Record Crowds but No Blue Marlins at Bay Point Billfish Invitational

Drawing record numbers, the 2009 Bay Point Billfish Invitational brought everything except Big Blue herself. Last year, the tournament went to an all catch-and-release for Blue Marlin, changing the way it had always been done.  This year, they went back to the good ‘ol method of what you catch, you bring in to weigh, except this year, nobody caught any Blue’s, just the blues.

“We had 67 boats registered this year,” said Tournament Director Scott Burt, “I would have liked more, but 67 is a great number considering the state of the economy.  We have salesman, developers, hotel owners, I mean, what industry hasn’t been hit?”

As I was running around taking pictures and taking notes, it was commented to me that they may have to shut the gates down.  At around 8:30, there were so many people in the “spectator” area that one couldn’t move through it, posing somewhat of a threat, actually.  Not 20 minutes later, there was an announcement by Scott Rossman, the MC of the event as he was talking to all the people in TV land, live about the tourney, that if they were planning on coming out, that they wouldn’t be able to get in as they closed the gates to all guests.  Scott Burt, Tournament Director, told me that this was only the third time in the history of the event that they had to do this.

Not exactly record-weight fish were brought in, but a few walked away with pocketfuls of cash, including Peter Bos of Destin, who brought in the winning Tuna weighing in at 119.5 lbs, netting him over $36,000.  The evening was relatively uneventful literally until the last 20 minutes of weigh-in when the first and second place Tuna were brought in along with the first place Dolphin.  At one point, the channel feeing into the marina was congested with millions of dollars worth of yachts ancey to get their weigh-on.

Seas were a little rougher than had been forecasted and many of the anglers had said that most of their trip at sea was accompanied by rain and cloudy weather.  Was this the cause of not only fewer fish, but smaller fish as well?  Were the giants looming too deep to find this year?  Well at least one thing’s for certain, many records still remain unbroken.

Final numbers:

Invitational – Saturday July 18, 2009

Tuna

  • Peter Bos, Legendary – 119.5 lbs
  • Paul Murdoch, Team Charles 50 – 90.3 lbs
  • Jared Roberts, Mollie – 51.3 lbs

Wahoo

  • Grant Nicholson, Life is Good – 33 lbs
  • Peggy Ann Hudson, Iona Louise – 20.3 lbs

Dolphin

  • August Redding, Dream Wake II – 32.1 lbs
  • Grant Nicholson, Life is Good – 27.5 lbs
  • Mark Griffin, Britney Jean – 26.3 lbs

40/40 Shootout Tournament – Friday July 17, 2009

Wahoo

  • Monty Ferrell, Just One More – 29 lbs
  • Collins White, The Dirty 38 – 21.0 lbs
  • Rick Thompson, Frig It – 23.5 lbs

Tuna

  • Mark Crone, A-Loan Again – 56.1 lbs

Dolphin

  • Monty Ferrel, Just One More – 20.5 lbs
  • Jeremy Sprenkle, Wideopen – 24.0 lbs
  • Mark Datelle, Wideopen – 23.8 lbs

Al Hubbard Kids Fishing Experience

Team Osprey – 10.1
Team Cast-A-Way – 6.8
Team Adios – 5.1
Team Reel Fun – 7.7
Team Premier – 6.0
Team Cool Breeze – 4.0
Team B&T – 42.9
Team Boxfull – 4.2
Team Floridaze – 7.5
Team Fishbones – 8.7
Team JOE – 10.5
Team Southern Dawn – 4.7

Photos from You – Dolphin, Kite Boarders, Christmas and More

Every week we’ll feature photos from you, the reader, of anything from crowded streets at Pier Park, to finger crabs scurrying across the beach.  They say pictures are worth a thousand words, share your words with pcbdaily.com.  Submit your photos and share your Panama City Beach pictures.

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