Team Aries dominated the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic last week at the Point Cadet Marina.
The swordfish record was broken three times. Pay Dirt, a 37 Freeman based in Tallahassee, finished with the record. Angler Scott Cothran, Capt. Ryan Kelly caught a 242.54-pound broadbill to earn a check for $51.075.
If verified by the DMR in a few weeks, Pay Dirt will earn an additional payout of $325,000 plus a Petro Nissan Titan truck.
Two other records were set at the Billfish Classic: 120 boats fishing and over $2 million in prize money. The Golden Nugget was the tournament’s host.
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“It was one of the best tournaments we’ve had,” Billfish Classic Tournament Director Bobby Carter said. “It went extremely well. The weather was great.”
The team of Owner/captain Russell Craft, Hollis Legg, angler Jeff Friedman and Jason, Matthew and Darin Friedman caught a first-place blue marlin that weighed 668.77-pounds. The Perdido Key, Fla. team won a prize of $397,925.
“We came to catch a big fish, and we caught a big fish,” Friedman said. “We love fishing this tournament.”
Mollie, a 68 G&S based in Destin, and run by Captain Jeff Shoults, was second, but won the most money. Thomas Cornelison and his teammates earned a payout of $403,005. Reel Addiction, a 56 Viking from Pensacola Beach and run by Captain Scooter Porto, was third.
Here are the other winners:
▪ Tuna division: Ryan Cooper of CE had a yellowfin that weighed 201.06 pounds for a $81,360 check. Drew Marshall of Trader’s Hill from Bay Point, Fla., was second. Dylan Doubleday, fishing aboard Makaira, was third.
▪ Wahoo: Neal Foster of Mobile fishing aboard 39 contender caught the top two wahoo, 80.13 and 72.7 pounds to win $112,000. A Work of Art, led by Greg Cooper. Captain Ron Woodruff, owner Art Favre, was third.
▪ Dolphin: Angler Brian Leiser, Capt. Jeff Theiry of Orange Beach aboard Hot, Black and Sticky won $108,000 for their 42.97 pound bull.
Fishing Schedule: Here’s the rest of the Coast’s fishing slate.
▪ June 24: CCA Horn Island Live Catch at Ocean Springs Harbor.
▪ June 30-July 4: The 70th Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo at Jones Park Harbor in Gulfport
▪ July 19-22: MGCBG Ladies Tournament at Cypress Cove Marina in Venice, Louisiana
▪ Aug. 4-7: Home Builders Association of Mississippi Carl Legett Tournament at Point Cadet Marina
▪ Aug. 16-19: MGCBG Sonny Johnson Memorial Tournament, location to be determined.