Destin’s Capt. Jason Hallmark and crew aboard the Black Sheep took third place in the 2018 Orange Beach Billfish Classic over the weekend with a 513.4-pound blue marlin.
Rusty Skalla was the angler on the rod that hauled in the big blue. For their efforts, the guys won $78,520 in prize money.
“We got lucky,” Hallmark said.
Using live bait trolling slowly near the oil rigs about 230 miles southwest of Orange Beach they hooked up with the big blue.
“We fought it for about three-and-a-half hours … and an hour-and-a-half of that (the fish) was dead,” Hallmark said.
But before the marlin died and sank, it put up quite the fight.
“It pulled off a lot of line real quick … and jumped about 20 times,” Hallmark said.
Captain said as they were backing down on the fish it was jumping and then it started coming toward the boat. Hallmark said he had to go forward to get away from the marlin before it died and sank.
By the time Skalla worked it up to the boat a gaff wasn’t needed, they just slid it onto the boat.
Hallmark said there were five blue marlin caught during the Orange Beach Billfish Classic and theirs was the shortest in length and finished in third.
First place was a 740.6-pound blue marlin caught aboard the Done Deal out of Louisiana with Katie Gonsoulin on the rod.
“We watched them catch it,” Hallmark said about the marlin on the Done Deal.
Done Deal got their marlin on Thursday and the Black Sheep landed theirs on Friday afternoon.
Destin’s Allen Staples and crew aboard the Wynsong took first place in the Wahoo Division of the OCBC with a 110.4-pounder, while Lyon’s Pride, also based out of Destin, took second with a 34.4-pounder.
In the Catch and Release Division, Team Supreme, based out of Destin, finished in third place.
In another tournament over the weekend, Capt. Josh Livingston and crew aboard the Dreadknot took first place in the Lionfish World Championship at Perdido Key bringing in 2,403 fish over two days.