Sunday, May 31, 2009

Georgetown Governor's Cup Tourney - Final Results






El Tejano (Midland, Tx) had a back to back release of a blue marlin and a white marlin to add 900 points to their Day One 600 point total for a blue marlin release - finishing in first place with 1500 points. Ol' Fish N'Grits (Saint Simons Island) released two blue marlin on Saturday, good for 12oo points - but they finished third behind Daymaker (G'town) who had already reached the 1200 point level on Friday. Black Sheep (Hampton), Game On (HHI) and NOFA (Chas.) also released one blue marlin each on Saturday. Kiki (Wadmalaw), Aggressor (Chas.) and Full Pull (G'town.) each released one white marlin during Saturday's fishing. Miss Wy IV (G'town.) released the only sailfish during the last day of the Georgetown event, which was blessed with sunny skies and a jam-packed dock when the fleet returned to port. Their was a change in the dolphin category when Jimmy Bass brought his 45-pound mahi to the scales - fishing from On The Hook (Wilmington, De.). Later in the day Jim Moore aboard At Ease (G'town) weighed in a fine 44-pound mahi - coming up just one pound shy - but that's fishing! As of now these results are unofficial. This was the 42nd annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament - and only the 21st year of the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series, which tells you about the respect that offshore anglers have for this event.

To view more blog coverage from the 2009 G'town Gov. Cup click here.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Jay Bass with the tournament winning dolphin, DNR law enforcement gave these aspiring sportsmen a citation for being 'caught' with their lifejackets on, Lauren Leasure aboard Summer Girl (Chas.) reeled in this 20.5-pound dolphin, the Saturday afa'noon activities rocked the dock!, and Luke Blythe from Brainstorm (Chas.) with his 30-pound dolphin

Saturday, May 30, 2009

More G'town Gov. Cup photos






Photos By Jeff Dennis: Leading the tournament after two days Daymaker (G'town) will stay in port today, the charter dock at Georgetown is a busy place on tournament day, plenty of mahi is being cleaned for hungry fisherman to enjoy, and Sweet Deal brings a political flavor to the event with guest angler Carroll Campbell on board today

To view more blog coverage from the 2009 G'town Gov. Cup click here.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday results: Georgetown Gov. Cup




Daymaker (G'town) seized the tournament lead with the release of a blue marlin on Friday - which follows their two white marlin released the day before, and giving them a total of 1200 points. Daymaker is "fished out" having used up both its fishing days, and the fleet will be pursuing their point total on Saturday. Points are awarded: 600 for a blue marlin, 300 for a white marlin, and 200 points for a sailfish. Barrier Island Marine surged into second place with a stellar Friday consisting of a blue marlin release and a white marling release - good for 900 points. There was a change in the lead for the dolphin category with Allen Goff bringing a 37.2-pound mahi to the scales after fishing on Mindset (G'town). Charlie Byars aboard Reel Patience (HHI) also weighed a good mahi that went 36.2-pounds. Only eight boats fished on Friday with most of the 51-boat fleet taking a "lay day." Stormy weather was intermittent during Friday's weigh-in. These results are UNOFFICIAL at this time.

To view more blog coverage from the 2009 G'town Gov. Cup click here.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Dolphin category leader Allen Goff is pictured with the Georgetown Landing sign, Charlie Byars is in a blue shirt with his dolphin, and finally Tucker Blythe is a BIG FAN of Lowcountryoutdoors.com and he showed off his 28.2-pound dolphin caught on Thursday

More Thursday Photos from Georgetown






Photos By Jeff Dennis: 10-year old Miller Brinson of Frenzy leads the youth dolphin category with his 14.1-pound mahi, the nice couple from El Tejano will also dine on some fresh mahi, angler Jeffrey Mitchell thinks the Governor's Cup is twice as nice with two skipjack tuna from Lock'N'Load, and Preston Covington of Mount Pleasant with his 35.9-pound wahoo caught aboard Beautiful Day

To view more blog coverage from the 2009 G'town Gov. Cup click here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Georgetown Governor's Cup - Day One






Anglers reported kind ocean fishing conditions when they returned to the docks at the 42nd Annual Georgetown Marina Governor's Cup Tournament. Congrats to Big Sky (G'town), El Tejano (Midland, Tx.), Summer Girl (Chas.) and Reel Patience (HHI) for releasing one blue marlin each. Daymaker (G'town) had a banner day with two white marlin releases by Ryan Riggs and the tournament leading 34-pound dolphin caught by Michael Ebert. Anticipation (Murrell's Inlet) and Rookie IV also had one white marlin released. Syked Out (Palm Beach) had one sailfish release. One yellowfin tuna was brought to the scales by Trey Pierce from Christy II (G'town) and weighed 27.9-pounds. Several nice wahoo showed up but none better that the 69.9-pound fatty caught by John Jameson on Brain Storm (Chas.) Ten-year-old Miller Brinson leads youth anglers with his 14.1-pound dolphin caught aboard Frenzy (G'town). These results are UNOFFICIAL at this time.

