The Bluefin Blowout, the popular annual tuna-fishing competition that raises money for Alzheimer’s research, will return to Gloucester this year. Featured on Wicked Tuna, the tournament draws some of the best tuna fishermen on the East coast. Now, after a two-year hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament will be back in full force, with a packed schedule of events and an ambitious fundraising target.
“We are extremely happy to be back this year,” says tournament organizer Cidalia Schwartz. “The energy and enthusiasm from the community is infectious and helps us keep motivated to achieve this year’s goal of $500,000.”
The event is presented by the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group and hosted by the Cape Ann Marina Resort.
The lineup kicks off on July 13, with the Bluefin Bash at the Cape Ann Marina Resort, a gala evening of dinner, drinks, and dancing, featuring a live auction. On July 26, the competing captains – 65 boats are expected to participate – will be welcomed with a dinner at the marina. At 10 p.m., they will then depart to spend much of the next two days plying the waters around Gloucester in pursuit of the largest tuna they can hook (the biggest bluefin ever snagged during the tournament topped 900 pounds).
New to the schedule this year is the Bluefin Blowout BBQ By the Sea on July 27, featuring BBQ, chowder, and craft beer and spirits tastings. On July 28, fishing will come to a close, and cash and prizes will be awarded. In 2019, the winning fisherman took home $66,000 in cash and prizes along with the use of a new BMW X2 from BMW of Peabody for a year.
Throughout the event, spectators are encouraged to watch the action from the Cape Ann Marina Resort, where tuna will be brought for weigh-ins throughout the competition. The scene is one of festive camaraderie. Bluefin Blowout gear, including hats, sweatpants, rain jackets, towels, and insulated cups are available on the tournament website.
The Bluefin Blowout was founded in 2012 as the project of a pair of businessmen and amateur fishermen. The tournament grew steadily and, in 2017, longtime sponsor Lyon-Waugh took over coordinating the event. Lyon-Waugh founder Warren Waugh, whose late wife struggled with Alzheimer’s, has pushed for higher fundraising targets each year – and achieved his goals. In 2018, the event raised $155,000; in 2019, the total more than doubled to $366,000.
On May 15, this year’s fundraising efforts got a head start with a 5K run that included 161 participants and raised $13,529 for the Alzheimer’s Association.
For more information, visit bluefinblowout.com.