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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

July 6, 2012

Third Round Results from the SC Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series

The third tournament in the 24th season of the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series, the Carolina Billfish Classic, took place June 27-30 at Toler’s Cove Marina in Mt. Pleasant and Georgetown Landing Marina in Georgetown. A total of 26 boats participated in the tournament and 69 billfish were released; 7 blue marlin and 62 sailfish. No billfish were landed.

Wallace Jenkins, Series Program Director for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), added "The weather was hot and so was the billfishing, with boats averaging 2.6 billfish releases for two days of fishing. It is also interesting to note that while white marlin have been fairly abundant this summer, none were captured during this tournament."

The Outstanding Billfish Boat was awarded to Reel Passion, owned by Bill Ingram of Charlotte, NC, and captained by Gary Richardson. The boat crew secured their first place win with the catch and released of one blue marlin and five sailfish, accruing 1,600 total release points.

Second place for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to Full Pull, owned by John Floyd of Spartanburg, SC. Ryan Riggs captained the boat, which caught and released one blue marlin and four sailfish to accumulate 1,400 release points.

Syked Out took third place for Outstanding Billfish Boat. The boat is owned by David Sykes of Isle of Palms, SC, and captained by Dan Woody. The boat crew caught and released seven sailfish to earn 1,400 release points.
Summer Girl, owned by Steve Leasure, Robbie Hooker and John Smith, Jr of Charleston, SC and captained by Steve Leasure, was the Blue Water Conservation winner for the tag and release of 7 dolphin over the course of the tournament.

Outstanding Dolphin was awarded to Steven Craig for his 56.4-pound dolphin caught aboard Compromise, owned by Robert Hood and captained by Larry Branham.

Angler Barry Bleacher, fishing aboard Syked Out, won the Outstanding Wahoo award with a 50.4-pound fish.
Tommy Hancock won the Outstanding Tuna award aboard Dem Boys for the catch of a 25.4-pound Blackfin. Tommy owns the boat, and it is captained by Reid Bost.

First place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Holly McAlhany of Wando, SC for releasing four sailfish aboard Syked Out. Second place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Stephanie Wilson-Evans of Savannah, GA, for the release of one sailfish aboard Cotton Picker. Lauren Leasure of Charleston took Third place Outstanding Lady Angler for the release of one sailfish aboard Summer Girl.

Seven-year-old Rance Jennings won first place for Outstanding Youth Angler for the release of a sailfish aboard Micabe. Second Place Outstanding Youth Angler went to Trent Bonifay, age 11, for the release of a sailfish aboard El Tejano. Thirteen-year-old Joe Bost, fishing aboard Dem Boys, won third place Outstanding Youth Angler for the catch of a 19.2-pound blackfin tuna.

Two tournaments remain in the 2012 South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series:

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. You can also visit the website to learn more about the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series, get information about the individual tournaments, and to keep up with this year’s standings.

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 sharp decline of Atlantic billfish and encouraged conservation of all marine resources.

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