The Gulf Coast's Entertainment Destination since 1967
Anglers wrap up 43rd Annual Pensacola International Billfish Tournament with awards brunch at Phineas Phogg's in Seville Quarter.
A group of anglers gathered at Seville Quarter on Sunday morning to swap fishing stories.
These anglers, however, had the proof to back their stories up as final results were announced and awards were presented at the conclusion of the 43rd Pensacola International Billfish Tournament.
Brandon Myer's tale proved to be the best of the bunch, reeling in a 365.2-pound blue marlin near an oil rig to claim the $6,200 top prize.
"Once it bit it started jumping," said Myer, the Mobile resident and tournament champion. "We had to chase it down, took it all the way to the back of the line but we got it back in.
"It ran right towards the rig and we ended up having to cut it off before it got in and brought it into the boat."
The hometown crew returned to the scales at Palafox Pier late Saturday night where word had already spread of their big catch.
Ryan Long, captain of Friction Course, the Yellowfin 36-foot center console fishing boat that caught the marlin, knew his crew had a chance to win it as soon as they spotted the fish.
"We knew it was a good fish," Long said. "We'd seen the fish three different times feeding before we got over there live baiting it. Once she bit we knew we had a potential winning fish.
"We stuck it out, everybody did what they were supposed to do and got her into the boat."
For the crew's efforts, Long was named top captain and Thomas Cornelison was named top mate, while Friction Course took top boat honors and won second place in the tournament's small boat category.
Friction Course wasn't the only crew getting in on the action over the weekend as Relentless Pursuit's Dale Artigue took the Dolphin category, winning $2,480 off a 47.6-pound catch.
Double Down's Scott Lawrence pulled in $2,480 after taking the top spot with a 58.56-pound Wahoo and the Tuna category went to Reel Addicton's Laurie McVay who received $2,480 for her 149.2-pound catch.
McVay increased her winnings by finishing second in the Wahoo standings, earning $1,550 after reeling in a 52.8 catch.
The crew of Boy Dawg won the small boat category, taking home $5,000 in the process, while Iona Louise's Peggy Hudson took the tournament's top catch and release prize, $3,100, also being named top lady angler in the process.
• Blue Marlin — 1. Brandon Myer (tournament champion), Friction Course, 365.2 lbs.
• Dolphin — 1. Dale Artigue, Relentless Pursuit, 47.6 lbs; 2. Chapman Cook, Boodah 35.0 lbs; 3. Jennifer Cobb, Privateer, 33.0 lbs.
• Wahoo — 1. Scott Lawrence, Double Down, 58.56 lbs; 2. Laurie McVay, Reel Addiction, 52.8 lbs; 3.Stock Blackburn, Reel Deep, 45.0 lbs.
• Tuna — 1. Laurie McVay, Reel Addiction, 149.2 lbs; 2. Jack Crosby, Pool Shark, 114.2 lbs; 3. Steve Burch, Invictus, 109.6 lbs.
Other awards included: Small boat category (1. Boy Dawg) catch and release (1. Peggy Hudson, Iona Louise) top boat (Friction Course), top mate (Thomas Cornelison, Friction Course), top captain (Ryan Long, Friction Course) and top lady angler (Peggy Hudson, Iona Louise).