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

June 1, 2012

The 2012 SC Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series kicks off at Georgetown Landing Marina

The first tournament in the 24th season of the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series took place at the 45th Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Billfish Tournament over the Memorial Day weekend at the Georgetown Landing Marina. Amy Dukes, Series Tournament Coordinator for S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), noted that a total of 35 boats participated in the tournament with 41 billfish releases including 15 blue marlin, 16 white marlin and 10 sailfish. One Blue Marlin was landed by the boat Wildlife; the fish was 104 inches which is legal by federal requirements (which states a blue marlin must be 99 inches to land), but was one inch too short to qualify for points for the Governor’s Cup Series. Fishing was canceled on Saturday due to the posting of a Small Craft Advisory in nearshore waters by the National Weather Service.

The Outstanding Billfish Boat was awarded to Sadie Beth, owned by Gage Blue of Charleston, and captained by Howard Moseley. The boat crew gained the lead on Thursday for the catch and release of five sailfish, with one being a quadruple hookup, and held their lead with the release of two white marlin on Friday to accrue a total of 1,600 release points.

Second place for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to Bench Mark, owned by Stephen Davis of Greenwood. Bobby Garmany captained the boat, which caught and released two blue marlin and one white marlin to accumulate 1,500 release points.

Daymaker won third place for Outstanding Billfish Boat. The boat is owned by Mark Daniels of Greenville and captained by Jay Weaver. The boat crew caught and released one blue marlin and two white marlin to earn 1,200 release points.

Outstanding Dolphin was awarded to Bob Faith of Charleston for his 44.8-pound dolphin caught aboard Caramba. Mr. Faith owns the boat, and it is captained by Dale Lackey.

Angler Rhett Spencer of Florence fishing aboard his vessel, Big Kahuna, won the Outstanding Wahoo award with a 61.0-pound fish. The boat is captained by Ted Porter.

Kenneth Tucker of Pauline, SC won the Outstanding Tuna award aboard Christy II, owned and captained by Stephen Godfrey and Trey Pierce, for his 17.6-pound Blackfin.

First place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Holly McAlhany of Charleston, for releasing a blue marlin aboard Syked Out. Second place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Olivia Whitfield of Wilmington, DE on No Quarter who caught and released one white marlin. Amy Bennett of Charleston won third place Outstanding Lady Angler aboard Rodeo for the catch and release of one white marlin.

Six-year-old Rance Jennings of Beaufort won first place for Outstanding Youth Angler for earning 200 points for the release of a sailfish aboard Micabe.

Program Director Wallace Jenkins said “The fishing was outstanding with many billfish caught and released. However the tournament numbers don’t reflect the l3 additional blue marlin that were hooked but lost and numerous others that were seen by many of the anglers. When you add those in, it is apparent that there were a bunch of billfish out there which will hopefully mean continued great fishing for the remaining Series events.”

Four tournaments remain in this year’s 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. 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 population status of Atlantic billfish and encouraged conservation of all marine resources.

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