Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series at its midway point

The 2015 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series has reached the halfway mark, with two events down — Georgetown and Bohicket — and two to fish.

The Carolina Billfish Classic is next up with fishing Friday and Saturday out of Toler’s Cove Marina in Mount Pleasant. This year’s event is offering a new twist. Boats still will be fishing two days, but the fishing will be back to back instead of having a two-day option over a three-day period.

“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.”

The two consecutive fishing days harkens back to earlier days when most tournaments were fished on back-to-back days.

The Carolina Billfish Classic this year also is offering a new Ford F150 truck for a state record dolphin and is continuing to recognize smaller boats with its Under 40 division.

Final registration for the CBC will be held, beginning at 3 p.m. at Goldbug Island. Weigh-ins at Toler’s Cove begin at 5 p.m.

Last year’s Carolina Billfish Classic was won by Petrel, owned by Harry Johnson Jr. and captained by John Thomas, with two blue marlin and four sailfish releases for 2,000 release points. Sportin’ Life, owned by Manly and Graham Eubank and captained by Mike Glaesner, was second with two blue marlin releases and 1,200 points.

The final event of the 2015 Governor’s Cup is the MegaDock Billfishing Tournament out of the Charleston City Marina with fishing scheduled July 9-11 and boats fishing two out of three days, captain’s choice.

The two tournaments already fished have resulted in 59 billfish releases.

“Fishing thus far has been phenomenal,” said Amy Dukes, tournament coordinator for the Governor’s Cup. “Boats have had double and triple hookups of blue marlin. The fish are bunched up and in shallower water.”

The season-opening Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament had 40 boats fish, the first time a Governor’s Cup event had cracked the 40-boat since 2009. Fishermen released 23 blue marlin, 6 white marlin and 3 sailfish.

The tournament was won by Miss Wy, owned by Ed Holder and captained by Matt Wilkinson, with three blue marlin releases, all on the final day.

Bohicket drew 20 boats, with fishermen releasing 17 blue marlin, 2 white marlin and 8 sailfish.

Reel Passion, owned by Bill Ingram and captained by Gary Richardson, placed first with 1,500 points after releasing 2 blue marlin and 1 white marlin.

Miss Wy leads the overall series with 3,050 points (including 50 participation points). The angler on all five of Miss Wy’s blue marlin has been Michael Lalich.

Reel Passion is second with 2,750 points, followed by My Three Sons with 2,450; Caramba, 1,650; and Petrel, 1,425.