MOUNT PLEASANT -- Friday was a great day for Daymaker, the 52-foot Viking owned by Mark Daniels and captained by Jay Weaver.
After grabbing the first-day lead in the inaugural Carolina Billfish Classic by releasing a white marlin and two sailfish to accumulate 700 points, Daymaker went 4-for-5 on sailfish Friday, giving the crew 1,500 points.
Having used their two allotted fishing days, Daniels said they plan to have a hearty breakfast, play golf and try to alleviate the nerves as they wait out the approximately 40 boats that still have a day to fish.
The Carolina Billfish Classic, the third of five tournaments in the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series, is being fished out of Charleston Harbor Marina at Patriots Point, Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island and Georgetown Landing. Boats earn 600 points for a blue marlin release, 300 for a white marlin and 200 for a sailfish.
Rascal, owned by Norman Pulliam and captained by Mark Rogers, is second with 800 points after releasing a sailfish Friday. Rascal also has used up its fishing days.
Sixteen boats fished Friday and released 11 sailfish, bringing the tournament total to 25 sailfish and one white marlin. Caramba and Game on were the only other boats with multiple releases, scoring two sailfish each.
The participants are fishing for almost $250,000 in the various categories. First place, based on points, pays $20,000, and second pays $10,000. But there is another $78,120 up for grabs in the optional catch and release division.
There also is a $10,000 top prize for boats in the 40-feet and under category, with the Scout 34 team leading that competition with a sailfish release.
Twenty-four boats are participating in the Million Dollar Classic division and are eligible for a $1 million prize if they break the state record in any of four categories -- blue marlin (881 pounds, 13 ounces); dolphin (77-8); wahoo (130-5); or yellowfin tuna (241-12).
There was no change in the meatfish categories, worth $2,000 each. Anne Brady Moore Carlson leads the dolphin division with a 62.4-pound catch. Monty Montgomery, aboard Fat Boy, leads the tuna division with a 12.2-pound catch. No wahoo have been weighed.
Reach Tommy Braswell at email@example.com.