Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2015 Toyota Camry at Folly Beach for Memorial Day

Check back soon for the photos and report......

Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 G'town Gov. Cup - Day Three and Final Results

Miss Wy celebrates three blue marlin releases
A large fleet of 41 sportfishers assembled at the Georgetown Landing Marina for the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series. A large number of boats went fishing on Day One, with all except two boats choosing to use Day Two as a lay day due to rough seas offshore. That set the stage for another large number of boats to go fishing on Day Three to decide who would claim the title of Outstanding Billfish Boat at the Georgetown leg of the Billfishing Series.

Youth angler Bennett Wyatt and release flag
Heaviest Tuna winner from Christy II
By the 10 a.m. update on May 23 the fleet had released 6 blue marlin and one white marlin, which a surefire indication that a good bite was underway offshore. At the noon update four more blue marlin and two more white marlin were released. During the final update six more blue marlin and a sailfish were released. A common thread in each of those reports was longtime Governor's Cup participant Miss Wy, releasing three blue marlin over the course of the day. This afforded them a dramatic come-from-behind win based on release points - 600 per blue marlin, for a total of 1800-points. Finishing in second place is Petrel with two blue marlin released and one sailfish released, good for 1400-points. Third place goes to Caramaba based on their two blue marlin released, with a points total of 1200.

Heaviest Wahoo from Houdini
In the heaviest meatfish categories, the heaviest dolphin was brought in on Thursday May 21 by angler Kaleigh Leasure fishing aboard the Summer Girl, and it weighed 50.4-pounds. The heaviest wahoo was weighed in on Saturday by Rich Bermudez fishing from Houdini, weighing in at 55.2-pounds. The heaviest tuna also came in on Saturday for angler Brad Liles fishing aboard Christy II, with his 13.2-pound blackfin tuna.

Other awards include Top Lady Angler which goes to Kelli Ann Roof for releasing a blue marlin while fishing from Game On, and Top Youth Angler Bennett Wyatt for releasing a blue marlin while fishing from Sportsmann.

To view reports from past years at the Georgetown Governor's Cup click 2013- 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 G'town Gov. Cup - Day One Results

Paul Holder with his HOO on 5/21 
Day One of the 2015 Georgetown Landing Marina Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament saw 38 of the 41 registered boats go offshore fishing. With several days of hot weather and flat calm conditions, the fleet may have been somewhat surprised to experience a sloppy sea and bumpy conditions in the a.m. The bite was off and some say that a falling barometer may have contributed to the slow start that saw only the Caramaba release a blue marlin before the 10 a.m. update to the S.C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Facebook page. Owner Bob Faith was the angler on that release.

Angler Kaleigh Leasure and her 50.4-pd. mahi mahi
Things picked up after that with Sportin' Life releasing a white marlin at 10:53, with Graham Eubanks the angler. Sportsman released a blue marlin at 11:17 and youth angler Bennett Wyatt was on the rod. My Three Sons released a blue marlin at 11:39 with owner Hunter Edwards handing the release. Reel Passion doubled up on white marlin at 12:10 and 12:14. Summer Girl had a blue marlin release by youth angler Fisher Jackson at 12:54. Micabe had a blue marlin release at 1:26 for owner Mike Larrow. Full Pull released a blue marlin at 1:27. Chasin' found a sailfish at 1:58 and had a release. Blue Sky released a blue marlin at 2:17 p.m.

Blackfin Tuna 
In the meatfish categories it was angler Paul Holder aboard the Miss Wy that boated a 45-pound wahoo. The only wahoo weighed in. The Critter Gitter II weighed in the only tuna., weighing 9.4-pounds. Summer Girl became the mani mani leader when Kaleigh Leasure brought a stud 50.4-pound dolphin to the scales, with Captain Stevie Leasure looking on.

