Coast economy wins big with billfish classic - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coast economy wins big with billfish classic

A record setting 120 boats are entered in this year's tournament. (Photo source: WLOX) A record setting 120 boats are entered in this year's tournament. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The 21st annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic is now underway.

A record setting 120 boats are entered in this year's tournament, and the economic impact of the event is staggering. Many of the boats cost in excess of $5 million and carry crews of up to 15 people.

These world-class anglers are competing for prize money in excess of $2 million. But, before they drop the first line, they spend a lot of money.

We talked with several captains of the vessels today, and each say they have already spent between $15,000 and 30,000 during their short visit here.

In fact, one captain just dropped $8,000 on fuel alone. That doesn't include food, supplies, bait, entertainment, and hotel rooms. Not to mention trying their luck in coast casinos.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic schedule of events

The fishermen are going after wahoo, blue marlin, dolphin, and even swordfish. They all left Point Cadet Marina this morning at 11 a.m., and will return Saturday evening.

On Sunday, the winners will be announced and the cash handed out, but the real winner will be the Gulf Coast economy.

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