EDISTO BEACH — Timing was everything on the opening day of the Edisto Marina Billfish Tournament, the final event of the 2012 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.
Three boats each released five sailfish on Thursday, but Micabe, owned by Mike Larrow and captained by Chris Jennings, was the first to reach the five-fish mark and grabbed first place with 1,000 release points. Four of the five sailfish were caught by Larrow’s 8-year-old grandson, Rance Jennings. Micabe won the MegaDock tournament, the most recent Governor’s Cup event.
Home Run, owned by Steve Mungo and captained by Grant Bentley, was the second boat to reach 1,000 points and also took the unofficial overall lead in the Governor’s Cup. Going into the Edisto tournament, Home Run was tied for second place overall, 400 points behind Caramba. Caramba managed only one sailfish and 200 points Thursday.
Third place at Edisto, also with 1,000 points, was Trashman, owned by Burke Wall and captained by Bert Kline.
In the non-billfish categories, Reel Hooker leads the wahoo division with a 41-pound catch; Short People has the top dolphin at 25.8 pounds; and Wildlife has the largest tuna, a 25.8-pound blackfin.
Twenty-six boats are participating in the tournament and all fished Thursday, tallying a total of 52 sailfish releases. Three boats are expected to fish today. Boats are allowed to fish two out of three days, captain’s choice.
The tournament continues through Saturday with weigh-ins today and Saturday beginning at 5 p.m.