Tournament History and Hall of Fame2018-07-18T18:23:36+00:00

History

The Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic was started in 2003 when a group of guys from Galati Yacht Sales and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort decided it was time to bring a big money tournament back to the Destin area. The rest, as they say, is history.

Hall of Fame—Tournament Champions

Congratulations to our Tournament Champions! These are the men, women and teams who placed 1st in each division. Be sure to check out the Gallery page where you can see photos of winners and tournament record fish.

YearBoatAnglerSpeciesWeight
2018Can't Deny It, 48' Viking
Will Beard | Fairhope, AL
Blue Marlin699.2
2018Ultimate Lure, 53' Catamaran
Wes Kennedy | Nashville, TN
Dolphin42.9
2018Born2Run, 72' Viking
4 blue marlinRelease
2018Jubilee, 68' Hatteras
Seth McGonigal | Orange Beach, AL
Wahoo63.8
2018Done Deal, 70' VikingKatie Gonsoulin | Houma, LA
Yellowfin190.2
2017Don't Blink, 56' VikingMike Hickey | Destin, FLBlue Marlin553
2017Breathe Easy, 68' VikingChad Postle | Fairhope, ALDolphin27.9
2017Geaux Deep2 blue marlin, 3 white marlinRelease
2017Don't Blink, 56' VikingBill Horn | Pike Road, ALWahoo67.5
2017Born2Run, 72' VikingDana Foster | Pensacola, FLYellowfin169
2016Rise Up, 54' VikingScott Poppell | Savannah, GABlue Marlin838.2
2016Aldente, 70' VikingEmeril Lagasse | Miramar Beach, FLDolphin36.6
2016Born2Run, 63' Hatteras4 blue marlinRelease
2016Lucky 2, 51' BertramLynn Layton | Decatur, ALWahoo112.2
2016Marlin Darlin, 70' VikingKenny Tamm | New Orleans, LAYellowfin190.6
2015Cotton Patch, 60' HatterasLance Hill | Orange Beach, ALBlue Marlin899.6
2015CE, 65' HatterasScott Cooper | Mobile, ALDolphin47.0
2015Pier Pressure, 50' Viking3 blue, 1 white, 1 unidentifiedRelease
2015Back Down 2, 57' Miller MarineMike Duffessy | Newnan, GAWahoo61.3
2015Rigged Right, 32' TopazJeremy BranningYellowfin175.3
2014Reel Worthless, 64' VikingSteve Brown | Pensacola Beach, FLBlue Marlin594.9
2014ReHab, 65' HatterasTim Howard | Lafayette, LADolphin48.2
2014Done Deal, 70' Viking2 blue marlinRelease
2014Share-E, 76' VikingSherry Polk | Raymond, MSWahoo68.4
2014Black Tip, 61' Buddy DavisChris Crosby | Destin, FLYellowfin131.9
2013CE, 65' HatterasScott Cooper | Mobile, ALBlue Marlin613.4
2013Chasin' Tail, 68' WeaverRyan Engquist | Baton Rouge, LADolphin51.3
2013Testing the Water, 68' Viking2 blue marlinRelease
2013Restitution III, 45' CaboSteve Bozeman | Magnolia, TXWahoo55.5
2013Reel Fire, 60' VikingKate Ferrara | Holden, LAYellowfin164.1
2012Done Deal, 56' VikingTravis Dorland | Mobile, ALBlue Marlin783.6
2012Done Deal, 56' VikingLance Hightower | Jaco, Costa RicaDolphin42.3
2012Inlet Magic, 64' Billy Holton1 blue marlin, 1 white marlinRelease
2012Summertime II, 31' AlbemarleRod Morris | Panama City, FLWahoo91.1
2012Testing the Water, 68' VikingJake Breaux | Morgan City, LAYellowfin190.1
2011no blue marlin weighedBlue Marlin0.0
2011Quick Time, 56' Ocean YachtMichael Burroughs | Laurel, MSDolphin44.0
2011Team Galati, 76' Viking1 blue marlin, 5 white marlinRelease
2011Conundrum, 61' VikingDon MacMaster | Mandeville, LAWahoo59.2
2011Blanchita, 60' BertramAllen Phillips | Destin, FLYellowfin166.7
2009Jasper Time, 60' HatterasChip Temple | Stockbridge, GABlue Marlin714.7
2009You Never Know!, 64' VikingBrian Schwan | Baton Rouge, LADolphin47.8
2009A Work of Art, 68' Viking2 blue marlin, 1 sailfishRelease
2009Britney Jean, 67' BertramTommy Browning, Jr. | Destin, FLWahoo72.6
2009First Choice, 60' HatterasJohn Pasentine | Mandeville, LAYellowfin171.1
2008Uptoit, 60' HatterasDave Perry | Fort Walton Beach, FLBlue Marlin406.3
2008Shell Shock, 48' VikingJeremy Floden | Pensacola, FLDolphin50.0
2008Honey, 60' Huckins1 blue marlin, 2 white marlinRelease
2008Smooth Finish, 54' BertramAaron Aery | Abbeville, LAWahoo54.7
2008Uptoit, 60' HatterasDave Perry | Fort Walton Beach, FLYellowfin145.1
2007Dreamin' On, 80' GarlingtonSteve Keinath | Rifle, COBlue Marlin627.7
2007Sea Spray, 65' ResmondoPaul Mayson | Saraland, ALDolphin52.7
2007CE, 65' Hatteras1 blue marlin, 1 white marlin (on time)Release
2007Borderline Crazy, 65' DonziJeff Singleton | Albany, GAWahoo87.8
2007Uptoit, 60' HatterasDave Perry | Fort Walton Beach, FLYellowfin179.0
2006Big Adventure, 60' BonnerSean McClellan | Pensacola, FLBlue Marlin692.6
2006Fly By, 74' VikingJames Justice | Lawrenceville, GADolphin53.1
2006Reel Addiction, 56' Viking3 blue marlinRelease
2006Mollie, 58' G&SBrad Cole | Carrollton, GAWahoo89.5
2006First Choice, 60' HatterasDennis Pasentine | Mandeville, LAYellowfin170.3
2005Wishbone, 58' HatterasMark Delaney | Magnolia Springs, ALBlue Marlin624.3
2005Recent Release, 58' HatterasLarry Carr | Birmingham, ALDolphin46.3
2005Knot Now, 60' Miller Marine1 blue marlin, 2 white marlinRelease
2005Blue Heron, 50' HatterasCandace Knowles | Gulf Breeze, FLWahoo95.3
2005Plumb Crazy, 55' VikingTodd Pallin | Pensacola, FLYellowfin174.8
2004Justus2, 45' VikingTom Stewart | Fort Walton Beach, FLBlue Marlin483.3
2004Mollie, 58' G&SRyan Long | Pensacola, FLDolphin44.9
2004Restitution III, 45' Cabo1 blue marlin, 1 white marlinRelease
2004Expedition, 65' VikingGlenn Richardson | Abbeville, LAWahoo89.8
2004Island Girl, 50' Glenn YoungSean Thibodeaux | Fulton, ALYellowfin160.8
2003no blue marlin weighedBlue Marlin0.0
2003Seven J's, 80' LazzaraWade Schaatt | Missouri City, TXDolphin47.5
2003Restitution III, 45' Cabo2 blue marlin, 1 white marlinRelease
2003T Sea O, 65' VikingGrady GalianoWahoo41.0
2003Miss Orleans, 65' VikingTodd Terrell | New Orleans, LAYellowfin174.5

