By Christine Jeanne’ for The Island Eye News
The local Isle of Palms boat crew of the Gryphon has victory under their belts this summer. The 60-foot Hatteras took home three wins including Outstanding Billfish Boat, Outstanding Billfish Conservationist, Outstanding Youth Angler, Chandler Griffin, from the thrilling South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.
Owner of the Gryphon, Colby Griffin and his boat crew, began the series strong by releasing three blue marlin, to win the series-opening billfishing event at the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament in May.
During the series finale, at the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament, Gryphon had completed a record-breaking series at the Governor’s Cup championship, a truly amazing accomplishment for the local Isle of Palms family. This was the first major event that Gryphon has ever won. “Two records were broken for the boat with the highest points ever, as well as the Jr. Angler record,” said Colby Griffin.
“We were excited to have a prosperous and safe fishing year,” said Griffin. “It took effort and dedication from everyone on our team to win the series. Looking back through the records available in the SC Governors cup website, the win for an Isle of Palms team has not presented itself for at least 17 years, and we are proud of that accomplishment as well.”
The Gryphon victories are a family affair. Son, Chandler Griffin assisted with the record breaking 7,475 points, achieved by releasing eight blue marlin and thirteen sailfish during the five series tournaments. Chandler caught 5 blue marlin and 12 sailfish to contribute to the teams’ total billfish releases. His personal contribution accounted for 5400 of the 7,475 points that the team accumulated.
The previous record for a youth during a Governor’s Cup series was 1400 points. With Chandler celebrating his fifteenth birthday during the series, he has several angler achievements already.
The awards continued with Chandler winning first-place as the Outstanding Youth Angler in the Governor’s Cup series this year after a second place finish in 2016. Chandler was the top Youth Angler in three of the five tournaments in 2017. At Chandler’s young age, we can expect big things from this local boy and family.
Additional Gryphon crew members are Captain Charles (Chucky) Moore, mate Bryce Bell, mate Mark McDevitt, Ted McNair, Brian O’Quin, Jeffrey Mitchell, Ross Miller, Brad Kicklighter and Michael Krivohlavek.
The Gryphon offers year round offshore and near shore charters, and additional information can be found on their website at GryphonSportFishing.com.
The South Carolina Governor’s Cup has many important benefits for South Carolina Fishing. The Series places emphasis on a tag and release fishing model, which has increased South Carolina’s billfish statistics from 90 percent mortality to 90 percent released. Recreational anglers are recruited to voluntarily tag their catch for scientific study. Another important accomplishment of the SC fishing series was supporting the passage of a law banning the sale of billfish in South Carolina.