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Reel Addiction Wins MGCBC

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Reel Addiction Wins MGCBC

Postby silverking » June 11th, 2018, 10:54 pm

Here's the release for those of you who might find this report about Big-Game Fishing interesting:

Reel Addiction Wins the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic
with 796.9-Pound Blue Marlin

After a pursuit lasting more than a decade, Team Reel Addiction finally topped the field of 117 boats to win the 2018 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic. Angler Chase Pate of Pensacola, Florida, Capt. Scooter Porto, owners Rocky and Laurie Jones, and mates Zach Taylor, Seth Brennan and Nate Dennis boated a 796.9-pound blue marlin after a 30-minute fight Saturday morning. The largest marlin of the week earned the team $405,705 for the top tournament award and optional entries. The overall tournament prize money was nearly $2.2 million.

“Winning this one was on my bucket list,” Rocky Jones explained before Sunday’s awards breakfast. “We won top release boat 12 years ago and I’ve been trying to win the whole shooting match ever since. We finally did it!” Reel Addiction, a 56 Viking and regular on the Gulf big-game circuit, is based in Pensacola Beach. With the win, the team also earned an invitation to compete in the 2019 Offshore World Championship in Quepos, Costa Rica.

Team Supreme, with anglers Alex Krake, Chris Howell and Capt. Chase Lake, didn’t go home empty-handed, even though their Friday night marlin weighed 739.1 pounds. The 76 Viking from Destin went back out and caught a 156.6-pound yellowfin to boost the overall winnings to $313,115 for the second-place tournament award and optionals.

Pearl took the third-place tournament award and pocketed $122,970. Angler Edgar McKee and Capt. Shawnie Clemons and the team aboard the 48 Viking based in Orange Beach boated a 611.5-pound blue to earn that payout.

The Catch and Release Division was close and final standings were determined by time of catch. Relentless Pursuit (Capt. Robbie Doggett), was the overall winner with 1,800 points (three blue releases), earning a check of $265,050. The 95 Jim Smith calls New Orleans home. Done Deal (Capt. Jason Buck) came in second in the division, also with 1,800 points. Angler Katie Gonsoulin took top Lady Angler honors and the team won $133.830. Money Shot (Capt. Dale Bergeron) was the third-place release team with 1,200 points, good for a $12,000 payday. A Work of Art, Born2Run and Wynsong also won optional money in the release division. Ryan Cooper, fishing on CE, was named the top junior angler based on his two white marlin releases.

Angler Robeau Whibbs and the family/friends team aboard Swee Pea, a 50 Topaz from Pensacola, captured the top tuna. Their yellowfin weighed 182.3 pounds, good for $24,000. No tuna topped the current Mississippi record of 205.8 pounds, so the special $500,000 bonus went unclaimed. Bennie Goldman and his team on Reelentless, a 37 Freeman from Dauphin Island, took second place tuna honors with a 172.8 yellowfin. That fish was worth $139,725 in category and optional money. Fourteen-year-old Sawyer York, competing aboard First Choice, a 60 Hatteras based in New Orleans, whipped a 166.3-pound yellowfin tuna to earn his team $90,585 in prize money. Triple Threat also won optional prize money for its 159.2 tuna.

Anthony Stauffer (Hayride) boated the largest swordfish, a 144.1 broadbill, good for $39,600 in tournament and optional money. Matt Carpenter, on Long Straw, was second with a 125.2-pounder ($20,160), followed by Anthony Lopez on Titan Up (123.5 pounds/$26,940).

Johnny Moore, fishing aboard Alma-Ann, a 48 Cabo (Capt. Nick Jones), made MGCBC tournament history when he finally landed the new record dolphin after a two-hour waiting game. The 57.2-pound bull earned the team $66,750. Kevin Berry, on Deadline, a 52 Viking, was second with a fishing weighing 45.2 pounds ($18,000), while Michael Burroughs whipped a 44.6-pound dolphin for Team Quicktime ($37,650). Amnesia, Big Torch, Heads N Tails and Questionable Judgement also took home optional prize money for their dolphin.

The wahoo this year didn’t quite meet normal Classic averages but were respectable fish nonetheless and earned nice payouts. Lined Out and Jeff Dees caught the largest, 61.4 pounds, good for $48,300. Seament’s Doug Lake was second with a 48.5 wahoo ($37,125) and Neal Foster, betting heavily on Team Intensity, took home $82,425 for three entries in the optional categories.

“We had great weather and some exceptional fish brought to the scales this week,” said Tournament Director Bobby Carter. “I’d like to congratulate our champion Reel Addiction and thank all the teams, our wonderful sponsors and my staff for making this 22nd annual event so special. We hope you’ll join us again next year from June 3-9, 2019.”

The Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel was this year’s tournament host. High Roller sponsors included the City of Biloxi, Release Marine, Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, Gorenflo’s Tackle and Marina Store and Yeti Coolers.

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Re: Reel Addiction Wins MGCBC

Postby jsaunders » June 11th, 2018, 10:56 pm

That's a lot of $$$$ for a fish, but I bet a lot more $$$$ are spent in pursuit of said fish :D
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Re: Reel Addiction Wins MGCBC

Postby SHOWBOAT » June 12th, 2018, 2:13 pm

Got a pic forwarded to me, and it sounds like the winning blue was killed with one of my buddy Chaz's custom harpoons. I'll be over in the panhandle again at the end of the month chasing tuna with him. Check out Got'm Gaffs and Captain Chaz Heller. Really good Capt that makes awesome gaff/harpoons.

Thanks for the updates SK.

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Re: Reel Addiction Wins MGCBC

Postby bbb » June 12th, 2018, 9:17 pm

2nd place Wahoo earned $37,000.

I believe I heard their expenses were around $20,000. I know they had to buy 1300 gallons of fuel
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Re: Reel Addiction Wins MGCBC

Postby STMU » June 13th, 2018, 7:57 am

Not trying to stir the pot here, but why do these tournaments not do catch and release? I know these organizations sometimes donate funds to conservation, but still, why kill it?
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Re: Reel Addiction Wins MGCBC

Postby silverking » June 13th, 2018, 9:22 am

There is a major catch and release component. The first-place release team won $265,000 and second nearly $134K. Only five blue marlin were weighed among 117 boats and the Triple Crown circuit raised the minimum length to 107 inches this year. All the marlin landed were sampled by biologists for important genetic studies and the meat from the fish was donated to a local charity that feeds the homeless. Donations were also made to conservation and scientific groups.

I have been advocating for all release of billfish for 25 years. While we're not quite there yet, significant steps have been taken in that direction. The crowds love seeing a big tuna just as much as a blue marlin and the technology has changed to where the catches can be documented to ensure fairness and sportsmanship.
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Re: Reel Addiction Wins MGCBC

Postby Juan » June 13th, 2018, 4:31 pm

Awesome! Makes me wish I was younger and richer. :-D
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