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2019 Texas Billfish Classic to be the best yet

June 29th, 2019

tbc draggin up 2019 Texas Billfish Classic to be the best yet

The TBC continues to live up to its name as the fastest growing billfish tournament in Texas

By Brandon Rowan

In its fourth year of bringing highly competitive billfishing back to Freeport, the Texas Billfish Classic continues to grow, with the 2019 tournament promising to be the largest one yet.

Usually an August tournament, the Texas Billfish Classic changed dates to July 16-20 by popular demand. With the unfortunate cancellation and indefinite hiatus of Poco Bueno, many of the Gulf’s best fishing teams were still ready and hungry to fish those dates.

Those teams who have never fished the TBC are in for a treat. Tournament director Jasen Gast and staff produce one of the most popular and enjoyable tournament formats on the Texas Gulf Coast. Many participants appreciate the start time, which allows boats to leave during the day and avoid dangerous runs at night. The camaraderie of the kick off party, a spirited weigh-in and awards dinner are well known and anticipated events of the tournament.

Fishing was smoking hot last year. Draggin’ Up set a new tournament record by weighing a 514-pound blue marlin. The competition for tuna was tight with Smoker II’s first place fish weighing 93 pounds and $ea Dollar$’s 90-pound tuna nabbing second place.

“But one of the biggest success stories of the TBC is not the fishing, but what we are able to do on land,” Tournament Director Jasen Gast said.

The tournament works closely with three charities; the Billfish Foundation, the Freeport to Port O’Connor Toy Run and the Freedom Alliance, and has donated thousands to charity over the years. The 2018 Awards Banquet ended with Jasen and the Freedom Alliance’s Pepper Ailor presenting a donated all-terrain wheelchair to veteran Jacob De La Garza, who lost his leg in Afghanistan.

Don’t miss one of the year’s best tournaments and come on down to Freeport. The general public is invited and welcome to join the weigh-in.

For information on the Texas Billfish Classic and its schedule of events, visit www.TexasBillfishClassic.com or contact TexasBillfishClassic@yahoo.com

Draggin’ Up Wins the 2018 Texas Billfish Classic

August 15th, 2018

team draggin up marlin Draggin Up Wins the 2018 Texas Billfish Classic

Draggin’ Up were named tournament champions and won the blue marlin division with their 514 lb fish.

The Texas Billfish Classic saw continued growth in participation and a substantial increase in prize money during its third year. The TBC fleet released eight blue marlin, one white marlin, six sailfish and weighed one big blue marlin. The TBC is one of the fastest growing billfish tournaments in Texas and the only event that allows participants to leave at noon on Thursday and begin fishing right away on the same day.

Draggin’ Up, a 74’ Viking from Houston, was the only boat to weigh a blue marlin on Saturday, Aug. 4 to claim top honors in the Blue Marlin Division. Angler Sam Rasberry’s 119.5 inch blue marlin topped the scales at 514 pounds.

“We were having a slow first day with no bites, so we decided to make a move for second day. We got the bite shortly after 9 a.m.,” said Draggin’ Up Captain Kevin Deerman. “We definitely knew the fish was a keeper after second set of jumps and got the gaffs ready. Great tournament and worked out for us betting heavy in the Blue Marlin kill pots!”

In the Billfish Release Division, Bimini Babe a 74’ Viking, took home top honors with three blue marlin releases and one sailfish, while Tico Time, a 65’ Hatteras, released one blue marlin and two sailfish to finish in second place. Over-Ride, a 64’ Titan, finished in third place releasing one blue marlin.

The Bimini Babe Team was also crowned Champions of the Billfish Classic Cup. This new event was developed to reward competitive teams fishing in both the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic and the Texas Billfish Classic. Owner Babe Appling, Captain Robert Jones and team left with an extra $10,000 and custom art to commemorate the big win!

The Tuna category was won by Clark Miller from Smoker II with a 93-pound Yellowfin. No stranger to the podium, Kurt Pantle on $EA DOLLAR$ came in second at 90 pounds, followed by Lee Bull on the REHAB at 50 pounds. A nice summer wahoo raised the bar pretty high as Jasen Gast and the REHAB crew pulled up his 51-pound fish, barely topping the second place fish brought in by Tiger Neal on the Smoker II. Brian Wood of Draggin’ Up, came in third at 29 pounds. The Dolphin category was taken with the only qualifying fish at 23 pounds by Chris Gavlick aboard the REHAB.

The Top Lady Angler was Emma Griffith on Over-Ride and the Top Junior Angler Award was presented to Ethan Middleton on the Change Order.

