Forty-eight boats braved the weather during the second tournament in the 18th season of the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series, the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament, when it was held May 17-20 at the Georgetown Landing Marina.
The Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series features five tournaments along the coast that began May 3 at Edisto Island and ends July 1 at the Charleston City Marina’s HMY/Viking MegaDock Billfishing Tournament.
“The weather was dicey at best,” said Tom DuPré, Billfishing Series coordinator with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Reports concerning the height of the seas were directly proportional to the size of the boat. The wind and rain did their best to dampen the festivities, but were not up to the task for this crowd in Georgetown.”
Over the course of the weekend, a total of six blue marlin were released, one blue marlin was tagged, three white marlin were released, one sailfish was tagged and one sailfish was released. Forty-eight boats entered the 39th Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament.
“Thanks to a great staff at the Georgetown Landing Marina, the tournament went as smoothly as in any memory,” said DuPré. “Marina manager Rick Ferdon was presented a plaque by co-workers and friends as a token of appreciation for his 20 years of service to the tournament. Next year will be the 40th year for this Georgetown tournament, and they say it will be the best yet.”
Points for Governor's Cup tournaments are awarded as follows: 300 points for a tagged or released blue marlin, 150 points for a tagged or released white marlin, and 100 points for a tagged or released sailfish. In addition, boats are awarded 25 participation points for each Series tournament entered up to a maximum of three events.
Finishing in second place at the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament was “Syked Out,” owned by David Sykes of Isle of Palms. He amassed 500 points for a blue marlin released and two sailfish released. “Syked Out” also won the Conservation Award for their release of three billfish during the tournament weekend.
Third-place honors for Best Billfish Boat went to “Sportin’ Life,” owned by Manly Eubank of Charleston. “Sportin’ Life” earned 450 points for catching and releasing a blue marlin and a white marlin.
Ed Renken of Mt. Pleasant caught a 49.9-pound wahoo to earn the Largest Wahoo Award aboard his boat “Sea Fox.”
The Largest Dolphin Award went to Chris Tucker of Blythewood, on “Bakbar,” owned by Bakbar Marine Group of Mt.Pleasant. He reeled in a 59.6-pound dolphin.
A 54.7-pound yellowfin tuna caught aboard “Hattitude” earned owner and angler Steve Chryst of Myrtle Beach the Largest Tuna Award.
The Outstanding Female Angler Award went to Holly McAlhany of Wando, on “Syked Out,” owned by David Sykes of Isle of Palms, for catching and releasing a blue marlin.
Quinn Johnson from Beaufort, won second-place honors for the Outstanding Female Angler Award for landing a 35.9-pound wahoo, a 24.3-pound dolphin, and a 9.4-pound skipjack tuna onboard “My Time Out,” owned by Frank Gibson of Beaufort.
Third-place honors for the Outstanding Female Angler Award went to Libby Kosnik of Columbus, Ohio, for landing a 30.2-pound dolphin on “Special Lady,” owned by Ed Kosnik.
Jacob Henderson, 13, of Spartanburg won the first place Youth Angler Award for landing a 49.9-pound yellowfin tuna and an 8.3-pound dolphin on “Pace Maker,” owned by Last Hurrah LLC of Wilmington, Del.
Brandon Mitchell, 15, of Stanley, N.C., landed a 22.9-pound wahoo and a 22.3-pound dolphin to win the second place Youth Angler Award on “Trophy Hunter,” owned by Mark Mitchell of Charlotte.
Al DeLeon, 14, of Mt.Pleasant landed a 20.9-pound dolphin on “Emotional Rescue,” owned by Michael DeLeon, also of Mt.Pleasant, to win third place honors for the Youth Angler Award.
Only one blue marlin was landed during the 39th Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament. Angler and owner Greg Smith of Anderson, onboard his “Blue Sky” landed a 420.6-pound blue marlin.
Overall standings for the 18th Annual South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series after the second tournament and with three remaining tournaments are as follows: “Blue Boy,” 625 points; “Syked Out,” 525 points; “Sportin’ Life,” 500 points; “Blue Sky,” 470.6 points; and “Cookie Monster,” 350 points.
For more information on the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series contact Tom DuPré of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources by e-mail at email@example.com.
Remaining tournament dates and contacts for the upcoming 2006 18th Annual South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series are:
Boats participating in the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series amass points for billfish either landed, tagged, or released. Anglers compete for four major awards: Outstanding Billfish (single heaviest billfish), Outstanding Billfish Boat (most accumulated points) and Outstanding Billfish Conservationist (most points for tagged or released fish), and the Blue Water Conservation Award (most accumulated tag and release points for dolphin, wahoo, and yellowfin tuna).By encouraging live tag and release, the Billfishing Series has focused attention on the sharp decline of Atlantic billfish and encouraged conservation of all marine resources.