You Never Know! Wins Blue Marlin Grand Championship

Gulf Coast Triple Crown wraps up in Orange Beach, Alabama

2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship You Never Know first place
It's big blues and big checks for the You Never Know! team at the awards presentation.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs

Thomas Turner's You Never Know! team entered the Blue Marlin Grand Championship looking for big things to happen, and happen they did. Angler Josh Goodson battled an 806.8-pound blue marlin on the first day of fishing, and while the blue wasn't quite large enough to break the Alabama state record, it was enough to clinch first place and a lion's share of the record $1.4 million tournament purse, winning $365,175 for their efforts. Capt. Joey Birbeck skippers You Never Know!, a 72 F&S based in Miramar, Florida.

2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Pour Intentions
Pour Intentions had a great tournament this year.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs

Pour Intentions, a Destin-based 56 Viking, was the second-place boat. Angler Andrew Smoker boated a blue marlin weighing 455.6 pounds and the boat also released two blues to earn 810 points and third place in the release division. Owner Sean Ely and his team took home $191,190 in tournament and optional entry prize money. Sherry Polk, led by Capt. Mike Roberto on the new 72 Viking Share-E, won $91,110 for her 652.8-pound blue. That fish was good for third place and the Top Lady Angler title for Polk. Capt. Jeff Shoultz and the Mollie team took the fourth and final spot on the 2016 leaderboard with a 666.4-pound blue marlin.

2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Share E
Share-E comes to the scales.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs

Conundrum was the top release team, with three blue marlin and one white marlin let go for the tournament. Conundrum owner Dan Haeuser and Capt. Jimmy Crochet agreed that all three of the team's blues were over the tournament minimums but elected to release them instead. Lisa Jo, owned by Michael Lovett and run by Logan Lovett, had good karma after winning the 61st tournament entry in the St. Jude Charity Auction. The Lisa Jo team released two blues and a white marlin to take second place. Pour Intentions edged out Done Deal based on time for third and fourth places, respectively. A total of 22 blue marlin, 23 white marlin and one sailfish were scored during the 2016 event.

2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship
You Never Know!'s massive blue marlin nearly broke the Alabama state record.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs You Never Know blue marlin
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Thomas Turner You Never Know
Thomas Turner, owner of You Never Know!, prepares the champagne once their victory was announced to the crowd.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship fighting chair pull off contest
The fighting chair pull-off contest is a highlight of the pre-tournament fun.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Miss Billfish
Miss Billfish waves to the crowd.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Miss Billfish pageant
The top three contestants in the Miss Billfish pageant.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship hangover clinic
Always a welcome sight the morning after a big party, it's the mobile Hangover Clinic.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship fleet lines up
The fleet heads to sea at the start of the Blue Marlin Grand Championship.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Hatterascal top yellowfin tuna tournament record
Hatterascal had the tournament's record yellowfin tuna, a 182.4-pounder caught by angler JP Arceneaux.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Southern Miss top wahoo
Doyle Jefcoat caught the biggest wahoo, a74.6-pounder, on Southern Miss.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Amnesia top mahimahi
Amnesia weighed the biggest mahimahi at 45.2 poundsCourtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship blue marlin on display
Have you ever touched a blue marlin? The tournament displays the fish on ice so the crowds, including the kids, can get an up-close look at a real blue marlin.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs
2016 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Spanky McCann Gulf Legends
Dennis “Spanky” Hill was inducted to the Gulf Legends during this year's tournament.Courtesy Mark Worden, Lightwave Photographs