RESULTS:

Blue Marlin
1st- 514.0 lbs. Draggin’ Up – Angler Sam Rasberry

Catch and Release
1st – 2,000 pts – Bimini Babe – Captain Robert Jones

2nd – 1,000 pts – Tico Time – Captain Mike Hester

3rd – 600 pts – Over-Ride – Captain Jacob Dawson

Tuna
1st – 93 lbs – Smoker II – Clark Miller

2nd – 90 lbs – $ea Dollar$ – Kurt Pantle

3rd – 50 lbs – REHAB – Lee Bull

Wahoo
1st – 51 lbs – REHAB – Jasen Gast

2nd – 47 lbs – Smoker II – Tiger Neal

3rd – 29 lbs – Draggin’ Up – Brian Wood

Dolphin
1st – 23 lbs – REHAB – Chris Gavlick

Top Lady Angler
Emma Griffith on the Over-Ride

Top Junior Angler
Ethan Middleton on the Change Order

Texas Billfish Tournament Wrap Up

September 1st, 2016

Texas Billfish Classic 

over ride Texas Billfish Tournament Wrap Up

Texas Billfish Classic Tournament Champions, Over-Ride and their 410# blue marlin. Photo by Brandon Rowan

Another year of the Texas Billfish Classic is on the books! Tournament Director Jasen Gast came together with all tourney staff, teams and volunteers to put on a hell of an event at Surfside Marina in Freeport. Good conditions offshore allowed great fish to hit the scales, including a 118.9-pound tuna from $ea Dollar$ and a 410-pound blue marlin brought in from Over-Ride.

Congratulations to overall tournament champion Over-Ride, owned by Marty Griffith and captained by Ryan Doxey.

bottomdollartbc Texas Billfish Tournament Wrap Up

Bottom Dollar captured the trophy for most billfish release points.

TBCwinners

$ea Dollar$ with their 118lb. tuna, Over-Ride with their 410lb. blue marlin and REHAB with the winning wahoo at 32.4lbs.

Blue Marlin 

1st Place: Over-Ride

Billfish Release 

1st Place: Bottom Dollar

Tuna 

1st Place: $ea Dollar$ 118.9 lbs.

Wahoo 

1st Place: REHAB 32.4 lbs.

Visit TexasBillfishClassic.com for full results. Visit our Facebook for more photos.


bastante

Bastante John Uhr Memorial Billfish Tournament

 

Billfish 

1st Place Overall went to “Mucho Mas” releasing 1 blue marlin and 5 sailfish giving them a total of 1000 points.

Tuna & Dolphin

“Game Hog” released 1 white marlin and a sailfish for a total of 250 points. They took home 1st Place dolphin and tuna awards.

Wahoo

1st Place wahoo went to “Paradise Ranch”

Visit JohnnyBastante.com for full results.

 


deepsea

Deep Sea Roundup

BARRACUDA: Adriane Reese | Fish Trips.com

BLACKFIN TUNA: James Thuleen | Backlash

BLUE MARLIN: David Badalich | Dock Holiday

BONITO: Mike Hagee | Scat Cat

DOLPHIN: Reed Ruschhaupt | Right Rigger

JACKFISH: Tom Furlow | Ambush

KINGFISH: David George | Dirty Money

LING: Tommy Temple | Dirty Deeds

MACKEREL: Herbert Snowden | Full Cooler

SAILFISH: Martin Clement III | Vamonos

SHARK: Buddy Mills | Day Pay

WAHOO: Emily Bryant | Fishy Business

WHITE MARLIN: Jenny Price | Got ‘M On

YELLOWFIN TUNA: Ed Crocker | Doc Holiday

Visit www.deepsearoundup.com for full results.


poco

Photo: David Shutts (www.davidshuttsphotography.com)

Poco Bueno

Offshore Division Winner

1st Place: Reel Bounty | Tony Annan | Capt. Kirk Elliott

Tag & Release

1st Place: Cajun Queen 3 Blues, 3 Sails 1,800

Largest Fish

Blue Marlin: Reel Bounty | Andy Hollen | 547 lbs.

Tuna: Mono Chongo | Robert Brown | 176.5 lbs.

Dorado: Over the Limit | Derek Elzner | 26.5 lbs.

Wahoo: Notorious | Marsh Miller | 63 lbs.

Visit Poco-Bueno.com for full results.


txlegends

Texas Legends Billfish Tournament

Tournament Champion

Got ‘M On

Tuna

High Cotton

Dorado

Mongo Chongo

Tuna

Mongo Chongo

Visit www.txlegends.com for full results

 


twat

Texas Women Anglers Tournament

Tournament Champion

Standaman with 710 points

Dorado

1st Place: Marilyn Atkins | Mojo | 25.65 lbs.

Tuna

1st Place: Rebecca Ramming | Rebecca | 9.75 lbs.

Wahoo

1st Place: Emily Petty | Vanquish | 34.45 lbs.

