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June 2, 2008

Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series reports successful second tourney

The second tournament in the 20th season of the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series took place at the 41st Annual Georgetown Landing Marina Billfish Tournament over the last weekend in May. 

Wallace Jenkins, Series Program Coordinator for S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), noted that, "The weather conditions were excellent for offshore fishing and we had three great days of fishing. Ricky Ferdon and all of the Georgetown Landing Marina staff once again were top notch and a great time was had by all." Amy Dukes, Series Tournament Coordinator for DNR added that a total of 53 boats participated in the tournament with 34 billfish releases including 21 blue marlin, 4 white marlin and 9 sailfish. No billfish were landed.

The Outstanding Billfish Boat was awarded to "Roulette," owned by Richard Pingree and captained by Mike Glaesner. The boat crew caught and released a sailfish on Thursday and 3 blue marlin and 1 white marlin on Saturday, accruing 2300 points. 

Second place for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to "Dem Boys," owned by Tommy Hancock.  Reid Bost captained the boat and caught and released a 2 blue marlin on Thursday to accumulate 1200 release points.   

 "Overspray" won third place for Outstanding Billfish Boat, the boat is owned by Foster McKissick.  Mike McClamrock is the captain and the boat crew also caught and released two blue marlin to earn 1200 points.  

Outstanding Dolphin was awarded to "El Tejano," owned by John Hill and captained by David Redd. Angler Kathy Baxley landed a 59.9-pound dolphin to earn top honors, and secured her position to win top female angler in the tournament as well. 

 "Due Course" won the Outstanding Tuna award, with a 14.1-pound blackfin tuna caught by angler and boat owner, Richard Gaton.  The boat is captained by Jamie Brown.  

The Outstanding Wahoo award went to "Artemis," owned by John Darby. Canty Smith was the angler with the 49.4-pound catch and David "Bucky" Copleston captained the winning wahoo boat.
Second place for Outstanding Female Angler went to Jenny Walker on "Frenzy" who caught a 48.6-pound wahoo.

Becca Hancock won third place Outstanding Female Angler on "Dem Boys" for her 31.8-pound dolphin catch.

Lauren Leasure won first place for Outstanding Youth Angler for a 31.1-pound dolphin catch aboard "Summer Girl." Lauren was the only youth angler to receive an award at the tournament.

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

Remaining tournament dates and contacts for the 2008 S.C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series are:

* June 25-28, Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina Billfish Tournament, contact Deidre Menefee, (843) 345-0369, dpmenefee@aol.com

* July 9-12, HMY/Viking MEGADOCK Billfishing Tournament, contact McKenzie Estes, (843) 278-4920

* July 23-26, Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament, contact Deidre Menefee.

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 population status 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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