Big Bucks for Big Fish at Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic

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Sandestin, FL-- A very busy day at the Baytowne Marina at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Some 70 boats have signed up for the 2013 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic. All totaled they have wagered against each other, 1.2 million dollars, a little more than 1.2 in fact. The 70 tournament boats left the marina around 4 PM Thursday afternoon.

We caught up with Charles Byrne of "Testing the Water". They're
the defending champs in the tuna category, in fact last year they came in with a record for this event.

"It was just about being determined. We fished hard the whole tournament. It was very rough as you know. We had
a lot of fish that got broken off, a lot of missed fish. And right before we were fixing to head in, we were fishing a little
weed line that had developed, we had a little luck. That tuna just hit the flat line right behind the boat and went off"

(Scott to Byrne): That tropical system in the Gulf you made a difficult decision to go out and fish in those rough conditions, it's kind
of nice to be rewarded for making a gutsy decision isn't it?

"It is. You gotta consider safety there's no doubt about it. You've got a lot of crew and passengers on board, you've gotta
make that decision. But we felt comfortable with the equipment that we had and always kept safety in our forefront as we
were moving around trying to find areas with the least amount of high waves."

They'll finish Thursday night, Friday and Saturday with the weighs in 4-9 Friday and 4-10 Saturday.