ECBC By the Numbers

Participation Throughout the Years

From our beginning in 2003, the ECBC has grown 102% in participation and a whopping 519% in cash awards. We hold the record for the biggest cash payout in the Gulf at over $2.04 million. And we continue to grow every year.

2018

2 new records set: # of teams, cash awards
91 Teams, 571 Anglers, $2,040,200 in Cash Awards
48 Billfish Caught, 43 Released—30 blue marlin, 12 white marlin, 1 sailfish
Blue Marlin Weighed—699.2, 665.2, 640.8, 518.0, 475.7 lbs.
54 Gamefish Caught—22 dolphin, 21 tuna, 11 wahoo

2017

tropical storm Cindy, over 40 boats withdrew due to weather
36 Teams, 238 Anglers, $624,675 in Cash Awards
31 Billfish Caught, 29 Released—8 blue marlin, 21 white marlin, 2 sailfish
Blue Marlin Weighed—553.0, 551.0 lbs.
45 Gamefish Caught—7 dolphin, 20 tuna, 18 wahoo

2016

4 new records set: # of teams, cash awards, tuna (190.6), wahoo (112.2)
85 Teams, 628 Anglers, $1,952,750 in Cash Awards
55 Billfish Caught, 51 Released—23 blue marlin, 20 white marlin, 12 sailfish
Blue Marlin Weighed—838.2, 835.8, 652.2, 409.0 lbs.
86 Gamefish Caught—25 dolphin, 46 tuna, 15 wahoo

