GEORGETOWN — Sadie Beth, owned by Gage Blue and captained by Howard Moseley out of Charleston, released five sailfish Thursday to take the first-day lead in the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament, the opening event of the 2012 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.

Sadie Beth earned 1,000 points (200 for each sailfish release) and holds a narrow 100-point lead over Benchmark and Daymaker, both of whom released a blue marlin (600 points) and a white marlin (300 points). Benchmark, which also fishes out of Charleston, was second based on earliest time to reach 900 points. Benchmark is owned by Stephen Davis and captained by Bobby Garmany. Daymaker, out of Georgetown Landing, is owned by Mark Daniels and captained by Jay Weaver.

Thirty-five boats are in the tournament and they released 21 billfish — seven blue marlin, eight white marlin and six sailfish. Boats are allowed to fish two out of three days through Saturday, but it is expected all boats will finish up today because of an offshore weather system that could knock out Saturday fishing.

The non-billfish category leaders are: dolphin — Bob Faith, Caramba, 44.8 pounds; wahoo — Rhett Spencer, Big Kahuna, 61.0 pounds; and tuna — Kenneth Tucker, Christy II, 17.6-pound blackfin.