On the Docks at the MGCBC

Biloxi’s biggest sport-fishing tournament sets new records this year

Lolita returns to port as the sun sets on the 2017 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic in Biloxi.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC

The 2017 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic was a record-setter in several ways. It hosted the largest participating fleet in the event's 22-year history at 120 boats. The payout also hit record numbers, with a total prize purse of over $2 million available to the winning teams. A forecast of beautiful weather certainly helped, as teams from across the Gulf of Mexico descended upon Biloxi, Mississippi for their shot at a share of the cash. Enjoy this "on the docks" photo tour of the tournament through the eyes of photographer Fred Salinas.

Black Tip heads for the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico Thursday afternoon. Participating boats fished from the time they departed until the Saturday evening weigh-in.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
A head-on view of Johnny Dorland's Cotton Patch.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
The event drew thousands of spectators for the weigh-in.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
High Cotton cuts a striking image as she heads for the horizon.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
Spectators of all ages enjoyed the tournament. For many, it's the first time they will ever see a blue marlin in person.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
A marlin is measured by the tournament staff before being weighed. Jim Franks and his staff at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, part of the University of Southern Mississippi, were on hand to collect samples of the billfish, including stomach contents, eyes, earbones and much more.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
Pour Intentions rounds the marker as they head to sea. Most would run in excess of 100 miles from Biloxi before putting the lines in the water.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
A scenic overview of the tournament site as the sun sets in the background.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
Art Favre's A Work of Art, one of many beautiful yachts from Viking fishing the tournament.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
A boat heads for port with storm clouds in the background.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
The thrill of victory.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
Traders Hill weighs in.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
Enclosed flybridge boats like this one are becoming more popular on the Gulf Coast for the added creature comforts they provide their owners and crews compared to open-bridge convertible designs.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC
The Saturday evening weigh-ins continue well into the darkness approaching midnight.Courtesy Fred Salinas / MGCBC