the angler on the fish and also owns It Just Takes Time. It was the first marlin caught on the new boat and only the second blue he’s landed. “So we were very nervous today. We spent it fishing and actually released a blue and caught a dolphin. But everyone was clock-watching.” Capt. Chris Hood was at the helm during the fight, with mates Boone and Donnie Shear in the cockpit. Chapman Cook and Brandon Myer were the other anglers.
“We’re very fired up. Winning this kind of money is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Pratt added. “But I always believe in bet big to win big. This is the best week, by far, I’ve ever spent fishing and the ECBC is the greatest tournament ever!”
There was plenty of action in the billfish release division. Past ECBC champion Done Deal, with Katie Gonsoulin in the chair and Capt. Jason Buck on the bridge, won Top Release Angler, Top Lady Angler and Second Place Release Boat by letting three blues swim away. With optional entries, the team is taking home $163,939. Done Deal is a 70 Viking based in Houma, Louisiana and a perennial contender on the Gulf blue-water circuit. Capt. Clayt James and his crew aboard Chasin Tail, an 80 Weaver Boat Works, claimed top honors in the Release Division, also with three blues on time, for an impressive $229,145 payout. Southern Charm, a 63 Hatteras run by Capt. Bo Keough, was the third-place release team with two blues credited ($75,980).
Jeff Cultan and Triple Threat (Capt. Chilli Willams) cranked in the largest tuna for the week, a 167.5-pound yellowfin. That catch earned the team a $126,310 payday. Capt. Cricket Crochet, Christa Forrester and the anglers aboard Restless boated the second-largest tuna at 157.2 pounds, worth $47,872. Hunter Ryan, Capt. Bennie Goldman and Reelentless took third-place tuna honors with a 148.2-pounder, good for a $90,497 check.
Local team Mollie, with Capt. Jeff Shoults on the throttles, boated the largest of many dolphin weighed in Sunday. Mollie’s fish, caught by Hugh Flanagan, tipped the scales at 44.8 pounds, paying $25,600. Phen-Syn (Capt. Hall Bohlinger) and Arti Davenport whipped a 40.6 pound dolphin, which won $51,540, while Dennis Pasentine, Capt. Robbie Doggett and the Relentless Pursuit team pulled a 40.5-pound bull off a weed line to earn $127,015 with optional entries.
No monster wahoo came to the scales, but the top three fish still were nice money-makers. Captain/angler Kirk Ogren whipped the biggest at 55.8 pounds for $25,600 aboard Pair-A-Dice. Capt. Dusty Parrish, angler Chris Patroni and the Ultimate Lure crew earned second place honors and $23,550 for a 49.4-pound fish. Sage Mount, Capt. Dylan Gandy and the buddy team fishing on Dream’s Wake IV, a Yellowfin 36-foot center console, landed the third biggest ‘hoo at 42.9 pounds, for a $10,240 consolation prize.
In the unofficial “It Pays to Play” category, Squid Row took home a check for $84,285 for a 24.9-pound wahoo in a perfect example of why entering optional jackpot divisions can be so lucrative.
Jackson Moore, fishing on BuggyWasher, was named the top Junior Angler—Billfish by releasing a blue marlin. Logan “Mule” Reeder earned top Junior Angler—Game Fish honors by whipping three dolphin weighing 86.1 pounds. Reeder was competing on Cotton Patch, another previous ECBC tournament champion.
“The week started out crazy thanks to the weather,” said Tournament Director Adam Alfonso. “But it all worked out and another successful ECBC is in the books. Congratulations to the It Just Takes Time team and all the other winners. I’d like to express my gratitude to the entire fleet for participating and our wonderful sponsors for their incredible support. My fantastic staff and I look forward to welcoming everyone back next June for our 18th season of exciting big-game tournament action here at the Emerald Coast.”
Tournament host, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and Presenting Sponsor Wind Creek Casino & Hotel-Atmore were joined this year by Tourism Partner Visit South Walton and Tournament Partners Mojo Sportswear and Gulf Coast Yacht Group. Galati Yacht Sales returned as the Founding Sponsor while Sportfish Outfitters came aboard for the first time as the Concierge Provider. Ten Emerald, 14 Platinum, 11 Gold and 32 Silver sponsors rounded out the many businesses and services that make the ECBC possible. Sponsor display booths were located at the Baytowne Marina during the weigh-ins.
