Founded in 1997 by the late Bill Mclellan and Bobby Carter, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic was an idea conjured up with fellow fishing team member Danny Pitalo as the three of them sat drinking cocktails on the back of a boat while fishing an event in Orange Beach, Al. Little did any of them know at that time but the MGCBC was destined to be the crowned jewel of all gulf coast tournaments. In 1997, less than one year from that night in Orange Beach, the first MGCBC tournament was held in Biloxi with a whopping 60 boats participating. The boat count grew with each year until it topped out with 110 boats in 2003. Known for it’s large cash awards, the classic has paid out over 10 million dollars along with trophies and prizes including several Ford vehicles for state record breakers.
Tournament history pages:
2002 Lost our founder Bill Mclellan to cancer, Barry Carr sets gulf of mexico record 1,054 lb Blue Marlin.
2001 Rob Landingham on She’s The One 205.8 lb. yellowfin tuna, Mississippi record, Dee Lovelace on Cajun Dancer, 520 lb. Blue Marlin.
2000 800K purse, Harris Garner on Summer Breeze II, 562 lb. Blue Marlin.
1999 Freedom back to back, Damon Chouest 572 lb Blue Marlin, Bluefin Tuna state record 837 lb, Bob Strue.
1998 Half million dollar purse, one Blue Marlin, Dino Chouest aboard Freedom.
1997 Inaugural Event, 18 year old Shannon Faulkner, 631.8 lb Blue Marlin.