Reel Addiction Victorious in Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic

Big marlin earn big money for the teams in Biloxi

a blue marlin at the 2018 mississippi gulf coast billfish classic
The tournament-winning 769.9-pound blue marlin.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear

Owners Rocky and Laurie Jones have been trying to win the big fish division of this tournament since their release division win 12 years ago. When angler Chase Pate's 769.9-pound blue marlin hit the deck of the Reel Addiction, they knew they could be in contention. With a $405,705 check, and a bucket list item at stake, the Viking boat headed in, not knowing what the end-result would be - they had a big fish, but there was a lot of tournament left.

Capt. Scooter Porto and his team are regulars on the Gulf’s big-game tournament circuit, and their efforts paid off with this win, earning them big money and a 2019 invitation to the Offshore World Championship.

The team aboard the 76-foot Viking, Team Supreme, led by Capt. Chase Lake, were the second-place winners with a 739.1-pound blue marlin caught by angler Alex Krake after an 11-hour fight. After a quick turnaround, the team headed back to the Gulf to add another chunk of change to their winnings with a 156.6-pound yellowfin tuna, sending them back to Destin with a total of $313,115 in prize money.

A third Viking Yacht team, the 48-foot Pearl took third place, receiving a check for $122,970 after angler Edgar McKee landed his 611.5-pound blue for Capt. Shawnie Clemons and his team.

The catch and release division's first-place award went to Capt. Robbie Doggett aboard Relentless Pursuit with three blue marlin releases on time. Capt. Jason Buck and his Done Deal team took second, also with three blue marlin releases, and in third was Capt. Dale Bergeron and his team on Money Shot with two blues to their credit.

The largest yellowfin weighed in at 182.3 pounds for Swee Pea, the largest swordfish was caught by Hayride at 144.1 pounds, Alma-Ann landed a record mahi at 57.2 pounds, and the largest wahoo was recorded at 61.4 pound for Lined Out.

the first place team at the 2018 mississippi gulf coast billfish classic
The first-place team, Reel Addiction collects their $450,705 in prize money for the largest blue marlin weighed in Biloxi.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
fleet of boats at the 2018 mississippi gulf coast billfish classic
Just a few of the 117 participating teams in the 2018 event, lined up and sitting on go.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
second place blue marlin at the 2018 mississippi gulf coast billfish classic
Team Supreme angler Alex Krake with the team's 739.1-pound second-place fish.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
crowd at the weigh station of the 2018 mississippi gulf coast billfish classic
Standing room only at the weigh station.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
Team Pearl with their blue marlin at the 2018 Mississippi gulf coast billfish classic
Team Pearl with their 611.5-pound, third-place blue marlin.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear