Seven of the top eight boats in the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series are competing in the Carolina Billfish Classic that runs Thursday through Saturday out of Toler's Cove Marina in Mount Pleasant.
The only boat missing from the fleet is the series leader, Full Pull. Full Pull won the opening event at Georgetown with 2,125 release points but is not expected to compete in any more Governor's Cup events this season.
The next seven boats in the Series are: Syked Out, 2,050; Rascal, 1,250; Sportsmann, 1,250; Mister Pete, 1,050; Micabe, 925; Game On, 750; and Miss Wy, 650.
"The weather is looking great and we should have 30-plus boats which will make it the largest thus far," said Governor's Cup tournament coordinator Amy Dukes.
Boats can fish out of Charleston and Georgetown but any billfish boated must be brought to Toler's Cove, Dukes said. Weigh-in hours are 5-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 5-7 p.m. Saturday.
Last year's Carolina Billfish Classic was won by Chasin, which released a blue marlin (600), white marlin (300) and sailfish (200) for 1,100 release points. Legacy was second with 1,000 points after releasing a blue marlin and two sailfish. Sportin' Life finished third with 900 points for releasing a blue marlin and white marlin.
The Hampton Wildlife Fund will hold a fundraising banquet in conjunction with the Carolina Billfish Classic. The Hampton Wildlife Fund banquet will be held from 6-10 p.m. Friday at Gold Bug Island, located across Ben Sawyer Boulevard from Toler's Cove.
Individual tickets are available at the door for $25 per person or $40 per couple. Contact Jim Goller at (803) 600-1570. Information also is available at hamptonwildlifefund.org.