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Blue and Yellow

June 12, 2016; Biloxi, Mississippi: By Capt. Dave Lear It was a mixed palette of blues, yellows and silver Saturday against the backdrop of a rosy pink sunset. But mainly it was blue and yellow as six more blue marlin were brought to the scales along with a freezer-full of yellowfin tuna. Fishing for the [...]

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Extended Family

June 11, 2016; Biloxi, Mississippi: By Capt. Dave Lear For 20 years, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic has been a family affair. The tournament committee and volunteers have pitched in to help organize the event, write the rules, sell merchandise, man the weigh scales, haul fish and generally do whatever it takes to stage [...]

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Hot Start

June 10, 2016; Biloxi, Mississippi: By Capt. Dave Lear When four out of the first six fish weighed for the 2016 Classic all top the previous year’s overall category winners, it’s not just a good start. It’s a red hot, three alarm, burnt to the crisp sizzler and the 80 boats still fishing have nearly [...]

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Location X

June 9, 2016; Biloxi, Mississippi: By Capt. Dave Lear With turbo-chargers wound up, tanks full and gear rigged, the 81 boats competing in the 2016 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic are churning through the Gulf right now. All are heading towards that sweet spot where the prize-winning blue marlin, yellowfin tuna and other game fish [...]

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A Moveable Feast

June 8, 2016; Biloxi, Mississippi: By Capt. Dave Lear The 2016 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic kicked off with a spicy flair Tuesday evening as teams and sponsors enjoyed boiled cajun crawdads, fried fish and shrimp cooked by Louisiana Fish Fry Products and washed down by cold Miller Lite and Coors Lite beers. It didn’t [...]

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Perfect Recognition

June 1, 2016; Biloxi, Mississippi: By Capt. Dave Lear When the tournament fleet returns to the weigh scales next Friday and Saturday, contestants and spectators alike probably won’t notice the little pop-up tent located behind some sponsor booths. Yet next to the seawall, a team of fisheries biologists will be busy conducting important research, led [...]

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A Work of Art Strikes Early Gold

May 2, 2016; Biloxi, Mississippi: The Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic is just over a month away, but one registered contestant has already won big. A Work of Art, a 92-foot Viking owned by Art Favre of Orange Beach, Alabama, was the Golden Opportunity winner in a drawing held May 1 at the host facility, [...]

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Opening Round

April 4, 2016; Biloxi, Mississippi: By Capt. Dave Lear It won’t be long now. The Gulf thermometer is creeping steadily upward. The Loop Current is doing its thing, shoving and pushing eddies and rips. Bait is massing and on cue brawny marlin, chunky tuna and electric dolphin and wahoo are rocketing into the mix. The [...]

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Signed, Sealed and Delivered

June 8, 2015; Biloxi, Mississippi: By Capt. Dave Lear Eighteen-year-old Katie Gonsoulin and her team aboard Done Deal were the big winners of the 2015 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic after weighing the largest blue marlin, a 587.3-pounder, late Saturday evening. The crew took home a check for $236,050 after the Sunday morning awards ceremony [...]

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Done Good

June 7, 2015; Biloxi, Mississippi: By Capt. Dave Lear Two times is the now the charm. For the second year in a row, the top blue marlin in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic was captured by a lady angler. Eighteen-year-old Katie Gonsoulin of Houma, Louisiana, outlasted a 587.3-pound blue marlin after a fight lasting [...]

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