Blue Sky boats big blue

The crew of the Blue Sky, out of Georgetown, with their 515-pound blue marlin caught Saturday during the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament.

JOHNS ISLAND -- The new scales purchased by the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series got their first serious workout Saturday on the final day of fishing in the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament.

Blue Sky out of Georgetown, owned by Greg Smith of Pawleys Island, brought in a 515-pound blue marlin. And while the fish didn't test the scales' 1,500-pound maximum capacity, it still created quite the buzz since a blue marlin had not been brought to the dock in a Governor's Cup event since 2007. The fish was worth $26,125 from the optional tournament within a tournament.

Game On, owned by Sea Hunt Boats of Lexington, took first place in the tournament with 800 points for releasing a blue marlin (600 points) and a sailfish (200 points) Thursday. Game On earned $8,000 plus $15,390 from the tournament within a tournament.

My Time Out and Rascal took second and third, respectively, with 600 points each for releasing blue marlin on Thursday. My Time Out earned $5,000 while Rascal won $3,000.

Three billfish were released Saturday -- a blue marlin by the Mary Agnes, a white marlin by Five O'Clock Somewhere and a sailfish by Reel Passion. The non-billfish winners, worth $1,500 each, were: dolphin, Trust Me, 44.8; wahoo, Miss Magnolia, 35.0; and tuna, Small Change, 21.0. Heather Fanucchi, aboard Five O'Clock Somewhere, was the top female angler with a white marlin release. Caleb Teske, aboard the Middleton 58, was the top youth angler with a 36.2-pound dolphin.

Blue Sky angler Bill Dial said he saw the fish charging from the starboard side and moved to the rod which was pulling a Spanish mackerel rigged with a circle hook.

"It took about 20 to 25 minutes to get it to the boat," he said.

Boat owner Greg Smith of Pawleys Island said the biggest problem was getting the 112-inch fish (13 inches longer than the federal minimum size limit and seven inches longer than Governor's Cup regulations) through the transom door.

"It took three of us. It wore us out," Smith said.

The Blue Sky is a 56-foot Viking. In addition to Dial and Smith, also aboard were Capt. Steve Crammer and crew members Hew King, Chris Bech and Ross Thames.

Reach Tommy Braswell at >