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Orange Beach hosting Blue Marlin Grand Championship

fishing boats
Gulf Coast fishing boats

The Blue Marlin Grand Championship is happening this week at the Wharf in Orange Beach.

It starts on July 14 with weigh-ins occurring on the 16 and 17 which are the main attractions. Roughly 60 boats will be competing for up to $2 million in prizes. The event is free to attend.

Jim Cox is the emcee and host of the Blue Marlin Grand Championship. He said the reason behind the event’s tagline is the wow factor involved while the fishing is going on.

“It’s called the greatest show in sports fishing because of the show. We have a giant jumbotron there; we have 40-foot flames that shoot out of our blue marlin statues at the wharf,” Cox said. “It’s kind of a combination of a big time sporting event and a rock concert.”

The event’s main attraction is the blue marlin, but other competition catches include tuna, wahoo and mahi-mahi.

“There’s a big concert on Saturday night also going on right after our weigh-ins conclude. We always have a huge crowd to show up there. People plan their vacations around the tournament to come and watch so there’s no charge to come watch,” Cox said.

The event raises money for St. Jude’s research hospital. It has currently raised $140,000 for the organization. They also partner with One Meal to use the marlin captured to provide between 500 and 800 meals for those in need in Mobile.

Monica Nakashima is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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