Gulf Coast Triple Crown Update: Orange Beach Billfish Classic

While the weather conditions were not ideal and the fishing proved to be even more challenging, 25 teams signed up to fish in this year's Orange Beach Billfish Classic, the kickoff of the 2015 Gulf Coast Triple Crown that was held May 13-17, 2015.

Rusty Skalla and the Rise Up team jumped into an early lead when they landed the largest blue marlin of the tournament, a 502.2-pounder. They also placed third in the catch and release division, earning them 325 points toward the Triple Crown. The Ono Ocean caught the second largest blue, a 424.4-pounder, to earn 175 Triple Crown points, while the You Never Know moved into third with a win in the Catch and Release Division, the only team to release two blue marlin. They earn 125 points. Fourth place is currently tied between the Iona Louise (third place blue marlin) and Just the Tip (second place Catch and Release). Each team wins 100 points for their efforts over the weekend.

Another interesting note was the possible carry-over of some very good karma from last year, when the Rise Up submitted the winning bid in the Blue Marlin Grand Championship's St. Jude Children's Research Hospital charity auction. It's held every year after the BMGC sells out, where the final spot in the tournament is offered for silent auction bidding and the proceeds go directly to St. Jude.

The Gulf Coast Triple Crown now moves to Louisiana for the Cajun Canyons Classic May 26-31, 2015. At stake in the Triple Crown is a phenomenal six-foot custom trophy and the recognition that comes with being the best team in the Gulf of Mexico for the year so stay tuned for updates throughout the season.

About the 2015 GCTC

Marlin tournament season in the Gulf of Mexico means big fish and big bucks as well as a serious adrenaline rush, and nowhere is that feeling more apparent than in the extremely popular Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series, consisting of five high-profile tournaments in the Gulf of Mexico. At stake for the Top Team in the Triple Crown is not only a custom six-foot marlin trophy but also the honor of being named the best billfishing team in the Gulf of Mexico for the year.

The first tournament of the season and the Triple Crown Series is the always-popular Orange Beach Billfish Classic, held May 13th-17th at the Wharf Entertainment Complex. It's a great way to kick off the tournament season and also a terrific way to support the Billfish Foundation here in the Gulf of Mexico. "We were very excited to have them join the Gulf Coast Triple Crown in 2014 and look forward to an even more competitive and fun filled tournament in 2015" says Scott Burt, Series promoter.

The Gulf Coast Triple Crown consists of the most competitive and prestigious billfish tournaments held in the Gulf of Mexico. The lineup for 2015 consists of the Orange Beach Billfish Classic in the kickoff spot, followed by the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic in Venice, Louisiana. The Series moves to Biloxi for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, then to Florida for the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin. The Series comes full circle for the climatic season finale, the Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf, dubbed "The Greatest Show in Sportfishing" held at The Wharf Entertainment Complex in Orange Beach, AL.

There is no additional charge or entry paperwork required for any team wishing to participate in the Gulf Coast Triple Crown, and the top team at the conclusion of the season wins a truly stunning six-foot custom marlin trophy by marine artist Frank Ledbetter, presented at the conclusion of the Blue Marlin Grand Championship event.

For more information on the 2015 Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship, please contact Scott Burt at (850) 233-1633 or