"Major Motion" took top honors in the fourth round of the 19th South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series at the Charleston City Marina's HMY/Viking MegaDock Billfish Tournament. The Series features five tournaments along the coast and began May 10 at Edisto Island Marina tournament and ends July 25 at the Bohicket Marina Invitational.
Tom DuPré, Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series coordinator for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), noted that 73 participating boats in the July 11-14 tournament collectively caught and released 64 sailfish, nine blue marlin and four white marlin over the course of the MegaDock tournament weekend. DuPré said: "It was a great event that was thoughtfully planned and well-run from top to bottom. Robbie Freeman, K.C. Rennie, and all of the marina staff get kudos for a wonderful tournament. The air conditioned tent and high-rent port-o-lets were definitely a plus. The weather was questionable Saturday and made the large crowd of spectators nervous but was not much of a factor."
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. In addition, boats are awarded 25 participation points for each Series tournament entered up to a maximum of three events.
The crew of "Major Motion" won top honors and earned 1,200 points for the Outstanding Billfish Boat award. Buck Morris, of Charleston, owns "Major Motion," and Wesley Morris Jr. is captain. The crew caught and released two blue marlin and were also recognized as winners of the Outstanding Billfish Conservationist award.
Second place honors for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to "Bentley's Best," owned by Steve Deese of Lexington and captained by Jim Moore. They earned 900 points for the catch and release of one blue marlin and three sailfish.
"Evans B" won the third-place award for Outstanding Billfish Boat, which is owned and captained by Thomas McCook of Macon, Ga. The crew garnered 800 points with one white marlin and 6 sailfish caught and released during the tournament.
"Sea Baby," owned by Dixon Pearce of Mt. Pleasant, won the Outstanding Dolphin award. Angler Susie Pearce caught a 62.3-pound dolphin for the award.
Outstanding Tuna was awarded to "Daymaker," owned by Mark Daniels of Greenville for a 16.2-pound tuna catch.
Angler Jerry Broome won the Outstanding Wahoo award for a 56.6-pound catch onboard "Overspray," owned by Foster McKissick of Greenville, and captained by Mike McClamrock.
The Outstanding Youth Angler award went to Cole Malphrus, 13, of Hilton Head Island, for the catch and release of two sailfish. Malphus fished on "Heavy Iron," owned by Malphrus Marine of Hilton Head Island and captained by Robert McMillan.
The second place Outstanding Youth Angler was Jon-Michael Kubu, 10, of Anderson. Kubu caught and released one sailfish onboard "High Maintenance," owned by Jeff Kubu, of Anderson and captained by Dennis Brookshire.
Matthew Nettles, 10, of Charleston, won the third place Outstanding Youth Angler award. Nettles caught and released one sailfish on "Short People," owned and captained by Aaron Nettles, also of Charleston.
Hope Hanckel of Johns Island won the Outstanding Female Angler award. Hanckel caught and released a blue marlin on the Outstanding Billfish Boat winner, "Major Motion."
Michelle Elsey of Mt. Pleasant took home second-place honors for Outstanding Female Angler. Elsey caught and released a sailfish on "Due Course," owned by Richard Gaton, of Irmo and captained by Jamie Brown.
Ellen K. Cordle, of Dublin, Ohio, won the third-place Outstanding Female Angler award. Cordle also released a sailfish on "Special Lady," owned by Ed Kosnik of Columbus, Ohio, and captained by Ben Polk.
DuPré tallied the overall points standings for the 19th Annual South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series after the fourth tournament and with one remaining tournament as: "Game On" 1,425.6 points, "Dough Boy" 1,375 points, "Big Game" 1,225 points, "Major Motion" 1,225 points, "Bentley's Best" 1,075 points, "Juncanewt" 1,050 points, "Cerveza" 1,025 points, "Northstar" 975 points, "Artemis" 975 points, and "Evans B" 875 points.
For more information on the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series contact Tom DuPré by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The remaining tournament date and point of contact for the final Series tournament in the 2007 19th Annual South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series is as follows:
* July 25-28, Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament (contact Deidre Menefee, 19 Forde Row, Charleston, SC 29412, (843) 345-0369, Fax (843) 406-4775, email@example.com
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 Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series has focused attention on the sharp decline of Atlantic billfish and encouraged conservation of all marine resources.