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Sport Fishing Championship docks in Louisiana for season's second stop

by Sport Fishing Championship 5 May 2023 19:07 UTC
Louisiana Gulf Coast Billfish Classic © Sport Fishing Championship

Sport Fishing Championship (SFC), the governing body of saltwater tournament fishing, embarks on the second event of its 2023 season, the Louisiana Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, beginning May 4. The tournament will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

The Louisiana Gulf Coast Billfish Classic is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious big game fishing tournaments in the Gulf of Mexico. It takes place in Grand Isle and Venice, Louisiana, with boats departing from Cypress Cove Marina in Venice and Hurricane Hole Marina, starting Thursday.

Results will be settled after the final day of fishing on Saturday, with awards to be held at 9 p.m. at Hurricane Hole and 9 a.m. Sunday May 7 at Cypress Cove.

Fans can watch exclusive coverage of all the action on CBS Sports Network from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, and 12 to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Coverage will also be available on YouTube from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and 5 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

In last week's first tournament of the season in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic, Team Picara emerged victorious with 1600 points and 11 billfish releases.

"Team Picara had a strong win last week to kick off the action of the season, and we're very excited to track every team's progress as we get under way here in Louisiana," said Mark Neifeld, CEO and commissioner of SFC. "We're watching reigning SFC champ Justin Drummond very closely as he returns to the water. There's more heart-pounding action to come this week!"

Justin Drummond, the defending champion, is beginning his 2023 SFC season in Louisiana. The tournament was his lowest finish in the Gulf last year, as he placed sixth. Yet Drummond overcame the slow start to emerge as the leader of the first team to "kiss the crystal" and take-home winnings of $1.1 million.

"I didn't do very good in Louisiana last year, I've got a little something under my skin and I want to come out strong," said Drummond. "It just wasn't a strong performance and maybe right at the beginning here, I can make a statement, come out and get a bonus one thousand points and be leading the pack from the get-go."

SFC tournament points accrue based on species of fish caught and released: 350 points for blue marlin (first catch worth 450), 125 points for white marlin and spearfish, 75 points for sailfish and swordfish. Additional points are allocated based on final top 20 tournament standings.

The season schedule next brings anglers to St. Augustine, Florida, for the Salt Life Bluewater Tournament from May 11 to May 13. Events thereafter include: the Gulf Coast Masters in Orange Beach, Alabama, May 25-28; Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic in Biloxi, Mississippi, June 8-11; Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic in Sandestin, Florida, June 22-25; South Jersey Yacht Sales Offshore Showdown in Cape May, New Jersey, July 6-8; Oak Bluffs Bluewater Classic in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, July 12-15; Tri-State Canyon Shootout in Block Island, Rhode Island, July 24-27; Texas International Fishing Tournament in South Padre Island, Texas, August 4-6; and conclude with the San Juan International Billfish Tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico, August 23-25.

To learn more about the Sport Fishing Championship Season, visit sportfishingchampionship.com.

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