Outstanding Billfish Boats: (After Day One)
First Place Boat - Caramba
Second Place Boat - Sportsmann
Third Place Boat - My Three Sons
Heaviest Meatfish:
Tuna (blackfin) - Critter Gitter, 9.4-pounds
Wahoo - Miss Wy, 45-pounds
Dolphin - Summer Girl, 50.4-pounds
First Place Youth Angler - Bennett Wyatt

To view reports from past years at the Georgetown Governor's Cup click 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 BMW Charity Pro-Am on Web.com Tour

Ryan Floyd hits an approach shot to 18th green at Thornblade    
Lucas Black from NCIS: New Orleans

The PGA Tour runs the Web.com Tour, which held their annual BMW Charity golf tournament over the weekend in Greenville. The Web.com Tour is often thought of as the proving ground for younger players with aspirations for making it to the lucrative PGA Tour. Yet the winner of the 2015 BMW event is 45-year old golf veteran Rod Pampling, further defining the Web.com Tour as the place where professional players of any age can tee up their dreams.

Of course the BMW Charity tourney isn’t all about pro golf, they also have a celebrity division that brings stars from television and sports to play golf on Thursday through Saturday. The lion share of the acting stars came from the realm of television and included Frankie Muniz, child star of Malcom in the Middle, and Terry O’Quinn of LOST fame. NCIS New Orleans sent Lucas Black to Greenville. But maybe the top two fan favorites came from Seinfeld, John O’Hurley better known as Mr. Peterman and Patrick Warburton, or 'Putty.'
 A part of the duties for any celebrity, besides playing three consecutive rounds of golf, is to stop and sign a few autographs and also to make a few photos. In most cases the stars are gracious, but Lucas Black and Patrick Warburton seemed genuinely pleased to sign the most trivial of mementos, and of course to take plenty of selfies with fans. Their star power held up just fine while stepping out of TV land and into their golf game.

To view this feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries from the BMW Charity Pro-Am on the Web.com Tour click 2014.

To view past blog entries for the RBC Heritage click on 2015 - 2014 - 2013

To view past blog entries from The Masters click on 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2009

To view past blog entries from the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island click on 2012

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Manomet Monitors Peak of Shorebird Migration in S.C.

Just a few of the shorebirds from May 4 at Yawkey Preserve

The month of May marks the peak of shorebird migration in South Carolina. Much of the coastal habitat here is perfectly positioned for them to pause at and seek the nourishment that will allow them to complete some of the longest bird migrations known to man. Like many avian species, shorebirds are suffering a decline in numbers, and the Manomet Conservation group is taking the initiative by leading a shorebird recovery project.

SCDNR's Dean Harrigal explains the shorebird sightings
Manomet’s goal is to restore and maintain shorebird populations in the Western Hemisphere by building a scientific foundation and implementing site-based conservation efforts. Another goal they have is to restore, upgrade and protect a half million acres of shorebird habitat. They want to cultivate a culture of conservation similar to the one that surrounds migratory waterfowl. Because just like ducks, shorebirds require food, rest and safety along their coastal migration routes.

This graphic gives a good indication of shorebird SIZE variance
Manomet's shorebird conservation culture
On Monday May 4 at the SCDNR's Yawkey Preserve with 4000-acres of managed wetlands. Manomet scientist Brad Winn spent 20 years with the Georgia DNR and knows prime coastal habitat from first-hand experience. “The spectacular wetlands here at the Yawkey Preserve are important at the landscape scale,” said Winn. “The degradation of wetlands and fragmentation of ecosystems is a mounting threat to shorebirds. The area here known as the goose pond is one of the richest and most abundantly used impoundments I have ever seen.”

The ACE Basin and Santee Delta are strongholds for large tracts of protected lands that provide prime habitat for shorebirds, but all the sea islands of the Lowcountry offer the potential to host these migrants. Which is just another reason why South Carolina continues to draw the attention of national wildlife experts in the name of quality habitat conservation.

To read this entire feature article in the newspaper click Colletonian

 To view past Lowcountry Birding Journal Observations click here.

For past blog entries on Red Knot shorebirds click Moonbird book review - Endangered Species Act

For past blog entries on World Shorebird Day click 2014

To view past blog on avian conservation click on Cornell Lab of Ornithology - International Crane Foundation


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2015 Blue Marlin Tournament Calendar

2010 and Inaugural CBC - Abe Kuhn with nice mahi mahi

Summer gets off to a fast start where it concerns offshore fishing season. Pelagic species begin their spring migrations with the arrival of warmer temperatures and ocean currents. The offshore angler scene is anchored by a love for saltwater fishing, but the intangibles derived from the quality of fellowship during competitions are just as important as the scream of the reel and the bedlam that ensues in the cockpit after shouting two words – FISH ON!

