The first Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship will culminate with this weekend's Bay Point Invitational.

Panama City Beach, FL--It's just about time for the 27th Bay Point Billfish Invitational. One of the new wrinkles of this billfish season in this region is the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship, which allows teams to accumulate points by competing in and weighing fish in at the tournaments in Biloxi, Sandestin and Bay Point. Currently the Corpus Christi Texas based "Patron" which weighed in this 702 pound blue at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, leads the Triple Crown with 277 points. Destin based "Team Galati" which won the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic with 6 catch and release billfish, is tied for second with the boat Reel Addiction at 207 points. "Patron" and "Team Galati" both already entered in Bay Point, as are several other boats with enough points to win a marlin trophy that stands five feet tall.

Scott Burt
Bay Point Tournament Dir.

"I'm excited about it, the crews have engaged, they've studied the rules, they're watching the scoreboard live. And it's truly exciting to come up with a new concept like that and everybody buy into it. And we see it as a long term growth opportunity for the northern Gulf Coast, and it promotes the fabulous fishing that we have up here all the way from New Orleans to the Big Bend."

Another new wrinkle for the Invitational, a one million dollar bonus for any team that breaks the current swordfish state record of 612 pounds. The weigh ins 6 to 10 pm both Friday and Saturday nights.


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