The 18th Annual South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series wrapped up the fourth of five tournaments over the weekend with the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament.
Series coordinator Tom DuPré with the S. C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) commented that, “it was another great tournament. The weather, although questionable for the first day, got better over the course of the weekend. The marina facilities were fantastic as well as the accommodating and competent staff. With great food and live entertainment each night of the tournament, the festivities were in high gear.”
Eleven of the seventeen boats that entered the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish tournament caught billfish. DuPré noted that the tournament boasted tremendous women and youth angler participation.
Points for of the Governor’s Cup tournaments are awarded as follows: 300 points for a tagged or released blue marlin, 150 points for a tagged or released white marlin, and 100 points for a tagged or released sailfish. Boats are also awarded 25 participation points for each Series tournament entered up to a maximum of three events.
For more information on the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series contact Tom DuPré of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or check the Website at http://govcup.dnr.sc.gov/.
The Best Billfish Boat credential was awarded to “Mary Agnes,” owned by HEICO Holding Co. of Downers Grove, IL and captained by Al Johnson. The crew earned 650 points for releasing three white marlin and two sailfish, and also won the first place Conservationist Award.
Based on their time of releases, second place honors went to “Caramba,” owned by Bob Faith of Mt. Pleasant and captained by Dale Lackey. They amassed 600 points for two blue marlin released.
“Syked Out” won third place Billfish Boat for two blue marlin catch and releases. “Syked Out,” owned by David Sykes of Isle of Palms and captained by Therrell Williams also earned 600 points during the tournament.
The Largest Wahoo award went to Allison Grooms of Charleston. She caught the 28.1-pound wahoo aboard “Dickel Daze,” owned and captained by Pat Welch of Charleston.
Andy Fort won the Largest Dolphin award for reeling in a 40.7-pound dolphin on “Caramba,” owned by Bob Faith of Mt. Pleasant and captained by Dale Lackey.
Chip Dukes of Charleston won top honors for his 26.9-pound blackfin tuna catch. The Largest Tuna award was also caught aboard “Syked Out.”
Keegan Kennedy of Hollywood took home top honors for first place Lady Angler award. She caught and released a blue marlin on “Sea Trace,” owned and captained by her father A.J. Kennedy, also of Hollywood.
Second place for the Lady Angler award went to Eugenie Barrow of Savannah on “Legal Holiday,” owned by Fred Bergen of Savannah and captained by Matt Key. Barrow caught a 36.1-pound dolphin. In addition to winning the Largest Wahoo award, angler Allison Grooms also won third place Lady Angler honors for her 28.1 pound wahoo catch.
The top Youth Angler Award went to Thomas Garmany, 13, of Mt. Pleasant for a white marlin catch and release on “Sportin’ Life,” owned by Manly Eubank of Charleston and captained by his father, Bobby Garmany.
Fontaine Bergen, 12, of Savannah, won second place Youth Angler honors for a 25.5-pound dolphin aboard “Legal Holiday,” also the boat winning the previously mentioned second place Lady Angler.
Charlie Aimar, 15, of Charleston won the third place Youth Angler award. He caught a 20.9-pound dolphin on “Blue Boy,” owned and captained by Douglas Heaton of Charleston.
After the fourth tournament and with only one remaining in the 18th Annual South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series, overall standings are as follows: “Sportin’ Life,” 1425 points; “Caramba,” 1375 points; “Syked Out,” 1375 points; “Fish Killer,” 1025 points; and “Hoy Boy,” 975 points.
The remaining tournament date and contact for the upcoming 2006 18th Annual South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series is:
Boats participating in the Series amass points for billfish either landed, tagged, or released. 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.