Four tournaments slated for 2015 Governor's Cup

Quick casts and blasts while anxiously awaiting springtime …

The 2015 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series will be shorter than in previous years on a couple of fronts.

Because of contractual issues, there will not be a Governor’s Cup tournament at Edisto Marina, meaning there will be only four Governor’s Cup events. And one of those, the Carolina Billfish Classic out of Toler’s Cove, has elected to remove a fishing day. For many years, Governor’s Cup boats have been allowed to fish two out of three days, Thursday through Saturdays, captain’s choice. But the CBC will hold registration on a Thursday with fishing Friday and Saturday.

“We have listened to the boat owners, captains and crews who are saying the tournaments take too much out of their work week and their lives outside of fishing,” said Carolina Billfish Classic tournament director Deidre Menefee. “This way it won’t impact their personal and work life as much.”

Menefee said all tournaments are doing things to attract more entries. The Carolina Billfish Classic this year is offering a new Ford F150 truck for a state record dolphin and is continuing to recognize smaller boats with its Under 40 division.

Dates (including registration days) for the 2015 Governor’s Cup are: May 20-23, Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament; June 3-6, Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament (Johns Island); June 18-20, Carolina Billfish Classic (Toler’s Cove, Mount Pleasant); and July 8-11, MegaDock Billfishing Tournament (Charleston City Marina).

If it’s March, then it’s time for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ search for new state record deer antlers with scoring sessions scheduled across the state , culminating with a major event March 27-29 at the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia. Scoring sessions at the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic are scheduled noon-8 p.m. March 27; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. March 28; and 1:30-6 p.m. March 29. Call (803) 734-3886.

A scoring session also will be held from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. March 18 at the Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau. Call (843) 825-3387.

Information on other sessions can be found at dnr.sc.gov. The state record book includes 6,147 typical racks (minimum score of 125 under the Boone and Crockett system) and 242 non-typical racks (minimum score of 145 points).

Grayson Lutz of Mount Pleasant, a student of Thomas Cario Middle School visual arts teacher Stefani Timmerman, won best in show and first place in the 4-6 grade level division of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ Reel Art contest. Lutz’s painting was of a robust redhorse, a freshwater species once thought to be extinct but rediscovered in Georgia waters in 1991.

Lutz beat out fellow Cario student Ethan Betsill, who finished second in the 4-6 grade level.

Chloe King of Cario won the 7-9 grade level and Cario’s Drew Whitman took third in that age level.

Students in grades K-12 from across the state submitted 674 entries.

It’s only two weeks until turkey hunting season opens on private lands in Game Zone 6 (the Lowcountry). Elsewhere, the season runs from April 1-May 1. Check the DNR website at dnr.sc.gov for complete rules and regulations, including exceptions to the above dates.

In order to legally hunt turkeys, all hunters — including those under the age of 16 — must possess a set of turkey tags. These tags are no longer available over the counter at local vendors but must be requested at the time a license is purchased (“Seasonal Wild Turkey Tags” will be printed on your hunting license and they will be mailed) or you can obtain them at S.C. Department of Natural Resources offices in Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, Florence or York. Tags also can be ordered by calling 1-866-714-3611.