This is why you purchased that amazing sportfishing machine! Upper gulf tournaments and the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series brought in big fish, big bucks and one serious adrenaline rush!
During the first tournament, the Orange Beach Billfish Classic (OBBC), 26 teams competed.
With all the fish in the sea, two teams caught two blue marlins that were identical in length. One marlin, however, was 186 pounds heavier, giving Sea Mixer a 528.8 pounder for the win in the Blue Marlin category.
Jon Gonsoulin and his crew fishing on Done Deal, their new 70’ Viking sold by Galati Yacht Sales, released two blue marlins for 1000 points for the win in the Catch and Release category.
Talk about adrenaline, that’s just what Reel Worthless experienced. They hooked a double header of bluefins and successfully got both into the boat! Excitement was high when Johnny Johnson caught the winning 158.6-pound yellowfin. Standing aboard his 64’ Viking sold by Galati Yacht Sales, Johnson stated, “I can cross off catching a bluefin tuna off my bucket list.” A Work Of Art also released a bluefin.
Conundrum, aboard their 61 Viking purchased from Galati Yacht Sales, stood proud with their second place white marlin, giving them 700 points.
The report was that fishing for wahoo and dolphin was slow. However, one fish can turn around a tournament. Just ask Galati customers, Fin Way, a 65' Viking from Destin. They weighed the only wahoo of the tournament at 61.60 pounds.
The Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic in Venice, Louisiana followed the OBBC from May 27th to June 1st. This was their 2nd year as a qualifying event in the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship. Pipe Dream won second place blue marlin with a 706.1-pound fish, only 2.5 pounds shy of 1st place. Reel Worthless won the Tag/Release Division with 4 blue marlin, Reel Fire in 2nd with 2 blues and Rehab rounded out 3rd with 1 blue. In the Tuna Division, fierce team Rehab took 2nd and 3rd with a total of 250.3 pounds of tuna!
Let’s load up and hit the high seas to Biloxi for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic! There is big news to report.
Okay ladies, what is the coolest title to hold? Let’s ask Deb Hebert who caught the award for the biggest marlin ever to be caught by a lady in HISTORY, 843.7 pounds of pure monster. It was a long, satisfying fight that lasted 3 hours aboard Iona Louis.
Unfortunately, Reel Worthless experienced some boat troubles, so they teamed up with Reel Fuelish and hooked a 539.1-pound blue marlin.
Patience boated a 680.1 pound blue to take second place in the Marlin Division while Marlin Darlin’ snatched the biggest wahoo at 67.5 pounds. Freak on a Leash also won in the Wahoo Division.
After their 2nd place white marlin at OBBC, Conundrum was focused and amped up. They took home the top Catch and Release title with 1,200 points. Rounding out the Release Division, Freak on a Leash took third place honors.
The last tournament before the Championship was the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic (ECBMC) at Sandestin. Second to none, this tournament hosted 77 boats and 350 anglers. Total, 36 billfish caught 16 blue marlin, 16 white marlin, and 4 sailfish. One of those blue marlins went to Reel Worthless, the biggest, winning 1st place, at 594.9 pounds. Congrats to Steve Brown for winning Top Overall Angler and Top WBS Angler with that catch! Rehab took 1st with Top Dolphin, a yummy 48.2 pounds; while Marlin Darlin’ won 3rd with a 46.6 pound dolphin. Top Tuna awards went to Black Tip with a 131.9 pound tuna, while Freak on a Leash reeled in 3rd. While top wahoo went to Share-E for 68.4 pounds, a replay of OBBC occurred with Done Deal, winning Top Release team again! Controlled Chaos kept it under control to take home 3rd Top Release team with 1 blue marlin and 1 sailfish. Top Crew awards: 1st Reel Worthless and 2nd Done Deal.
Girl Power… a shout out to Katie Gonsoulin on Done Deal for winning Top Lady Angler with her blue marlin. As they say at the ECBMC, “Setting the Precedent. Destined to be a Classic.”
Now back to The Wharf! Wouldn’t want to miss that captains’ party hosted by Galati Yacht Sales!
As the final tournament of the series started at the Wharf on July 8th, the 2014 Triple Crown Championship was up for grabs. The standings were as follows: Sea Mixer 500 points Team Reel Worthless 475 points Tico Time 275 points Iona Louise 250 Done Deal 250 points Conundrum 225 points Pipe Dream 175 points Patience 175 Reel Fire 100 points Let’s also hear it for Reel Worthless and Done Deal that get bonus points for having competed in all five sanctioned tournaments.
With the tournament sold out, they headed out in spectacular fashion Friday morning! During 2.5 days of fishing, 15 blue and 10 white marlin were released by the 57-boat fleet.
A few fish were weighed in Friday night, but the scales were busy Saturday night. Up To It came in second place with a 442-pound blue marlin, while Reel Worthless owner Johnny Johnson, Capt. Myles Colley and the team took fourth place.
Congratulations to Plumb Crazy and Rebel who also earned a payout for tag and release billfish!
The 2013 Grand Champion, Real Fire, took home Top Release Boat this year thanks to Connor Ferrara and William Duke’s two blue marlin.
One More had the second-heaviest tuna at 130.8 pounds, caught by Jane Soloman.
Controlled Chaos and Get Reel won cash for their wahoos.
Buell Polk weighed in a 38.8-pound dolphin caught aboard Share-E, while Mollie took home 3rd with a 38.4-pound dolphin, but it was Rick Olsen on the Breath Easy team that won 1st place with a 39-pound fish. It was a close one though; less than one pound separated all three dolphins weighed in. Rebel and Get Reel also scored for their dolphins.
Big congratulations to Brenda Dedrick on Black Tip for winning the 2014 Top Lady Angler award for her blue marlin release!
Everyone had a great time and is already talking about next year’s Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series. See you next year!
Bastante Tournament News! Galati Yacht Sales customers break Texas state record! Congratulations to Captain Kevin Deerman and the Legacy team for breaking the Texas State Record Blue Marlin at the Bastante Tournament on July 11th.
Poco Bueno The invitation-only, family-run fishing tournament everyone in Texas loves, Poco Bueno, was unfortunately canceled this year due to bad weather.
Galati Vikings are now 3 in a row and 3 for 3 in Texas tournaments!
The 82 Viking No Compromise just won the the Texas International Fishing Tournament with a 685 pound blue marlin. Owner, Alan and Robyn Roberts, Captain Bill Cannon.
1. Bastante Tournament - 56 Viking Legacy, new state record 972 blue marlin, George and Donna Gartner, captain Kevin Dearman
2. Lone Star Shootout Tournament - 70 Viking Done Deal, 2 blue marlin releases. Owner Jon Gonsoulin, captain Jason Buck
3. Texas International Fishing Tournament - 82 Viking No Compromise, 685 blue marlin. Owner, Alan and Robyn Roberts, Captain Bill Cannon.
Next up is the Texas Legends Tournament based in Port Aransas - August 6th- 10th 2014.
For more about our event schedule, Click here
Originally Published By: Angela Jackson