Grand Lagoon Grand Slam's under way

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla (WJHG/WECP) - A big sportfishing event is set for this weekend at Lighthouse Marina on Grand Lagoon in Panama City Beach!

The third annual Grand Lagoon Grand Slam is officially under way.

The anglers on the 27 boats that have signed up taking part in registration and a kickoff lunch at the Legendary Marine showroom around midday Thursday.

Those boats fishing in two categories, 10 in the center-console class, and 17 in the sport fish class. They're fishing for tuna, wahoo and dolphin, and again, for big blue, blue marlin, with a total prize purse of $158,000 bucks!

The last time a blue weighed in on a scale at a marina on Grand Lagoon was the 2011 Bay Point tournament. These anglers hoping to change all that.

This event working to rebuild and add to the tradition of a great blue marlin tournament in this area. And fortunately some local businesses chipping in to try and make that happen!

"This doesn't happen with just an entry fee for a tournament This is a community coming together," Chris Miller, Grand Slam Tournament Co-Director. "Our presenting sponsors, Legendary Marine and Scout Boats stepped up to the table in really supporting what's going on. As you can see in this beautiful showroom here today to have our kickoff party is a great thing. And also our local tackle companies, our local brokers that are here. It takes a village to get things started, so we're very, very appreciative to them and we hope everyone will go out and support them because of it."

And at 2 o'clock this afternoon just beyond the pass, Lighthouse Marina Director Jim Hamilton sending the boats out with a shotgun start, quite literally!

Again weigh-in Friday night at 7 but only if a blue is boated. Otherwise Saturday from 6-until all the fish are weighed!