The ECBC is a part of several different season-long competitions, where teams have the opportunity to fish for even more than just the tournament’s prize money and bragging rights. Here’s a recap of those various series.
Dennis Pasentine and the Relentless Pursuit won the Gulf Coast Triple Crown this year, thanks to additional release points generated from their participation in the ECBC. The team won the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic to start strong and then added a blue and two white marlin to their total from the ECBC. The team also fished in the remaining three legs of the Triple Crown: the Orange Beach Billfish Classic, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic and the Blue Marlin Grand Championship. Johnny Dorland and the Cotton Patch team placed third in the Triple Crown standings based on the strength of their 899.6-pound blue marlin from the ECBC. As a new tournament record, the team also received bonus points in the Triple Crown standings for the remarkable catch.
Capt. Robbie Doggett from the Relentless Pursuit won this year’s InTheBite Captain of the Year award for the Gulf Coast with a total of 1,750 points. They didn’t receive any of those points from the ECBC, but they did take home over $12,000 in release jackpot cash from this year’s tournament.
In the Gulf of Mexico division, Jon Gonsoulin took home the cash for the King of the Hill jackpot for their 587.3-pound blue marlin caught during the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic by Jon’s daughter, 18-year old Katie Gonsoulin, aboard the Done Deal. Of the teams registered for the King of the Hill for the Gulf Coast tournament swing, it would stand as the largest on the board. If Johnny Dorland had entered the promotion prior to catching their 899-pound blue marlin in the ECBC, they would have been the King of the Hill for the Gulf Coast this year.
The Top Release Team in the ECBC also receives an invitation to compete in the 2016 Offshore World Championship, now held in April annually down in Costa Rica. This year the Pier Pressure, a 50-foot Viking captained by Brian Lord, will have the opportunity to represent the ECBC in this prestigious international event. They won the Top Release honors this year with 1,875 points from three blue marlin, one white marlin and one unidentified billfish, all released during the 2015 ECBC. They also had their team name engraved on the Magnificent Blue Perpetual Trophy, which resides year-round at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.