Provided by SCDNR
The third tournament in the 22nd season of the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series recently took place along the South Carolina coast. Forty-nine boats participated in the first annual Carolina Billfish Classic June 24-26. Boats fished out of three ports: the primary venue was the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in Mt. Pleasant, with two satellite marinas at Harbor Town Marina on Hilton Head Island and Georgetown Landing Marina in Georgetown.
Wallace Jenkins, series program director for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said, “We had three excellent days of fishing and were very excited to see the concept of multiple ports fishing simultaneously come to fruition. The billfish bite was good, with 47 billfish caught and released during the tournament; 44 sailfish, two blue marlin, and one white marlin. The Carolina Billfish Classic hosted their event at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. The hotel has hosted other Series events in the past and is considered to be one of the finest venues in the Series. The hospitality of the hotel, marina and the Tournament organizing committee resulted in a wonderful event.”
The tournament’s Outstanding Billfish Boat and the Outstanding Billfish Conservationist were awarded to Caramba, owned by Robert Faith of Mt. Pleasant and captained by Dale Lackey. Going into the last hour of fishing on the final day of the tournament, the Caramba was in fifth place but catapulted into first based on the catch and release of a blue marlin in the final minutes of fishing on Saturday. Caramba finished the tournament with 1,600 points for the release of the blue marlin and five sailfish during two days of fishing.
Daymaker, owned by Mark Daniels of Greenville and captained by Jay Weaver, came in second with a total of 1,500 points for releasing six sailfish and one white marlin. Having fished on Thursday and Friday, Daymaker was fished out on Saturday and heard the news of losing their lead over the radio while tied to the dock.
Game On, owned by Sea Hunt Boats (Victor “Bubba” Roof) of Lexington and captained by Trey McMillan, came in third by earning 1,000 points for the catch and release of five sailfish. Kelli Ann Roof of Lexington earned top honors as Outstanding Female Angler for the release of two of those sailfish.
For the third time in as many tournaments, Petrel, owned by Harry Johnson of Mt. Pleasant and captained by Thomas Wynne, was the Blue Water Conservation winner with the tag and release of three dolphins over the course of the tournament.
Rascal, owned by Norman Pulliam of Spartanburg and captained by Mark Rodgers, earned honors for the Outstanding Dolphin for the 62.4-pound fish caught by Anne Brady Moore Carlson.
Fat Boy, owned and captained by Allan Hall, took the Outstanding Tuna award. Angler Monty Montgomery landed a 12.2-pound blackfin tuna to take the prize.
The Outstanding Wahoo award was earned by Chaos, owned and captained by Matthew Watson. Angler Matt Watson caught a 52.4-pound wahoo.
Outstanding Youth Angler was awarded to Dylan Wallace, age 15. Wallace was fishing aboard the Scout 34, owned by Steve Potts, and caught a 12-pound dolphin.
For more information on the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series contact Amy Dukes, DNR tournament coordinator for the Series, by e-mail at DukesA@dnr.sc.gov, or by phone at 843-953-9365.
Top boats after the Carolina Coast Tournament:
Game On (2475)
Reel Passion (875)
Middleton 58 (775)
Major Motion (775)
My Time Out (675)
Big Sky (675)
Points are awarded as follows: 600 points for a released blue marlin, 300 points for a released white marlin, and 200 points for a released sailfish. In addition, boats are awarded 25 participation points for each Series tournament entered up to a maximum of three events.
Remaining tournament dates:
* July 7-10, HMY/Viking MEGADOCK Billfishing Tournament. For more info, contact McKenzie Estes, PO Box 759, Charleston, SC, 29402 at 278-4920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* July 28-31, Edisto Marina Billfish Tournament. For more info, contact Becca Smith, 3702 Docksite Road Edisto Beach, SC, 29438 at (407) 463-2082 or email email@example.com.