Top Offshore Anglers Get Ready for Orange Beach Billfish Classic
The Orange Beach Billfish Classic, scheduled May 12-17 at The Wharf, is unique among billfish tournaments on the northern Gulf Coast.
First, it’s a family-run tournament with blue marlin as its main focus, both for big-game fishing and for billfish conservation.
Because billfish populations around the world are among a number of fish species that are of concern for conservationists, the Orange Beach Billfish Classic (OBBC) was formed to make a difference for those who to fish bluewater and the fish species that thrive in the deep.
Since its inception in 1996, the OBBC has donated more than $730,000 to The Billfish Foundation (TBF) and other conservation organizations to promote research and conservation of the big-game species. The OBBC takes 100 percent of the net profits and donates to The Billfish Foundation and other qualified 501(c)(3) conservation organizations.
The OBBC moved to its current home of The Wharf in 2013 to accommodate the growing crowd of spectators who come to watch the Gulf’s best anglers bring their catch to the weigh dock and complete for more than $1 million in prize money.
The OBBC kicks off the 2020 Gulf Coast tournament fishing season and is the first of the five Gulf Coast tournaments qualifying for the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship Series. That series wraps up with the Blue Marlin Grand Championship, set for July 14-19 also at The Wharf
Tournament awards include blue marlin and catch-and-release. Only one blue marlin per boat is allowed 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.