The Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship expanded its roster of participating events in 2013 to include Louisiana’s most popular blue-water tournament, the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, slated for May 28th to June 2nd, 2013. The CCBC will join the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club Memorial Day Tournament, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin and the Blue Marlin Grand Championship tournaments that comprise the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship.
Sonny Middleton, one of the most notable figures in Gulf Coast sportfishing circles, first floated the concept of uniting the most popular tournaments in the region nearly a decade ago. Teams would compete for points based on their finish in each event with the winner being presented an annual trophy.
In 2011 the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship became a reality. Tournament anglers immediately embraced it across the Gulf of Mexico. Several teams signed up to participate in Triple Crown Championship tournaments solely based on the fact that they wanted a shot at winning the trophy and title as “The Best of the Best” on the Gulf Coast for the year.
The Triple Crown Championship presents a 6-foot trophy of a leaping blue marlin by marine artist Frank Ledbetter to the winning team at the final event of the season, the Blue Marlin Grand Championship at the Wharf. In 2012, the Triple Crown trophy was presented to Jon Gonsoulin’s Done Deal, a team based out of Houma, Louisiana.
The Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic was founded in 2005 in Venice, Louisiana. It features a modified-release format for blue marlin as well as substantial prize money for billfish and other game fish. The tournament’s name originates from the many deepwater canyons that surround the tournament venue in Venice, the gateway to some of the world’s most prolific billfishing in the upper Gulf of Mexico.
“I think it’s a very positive move for everyone involved. We bring with us a strong contingent of not just Louisiana boats but also some Texas teams that come over to fish every year, so this gives them the chance to compete in the Triple Crown if they wish,” said Steve Thomas, founder of the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic. “And of course the Series boats are more than welcome to come down to our state and experience some outstanding fishing here in Louisiana. We look forward to a great partnership in 2013 and beyond.”
Scott Burt, the coordinator of the Gulf Coast Triple Crown, is also excited about the coming season as well as the addition of the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic. “It’s a great tournament in Louisiana — Steve Thomas has done a terrific job in attracting teams of the highest caliber to participate in his event so we are very happy to have him on board with us.”
Participating teams in the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship are awarded points based on the top three finishes in each event, with a bonus added for those competing in all five tournaments during the circuit. Points are awarded for the largest blue marlin as well as catch-and-release and game fish divisions. There is no additional entry fee or paperwork necessary to compete in the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship.
The 2013 Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship will kick off with the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club Memorial Day Tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama May 24-27, 2013.
For more information, visit www.gulfcoasttriplecrown.com.
Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship Events
• Mobile Big Game Fishing Club Memorial Day Tournament, Orange Beach, AL: May 24 – 27, 2013
• Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, Venice, LA: May 28 – June 2, 2013
• Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, Isle of Capri, Biloxi, MS: June 2 – 9, 2013
• Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, Destin, FL: June 19 – 23, 2013
• Blue Marlin Grand Championship, Orange Beach, AL: July 9 – 14, 2013