Sailfish

1st Place: Sharon Smith, Laura Smith and Heidi Cluck | Standaman | 6 releases

White Marlin

1st Place: Debbie Tucker and Catherine Carr | Mojo | 2 releases

Blue Marlin

1st Place: Kathleen Wyatt | Doc Holiday | 1 release

Visit www.gofishtx.com for full results

 


lonestarshootout

The Lone Star Shootout

Tournament Champion

Backlash | Travis & Jackie Hunter | 3,300 points

Blue Marlin 

1st Place: Slight Edge | Perry Forrester | 442.5 lbs.

Tuna

1st Place: Down Time | Bobby Walters | 162.5 lbs.

Dolphin 

1st Place: Relentless Pursuit | Dennis Pasentine | 31.5 lbs.

Wahoo

1st Place: Backlash | Travis & Jackie Hunter | 54.5 lbs.

Visit www.thelonestarshootout.com for full results

2015 Lone Star Shootout

August 31st, 2015

REHAB Blue Marlin Release1 2015 Lone Star Shootout

Lone Star Shootout champions, Team REHAB with a 412.5 pound blue marlin.

VIEW THE 2015 LONE STAR SHOOTOUT RESULTS HERE

By Dawn Messina

The Lone Star Shootout, formally The Houston Invitational Billfish Tournament, started in Galveston in 2005 as a function of The Houston Big Game Fishing Club. It was moved to Freeport in 2007 and six years ago, again moved to Port O’Connor a location that has proven to successfully attract bigger participation.  The Lone Star Shootout provides serious funds for the Houston Big Game Fishing Club’s charitable programs, supporting college scholarships and other programs relating to fishing, boat safety and Warrior’s Weekend.

To date HBGFC, due in large part to the funds raised at the Shootout and with the support of its members and corporate sponsors, has funded over $150,000 in scholarship money.

The tournament was held July 22-27, following the week of Poco Bueno at Port O’Connor’s Caracol Coastal Development. Most of the boats that fished Poco also participated in the Lone Star Shootout. However, captains and crew members may change, fishing a different boat from the previous tourney.

The tournament concludes with an awards party, remembered and talked about each and every year for great food, entertainment and fellowship. Prizes are awarded for billfish, wahoo, tuna and dolphin.  The Perpetual Champion’s Trophy is the prized possession of each year’s champion and has become one of the most sought after trophies on the Gulf Coast tournament trail.

I found the Lone Star Shootout to be the most fun to attend. It’s smaller than Poco Bueno, but still offers the opportunity to compete against some of the best billfish teams in the U.S. and a chance to win big money. The Shootout has one of the largest payouts of any tournament in the western Gulf with a billfish release format.

The action started off hot on day one and kept going to the last minute of fishing with no less than ten boats reporting at least two marlin releases. After all the boats were in, videos reviewed and paperwork confirmed, the field had caught a record total of 98 billfish! The totals were 35 blue marlin, 30 white marlin and 33 sailfish.

The Lone Star Shootout had 52 participating boats this year, offering optional side pot betting instead of a Calcutta. These side pots pay out 95 percent of the total amount entered and the remaining 5 percent of the total will is donated to HBGFC Charitable and Scholarship Funds. Optional side pots include billfish release pots in the amounts of $5,000, $2,500, $1,000, and $500, daily pots of $500; gamefish pots, including weighed blue marlin pots of $3,000, $2,000, $1,000 and $500; a winner-take-all pot of $2,500 for total tournament points and a crew side pot in the amount of $400. This year’s total was a whopping $965,900! The Houston Big Game Fishing Club received $48,295 for their charitable fund.

The tournament also featured a $1 million reward for a state record blue marlin! To qualify for this reward, the fish must be certified by the State of Texas and caught according to all tournament rules and any other rules as specified in the $1 million reward rules published and provided to participants prior to the fishing days. Wow! Now we’re talking!

The point system employed during the tourney awards any released blue marlin 750 points for both the release side pots and for total score. Weighed blue marlin will count one point per pound for weighed blue marlin side pots and 750 points each for the total points scored. Released white marlin score 200 points and sailfish 100 points. Scoring for the overall tournament points will consist of total billfish release points, plus 750 points for each weighed blue marlin meeting the tournament minimum length of 102 inches.

lonestar 2015 Lone Star Shootout

The Shootout was well attended this year.

There was one aspect of the event I found interesting, that I never really understood until a good friend, Mark Phillips explained it. There is the “meat pot” and the “biggest fish pot,” meaning a boat can come in with the biggest fish and not win the big money depending on which side pot they bought into! They win a beautiful trophy and bragging rights but not necessarily money. Betting on the “meat pot” is very expensive but provides opportunity for a nice payout. So it’s kind of, “put your money where your mouth is” so to speak! It can be $40,000 and up depending on across-the-board betting for one boat and all species of tournament fish caught during the tournament.

Congratulations to the Lone Star Shootout Champion team REHAB, who scored 2,450 points with two blue marlin releases, two sailfish releases and weighed a 412.5-pound blue marlin on day one of fishing. REHAB is owned by Jasen Gast and captained by Troy Day.