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