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#07-159 June 4, 2007

‘Big Game’ retains overall lead in Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series

The second tournament in the 19th season of the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series took place at the 40th Annual Georgetown Landing Marina Billfish Tournament over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The Governor’s Cup Billfishing 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, Series coordinator for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said, “Due to the small craft advisories that were posted, no fishing took place either Thursday or Friday. The weatherGeorgetown Marina cooperated for everyone Saturday.  Ricky Ferdon and all of the Georgetown Landing marina staff put on another great event this year. The food, as usual, was great.” DuPré also reported that all of the 52 participant boats fished on Saturday. Four blue marlin were released, seven sailfish were released, and no billfish were landed. A satellite tag was placed in the blue marlin caught by “Syked Out.”
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.

“Big Game,” owned by Terrell Rhye of Charleston won first place for Outstanding Billfish Boat. Rhye and Bret Weyman, also of Charleston, caught and released two blue marlin May 26 to earn 1,200 points in the Series. “Big Game” also won the Outstanding Billfish Conservationist award for the release of the two blue marlin.

The second place for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to “Syked Out,” owned by David Sykes of Isle of Palms. Chip Dukes, of Charleston, caught and released one blue marlin Saturday at 8:59 a.m. on “Syked Out” to earn 600 points.

Third-place honors for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to “Hat Trick,” owned by Harry Oxner of Georgetown. Angler Scott Joye of Murrells Inlet caught and released a blue marlin just after 9 a.m. to take third place. The time of release is used to settle ties in scores, as was the case with the second and third place Outstanding Billfish Boat. 

“My Three Sons,” owned by Hunter Edwards of Cornelius, N.C., won the Blue Water Conservation Award for the tag and release of 4 dolphin on Saturday.

Jay Blakeley, of Pawleys Island, caught a 53.3-pound wahoo aboard “Y-Knot,” owned by Ben Cox of Andrews to win the Outstanding Wahoo Award.

The Outstanding Dolphin Award went to Peter McCoy, of Charleston, for a 44.8-pound dolphin caught on “Miss Wy IV,” owned by Ed Holder of Greenville.

Edward Stiefel, of Columbia, won the Outstanding Tuna Award for a 50.5-pound yellowfin tuna catch on “Due Course,” owned by Richard Gaton, also of Columbia.

The Outstanding Female Angler Award went to Kim Kunze, of Thornton, Colo., for a 40.9-pound dolphin catch aboard “Frenzy 58,” owned by Jamie Walker of Wilmington, Del.

Kim Rodenberg, of Mt. Pleasant, won second place honors for the Outstanding Female Angler Award for a 40.1-pound dolphin catch on “El Tejano,” owned by John Hill of Bronxville, N.Y.

Third place honors for the Outstanding Female Angler Award went to Heather Phipps, of Wilmington, N.C., for a 29.3-pound dolphin catch on “Reel Jim,” owned by Fred Hobbs of Pinehurst, N.C.

The Outstanding Youth Angler Award was earned by Jacob Henderson, 14, of Spartanburg, for catching a 29.2-pound wahoo and a 14.9-pound dolphin on “Pacemaker,” owned by Howard Henderson, also of Spartanburg.

Matt King, 11, of Anderson, won second place honors for Outstanding Youth Angler for his 33.1-pound dolphin catch on “My Three Sons,” owned by Hunter Edwards of Cornelius, N.C.

Third place Outstanding Youth Angler went to Thomas Garmany, 14, of Mt. Pleasant for a 23.8-pound dolphin catch. He fished on “Benchmark,” owned by Stephen Davis, of Greenwood.

Overall standings for the 19th Annual South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series after the second tournament and with three remaining tournaments are as follows: “Big Game” 1,225 points, “NorthStar” 850 points, “Fin-Addict” 650 points, “Artemis” 625 points, “Syked Out” 625 points, “Barrier Island Marine” 625 points.

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 dupret@dnr.sc.gov.

Remaining tournament dates and contacts for the upcoming 2007 19th Annual South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series:

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 sharp decline of Atlantic billfish and encouraged conservation of all marine resources.
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