Fishing rods Orange Beach Billfish Classic Orange Beach, AL

Orange Beach Billfish Classic Kicks Off Alabama Big-Game Season

Alabama Gulf Coast fishing fans will have their first chance of the year to watch huge fish brought to the weigh dock at the Orange Beach Billfish Classic, scheduled May 18-23 at The Wharf.

Orange Beach Billfish Classic

The family-run tournament is unique among billfish tournaments on the northern Gulf Coast because of its contribution to big-game fishing and for billfish conservation.

Billfish populations around the world are in need of intensive conservation efforts, and the Orange Beach Billfish Classic (OBBC) is the largest tournament donor to The Billfish Foundation (TBF) in the world.

With a focus on the conservation of bluewater species like several marlin species, sailfish, spearfish and swordfish, TBF has received donations of more than $750,000 from the Billfish Classic since its inception in 1996. The OBBC donates 100 percent of the net profits to The Billfish Foundation and other qualified 501(c)(3) conservation organizations.

The Wharf became the home of the OBBC in 2013 to accommodate the growing crowd of spectators who can witness the Gulf’s best anglers compete for $1 million in prize money.

The OBBC kicks off the 2021 Alabama Gulf Coast tournament fishing season and is one of the 10 Gulf Coast tournaments qualifying for the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship Series. The series champions will be crowned after the series finale, the Blue Marlin Grand Championship, set for July 14-17 also at The Wharf.

father and son watching the billfish catch The Wharf Orange Beach AL

Tournament awards include blue marlin and catch-and-release. Only one blue marlin of at least 107 inches in length is allowed per boat to be weighed. In the catch-and-release category, properly documented catches are awarded points, 500 for blue marlin and 200 for white marlin, sailfish and spearfish. Swordfish is not an eligible tournament species. Lady Angler and Junior Angler prizes will be awarded.

Anglers also compete in tuna, wahoo and dolphin categories with a minimum of 20 pounds each. Each boat is allowed to weigh three each of those species.

Online registration is open now! 

Fishing begins at noon on May 20.  All landed blue marlin must be reported with the length of the fish to tournament headquarters within 30 minutes of boating the fish. Boats must clear the Perdido Pass Bridge or Sailboat Bay in Bon Secour by 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 22 to be eligible to weigh fish. The weigh dock at The Wharf will be open Friday, May 21 from 7-8 a.m. and 7-10 p.m. and Saturday, May 22 from 6-10 p.m.

The boardwalks and balconies at The Wharf provide spectators with plenty of room to watch the action at The Wharf. Before the weigh-ins start, visitors have plenty of entertainment options that include fine dining and shopping. As always, the Wharf provides ample free parking.

Share This

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…