Newbie anglers are often shaped and molded at the billfish tournaments of the Southeast since the size of the sportfisher boats allow for multiple anglers and observer passengers as well. Youth are exposed to the brine, the sun, the anticipation of trolling six lines across a temperature break and a color change in the water that just reeks of textbook fishing grounds. Designated lady anglers are now a regular part of the modern tournament format, with special prizes for most releases by a female.
May issue cover

The South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfish Series will consist of four tournaments in 2015, due to the cancellation of the Edisto Marina tournament. Which means that the 2015 Series will now be decided at the MegaDock tourney in Charleston since they are now the final event. Another development from the S.C. Series is that the Carolina Billfish Classic (CBC) will shorten their schedule from three days of fishing to just two fishing days. The CBC will also reward a new S.C. state-record dolphin with a 2015 Ford F150 pick-up to further fuel the offshore frenzy.

The Bahamas Billfish Championship (BBC) began 2015 with a change in ownership, when longtime steward Al Behrendt retired. The BBC retains Jennifer Dudas as the tournament director, to build on the 40-years of history at the Championship. Meanwhile, the Texas Billfish Championship (TBC) announced in February of 2015 that they will be taking a couple of years off, but are hopeful to return bigger and better one day. They also cite thanks for the lifelong friendships and memories made at the TBC, which is the purpose of all blue marlin tournaments. Good Luck Fishing!

To view this magazine feature article click on All At Sea and 2015 Tournament Calendar.

To view past blog entries for the Blue Marlin Tournament Calendar click 2014.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hampton Wildlife Fund - 30th Anniversary Spartanburg Banquet

Larry Cook received special recognition for 30 years of service;
HWF Chair Dr. Juke Leary, honoree Larry Cook, 
presenter DNR Major Jamie Landrum, 
HWF Director Jim Goller and HWF Secretary Mary Pugh
To say that the Spartanburg Memorial Coliseum was packed with wildlife enthusiasts would be an understatement. Big numbers of people began showing up before the 6 p.m. start time in order to get admitted into what may be the largest conservation event in the state of South Carolina. The Hampton Wildlife Fund (HWF) continues to enjoy widespread support in this section of the foothills, and a special recognition went out to some of the key folks, including Larry Cook - HWF treasurer, that have been in place as volunteers from the beginning.

Raffles, silent auction and live auction over the past 30 years have added up to be more than 1.3 million dollars raised for S.C. wildlife via the Sparkle City Hampton Fund - that's quite an achievement!! The huge crowd wasn't kept hungry for long as a big barbecue supper and a large Beaufort stew was served up prior to the auctions. Hampton Fund's Jim Goller was on hand to greet dignitaries like SCDNR Chief Alvin Taylor and a number of S.C. game wardens. Hampton Fund board members and SCDNR board members sat at the head table and discussed those who had come before them, and the night's program lists more than 50 names 'In Memoriam' - a real testament to just how long this event has been going on.

Raffle girls were on hand to help sell tickets!
Liva auction highlights included a wooden bench with Hampton Wildlife Fund branded on it, several bird carvings, wildlife prints, a coon dog puppy, custom knives, a 1989 Ram Charger Truck, gun safe, gas grill, 4-wheeler, and trips to hunt wild boar, deer and quail. Nearly 50 items in all went home with the bidders that were happy to raise money for the cause of the outdoors. For more information about upcoming banquets in your area visit the Internet at Hampton Wildlife Fund.

To view past blog entries about the Hampton Wildlife Fund click here.

For the latest Lowcountry saltwater fishing report click here.
Game Wardens chipped in at the Wingspan raffle for a YETI

Raffle items were wildlife-oriented

Packed House - well done!!
For the latest birding journal observations click here.
Good looking coon dog puppy for the auction

Rob Donlin family and friends