The 19th Annual South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series concluded over the weekend with "Artemis" taking top honors at the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament.
Series coordinator Tom DuPré with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said: "The tournament went smoothly except for the seas rolling in on Saturday. The tournament facility and staff were great again this year. The weather attempted to impact participation but held off and only as a light drizzle during the awards ceremony. The weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of all of the winners." Over the course of the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish tournament, 30 boats participated and caught and released 21 sailfish, five blue marlin and one white marlin.
Points for Governor's Cup tournaments are awarded as follows: 600 points for a tagged or released blue marlin, 200 points for a tagged or released white marlin, and 100 points for a tagged or released sailfish. Also, boats are 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 by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outstanding Billfish Boat was awarded to “Artemis,” owned by John Darby of Mt. Pleasant and captained by David Copleston. The crew of “Artemis” caught and released three blue marlin and one sailfish during the tournament to amass 1,900 points and take the lead. “Artemis” also took home the Outstanding Billfish Conservationist.
Second place Outstanding Billfish Boat went to “Game On,” owned by Victor O. Roof Jr. of Lexington and captained by Dennis Brookshire. “Game On” caught and released two blue marlin to earn 1,200 points and second place.
"Heavy Iron" won third place Outstanding Billfish Boat. Gregg Malphrus, of Hilton Head Island, owns "Heavy Iron," and Trey McMillan is captain. The crew caught and released six sailfish to garner 600 points during the tournament and third place honors.
The Outstanding Dolphin award went to "Mutts & Jeff," owned by Tom Stanek of Charlotte and captained by Heath Hackett. Jason Corley was the winning angler for reeling in a 41.6-pound dolphin.
The Outstanding Tuna award was won by angler Keegan Kennedy, of Hollywood, for a 29-pound blackfin tuna catch. Kennedy caught the winning fish aboard "Sea Trace," owned by A.J. Kennedy, also of Hollywood. Keegan Kennedy also won third place honors as Outstanding Female Angler for this catch.
Palmer Owings caught the winning wahoo to earn the Outstanding Wahoo award. Owings caught a 45.5-pound wahoo aboard "Northstar," owned by Anthony McAlister of Mt. Pleasant, and captained by John McNamara.
Cole Malphrus, 13, of Hilton Head Island, took home the Outstanding Youth Angler award for catching and releasing five sailfish. Malphrus fished aboard "Heavy Iron," owned by Gregg Malphrus, also of Hilton Head Island and captained by Trey McMillan.
Joseph Barrow Jr., 15, of Savannah, Ga., won second place honors for Outstanding Youth Angler. Barrow caught and released a sailfish as well as a 37.8-pound wahoo on "Legal Holiday," owned by Fred Bergen of Savannah and captained by Matt Key.
Caroline Turner, 12, of Valdosta, Ga., won third place Outstanding Youth Angler. Turner also fished on "Legal Holiday" and won for the catch and release of a sailfish. Additionally, Turner took home first place honors as the Outstanding Female Angler for the sailfish release.
Brooke Dixon won second place honors for Outstanding Female Angler. Dixon caught a 36.2-pound dolphin on "Mutts & Jeff."
Overall points awarded and the unofficial results at the end of the 19th Annual South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series after the fifth and final tournament are: "Artemis" 2,875 points; "Game On" 2,625.6 points: "Bentley's Best" 1,575 points; "Dough Boy" 1,375 points; "Major Motion" 1,250 points; "Big Game" 1,225 points: "Northstar" 1,075 points; "Heavy Iron" 1,075 points; "Juncanewt" 1,050 points; and "Cerveza" 1,025 points.
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).
DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.