Aerial view of The Wharf Marina

Expect Big Fish at Blue Marlin Grand Championship in July

July 14-17, 2021

The “Greatest Show in Sportfishing,” the 2021 Blue Marlin Grand Championship, is scheduled for July 14-17 at The Wharf in Orange Beach, where the Gulf Coast’s premier big game tournament provides a plethora of activities for spectators, tournament participants and sponsors on the beautiful Alabama coast.

Winners at the Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf

The best big-game anglers in the nation will compete in five categories – blue marlin by weight, catch-and-release, dolphin (mahi), wahoo and yellowfin tuna. Blue marlin must be 110-inch minimum size to be weighed. Weighed blue marlin will be awarded one point for each pound up to 499.9 pounds. Any blue marlin 500 pounds or larger will be awarded two points per pound. For example, a 700-pound blue marlin will be awarded 1,400 points.

In the catch-and-release category, each blue marlin gets 501 pounds, while white marlin and spearfish are awarded 250 points, and sailfish or unidentified billfish earn 200 points.

Boats docked at The Wharf Marina may depart behind the tournament pace boats at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 15th. Boats docked elsewhere in Orange Beach may depart through Perdido Pass behind the pace boats and tournament fleet. All tournament boats must depart through either Mobile Pass or Perdido Pass behind the pace boats. Fishing is allowed from time of departure until return on Saturday, July 17th. 

For lucky anglers who catch a blue marlin on Thursday, an optional early-bird weigh-in is available on Friday, July 16th, but the boat must notify tournament officials Thursday evening to set up a weigh-in time.

Regular weigh-ins, hosted by Jim Cox, are set for 5-8 p.m. Friday and 5-9 p.m. on Saturday or until the last eligible fish has been weighed. For spectators who want to see the boats return to the weigh dock, all tournament boats must return to The Wharf for weigh-in through Sailboat Bay. 

Fishing Boats leaving The Wharf in Orange Beach

Regular weigh-ins, hosted by Jim Cox, are set for 5-8 p.m. Friday and 5-9 p.m. on Saturday or until the last eligible fish has been weighed. For spectators who want to see the boats return to the weigh dock, all tournament boats must return to The Wharf for weigh-in through Sailboat Bay. 

The tournament kicks off for participants and sponsors with the team check-in and optional entry registration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14 at the Marina office, tournament headquarters. A Kick-Off After Party, which includes the Triple Crown Challenge Fighting Chair Contest, is set for 9-11 p.m. Wednesday.

Boats depart The Wharf at 10:01 a.m. Thursday, July 15. Spectators can take part in the Orange Beach/Gulf Shores Billfish Boat Parade by lining up along the Intracoastal Waterway on Canal Road to watch the tournament boats head toward the Gulf of Mexico through Perdido Pass.

Blue Marlin Grand Championship (BMGC) winners will be announced about 10 p.m. Saturday or after all boats in line at the cut-off time have been weighed. The BMGC is the final tournament in the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship series, and the Triple Crown winners will be announced at the awards ceremony breakfast at 9 a.m. Sunday, July 18.

A portion of the tournament proceeds will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Don’t miss the chance to see some of the largest fish from the Gulf weighed in at The Wharf, one of the South’s premier destinations. While you’re at The Wharf, check out the other entertainment and dining options available for the whole family. As always, plenty of free parking is available.

For more updates and information, visit the event listing on our website.

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David Rainer Blogger
David Rainer (2 Posts)
David Rainer has written about the great outdoors on the Alabama Gulf Coast for more than 20 years. For 14 of those years, he covered the many fishing opportunities on the Gulf Coast as outdoors…