Kickoff Party at 12th Annual ECBC Classic

Destin, FL---The 2014 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic is officially under way.

The 12th installment of the ECBC getting started tonight with the Kickoff Party at the conference center at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

Last word says 77 boats and counting have signed on to fish
starting tomorrow. That gives us an indication the prize money
up for grabs this week will be somewhere in the neighborhood of
$1.5 million bucks, a very nice neighborhood indeed.

Wednesday night's kickoff party was sponsored by Visit South Walton, allowing some 500 boat owners, captains, mates, anglers, sponsors and tournament officials to enjoy some food and drink, some live music, and gives them the chance to mingle, perhaps do a little smack talk about who's going to be bringing in the biggest fish Friday and Saturday.

One thing everyone seems to agree on, this event is top notch!

"For us it's a true family event" said "Testin' the Water" owner Pat Byrne. "My whole family comes down, my wife and daughter come down and stay at the resort, while we go out and fish and then they're there when we get back. The events before the tournament, the events after the tournament, Everybody just has a great time."

"We're highly-skilled anglers, some of us," said Matt Condon, an angler from the boat "Marlin Darlin. "And I try to do what they tell me to do. But we work at it. Two days of fishing we should be able to catch something."

A fun night for everyone, but the boats depart officially at 3 PM Thursday, when the competition truly begins.