GEORGETOWN — There was plenty of action and ?excitement Friday after a blue ?marlin was brought to the dock in the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament. But the fish came up one inch short of earning South Carolina Governor’s Cup points, and so the boats at the top of the leaderboard held their position.
Wildlife, which fishes out of Toler’s Cove Marina and is owned by Ken Strickland, brought in a blue marlin that weighed 348.6 pounds, but it measured only 104 inches from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail. Governor’s Cup events have a 105-inch minimum, while the federally mandated minimum length for harvesting a blue marlin is 99 inches.
Sadie Beth, owned by Gage Blue and captained by Howard Moseley out of Charleston, remained in first place and boosted its point total to 1,600 with two white marlin releases. Second-place Benchmark, owned by Stephen Davis and captained by Bobby Garmany, added a blue marlin and moved to 1,500 points. Benchmark also is a Charleston boat. Third-place Daymaker out of Georgetown Landing, added a white marlin and is at 1,200 points. Daymaker is owned by Mark Daniels and captained by Jay Weaver.
The non-billfish category leaders remained the same: 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.
Thirty-three of the 35 boats entered fished Friday, meaning only two are eligible to fish today. But that appeared unlikely with small craft warnings posted Friday evening. The fleet released 20 billfish Friday — eight blue.