Sunday was a busy day at the scales of Baytowne Marina.
Tuna, wahoo, dolphinfish ... all the major fish were represented on the final day of the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic. Only the tournament’s namesake was noticeably absent.
Zero blue marlin were brought in, hung up and weighed.
This was a beautiful sight for It Just Takes Time, which on Saturday brought in a 114-inch, 574-pound marlin caught by angler Nick Pratt. It’d be the only blue marlin of the 17th annual showcase.
Just how fruitful was the catch?
Try an ECBC cash-record haul: $596,025.
It Just Takes Time was one of 80 boats to leave Friday morning after a delayed start to the ECBC, which had prize money purse of $1,862,375 despite pushing back the showcase a day because of rough seas offshore.
The weather paired with the delayed start likely limited the haul of blue marlin, which didn’t quite measure up to years past in terms of quantity and quality.
Saturday’s catch is short of last year’s winning catch, which was 699.2 pounds and reeled in by Can’t Deny It. Yet Can’t Deny It’s prize earned roughly a fourth of It Just Take Time.
Two years ago, it was a 553-pound blue marlin brought in by Don’t Blink.
Rise Up snagged an 838.2-pound blue marlin three years ago, and the year before that it was an ECBC record 899.6-pound blue marlin reeled in by Cotton Patch.
For full results of the ECBC, visit www.fishecbc.com.
NOTES: Destin’s Harbor Docks restaurant prepares the fish weighed during the tournament for wholesale and donates a percentage of the per-pound proceeds to Harvest House. According to Jerry Ogle, founder and board member, Harvest House receives $10,000 to $12,000 each year from the ECBC tournament fish. Harvest House is a Christian-based organization that reaches out to those in the community who have fallen on hard times by providing food, clothing and household items along with financial assistance for prescriptions and utilities, counseling and prayer. Harvest House serves nearly 500 clients each year and provides meals for roughly 30 to 50 families weekly.