Record payout coming to Blue Marlin Classic

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
In 2015, Johnny Dorland’s Cotton Patch crew from Or-ange Beach, Alabama, set the new tourna-ment benchmark by weighing in an 899.6-pound blue marlin.

The countdown has started.

In a few short weeks, a fleet of powerful sport-fishing yachts will blast through Des-tin’s East Pass in a mad dash to fame and fortune as the 2016 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic gets underway again. At stake will be nearly $2 million in prize money and bragging rights for one of the premier events in the sport.

“We have already surpassed all previous records for the number of sponsors and donations,” said tournament director Adam Alfonso. “We’ll have a ton of great gifts for all the anglers and especially the winners. Boat owners will re-ceive an exclusive package from our presenting sponsor, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel-Atmore, along with a custom fishing shirt from Hook &Tackle, while the captains will take home a special Wind Creek gift bag. Category winners will be awarded goodies from Costa, Orion Coolers, Jack-son Fishing Kayaks, Glas Designs custom jewelry, Larry Rackley paintings and custom sculptures from beneath the blue.

“Best of all, based on the pace of pretournament registrations, we’re on track to top our record number of boats and record $1.68 million in overall prize money,” Alfonso added. “I’ve ordered plenty of beautiful Florida weather and some really big fish, so it’s shaping up to be another fantastic tournament week here at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.”

Now celebrating its 14th year, the ECBC draws teams from across the Gulf Coast and southeast-ern United States. Eligible species include blue marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin, plus a billfish release division. In 2015, Johnny Dorland’s Cotton Patch crew from Orange Beach, Alabama, set the new tournament benchmark by weighing in an 899.6-pound blue marlin.

“We’re adding new boats that have never fished with us before, so that bodes well for spirited competition and more available prize money,” Alfonso added. “We’ve also re-arranged the weigh station to in-crease the viewing area to accommodate more spectators for the Friday and Saturday weigh-ins. The public is welcome to come watch all the festivities as the boats unload their catch.”

The 2016 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, presented by Wind Creek Casino & Hotel—Atmore, runs June 22 to 26 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

For registration forms, dockage or more information, visit www.fishecbc.com. Book now to get the best location and rates for the event weekend. Call 800-320-8115 to make your reservation or book online at Sandestin.com/ECBC. Use GROUP Code FISH16.