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July 2, 2010

Carolina Billfish Classic fishes out of
three ports during S.C. Governor's Cup Billfishing series

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 S.C. 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."

Points for Governor's Cup tournaments 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.
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.

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 dolphin 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 took the Outstanding Tuna award. The boat is owned and captained by Allan Hall. 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.

Kelli Ann Roof of Lexington earned top honors as Outstanding Female Angler for the release of two sailfish aboard Game On.

The overall leaders for the 22nd Annual South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series after three tournaments are as follows: Caramba (3,075), Game On (2,475), Daymaker (2,250), Rascal (1,475), Reel Passion (875), Houdini (850), Middleton 58 (775), Major Motion (775), My Time Out (675) and Big Sky (675)

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.
Remaining tournament dates and contacts for the upcoming 2010 South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series are:

By encouraging live tag and release, the Series has focused attention on the sharp decline of Atlantic billfish and encouraged conservation of all marine resources.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.

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