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DNR News

August 3, 2012

Edisto Marina rounds out the 24th Annual South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series

The final chapter of 24th SC Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series was completed the last weekend in July at Edisto Beach. The weather was excellent with three viable days of fishing. Participation was up from the previous year, with many spectators at the nightly weigh-ins, making it a great family-friendly event. A total of 27 boats participated in the tournament, and 88 billfish were caught and released, including 82 Sailfish and 6 Blue Marlin.

“This season, billfishing was phenomenal and the 88 fish released during the Edisto Tournament pushed the Series to reach a new record number of billfish releases! A total of 300 billfish was released over the summer’s five events, including 58 Blue Marlin, 32 White Marlin and 210 Sailfish!” said Amy Dukes, Tournament Series Coordinator.

The crew of Laff-A-Lot earned top honors in the tournament for earning 1,800 release points to win the Outstanding Billfish Boat award, with the release of six Sailfish and one Blue Marlin. Frank Thornhill of Charleston owns and captains the vessel.

Second place honors for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to Micabe, owned by Mike Larrow of Ridgeland, and captained by Chris Jennings. They finished with 1,600 points for eight sailfish releases.

Sportin’ Life, owned by Manly and Graham Eubank of Charleston and captained by Mike Glaesner, finished third with seven sailfish releases, earning 1,400 points.

Angler EJ Nettles aboard Short People, owned by Aaron Nettles, Jr. of Sullivans Island and captained by Jeff Hagan, won the Outstanding Dolphin award for his 25.8-pound catch.

The Outstanding Tuna was awarded to angler Joanna Strickland for her catch of a 25.8- pound Blackfin Tuna aboard Wildlife, owned by her husband Ken Strickland of Mount Pleasant, and captained by Stuart Lackey.

The Outstanding Wahoo award was won with a catch of a 25.8-pound fish by angler Tom Blanchard aboard Reel Hooker, owned and captained by Lee Clark of Charleston.

First place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Joanna Strickland aboard Wildlife for the catch and release of three Sailfish. Second place Outstanding Lady Angler was Fontaine Bergen who released two Sailfish aboard Legal Holiday, owned by Fred Bergen of Savannah, GA and captained by Shelby Myrick. Third place went to Megan Farr for landing a 25.0 pound Wahoo aboard Reel Hooker.

The first place Outstanding Youth Angler was 8-year-old Rance Jennings, for releasing four of the eight Sailfish caught aboard the second-place Outstanding Billfish Boat, Micabe. Second place Outstanding Youth Angler was awarded for the release of two Sailfish by 16-year-old Gavin Wyatt fishing aboard 5 O’Clock Somewhere. Third place Outstanding Youth Angler was presented to Gray Eubank, age 13, releasing one Sailfish aboard Sportin’ Life.

When the sun set over Big Bay Creek after the three days of fishing, Caramba, owned by Bob Faith and captained by Dale Lackey, had taken the Series lead for the second time in three years, finishing with 5,175 points. Home Run, owned by Steve Mungo and captained by Grant Bentley, came in second based on time having also earned 5,175 points. Sportin’ Life, owned by Manly and Graham Eubank and captained by Mike Glaesner, finished in third with 4,675 points. Sadie Beth (earning 4,575 point) and Micabe (earning 4,275) came in fourth and fifth, respectively. Points for Governor's Cup tournaments are awarded for billfish releases as follows: 600 points for a blue marlin, 300 points for a white marlin, and 200 points for sailfish.

For more information on the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series, contact Wally Jenkins at (843) 953-9835 or JenkinsW@dnr.sc.gov, and Amy Dukes at (843) 953-9365 or DukesA@dnr.sc.gov.

Boats participating in the Series amass points for billfish either landed or caught and released. Tagging is optional and not required for Series points. 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 Series has focused attention on the need to conserve and rebuild Atlantic billfish stocks as well as encouraging conservation of all marine resources.

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