PANAMA CITY, Fla.—More than a decade after the last Bay Point Billfish Tournament, a new Blue Marlin tournament is coming back to the newly rebuilt docks at Point South Marina at Bay Point.
A local group of four is spearheading the charge to put together the Bay Point Billfish Open, a weeklong dock party and fishing tournament set for the last week in June, with the first edition of that event set for the summer of 2023.
The event will host live music, an in-and-out of the water boat show, food and drinks, and some big time sportfishing, including many of the best teams competing along the Gulf Coast each summer.
The goal is to both bring back the incredible atmosphere that was a part of the original Bay Point Billfish Tournament that ran from 1984 to 2012 and attracted thousands of locals and visitors alike to the marina each July.
Just as the newly rebuilt marina has been brought back better than ever, expectations for the new Bay Point Billfish Open include a step up in terms of the music, food and competition for big money prizes, with teams fishing for blue marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin.
Bay County businessman George Roberts, among the group bringing the event back, participated in the last 10 years of the old Bay Point Billfish tournament and placed several times. He is honored to be part of bringing back the Bay Point Billfish Open, saying, “We intend to make it an awesome tournament, the best on the Gulf Coast!”
Bert Merritt has joined on as the event’s Tournament Director. Merritt’s resume includes 30 years of coordinating billfish tournaments along the Gulf Coast.
Visitors who previously attended the Bay Point Billfish Tournament will no doubt notice the wider docks and updated facilities offered at the newly rebuilt marina, and boat captains will appreciate the larger berths designed to accommodate today’s modern sportfishing vessels.
“It’s hard to overstate just how vital the Point South Marina at Bay Point is for the community,” says Marina Manager Justin Bannerman. “The St. Joe Company was able to rebuild the marina better than ever following the destruction of Hurricane Michael, knowing that when we reopened it would signify a major milestone in healing and renewal. Being able to once again host a major sportfishing event like the Bay Point Billfish Open is exciting for us, and we look forward to welcoming locals and the fishing community back.”
The inaugural Bay Point Billfish Open will take place from Wednesday, June 28th through Sunday, July 2nd. Those interested in registering for the tournament, and those interested in sponsorship possibilities, can get more information on the Bay Point Billfish Open website or can call the Tournament Director at 850-380-8961.
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