The Charleston Angler MegaDock Billfishing Tournament, which begins today out of the Charleston City Marina, will be the largest and richest event of the 2011 South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series.

The fourth of five events in the Governor's Cup had 48 early entries, easily surpassing the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament which had 33 participants.

The Carolina Billfish Classic had 31 boats fish while the Bohicket Marina Billfish Tournament drew 21 entries. Fishing is scheduled through Saturday, with boats allowed to fish two out of three days, captain's choice. Weigh-ins will take place from 5-7 p.m. each day at the MegaDock. Public parking with a free shuttle service is located at the corner of Lockwood Boulevard and Broad Street.

The total payout for last year's event, which drew 62 participants, was more than $500,000. Bench Mark, captained by Bobby Garmany, won last year's event and $105,184 for releasing one blue marlin and five sailfish for 1,600 points. Reel Passion, which won this year's season Bohicket tournament, finished second with 1,400 points for two blue marlin releases along with one sailfish, worth $61,708. Secotan was third with 1,200 points for releasing one blue marlin and three sailfish. The participants released 14 blue marlin, three white marlin and 64 sailfish last year.

Scoring in Governor's Cup events is 600 points for releasing blue marlin, 300 for white marlin and 200 for sailfish.

The top six boats in the 2011 Governor's Cup are entered at MegaDock. Reel Passion leads the series with 4,075, followed by: Daymaker, 3,575; Sportin' Life, 3,375; Rascal, 2,175; Caramba, 2,175; and Sadie Beth, 1,750.