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Devotion Wins 2021 Gulf Coast Triple Crown

Fierce competition throughout the season

October 4, 2021
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Team Devotion
Team Devotion Courtesy Gulf Coast Triple Crown

While it wasn’t a wire-to-wire win, the team that eventually emerged victorious in the Gulf Coast Triple Crown series was the same one that led the series after the first week, nine tournaments later.

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Boat owner Josh Tice, Capt. Jason ­Hallmark and the team on board Devotion, a 61-foot Viking from Orange Beach, Alabama, won the catch-and-release division of the Louisiana Billfish Championship in May. After falling out of first place, they scored a second-place finish with a 472-pound blue marlin in the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, moving them into third place in the series with two events remaining in the season. A second-place showing in the Pensacola Big Game Fishing Club International Tournament put them in first going into the season finale: the Blue Marlin Grand Championship. Ten other teams also had a shot at the title as well, but none were able to overtake Tice, Hallmark and the Devotion team, winners of the 2021 Gulf Coast Triple Crown. “To have my name alongside those other great captains who have won this in the past—some of the best captains and fishermen in the world—that’s an unbelievable honor for me and our team,” he says.

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This was the first season of fishing together for Tice and Hallmark, and the owner credits his captain not only for his fishing ability, but also for his ability to recruit a top-shelf team. “That is one of Jason’s greatest strengths, to be able to put together an excellent crew,” Tice says. “That has always been a trademark of his: being able to attract top talent to the boat he is running.”

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Like many things on the northern Gulf Coast, it was the late Sonny Middleton who came up with the original concept of a billfish championship series. It took nearly 10 years to develop the Gulf Coast Triple Crown into a competitive tournament series, promoting offshore big-game fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and awarding an annual champion.

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This article was originally published in the October 2021 issue of Marlin.

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