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

July 20, 2012

Fourth round results reported from S.C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series

The fourth tournament in the 24th season of the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series, The MEGADOCK Billfishing Tournament, took place July 11-14 at The City Marina in Charleston. A total of 38 boats participated in the tournament, and 71 billfish were released, including 20 blue marlin, 2 white marlin and 49 sailfish. No blue marlin were landed during the tournament. Wallace Jenkins, Series program director for S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said “We had three great days of weather and the number of blue marlin caught is outstanding for this time of the year. In recent years, MEGADOCK participants have seen primarily sailfish with as many as 138 released; this year was far more balanced.”

The Outstanding Billfish Boat was awarded to Micabe, owned by Michael Larrow of Ridgeland, and captained by Jay Weaver. The boat crew secured their first place win with the catch and release of two blue marlin and three sailfish, accruing 1,800 total release points.

Second place for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to Reel Passion, owned by Bill Ingram of Charlotte, NC. Gary Richardson captained the boat, which caught and released two blue marlin and one sailfish to accumulate 1,400 release points.

Caramba took third place for Outstanding Billfish Boat. The boat is owned by Bob Faith of Charleston and captained by Dale Lackey, and the boat crew caught and released two blue marlin and one sailfish to earn 1,400 release points.

Caramba was also the Blue Water Conservation winner for tagging and releasing 7 dolphin over the course of the tournament. Outstanding Dolphin was awarded to Kevin Meany for his 45.4-pound dolphin caught aboard his boat Lucky Hooker. Jason DuBose was the captain. Angler Jessica Mitchell, fishing aboard El Tejano, won the Outstanding Wahoo award with a 57.4-pound fish. The boat is owned by John Hill and captained by David Redd.

Chris Ravenel won the Outstanding Tuna award aboard Rookie IV, owned by Eddie Buck, Sr. and captained by Jay Champlin, for his 14.6-pound Blackfin.

First place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Joanna Strickland for releasing two white marlin and 1 sailfish aboard Wildlife, for a total of 800 points. Holly McAlhany, fishing aboard Syked Out, took second place Outstanding Lady Angler for the release of one blue marlin and one sailfish, earning 800 points. Hope Bentley won third place Outstanding Lady Angler aboard Home Run for the release of one sailfish for 200 points.

Ten-year-old Locke Johnson won first place for Outstanding Youth Angler by earning 600 points for the release of one blue marlin caught aboard Petrel. Cordes Johnson (age 8) won second place for Outstanding Youth Angler for an 18.8-pound dolphin also caught on Petrel. Third place Outstanding Youth Angler went to eleven-year-old Trent Bonifay aboard El Tejano for landing a 15.2-pound dolphin.

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). 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. Current standings for the 24th Annual South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series are as follows: Caramba (4,175), Home Run (3,775), Sadie Beth (3,775), Syked Out (3,475), Reel Passion (3,375).

The final tournament in the 2012 South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series is the Edisto Marina Billfish Tournament, held July 25 – 28 at the Edisto Marina on Edisto Island.

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.

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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