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May 21, 2009

1st round results 2009 Governor’s Cup-Edisto Marina

The 2009 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series got underway May 13-16 at the annual Edisto Marina Billfish Tournament.

This year commemorates the 21st season of the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series, a program coordinated by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that has accomplished much towards the promotion and enhancement of marine resources conservation, most notably the 100 percent release rate of billfish caught and released during the 2008 Series. This year, the Series consists of four tournaments along the SC coast, concluding July 25 with the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament.

Despite small craft advisories that prevented fishing on day one, the weather was excellent   for both Friday and Saturday for the 27 boats participating in this Series tournament.  Wally Jenkins and Amy Dukes, Series Program Coordinator and Tournament Coordinator, respectively, said that the fishing was excellent.  "The hospitality extended to the fleet and enthusiastic support of the citizens and leaders of Edisto Beach helped kick off what is likely to be a great year for the Series," according to Jenkins.    

Jenkins and Dukes recorded 13 billfish caught and released by participating anglers during the tournament, including 11 blue marlin and 2 sailfish. In addition, a total of 355 dolphin were landed during the weekend.  However no tuna or wahoo were landed.

Points and awards are accrued during the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Series tournaments and include: 600 points for a blue marlin released in good condition, 300 points for a white marlin released, and 200 points for a sailfish released.  Additionally, boats are awarded 25 participation points for each Series tournament entered up to a maximum of three events. 

The Outstanding Billfish Boat was awarded to "Miss Magnolia," owned and captained by Tram Colket.  Anglers caught and released two blue marlins, accruing 1200 points. "Miss Magnolia" also earned top honors as the Outstanding Billfish Conservationist boat for tagging and releasing both marlins.

Second place for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to "Blue Sky," owned by Greg Smith. Steven Crammer captained the boat which caught and released a blue marlin on Friday.    

"Fin Addict" won third place for Outstanding Billfish Boat, the boat is owned and captained by Danny Massalon. Angler Tara Asbill caught and released a blue marlin and also earned the honor of being designated Outstanding Lady Angler.

 Kasey Dantzler aboard "Dough Boy" won second place Lady Angler with the release of a sailfish, while Kym Harrington on "My Time Out" came in third for the capture of a 19.2 pound dolphin.
Outstanding Dolphin was awarded to "Rapid Pace," owned by Sam Schirmer and Trey Banks and captained by Schirmer.  Angler Trey Sires landed a 52.6 pound dolphin to earn top honors.
 
Will Gould won first place for Outstanding Youth Angler for a 29.4 pound dolphin catch aboard "KiKi."  While second place for Outstanding Youth Angler went to Buster Murdaugh for reeling in a 26.8 pound dolphin aboard "Blacksheep." 

The "Blacksheep" also successfully tagged and released 11 dolphin earning then 550 points towards the Blue Water Conservation Award. 

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

Remaining tournament dates and contacts for the 2009 S.C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series are: May 27-30, 42nd Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament, contact  Ricky Ferdon, (843) 546-1776,  glmarina@sc.rr.com; July 8-11, HMY/Viking MEGADOCK Billfishing Tournament, contact McKenzie Estes, (843) 577-7704, mestes@megadock.us; and July 22-25, Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament, contact Bryan Richardson (843) 768-1280, Dockmaster@bohicket.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 (50), yellowfin tuna (100), and wahoo (150)).

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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