For more blog coverage from 2009 G'town click here.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: A nice wahoo is shown by John Jameson and Tucker Blythe, two white marlin release flags on Daymaker, a mako shark weighing 106-pounds came from Anticipation, the leading tuna was caught by Jay Pierce, Michael Ebert shows off his dolphin while demonstrating the Heisman

Georgetown Governor's Cup - Intro


The weather permitted fishing today out of Georgetown, so the Governor's Cup fleet is trolling the Atlantic ocean for blue marlin, sailfish and meat fish. The Georgetown Landing Billfish Tournament is the longest running blue marlin tournament in the state - which is saying something. In other Governor's Cup news, the Bohicket Billfish Invitational was canceled this week, shortening the Governor's Cup schedule to three events in 2009. The 7th annual MegaDock tournament will be fished on July 8 - 11 and tournament officials have told Lowcountryoutdoors.com that they are nearing a capacity field, with 70 boats already signed up.
The Georgetown weigh-in runs from 5 until 8, so check back after that for all the photos.... 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SCDNR says Green Means Green


SCDNR held a state-wide press conference today (Greenville, Columbia and Charleston) to explain why the outdoors is connected to 30 billion reasons to appreciate our natural resources. Researched by the University of South Carolina's Moore (Darla) School of Business, an Underappreciated Assets report will state the economic impact from wildlife-related activities such as hunting, fishing, boating, bird watching, outdoors tourism and forestry as being  South Carolina's leading source of income. Yet the SCDNR's state budget is one-third of one percent of the total annual budget. Groups like SCDNR and the S.C. Forestry Commission are tasked with caring for the entire state's natural resources, but their budget funding is too politicized and not fact-based enough for some groups like the Camo Coalition. When you buy your new hunting and fishing licenses in July you are supporting the management of S.C.'s Natural Resources, and we need all of our sporting citizens to be vocal about how strongly they feel about our quality of life as it relates to conservation and preservation of our surroundings.

To view past blog entries about the camo coalition click here.

Photo By Jeff Dennis: The bills shown here may be "scratch" to some, but if you factor in the total number of licenses purchased then you can see why Green Means Green to SCDNR

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Forest Landowners Association Conference in Fla.



The Forest Landowners Association annual conference runs from May 27 to 30 at Amelia Island in Jacksonville, Florida. Wednesday's activities include a tax workshop and a family communications workshop, with both workshops intended to help family forest landowners with estate planning. The President's Reception from 6 to 7:30 includes an open bar and buffet plus a silent auction. Thursday's general session entitled Reality Check: Forestry Facts and Fantasies will have speakers from prominent Universities plus the CEO of Rayonier, Lee Thomas, will speak about the "real world" perspective of timber markets. The day concludes with a Cookout from 5 to 7 at nearby Fort Clinch that includes a live auction and a gun raffle. Friday's session will begin with an address from Lawrence Selzer of The Conservation Fund, and the conference will wind up with a tour from 11 to 4 at the Smurfit-Stone Paper Mill. Based in Atlanta, Georgia the Forest Landowners Association is a membership-based organization that represent the interests of family forests in D.C. and other national forums. Lowcountryoutdoors.com is an FLA member and supports conservation forestry practices such as timber thinning, prescribed fire and herbicide spray control of the woody understory for the benefit of wildlife species.

Photo By Jeff Dennis: Recent photo of a happy and healthy family owned forest

Monday, May 25, 2009

Charities Benefit from Nationwide Golf Tour event




When the Nationwide Tour returns to Daniel Island October 22 - 25, local charities will be rooting for the golfers like they were die-hard golf fans. Communications manager Mike Saia told Lowcountryoutdoors.com that this year any 501c3 non-profit organizations are invited to sell tickets for this years event under a new program called, TICKETS FORE CHARITY. This fundraising program allows the charity organizations to keep 100 percent of the profits from any ticket sales they produce. There will be an initial meeting this Thursday May 28th from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Daniel Island Club. Interested parties should contact Margaret Shaw at 843-849-3154. The Nationwide Tournament is set for a three-year run at the Ralston Creek Course, and will help finalize the top-25 players that will earn their 2010 PGA Tour card.

Photo By Jeff Dennis: Fuzzy Zoeller is a veteran golfer who played his farewell round at The Masters in 2009 and is pictured here at the 68th Sr. PGA Championship. Attend the 2009 Nationwide Tour event on Daniel Island to see the future stars of the PGA tour

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Harbor Pilots busy on Memorial Day Weekend










The roving eye of Lowcountryoutdoors.com looked up from fishing long enough to view this car carrier vessel making way for the container cargo vessel. Charleston Harbor is blessed with much worldwide shipping, and there are no holidays for global commerce. The car carrier was making a slow turn around Castle Pinckney while the cargo container was already underway, but from my vantage point, the tug boat operator was probably keeping a sharp eye on the situation considering the strong currents and high winds that can affect such high profile ships. All in all, it was just another day's work in Charleston harbor.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Shipping traffic obeys a "yield" sign near Castle Pinckney

Saturday, May 23, 2009

DNR Courtesy Boat Inspection





S.C. DNR will be conducting courtesy boat inspections around the state today, in an effort to keep waterways safe during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. DNR Law Enforcement will check for safety equipment, proper boat and motor registration as well as intoxicated boat operators. In the case of equipment issues, DNR enforcers are prepared to write a warning ticket to boaters, so that they may fix the shortcoming before launching their boat. A high profile safety checkpoint was conducted at the Wappoo Cut Landing from 9 a.m. until noon today, and Captain Chisolm Frampton told me that they are checking for items such as fire extinquishers, flares, whistles and life jackets and throwables as they pertain to the number of occupants in the boat. Lowcountryoutdoors.com supports the idea of Safety First when boating, espeically when waterways are crowded on holiday weekends.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Youth boater Chris Rawls was "caught" wearing his life jacket and was given an SCDNR t-shirt and certificate from officer Ben Whaley, Captain Frampton checks his list while officer LaDue inquires about safety equipment aboard a Grady-White, SCDNR Board Chairman Mike McShane checks the safety equipment on a wake-boarding boat

Friday, May 22, 2009

33rd Spoleto Festival Opens in Charleston




The 2009 Opening Ceremony was held in front of City Hall on the famed Four Corners of law, where Broad Street intersects with Meeting Street. Sunny and breezy weather made the conditions very comfortable as the Charleston Symphony Brass Ensemble played the Fanfare from Orfeo (Monteverdi). Spoleto performer Louis Otey sang the National Anthem in his baritone register, before Mayor Joe Riley came to the podium to make his traditional remarks. First, he awarded a declaration to friend and Spoleto Festival originator Charles Wadsworth, that during each opening ceremony in the future Mr. Wadsworth's considerable efforts shall be recognized. Mr. Wadsworth made a pithy acceptance before exiting the stage - after all he had to play the harpsichord at 1 p.m. for Spoleto patrons! Mayor Riley spoke with vigor when he asked for the dancers to dance, the players to play, and for the 33rd Spoleto Festival to commence. Lowcountryoutdoors.com visited two more outdoor venues to kick off Spoleto, the first being the mayor's reception at the Maritime Center. An interesting group of citizens gathered by the Cooper River to share a few drinks, and snacks (that included Cracker Jack and Moon Pies), and the Mayor was relaxed as he enjoyed speaking with folks and celebrating Spoleto, which is practically a holiday in Charleston. Saving the best for last, a Spoleto Jazz Series concert was viewed at the Cistern and artist Tierney Sutton did not disappoint. Her jazz quartet last played Spoleto in 2002, and she spoke fondly of those memories while onstage this night. Anytime an artist says they are comfortable in a certain setting and wants to play an extended show "for fun" - the audience is in for a treat. Sutton played a mix of songs from her handful of CD's and promises an entirely different concert on the second night at the Cistern. When Spoleto brings artist's from across the country to Charleston it is wise for those seeking culture to participate in the festival, and with so many offerings taking place in the outdoors (particularly Piccolo Spoleto)  - it makes for a great Lowcountry combination.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: A respectful Mayor Joe Riley listens as Charles Wadsworth accepts the proclamation that touts the sum of his contributions to the Spoleto Festival, Jazz artist Tierney Sutton as pictured on her latest Telarc CD, Desire

