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Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic Poised for New Records

May 1st, 2019

ECBC logo 300x118 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic Poised for New Records
ECBCStart 300x169 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic Poised for New Records

Photo credit: Capt. Dave Lear

With just over a month until the kick-off of the 17th annual Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, boat registrations for this world-class fishing event are on pace to eclipse previous highs. The final field is expected to top 100 teams and if that does happen, a new $2.5 million dollar-plus benchmark in cash prizes would be established. The ECBC is hosted by the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and presented by Wind Creek Casino & Hotel-Atmore, AL. The tournament runs June 19-23, 2019.

“At the current pace of registrations, I’m confident we’ll exceed our 100-boat goal,” says Tournament Director Adam Alfonso. “And when we do, we’re likely to exceed last year’s overall record purse of $2 million as well. We have another great group of sponsors to help us celebrate 17 years and lots of activities to make the entire week a memorable one.” The Early Bird deadline for registering for the tournament is May 31.

The 2019 tournament will again make a strong statement for marine conservation. In the Gulf of Mexico the federal minimum length for boating a blue marlin is 99 inches. For ECBC anglers blue marlin must be at least 110 inches long to qualify in the weight division. That minimum is measured from the tip of the fish’s lower jaw to the fork of the tail. This increase in length will ensure the release of marginal marlin and result in only true trophies coming to the scales at Baytowne Marina.

“Raising the minimum length requirement was an easy decision,” Alfonso says. “The ECBC has been committed to conservation since the beginning and this new rule will ensure these magnificent fish are here for future generations. As a result, fewer fish will be sacrificed and those that are boated will truly reflect the caliber and skills of our contestants.” Can’t Deny It, the 2018 ECBC champion, took top honors with a blue marlin that was 118.5 inches and weighed 699.2 pounds.

In addition to the blue marlin weight division, smaller blues, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish that are successfully released earn points in the competitive release division. Releases are verified by video footage. Yellowfin, bigeye and blackfin tuna, wahoo and dolphin are scored one point per pound. The ECBC attracts multi-million dollar sport-fishing boats from across the Gulf of Mexico as well as the southeastern United States. Fishing begins after Thursday’s noon blast-off from the Destin Pass and concludes Saturday afternoon. Eligible fish are weighed Friday and Saturday evenings. Viewing is free and open to the public.

Even though the weigh-ins are popular crowd-pleasers, the festivities begin long before the boats leave the dock. Hancock Whitney Bank is sponsoring the ECBC Golf Scramble, which is open to participants and sponsors. Tee-time is 9 a.m. at The Links Golf Club on Wednesday, June 19.

Junior anglers get in on the fun on Friday, June 21, with the Kid’s Catch & Release Fishing Tournament. Prizes will be awarded to the winners who catch and release the longest fish from the resort’s many stocked ponds. Participants need to check in at the Baytowne Marina weigh scales by 10 am.

Tournament host, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and Presenting Sponsor Wind Creek Casino & Hotel-Atmore are joined this year by Tourism Partner Visit South Walton and Tournament Partners Mojo Sportswear and  Gulf Coast Yacht Group. Galati Yacht Sales returns as the Founding Sponsor while Sportfish Outfitters comes aboard for the first time as the Concierge Provider. Ten Emerald, 14 Platinum, 11 Gold and 32 Silver sponsors round out the many businesses and services that make the ECBC possible. Sponsor display booths will be located at Baytowne Marina.

The 2019 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic runs June 19-23 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. For registration, dockage, rules and schedule of events, visit www.fishecbc.com. Reservations for golf carts need to be made directly through the Baytowne Marina office. Book now to get the best location and rates for the event weekend. Call 800-320-8115 or book online at sandestin.com. Use GROUP Code FISH19.

About Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a major destination for all seasons and all ages, and was named the #1 Resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast. The resort invites guests to a world of 2,400 acres and 30 charming neighborhoods featuring 1,300 vacation rentals, condominiums, villas, town homes and the best in hotel accommodations. As a member of Visit South Walton and Visit Florida, the resort features more than seven miles of beaches and pristine bay front, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a 120-slip marina, a fitness center and spa, meeting space and The Village of Baytowne Wharf, a charming pedestrian village with events, shopping, dining and nightlife. People are invited to download Sandestin’s APP for iPhone and Android devices, or become a Facebook Fan or Twitter follower for the latest events and news.

 

Coastal Artist Jake Jones

February 28th, 2019

jjtarpon Coastal Artist Jake Jones

Artist Jake Jones takes old, discarded fish mounts and transforms them into vibrant pieces of art. www.freshfishgallery.com

Naples artist Jake Jones transforms old surfboards and fish mounts into oceanic works of art

Where are you from and where do you reside now?

I was born in California and grew up on the East Coast of Maryland. I currently reside down in sunny Naples, Florida. I do most of my work outside and it sure is nice in January and February to be able to create art in my driveway

What inspires your style of artwork?

My artwork comes from a life-long love of the ocean and the amazing creatures that inhabit it. Most of my work is done on ‘found items’ and I get a lot of satisfaction bringing something that was broken or discarded back to life.

jjonesturtle Coastal Artist Jake Jones
We love that you use reclaimed surfboards, old fish mounts and driftwood for your pieces. Can you tell us more about your process?

  I’ve always been an artist but my recent direction kind of goes back to the day that I found an old Sailfish mount on Craigslist for $50. It was just too cool to pass up. I knew I wanted to do something creative with it, but I wasn’t quite sure what. I ended up painting it lime green with a purple sail, hand brushed Polynesian style graphics on it and then put it back on craigslist under furniture. Someone bought it right away so I thought I might be on to something.  I also came across an old surfboard that was damaged so I removed most of the fiberglass outer shell to be able to carve into the foam underneath. I really enjoy the process of carving a surfboard and they are the creative pieces that I am most proud of.

Besides art, what else are you passionate about?

Well I have two daughters in college that I am very proud of and besides my passion for art, I enjoy working out and seeking new adventures with my girlfriend Tammy.

If you had to pick, where is your favorite place one of your pieces is currently hanging up on the wall?

I sold a few pieces to a local brewery and they featured my art on this very cool wall that was made from old whiskey barrels. I really loved the combination of textures and colors when my art was hung there. I always ask my clients to please send me a photo of my work in their home so that I can see it. I get a lot of enjoyment seeing how my work is displayed in people’s homes.

Where is your favorite place to travel and why?

For the most part I enjoy being close to the ocean but I have to say that in recent years I really enjoy the mountains and the people of Georgia. I did some hiking there along the Appalachian Trail the last two summers and I just really love that area.

How can our readers purchase and enjoy your art?

My website is FreshFishGallery.com and my Facebook page is www.facebook.com/freshfishstudios.

I really enjoy posting progress photos of the projects I have going and of course if you see something you like or want something commissioned please feel free to contact me! My email is artbyjake@gmail.com.

Are there any upcoming events or news you’d like to share with us?

I’m very excited about a gallery opportunity that is in the works, but besides that I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed!