Sandestin, Fla-The 9th annual Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic is in the books, and that means over one million dollars was dished out Sunday morning at the awards brunch at Sandestin's Linkside Conference Center.
The champs of this year's E.C.B.C. Bob Hixson Jr. out of Dallas and team Galati, representing team Galati Yacht Sales which is based in Destin and other spots. Team Galati receiving a check Sunday morning from tournament director Shawna Meisner for $135,000.
Team Galati won that cash without weighing in a single fish, Hixson and the team caught and released one Blue Marlin and five White Marlin racking up 1,400 catch and release points, and since no Blue Marlin were caught and weighed, that made team Galati the overall champ of this year's classic.
All 44 billfish caught this weekend were released, including team Galati's 6.
As for the Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin weighed in, the crew of "Quick Time" a boat based in Orange Beach Alabama picked up a big check as well. They cashed in $99,800 for landing a 44 pound Dolphin. Michael Burroughs of Orange Beach caught that 44 pounder, which turned out to be the heaviest Dolphin weighed, and since "Quick Time" was heavily invested in the optional category, Michael and the team cashed in at just under $1000,000.
"Wynsong" a Destin based boat took home over $89,000 thanks to angler Will Wilson's 38 pound Dolphin which was second place, but grabbed a lot of optional money.
And the biggest fish hauled in during the tournament, was a 166.7 pound Tuna caught by angler Allen Phillips of Destin, he was fishing aboard the Destin based "Blanchita," his teammate Jason Martinez also caught a 35 pound Dolphin which got 3rd place so that team cashing in $29,000. In all 71 boats caught 93 fish and again all 44 of the billfish were released.
The link for the results and awards is listed below.