Hands down, one of the coolest events that have taken place in Gulf Shores over the last few years is the Blue Marlin Grand Championships. 2016’s contest was no different, as You Never Know! reeled in an enormous 806 lb. Blue Marlin to take the crown and a huge chunk of a nearly $1.5 million purse. Captains from around the Gulf entered into the contest and did their best, capturing all types of fish and raising a ton of money for St. Jude’s children’s hospital. The total yield was 22 blue marlins, 23 white marlins, and one sailfish.
Registrants paid $5,500 to enter the tournament and embarked on their journey from Perdido Pass and Mobile Pass. To watermark the seriousness of the event, entrants were forced to compete within the confines of the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) rules. But saying you followed the rules isn’t quite enough: because there was such big money on the line, winners were required to submit to a polygraph examination from tournament officials. This way, the only thing fishy were the Marlins.
The pomp and circumstance surrounding the event was excellent as always. On Wednesday, Gulf Shores native Sarah Long was crowned Miss Billfish, as she took her sash and bouquet and posed next to a ceremonial Blue Marlin statue. On Thursday, boats launched from the Marina at the Wharf in Orange Beach as onlookers saw the impressive procession of fishing boats headed seaward. Marlin Circle was buzzing on Friday, as a handful of teams made their way back for the weigh-in. Team Wild Hooker showed off a 561-lb marlin Friday, but whispers in the crowd echoed rumors of a huge catch due for scales Saturday night.
When You Never Know! made their way ashore, the crowd at Marlin Circle went wild. Take a look at the picture — that thing’s a monster! And on that note, the Blue Marlin Grand Championship capped off another fantastic year. We already can’t wait for 2017!
If you ever have any questions regarding real estate in the Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan areas, be sure to contact me at Century 21 Meyer – Kris Powell.