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Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin – Fish, Fun, Food, Beverages, Prizes, Music & Fireworks!

by Celeste Bracewell on April 26th, 2024
Shotgun start to an Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic

Excitement is growing for the 22nd annual 2024 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin. This year’s competition for one of the top big-game fishing tournaments in the world launches June 19th to 23rd in Destin, Florida. The fabulous Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is hosting the popular sporting event with a $2-million-plus purse.

“Taking place in one of the most productive fisheries in the United States, timed to coincide with the peak of the Gulf Coast’s blue marlin season and located at the South’s number-one ranked resort destination, the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin® (ECBC) has set the precedent for world-class sportfishing tournaments,” according to tournament organizers.

Ready, set, fish!

This year’s tournament is ready to welcome past teams, plus plenty of new ones to this competitive slice of fishing paradise. Sponsors continue to step up, rolling out the red carpet on land and sea. All that’s needed now are some cooperative fish! Eighty boats competed in the 2023 tournament with $1,810,250 in cash awards.

The boats head out from Baytowne Marina during a shotgun start at 11 a.m. on Thursday, and the fishing continues until Saturday at 6 p.m. Whether you’re into angling, checking out boats at the marina, shopping, dining, or enjoying the white sands and turquoise waters of the Gulf, there are loads of planned activities during the tournament. Here’s a sampler of the opportunities that await you.

170.8-lb tuna landed by this fishing group

Modified-Release Tournament

The 2024 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic is a “modified-release” tournament. Rules state that blue marlin are the only billfish that can be weighed and must have a minimum length of 110 inches before they can be boated. If your intent is to release the fish, it must not be removed from the water, or it will be disqualified. Fish that you keep must arrive at the scales in edible condition. More official tournament information can be found here.

Weigh-ins take place from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (or until the last fish are weighed) on Saturday at Baytowne Marina in the Village at Baytowne Wharf. A variety of merchandise vendors will be set up around the weigh-in area offering event t-shirts and hats, fishing gear and equipment, and much more.

Even if you don’t like to fish, you’ll enjoy the music, fireworks, food, and drinks, as well as the exciting weigh-ins and awards. There’s live music starting at 6 p.m. on Friday at Baytowne Marina Bar and Grill. The evening ends with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. sponsored by The Village of Baytowne Wharf.

Vendors offering a variety of merchandise during the weigh-ins

The private Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic Awards Brunch will be held from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sunday at the Baytowne Conference Center’s Magnolia Ballroom. The Awards Presentation will take place at 11 a.m. during the brunch.

The tournament supports two charities — Sandestin Foundation for Kids and The Billfish Foundation.

Men on the back of a large fishing boat equipped with lots of rods and reels
Fishermen tending to their equipment during an Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic

Reserve Your Rooms Now

To make sure you get the accommodations you want for 2024 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, it’s wise to book early. Browse our Destin vacation rentals for condos, hotels, and vacation homes in a wide range of sizes and prices. Many of our listings can be booked online. Or book directly with Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

Then plan a great trip to this fishing mecca to see seasoned anglers bring in massive catches. And enjoy all that Destin has to offer while you’re here!

This article was originally written by Celeste in 2018 and updated annually by BeachGuide editors.

From → Destin

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