The second tournament in the 23rd season of the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series took place at the 44th Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Billfish Tournament over the Memorial Day weekend at the Georgetown Landing Marina. Amy Dukes, Series Tournament Coordinator for S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), noted that a total of 33 boats participated in the tournament with 45 billfish releases including 6 blue marlin, 30 white marlin and 5 sailfish. No billfish were landed. “There is an incredible billfish bite right now off the South Carolina Coast! There were more billfish released during this weekend’s Georgetown Tournament then have been released in the previous 23 series tournaments hosted in Georgetown.”
A special recognition award, the Wallace Pate Trophy, was presented by the Georgetown Landing Blue Marlin Tournament to Jim Johnston for all his years of billfish conservation. Wallace Jenkins, Series Program Director for DNR, added that “Johnston has participated in all of the 44 Georgetown Tournaments and was a major contributor in establishing billfish release practices during fishing tournaments that are still in use today.”
The Outstanding Billfish Boat was awarded to Sportin’Life, owned by Manly and Graham Eubank of Charleston and captained by Mike Glaesner. The boat crew caught and released a white marlin on Thursday, and surged to a victory by releasing two blue marlin and another white marlin on Saturday to accrue 1,800 total release points.
Second place for Outstanding Billfish Boat went to Daymaker, owned by Mark Daniels. Jay Weaver captained the boat, which caught and released four white marlin and one sailfish to accumulate 1,400 release points.
Miss Wy IV won third place for Outstanding Billfish Boat. The boat is owned by Ed Holder and captained by Matt Wilkinson and the boat crew caught and released one blue marlin and two white marlin to earn 1,200 release points.
Outstanding dolphin was awarded to Billy Monckton for his 38.4-pound landed dolphin caught aboard Mirage, owned by Bill Monckton and captained by Homer.
Angler Charlie Byars fishing on the Reel Patience won the Outstanding Wahoo award, with a 12.6-pound fish. The boat is owned by James Zachrich and captained by Stefan Patrick.
Wil Thornhill won the Outstanding Tuna award aboard Bench Mark, owned by Stephen Davis and captained by Bobby Garmany, for his 10-pound Bonita.
First place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Holly McAlhany for releasing two white marlin aboard Syked Out. Second place for Outstanding Lady Angler went to Amy Bennett on Rodeo who also caught and released two white marlin. Keenan Grayson won third place Outstanding Lady Angler aboard On The Hook for her 27-pound dolphin catch.
Six-year-old Rance Jennings won first place for Outstanding Youth Angler for an 11.2-pound dolphin catch aboard Sadie Beth. Second place for Outstanding Youth Angler went to John Taylor aboard Caramba for catching a 6.6-pound dolphin.