Share-E Wins the 2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic

Tournament kicks off blue marlin fishing in the Gulf and shows strong support for The Billfish Foundation

2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic winning team Share-E Sherry Polk
Buell and Sherry Polk and Capt. Mike Roberto won the 2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic on Share-E with a blue marlin weighing 651.2 pounds.Courtesy ParShots.com

The Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship Series kicked off with the Orange Beach Billfish Classic, held out of The Wharf Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama. Thirty-one teams signed up to fish in this year's tournament. Breathe Easy, a 68-foot Viking based out of Orange Beach, weighed the first blue marlin of the season at 574 pounds. It was a great start for the team of owner Matt McDonald, Capt. Patrick Ivey and angler Douglas Fletcher. But it would be Share-E emerging victorious in this year's OBBC after owners Buell and Sherry Polk and Capt. Mike Roberto weighed their 651.2-pound blue. Sherry Polk was the angler on the big blue. An even larger 771-pounder was bought in by Rise Up, but mechanical issues prevented the team from making the 7 p.m. deadline, disqualifying their fish.

2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Mollie top catch and release team
Mollie was the top release team in the tournament with two blue marlin.Courtesy ParShots.com

In the Catch and Release category, Mollie, a 66-foot G&S from Destin, Florida, released two blue marlin to win first place. Reel Addiction also released two blue marlin for a second place finish, followed by Dirt Pit in third place.

Sea Mixer won the tuna category with a 164.4-pound yellowfin. Call Me Gone boated the top mahimahi at 31 pounds and Nikki Bella won the wahoo division with a 75.4-pound fish.

At the awards ceremony, tournament directors Kate Dorland and Kate Ferrara presented a check for $31,000 to Ellen Peel of The Billfish Foundation. The Orange Beach Billfish Classic is TBF’s single largest annual tournament donor.

2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Share-E winning blue marlin The Wharf Orange Beach Alabama
Share-E's winning blue marlin at The Wharf Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Breathe Easy second place blue marlin
Breathe Easy landed the second-place blue marlin in this year's tournament.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic boats departing Orange Beach Alabama
The fleet departs from Orange Beach prior to the start of the tournament.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic boat parade Gulf of Mexico
The impressive line-up stretches toward the open Gulf of Mexico.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic boat parade Gulf of Mexico
Participating teams fished overnight in search of blue and white marlin, sailfish, tuna, mahimahi and wahoo in the Gulf of Mexico.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Carib running shot
Carib heads for the fishing grounds.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic
A look at the cockpit of Cotton Patch, with tuna tubes ready to go. These tubes are for keeping live bait like tuna and bonito ready to go at a moment's notice.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Relentless Pursuit Jim Smith aerial shot
The 95-foot Jim Smith Relentless Pursuit runs beautifully.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Reel Addiction second place catch and release team
Reel Addiction took home second place in the catch and release division with two blue marlin releases.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Laurie Jones top lady angler Reel Addiction
Laurie Jones was Top Lady Angler on Reel Addiction.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Steve Thomas Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic Ellen Peel The Billfish Foundation
Steve Thomas from the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic shares a laugh with Ellen Peel from The Billfish Foundation during the awards presentation.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Team Supreme second place yellowfin tuna
Team Supreme weighed the second-place tuna with a 146-pound yellowfin.Courtesy ParShots.com
2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Relentless Pursuit second place wahoo
Relentless Pursuit didn't leave empty-handed: they caught the tournament's second-place wahoo.Courtesy ParShots.com