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June 5, 2009

Second round results from Governor's Cup Billfishing Series

The second tournament in the 21th season of the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series took place at the 42nd 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 was top notch and a great time was had by all." Amy Dukes, Series Tournament Coordinator for DNR added that a total of 51 boats participated in the tournament with 23 billfish releases including 12 blue marlin, 9 white marlin and 2 sailfish. No billfish were landed.

The Outstanding Billfish Boat was awarded to "El Tejano," owned by John Hill of Wadamalaw Island and captained by David reed.  The boat crew caught and released a 1 blue marlin on Thursday and 1 blue marlin and 1 white marlin on Saturday, accruing 1500 points release points. 

Second place for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to "Daymaker," owned by Mark Daniel.  Jay Weaver captained the boat which caught and released a 1 blue marlin and 2 white marlin to accumulate 1200 release points.   

"Ol' Fish N' Grits" won third place for Outstanding Billfish Boat, the boat is owned by Ernie Knight.  Mark Noble is the captain and the boat crew caught and released two blue marlin to earn 1200 points.  
Outstanding Dolphin was awarded to "On The Hook," owned and captained by James Bass. Angler Jimmy Bass landed a 45-pound dolphin to earn top honors. 

"Christy II" won the Outstanding Tuna award, with a 27.9-pound yellowfin tuna caught by angler Trey Pierce.   The boat is captained by Hank Higgins.  

The Outstanding Wahoo award went to "Brainstorm," owned and captained by Daniel Davis.  John Jameson was the angler for the 69.9-pound catch. 

First place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Kathy Baxley for releasing a white marlin aboard "El Tejano". Second place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Tara Asbill on "Fin Addict" who caught a 20.7-pound wahoo.  Martha Green won third place Outstanding Lady Angler on "Bench Mark" for her 19.6-pound dolphin catch.

Boyce Campson won first place for Outstanding Youth Angler for a 25.6-pound dolphin catch aboard "Bench Mark."  Second and third place for Outstanding Youth Angler went to Steven Craig aboard "Compromise IV" and Lauren Leasure aboard "Summer Girl", respectively.

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

Only one tournament remains in this year's series the HMY/Viking MEGADOCK Billfishing Tournament, July 8-11 contact McKenzie Estes, (843) 278-4920 for more information.

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).  At present the Series is being lead by "Barrier Island Marine" a 32 foot long center console Pursuit with twin outboard motors. 

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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