2015

78 Teams, 410 Anglers, $1,586,400 in Cash Awards
43 Billfish Caught, 39 Released—28 blue marlin, 14 white marlin, 1 unspecified
Blue Marlin Weighed—899.6, 551.0, 548.0, 445.8 lbs.
112 Gamefish Caught—52 dolphin, 40 tuna, 20 wahoo

2014

77 Teams, 382 Anglers, $1,683,075 in Cash Awards
36 Billfish Caught, 35 Released—15 blue marlin, 14 white marlin, 4 sailfish, 2 unspecified
Blue Marlin Weighed—594.9 lbs.
94 Gamefish Caught—42 dolphin, 35 tuna, 17 wahoo

2013

70 Teams, 331 Anglers, $1,423,400 in Cash Awards
32 Billfish Caught, 31 Released—8 blue marlin, 16 white marlin, 7 sailfish
Blue Marlin Weighed—613.4 lbs.
118 Gamefish Caught—56 dolphin, 33 tuna, 29 wahoo

2012

tropical storm Debbie, over 30 teams withdrew due to weather
38 Teams, 184 Anglers, $575,550 in Cash Awards
28 Billfish Caught, 27 Released—7 blue marlin, 16 white marlin, 4 sailfish
Blue Marlin Weighed—783.6 lbs.
76 Gamefish Caught—27 dolphin, 16 tuna, 33 wahoo

2011

added $10k jackpots for blue marlin and release
71 Teams, 352 Anglers, $1,454,000 in Cash Awards
44 Billfish Caught, 44 Released—14 blue marlin, 28 white marlin, 2 sailfish
No Blue Marlin Weighed
92 Gamefish Caught—54 dolphin, 31 tuna, 7 wahoo

2010

The tournament was cancelled this year due to a massive oil spill in the Gulf.

2009

67 Teams, 353 Anglers, $1,292,000 in Cash Awards
38 Billfish Caught, 37 Released—15 blue marlin, 15 white marlin, 7 sailfish
Blue Marlin Weighed—714.7 lbs.
87 Gamefish Caught—42 dolphin, 23 tuna, 22 wahoo

2008

added $5k jackpots
79 Teams, 432 Anglers, $1,536,850 in Cash Awards
38 Billfish Caught, 35 Released—15 blue marlin, 15 white marlin, 5 sailfish
Blue Marlin Weighed—406.3, 406.2, 405.4 lbs.
60 Gamefish Caught—24 dolphin, 19 tuna, 17 wahoo

2007

added release jackpots
84 Teams, 451 Anglers, $1,307,375 in Cash Awards
42 Billfish Caught, 38 Released—18 blue marlin, 18 white marlin, 2 sailfish
Blue Marlin Weighed—627.7, 453.1, 431.4, 425.3 lbs.
77 Gamefish Caught—36 dolphin, 24 tuna, 17 wahoo

2006

77 Teams, 391 Anglers, $1,030,900 in Cash Awards
48 Billfish Caught, 46 Released—15 blue marlin, 29 white marlin, 2 sailfish
Blue Marlin Weighed—692.6, 309.4 lbs.
102 Gamefish Caught—53 dolphin, 20 tuna, 29 wahoo

2005

63 Teams, 292 Anglers, $722,225 in Cash Awards
24 Billfish Caught, 22 Released—11 blue marlin, 7 white marlin, 3 sailfish, 1 unspecified
Blue Marlin Weighed—624.3, 521.6 lbs.
75 Gamefish Caught—34 dolphin, 22 tuna, 19 wahoo

2004

added cash release & crew divisions
49 Teams, 224 Anglers, $482,200 in Cash Awards
16 Billfish Caught, 15 Released—5 blue marlin, 10 white marlin
Blue Marlin Weighed—483.3 lbs.
55 Gamefish Caught—27 dolphin, 21 tuna, 7 wahoo

2003

45 Teams, 180 Anglers, $371,250 in Cash Awards
8 Billfish Caught, 8 Released—6 blue marlin, 2 white marlin
No Blue Marlin Weighed
54 Gamefish Caught—33 dolphin, 13 tuna, 8 wahoo

The Basics

Download Print Version of Fact Sheet (PDF)

DATES: Wednesday, June 20 – Sunday, June 24, 2018 | 16th Annual

HOST FACILITY: Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort

LOCATION: Miramar Beach, Florida USA

MAILING ADDRESS: Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy W, Miramar Beach, FL 32550