Fish Anytime Between July 12th and July 20th!
There is nothing worse than being excited to fish a tournament only to have the weather not cooperate. The hours spent organizing gear, preparing bait, and pre-fishing your plan, can end up a fruitless effort thanks to Mother Nature. This is one of the reasons that the Montauk Canyon Challenge has become such a popular tournament in the Northeast. When you fish the MCC, you literally get to choose to fish anytime between July 12th and July 20th!
“We’ve really grown in popularity from where the tournament started and a lot it has to do with the flexibility in when you’re allowed to fish,” said Rich Lucas, one of the MCC’s tournament directors. “We also had 44 boats last year compete and we gave away over $250,000 in cash and prizes. Everyone loved the Awards Dinner and Party.”
Last year’s tournament also netted a record number of fish thanks to a hot bite. More than 150 BigEyes, 150 Yellowfin, and several white and blue Marlin were caught during the event. The heaviest tuna caught was 210.1lbs.!
Anglers are allowed to choose to fish either two 19-hour day trips or can do one 38-hour overnight trip. All boats will return to Gurney’s Yacht Club in Montauk for an official weighing.
The cost of entering a boat into the Montauk Canyon Challenge is $1,600, but anyone who registers online before May 15, 2019 will receive a $300 discount.
Below are the 2019 prizes for the MCC:
$25,000 1st Place Top Tuna
$5,000 1st Place Yellowfin Tuna
$1,000 2nd Place Yellowfin Tuna
$2,500 1st Place Albacore Tuna
$1,000 2nd Place Albacore Tuna
$2,500 1st Place Top Three Yellowfin
$1,000 2nd Place Top Three Yellowfin
$1,000 1st Place Mahi Mahi
$1,000 1st Place Mako Shark
$1,000 1st Place Swordfish
$1,000 1st Place Wahoo
$500 Top Female Angler
$500 Top Junior Angler (14)
Visit the Montauk Canyon Challenge website to view the Calcutta’s and the full list of rules and regulations with the tournament.
Proceeds from the MCC also go to help Maggie’s Mission, a non-profit charitable organization that is focused on raising awareness of pediatric cancers, funding ground-breaking research, and helps families affected by these awful diseases. Maggie’s Mission was created in honor of Maggie Schmidt who was a beautiful and vibrant young lady who was suddenly diagnosed at the age of 16 with a very rare and aggressive cancer. The MCC is proud to help contribute to such an effective and compassionate organization.
On July 20th, the last day of the tournament, an Awards dinner and after-party will be hosted for everyone at Gurney’s Yacht Club from 6:30pm – 10:30pm. Last year’s party had everyone dancing until the late hours and we only expect it to continue this year!
MCC main sponsor Staten Island Yacht Sales will have several boats on display at the tournament including some of the newest Viking Yachts available. “Both the Viking 58 Convertible and the 38 Billfish will be available to tour for everyone in the Montauk Canyon Challenge,” said Jay Hendrix, Vice President of SI Yachts. “Both Vikings arrive in early Summer so they will be ready for the season up here in New York assuming they last that long.” The Viking 58C made its debut at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show last November and boasts a 165-square foot fighting cockpit. The new 38 Billfish just made its premier at the recent Viking VIP event in February and has improved the already popular design of the 37 Billfish.
“We are shooting for more than 50 boats this year to fish the MCC,” continued Rich Lucas. “Everyone I’ve talked to that participated in previous years is fishing it again because they had so much fun. It’s a friendly tournament that has a flexible schedule, and you can win a heck of a lot of money. We hope to see a lot of new faces this year and don’t forget to take advantage of the early bird registration discount!”
Here are some boats of interest sold this November. Congratulations to both the buyers and sellers.
Note: Final selling prices are not displayed.
2011 42’7” Viking
Engines: Cummins QSC 8.3 Zeus
List Price: $695,000
Sold Date: 11/9/2018
2013 50’ Viking
List Price: $1,395,000
Sold Date: 11/15/2018
Sold By: HMY Yacht Sales
2000 55’ Viking
Engines: MAN 2842LE
List Price: $539,000
Sold Date: 11/27/2018
Sold By: HMY Yachts
The 37 Billfish is Viking’s latest. John Leek, IV, General Manager of Viking Mullica, provides first person insight into the build and output. A classic, compact offering, the 37 Billfish is making its highly anticipated debut. Find out why the anticipation is so great.