Anglers from around the nation flocked to the coast for this week’s Gulf Coast Billfish Classic. The 23rd annual fishing tournament was scheduled to begin today, but the weather had something to say about that. News 25’s Andrew Scherer has the story.
Anglers spent their morning cleaning their boats and relaxing following the cancellation of day one of the annual Billfish Classic due to bad weather.
Mark Collier with the contender Intense Pro Fishing team out of Mobile, were prepared to fish, but also understand the reasoning behind the delay.
“You pound the boat, you beat on the equipment. Not to mention if you happen to be lucky enough to hook a good fish in weather like this, it makes it extremely hard to get the fish to the boat,” says Collier.
Wind gusts of up to 31 miles per hour were recorded at Point Cadet Marina, which was the driving force behind the stoppage of the tournament. While rain can cause issues for anglers, wind is the true culprit when it comes to safety concerns.
“You’re a whole lot more susceptible to losing the fish, you’re a whole more susceptible to injuring yourself with lures, and hooks on live bait, things of that nature. With a little bit more calmer weather you don’t see flying around as much,” says Collier.
With day one a no-go, the classic lost its annual pre-tournament parade, which was a favorite among the public and competitors. Despite the delay, Billfish Classic Organizer Bobby Carter, is still expecting a fantastic weekend.
“We went ahead and pushed the tournament back to where the boats can leave at 6 a.m. on Friday, and we also pushed the scales back until Sunday. We will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, so it’s open, free to the public, come on down,” says Carter.
More than 30 teams will be competing for prizes totaling a half-million dollars.