2023 OBBC Tournament

2023 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Winner

776.4 Blue Marlin Earns Captain Jeff Shoults and Crew $180,300
Briar Patch Takes Home $153,075 as Top C & R Team

Summary

In 2016 and 2019, Mollie, the 63′ G & S from Destin, won the Orange Beach Billfish Classic’s Catch and Release Division. This year, Captain Jeff Shoults not only weighed in the heaviest Blue Marlin in his illustrious thirty-five-year fishing career, but he also set the new OBBC record with a 776.4 Blue Marlin to win this year’s tournament at The Wharf in Orange Beach.

“It’s the fish of a lifetime,” said Shoults of his 125″ fish. “We fought that fish for four and a half hours, and I am so proud of the entire crew, from Brian Stover, the angler, to my mates Casey Wherhahn, Jacob Castle, and Colton Guthrie‚Ķa special fish for sure.” Mollie was also the tournament’s top-earning boat, winning $180,300 for their first-place Blue Marlin.

Rounding out the Blue Marlin leaderboard was Miss Mary, a 68′ Viking from New Orleans with a 548.6 second-place fish caught by Joey DiFatta. Travis Dorland’s 528.4 Blue Marlin caught on Reel Fire, a 76′ Viking from Pensacola Beach finished in 3rd place.

Brian Patch, a 68 Viking from Destin, was the only team in the forty-two boat fleet to release three Blue Marlin. Captain Corey Hurst and crew won the Catch and Release Division along with a payout of $153,075. Relentless Pursuit, a 95′ Jim Smith from New Orleans, finished in second place, followed by the 64′ Hatteras Southern Charm from Orange Beach in third place in Catch and Release.

Fins Up, a 54′ Bertram from Orange Beach, won the Tuna Division with their 148-pound Yellowfin. Miss Ma’am, a 70′ Viking from Orange Beach, was second at 143.2, and the 60′ Hatteras Lifeline from Panama City was third at 127.6.

Two Dolphin were weighed in, and Miss Mary had the biggest at 25.2 pounds, followed by Perseverance, a 54′ Hatteras from Biloxi at 20.2 pounds. Cotton Patch, the 60′ Hatteras from Orange Beach, weighed the tournament’s only Wahoo at 24.4 pounds.

The Orange Beach Billfish Classic is the world’s largest tournament donor to The Billfish Donation and will return to The Wharf in Orange Beach on May 16, 2024, for the 28th year of the competition.

Results