With Tropical Storm Cindy stirring up the Gulf of Mexico, the 15th annual Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin has made some adjustments to its weekend schedule of events.
Instead of a Thursday start, the tournament is scheduled to blast out of Destin Pass at noon Friday with weigh-in days moved to Saturday and Sunday.
Day One weigh-in will be Saturday, June 24 from 4-9 p.m. at Baytowne Marina at Sandestin Beach Resort. Boats wishing to weigh fish on Saturday have to be under the Destin bridge by 8 p.m.
The big weigh-in day is Sunday from 4-10 p.m. at the marina. Boats weighing fish have to be under the Destin bridge by 6 p.m.
The 2017 ECBC has about 85 boats competing for a purse of about $1.95 million in prize money. In the Gulf, the ECBC has historically held the highest minimum length for weighed blue marlin at 103 inches (the federal minimum is 99 inches). This year, blue marlin must be at least 106 inches long to qualify in the weight division.
For example, a blue marlin measuring 106 inches will weigh 400 pounds, on average. Last year’s tournament winner was 127.5 inches and weighed 838.2 pounds. This increase in length will ensure the release of marginal marlin and result in only true trophies coming to the scales at Baytowne Marina.
In addition to the blue marlin weight division, smaller blues, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish that are successfully released earn points in the competitive release division. Other fish eligible for points are yellowfin, bigeye and blackfin tuna, wahoo and dolphin.
For more information, visit www.fishecbc.com.