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July 29, 2008

"Daymaker" wins final SC Governor’s Cup Series tournament

"Daymaker" owned by Mark Daniels, took top honors in the final round of the 20th South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series at the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament this past weekend. 

The Series features five tournaments along the coast and began May 14th at Edisto Island Marina tournament and ended this past weekend at the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament.   
Wallace Jenkins, the Series Program Coordinator for S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said, "The Bohicket Tournament was a great location to end the 2008 Series with many of the top boats fishing head-to-head to determine the eventual overall Series leaders.  The intimate setting provided the perfect atmosphere for the crews and owners to celebrate the achievements of the Series for billfish conservation over the last 20 years.  For the second time in three years no billfish were landed during any of the Series events demonstrating the strong conservation ethic of the participants."

Amy Dukes, the Series Tournament Coordinator for DNR, noted that 29 boats participated in the tournament and successfully caught and released 52 billfish, including 2 blue marlin and 50 sailfish. 
Points for Governor's Cup tournaments are awarded as follows: 600 points for a tagged or released blue marlin, 300 points for a tagged or released white marlin, and 200 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 the "Daymaker" had two great days of fishing, earning 1400 points for the release of seven sailfish and winning top honors for the Outstanding Billfish Boat award.    Mark Daniels of Greenville owns the "Daymaker" and the captain is Jay Weaver, with the boats home port in Georgetown.  Thursday’s fishing adventure yielded three of the seven sailfish releases, garnering the crew with the Outstanding Dolphin and the Outstanding Wahoo awards.  Both fish were caught by angler Ryan Riggs of Wando, and the dolphin tipped the scales and weighed in at a whopping 77.5 pounds, crowning it as the new state record fish.  The wahoo weighed in at 45.4 pounds.  The boat’s second fishing day on Saturday boasted an additional four sailfish releases to push them into the lead.  The boat was also recognized and awarded with the Outstanding Billfish Conservationist for the seven billfish releases.

Second place honors for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to "Heavy Iron," owned by Gregg Malphrus, of Ridgeland, and captained by Trey "Cricket" McMillian. They earned 1200 points for the catch and release of six sailfish.

"Lock n Load" won the third place award for Outstanding Billfish Boat, which is owned and captained by Skipper Jellison of Johns Island.  The crew garnered 1000 points with the catch and release of 5 sailfish all during a single fishing day on Saturday. 

The Outstanding Tuna was awarded to angler Fred Bergen Jr. aboard "Legal Holiday" owned by his father, Fred Bergen Sr. of Savannah GA, for his 28.7-pound tuna catch.  The boat is captained by Matt Key.

Thomas Garmany, 16, of Mt. Pleasant, won the first place Outstanding Youth Angler award.  Garmany caught and released three sailfish aboard "Roulette," owned by Richard Pingree of Beaufort and captained by Mike Glaesner. 

The second place Outstanding Youth Angler was Beau Schmeusser, 10 of Wilmington DE, for the catch and release of two sailfish aboard "Cerveza," owned by Thomas Russell of Reston VA and captained by Butch Davis.

Third place honors for Outstanding Youth Angler was awarded to Bailey Walpole of Wadmalaw Island, who caught and released two sailfish fishing with her father, John Walpole, aboard "KiKi" which he owns and captains.  Bailey was also awarded second place Outstanding Lady Angler for her two sailfish releases.  

Kathy Baxley, of Charleston, won the first place Outstanding Lady Angler award, for the catch and release of a blue marlin.  Baxley was fishing aboard "El Tejano," owned by John Hill of Bronxville NY, and captained by David Redd.

The third place Outstanding Lady Angler award was presented to Lauren Leasure of Charleston, for the catch and release of a sailfish on Friday.  Leasure was fishing aboard "Summer Girl" owned by John Smith Jr. of Charleston, and captained by her father, Stevie Leasure. 

The unofficial overall point’s standings for the 20th Annual South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing

Series after the final tournament of the Series is:

"Cerveza" - 4275, "Roulette" - 3775, "Daymaker" - 3775, "Rascal" - 3375, "Houdini" - 2475, "Petrel" - 2075, "NOFA" - 1875, "Miss Wy IV" - 1675, "Benchmark" - 1475, and "Evans B" - 1475.

For more information on the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series, contact Jenkins at (843) 953-9835 or JenkinsW@dnr.sc.gov, and Dukes at (843) 953-9365 or DukesA@dnr.sc.gov.

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.

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.

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