ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — A spectacle that’s unique to this part of the Gulf Coast, the shotgun start to the Blue Marlin Grand Championship.

The blast from the shotgun just outside of Perdido Pass in Orange Beach sent 31 boats headed to the blue water for some Blue Marlin with close to a million dollars in prize money on the line.

“To see that many big, beautiful, fishing yachts staged up together and they all have the same goal, they all want to win, they all want to be Grand Champion,” said tournament host Jim Cox.

To win, they will have a fight on their hands, not only with a massive fish but with the elements and the clock. “We have our weigh-ins Friday nights from 5-7 and Saturday from 5-8. Every boat has to be in on Saturday night at The Wharf,” said Cox.

After the weigh-in, all of the fish go to local food banks where just this summer 35 hundred meals have come from Blue Marlin harvested during fishing tournaments.

It’s a unique tournament with big fish and big money up for grabs. “We don’t get to see this many places in the country so it’s pretty special to see it right here in our backyard,” says Cox.