Sandestin set to host 20th ECBC this week
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The folks at Sandestin and the Baytowne Marina are set to host the 20th Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic this week. And they’re hoping to see the good bite that we saw at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic continue.
The ECBC now in it’s 20th year and is coming off an event that doled out one-point-nine-seven million bucks last June! That with 88 boats competing. As of Monday, we’re told some 84 big time fishing teams from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. among other states, having signed up. I spoke with ECBC Tournament Director Jonathan Boone about what it is that attracts not just the anglers, but their families and fans as well!
“You know the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a great place, a 24-hundred acre resort. Where there’s all kinds of things to do. You know you’ve got the beach, the marina, all types of activities for families. So really it’s like a vacation and tourist spot that really attracts these boaters, these crews and families, that just continue to come back. And really it’s special because we’ve gotten to see a family atmosphere with this tournament. And I think for me that’s something that I really love the most about it.”
I spoke with Boone about the tournament in Biloxi, nearly two weeks ago. In that event, one angler, Nick Pratt out of Mobile, and his boat “It Just Takes Time” hauled in the lone blue marlin, a 763 pounder, that netted $630,000 for Nick and the team. We also saw several good size Tuna, including a 206 pounder weighed there. So the bite in the Gulf is good, and Boone believes there’s reason to think it may get better this week.
”So you know here early in the season, a lot of teams, we got a lot of great feedback on the bite out there in the Gulf of Mexico. It was really great to be down in Biloxi. You know I think the water was a little bit rough but we’re looking at some smooth waters in the Gulf for the this week for ECBC. It Just Takes Time, that’s a great boat and a great team. Congratulations on that, their third win in a row in Biloxi. Just wish them the best of luck here at ECBC!”
As Boone indicates, Pratt and his team will be at the ECBC. We will visit with them this week and talk about their attempts to ride the momentum this week.
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