Video courtesy of Mathew Allen

The Next Orange Beach Billfish Classic will be May 16th-20th, 2018!


Lyon's Pride
2017 Tournament Champions

Lyon's Pride Weighs 431.6 Pound Blue Marlin to Win OBBC
Reel Addiction Takes Top Catch & Release Honors...Again
Done Deal Brings in Rare Bluefin Tuna


This past weekend, the 19th Annual Orange Beach Billfish Classic (OBBC) saw forty two boats depart on Thursday morning which marked the largest fleet to fish the event since 2004. Crews battled rough seas and a challenging bite, but still managed to have twenty-five Blue Marlin video verified releases and two Blue Marlin brought to the scales at The Wharf Marina. The OBBC annually is the first big game fishing tournament of the season along the Gulf Coast and is also the first leg of the Gulf Coast Triple CrownChampionship.

Only one boat made it to the scales on Friday night as Geaux Deep, a 58' Viking from Grand Isle, LA weighed a 121-pound Yellowfin Tuna. There had been no reports of boated Blue Marlin through fishing on Thursday afternoon and all day Friday. Tournament officials received reports of two Blue Marlin headed to the scales on Saturday as well as a Bluefin Tuna. Those reports led to an OBBC record crowd watching the Saturday night weigh-ins at The Wharf.

The first Blue Marlin weighed was a 107 inch fish on Lyon's Pride, a 67' Viking hailing from San Destin, Florida. Angler Riley Satterfield, who had released his first ever Blue Marlin on Friday, would become the leader in the Blue Marlin division with a weight of 431.6 pounds. The Crew of Lyon's Pride would have to wait and watch as they knew Sea Mixer, a 66' Spencer from Orange Beach was on the way to the scales with a Blue Marlin of their own.

After captain Devin Potts and angler Christopher Davis backed into the weigh dock, OBBC Weigh Master Craig Martin verified the Blue Marlin was a tournament legal fish, measuring the newly increased tournament minimum of 106 inches. When the fish was hoisted to the scale, the official weight was 388.4 pounds. With no other Blue Marlin weighed, Lyon's Pride would hold on to first place in the Blue Marlin division and win $123,110. Sea Mixer would finish in second place and take home $76,380.

Three different boats each had three Blue Marlin verified releases. The winning order was determined on time which resulted in Reel Addiction being the first boat to reach the winning total of 1,500 points. This marked the third time in the 19 years of the OBBC that owner, Rocky Jones of Pensacola and his crew have taken home top catch and release honors and 2017 may be the most special. In addition to winning $93,000 Reel Addiction, a 56' Viking, also will forever have their name engraved on the Johnny Johnson Memorial Catch and Release Trophy.

A Work of Art, a 92' Viking from Orange Beach, also released three Blue Marlin to finish in second place in the catch and release division winning an impressive $110,925. The third boat with three Blue Marlin releases was Gunnslinger, a 60' Hatteras from Destin, Florida finished in third place and won $42,275. Dalen Johnson caught one of the Blue Marlin on Gunnslinger earning him the Top Junior Angler award.

Done Deal, a 70' Viking from Houma, Louisiana won the Tuna division when they became the first boat to ever weigh a Bluefin Tuna at The Wharf. Angler Katie Gonsoulin's 502.4-pound fish took the top spot and also gave her the Top Lady Angler award. For the second year in a row, Team Supreme, a 76' Viking from Destin finished second in the tuna division with a 174.0-pound Yellowfin Tuna and Relentless Pursuit, a 95' Jim Smith from New Orleans, LA was third with a 151.8-pound tuna.

Two Wahoo were weighed during the tournament. Lolita, a 68' Hatteras from Destin won the Wahoo division with a 41.2-pound fish. Triple C, a 37' Freeman from Point Clear, AL was second at 39 pounds. No Dolphin were caught during the tournament.

Again this year the OBBC will make the single largest tournament donation to TheBillfish Foundation. The 2018 Orange Beach Billfish Classic will be May 16-20 at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama. For tournament information and updates visit www.orangebeachbillfishclassic.com and on Facebook.


2017 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Results

Blue Marlin
1st- Lyon's Pride- Angler Riley Satterfield with a 431.6lbs.
2nd- Sea Mixer- Angler Christopher Davis with a 388.4lbs.

Catch and Release
1st- Reel Addiction
2nd- A Work of Art
3rd- Gunnslinger

Tuna
1st- Done Deal- Angler Katie Gonsoulin with 502.4lbs.
2nd- Team Supreme- Angler Chuck Morris with 174lbs.
3rd- Relentless Pursuit- Angler Josh Jones with 151.8lbs.

Wahoo
1st- Lolita- Angler Doug Womac with 41.2lbs
2nd- Triple C- Angler Scott Cooper with 39lbs

Dolphin
None Where Caught

Top Lady Angler
Katie Gonsoulin on the Done Deal

Top Junior Angler
Dalen Johnson on the Gunnslinger






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