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CCA Topwater Campaign - 5/21 ACTION



The South Carolina Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association has an oyster habitat restoration project scheduled for today at Bennett's Point Landing on the Ashepoo River. CCA's Topwater Action Campaign will partner with SCDNR's SCORE program to recycle oyster shell and relocate them to specific areas. The new oyster beds will provide critical habitat for fish, shrimp, crabs and more while improving water quality with its erosion-buster effects. Volunteers can help by meeting at the location and be prepared to have fun and get muddy while putting the shells into position. Gloves, bug spray and lunch will all be provided. This is just the first of several such volunteer opportunities that stress "Habitat Today equals Fish for Tomorrow." To sign up call Holly Nettles at 843-953-9057

May 21 - Bennett's Point on Ashepoo River from 10 to 3
June 2 - Bears Bluff on Wadmalaw Island from 9:30 to 11:30
June 4 - Hunting Island, Russ Point Landing from 10:45 to 12:30
June 8 - Hobcaw Yacht Club, Mt. Pleaseant from 1:30 to 4:30
June 19 - Live oak Landing, Edisto Island from 10 to 12

Photos By SCDNR: Shows volunteers constructing and securing new oyster beds

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Murrel's Inlet - Team Sebatical report





Chris Hawley, president of the Waccamaw chapter of CCA, and avid angler has sent me a report from Murrell's Inlet. Actually, he loyally sends me a Murrell's Inlet fishing report for me to write up for the Charleston Mercury. Hawley's Team Seabatical caught the fish that earned them First Place in the Murrell's Inlet Pelagic Shootout with an wahoo / dolphin aggregate weight of 82.5-pounds. Their Hoo went 57.2-pounds and their dolphin went 26.3-pounds. Second place in the tournament went to Instigator for a wahoo / dolphin aggregate weight of 62.1-pounds. Third place went to Stretched Out for an aggregate weight of 58.8-pounds. Youth Angler award went to William Mockton aboard Mirage with a 19.8-pound mahi.

Photos submitted by Chris Hawley: All are Team Seabatical, captained by Hal Lewis

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saltwater Recreational Fishing License Changes


The South Carolina General Assembly has enacted some minor changes to the Saltwater fishing license program. The changes go into effect on July 1, when all licenses are set to renew, and the price for a $10 fishing license will not change. Basically this has to do with the federal government wanting a new database for all fishing lines in the water - the previous law only accounted for lines being fished off of a boat. The new law will track all fishing from shore as well - such as from a beach, dock, pier, bluff, rip rap bank, marshy embankment and outflow pipe. Since the $10 annual resident fishing license fee goes towards causes that benefit South Carolina's marine resources, the increase in licenses sold after July 1 should help with some of the current budget shortfall. There was a distinct possibility that the new license fee could have gone up to a rate of $25, and Lowcountryoutdoors.com commends those who held their ground for the $10 fee, which included action by Governor Sanford. We need more opportunity for fishing families and buddies to get on the water, and higher fees contribute to less interest in saltwater fishing in general, which of course provides better quality of life for those involved.

Photo By Jeff Dennis: The saltwater license change won't affect plans for fishing with your father from a boat, but for shore-based fishing you'll need to keep a license with you now

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fly Right Charters for Broad River Cobia




Captain John Irwin is after the cobia in the Broad River and Port Royal Sound, and Lowcountryoutdoors.com joined Dr. Malcolm Rhodes for a a day of adventure out of the Chechessee Landing. With the conditions on 5/17 beginning overcast and predicted to deteriorate, we did not look for cobia on the surface for very long before joining the flotilla of boats anchored up at "the Christmas tree" and waiting for a cobia to bite. Rhodes was a pro on the Sabiki rig and soon we had enough greenies / herring to put out some lines, and Irwin had a nasty chum bomb already out the back of the boat. Sharks came calling for the baits in short order and the fishing action appeared to be slow for the entire fleet. Just after noon a squall line came off the ocean and rushed all the boats up into Skull Creek, where we chose to sit on the docks for an hour. The rain set in and the day of fishing was clearly short-lived, but the cobia bite will linger throughout May.

To view more cobia advice click on Charleston Mercury.

Photos by Jeff Dennis: Capt. John Irwin and Amanda with her NICE spanish mackerel; Capt. Irwin reaches for a cobia in 2008 during better weather