CONTACTS: Adam Alfonso and Julia Brakhage

PHONE: Adam 850-267-6364; Julia 910-264-3947

FAX: 775-242-0393

EMAIL: tournament@fishecbc.com
(Adam – adamalfonso@sandestin.com, Julia – julia@tournamentcontrol.com)

WEBSITE: www.fishecbc.com

ENTRY FEE: $6,000 (base entry) – $77,050 per team with optional entries

ENTRY LIMITS: no limits on number or size of boats, open to both private and charter boats

TARGET SPECIES: blue marlin (106” minimum), white marlin, sailfish, spearfish (release only), blackfin tuna (20 lb. & 12” minimum), yellowfin and bigeye tuna (20 lb. & 27” minimum), dolphin (20 lb. minimum), wahoo (20 lb. minimum)

FORMAT: modified release: 106” minimum on blue marlin, release only on all other billfish species

ANGLING RULES: expected to follow the spirit of the IGFA Saltwater Angling Rules

TOURNAMENT SERIES AFFILIATIONS: Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship, InTheBite Captain of the Year Cup, Offshore World Championship

CHARITIES SUPPORTED: The Billfish Foundation, Harvest House Food Bank, Hosanna House for Women, Sandestin Foundation for Kids

PUBLICATIONS: annual tournament program published by Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort

History

TOURNAMENT STARTED IN: 2003

FIRST YEAR STATISTICS: 45 teams, $329,625 cash awards

2018 STATISTICS: 91 teams, 571 anglers, $2,040,200 cash awards

HIGHEST PURSE PAID TO DATE: $2,040,200 in 2018

HIGHEST NUMBER OF BOATS PARTICIPATING TO DATE: 91 in 2018

HIGHEST PURSE PAID TO DATE TO A SINGLE TEAM: $498,450 in 2014 to Reel Worthless for 1st Place Marlin

BEST YEARS OF FISHING: 2016–55 billfish, 2013–118 gamefish weighed

OTHER: Perpetual trophy awarded to team with most released billfish; average number of teams receiving awards each year: 22; 2010 tournament canceled due to BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf.

Description

Taking place in one of the most productive fisheries in the United States, timed to coincide with the peak of the Gulf Coast’s blue marlin season and located at the South’s number-one ranked resort destination, the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin® (ECBC) has set the precedent for world-class sportfishing tournaments.

This annual event offers something for everyone. Most importantly, for the angling teams, there are the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, red-hot billfish action, and cool green cash. While onshore, both tournament participants and their families can enjoy the wide variety of recreational activities offered at the Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort and The Village of Baytowne Wharf. The spectacular night time weigh-ins, held at the Baytowne Marina at Sandestin®, are free and open to the public.

Named as one of the top ten big-money tournaments in the world by Marlin magazine, the ECBC currently holds the record as the richest tournament in the Gulf. Tournament cash awards regularly surpass $1.5 million – and with over 27 optional entry levels, there are plenty of ways to win a piece of the pie.

The ECBC is a “modified-release” tournament and led the Gulf Coast tournament circuit in setting a high minimum length for blue marlin, which are the only billfish that may be weighed. Release points are awarded for blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish. The three heaviest weighed blue marlin, dolphin, tuna and wahoo are eligible for cash awards, as are the top three teams entered in the Release Division, and the top three Crews entered in the Crew Division. Awards are presented to the top overall, release, lady and junior anglers, and the top overall release team has its name engraved on the Magnificent Blue Perpetual Trophy, donated by Galati Yacht Sales and Viking Yachts, sculpted by Chris Barela and on permanent display in the Grand Sandestin.

Record Fish

BLUE MARLIN (2015) — 899.6 lbs., Cotton Patch, 60 ft. Hatteras
Capt. Johnny Dorland from Orange Beach, Alabama USA; angler Lance Hill from Orange Beach, Alabama USA

DOLPHIN (2006) — 53.1 lbs., Fly By, 74 ft. Viking
Capt. Marco Gaona from Elberta, Alabama USA; angler James Justice from Lawrenceville, Georgia USA

YELLOWFIN TUNA (2016) — 190.6 lbs., Marlin Darlin, 70 ft. Viking
Capt. Matt Condon from Destin, Florida USA; angler Kenny Tamm from New Orleans, Louisiana USA

WAHOO (2016) — 112.2 lbs., Lucky 2, 51 ft. Bertram
Capt. Tommy Green from Destin, Florida USA; angler Lynn Layton from Decatur, Alabama USA

You can see pictures of the tournament record fish in the Record Fish Gallery