Big Fish and Big Fun at Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic Jun 22-26

May 17, 2016 by SoWal Staff

It’s time for big fish, big prizes and family fun on the Emerald Coast of Florida! Recognized as one of the elite big-game fishing tournaments in the world, the 2016 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic is set to get underway June 22-26 at the beautiful Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in the Florida Panhandle. 

The countdown has started. In a few short weeks, a fleet of powerful sport-fishing yachts will blast through the Destin Pass in a mad dash to fame and fortune as the 2016 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic gets underway again. At stake will be nearly $2 million in prize money and bragging rights for one of the premier events in the sport.

“We have already surpassed all previous records for the number of sponsors and donations,” says tournament director Adam Alfonso. “We’ll have a ton of great gifts for all the anglers and especially the winners." Boat owners will receive an exclusive package from our presenting sponsor, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel-Atmore, along with a custom fishing shirt from Hook &Tackle, while the captains will take home a special Wind Creek gift bag. Category winners will be awarded goodies from Costa, Orion Coolers, Jackson Fishing Kayaks, Glas Designs custom jewelry, Larry Rackley paintings and custom sculptures from beneath the blue.

“Best of all, based on the pace of pre-tournament registrations, we’re on track to top our record number of boats and record $1.68 million in overall prize money,” Alfonso added. “I’ve ordered plenty of beautiful Florida weather and some really big fish, so it’s shaping up to be another fan-tastic tournament week here at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.”

Now celebrating its 14th year, the ECBC draws teams from across the Gulf Coast and Southeast-ern United States. Eligible species include blue marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin, plus a billfish release division. In 2015, Johnny Dorland’s Cotton Patch crew from Orange Beach, Alabama, set the new tournament benchmark by weighing in an 899.6-pound blue marlin.

“We’re adding new boats that have never fished with us before, so that bodes well for spirited competition and more available prize money,” Alfonso added. “We’ve also re-arranged the weigh station to increase the viewing area to accommodate more spectators for the Friday and Saturday weigh-ins. The public is welcome to come watch all the festivities as the boats unload their catch.”

The 2016 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, presented by Wind Creek Casino & Hotel—Atmore, runs June 22-26 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. For registration forms, dockage or more information, visit Book now to get the best location and rates for the event weekend. Call 800.320.8115 to make your reservation or book online at Use GROUP Code FISH16.


As the top family friendly destination in the Southeast, tournament host Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is the perfect venue for this world-class event. Besides a full-service marina and conference facility, the resort has plenty to offer non-anglers too, including the beach, shopping, dining and other fun activities for the whole family. On Friday and Saturday nights the Baytowne Marina is filled with spectators as the prize-winning fish are weighed in. The nightly weigh-ins are open to the public.

With warm water and ideal conditions in the Gulf and some of the best crews in the sport, the 2016 ECBC promises to be another exciting contest. The festivities get underway Wednesday, June 22. The boats start fishing Thursday at noon and continue until lines out late Saturday. The weigh scales are open Friday from 4-9pm and Saturday from 4-10pm at the Baytowne Marina at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

For information about Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic such as registration and schedule of events, please visit

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Video: recap video of Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic 2015 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort produced by 8 Fifty Productions | Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic YouTube


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SoWal Staff

Offering news, features, insider tips & info, photos and video all across the South Walton area.

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