Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 Carolina Billfish Classic - SC Memorial Reef

Custom oyster knife
The Fourth annual S.C. Memorial Reef fundraiser was held during Day Two of the CBC at Goldbug Island. This family-friendly crowd gathered together to remember those who the S.C. Memorial Reef honor and to raise funds for future improvements to the reef. Captain Stevie Leasure announced the receipt of a $5000 donation in addition to all the funding from the silent and live auction items. Trips to Savannah, alligator hunts, a cowhide rug, wine glasses, oyster knives, fish rugs, artwork and so much more.

To view more blog entries from the 2012 CBC click here.

Music and mingling at Gold Bug Island

Fun folks at the CBC
To view past blog entries from the SC Memorial Reef auction click here.

Friday, June 29, 2012

2012 Carolina Billfish Classic - Day Two Results

Tommy Hancock with a nice 25.4-pound tuna
Steven Craig with a 56.4-pound dolphin
While none of the boats fishing from Georgetown went fishing on Friday, all but one of the Charleston-based Governor's Cup fleet fished on Friday and reported rough ocean conditions and a strong billfish bite! Two boats flew five flags upon returning to Toler's Cove, and Reel Passion surged into first place on the strength of their one blue marlin release, and four more sailfish releases. Sadie Beth kept pace with five sailfish releases on Friday's fishing, but second place belongs to Caramba while Home Run is in third place. Meat fish were also in the mix on Day Two of the CBC with Compromise bringing in a bull dolphin that weighed 56.4-pounds. The slab mahi was reeled in by 16-year old angler Steven Craig. Dem Boys fished back-to-back days but found some blackfin tuna to weigh-in and Tommy Hancock took over the top spot with his 25.4-pound tuna. The Day One wahoo from Christy II in Georgetown held up thru Day Two and that Hoo caught by David Mabry weighed 30.7-pounds. Twenty-five boats will be fishing on Day Three of the Carolina Billfish Classic.

Kirkley Russell and his 19.2-pound HOO

Reel Passion / Day Two
To view past blog entries from the 2012 CBC click here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

2012 Carolina Billfish Classic - Day One Fishing

Zac Naramore with his blackfin tuna for Dem Boys

The Toler's Cove fuel dock staff

Holly McAlhany and John Votaw from Syked Out

CBC staff with Deidre Menefee
A total of seven boats went fishing on Thursday; five out of Georgetown and two out of Mount Pleasant. Four boats released two sailfish apiece, creating a tie at 400 points apiece for Dem Boys, Syked Out, Blue Sky and Rascal. (Based on time of release, Blue Sky is in first place after Day One) The majority of the Gov. Cup fleet will be fishing Friday and Saturday, with weigh-ins at Toler's Cove beginning each day at 5 p.m., followed by a dinner at Gold Bug Island. The meatfish results place Anne Brady Moore Carlson (21-pounds) atop the dolphin standings, while fishing from Rascal out of Georgetown. Top wahoo (30.7-pounds) goes to David Mabry on the Christy II fishing from Georgetown. For tuna it was Zac Naramore on Dem Boys weighing in one 6.4-pound blackfin tuna to lead in that category.

To view past blog entries from the 2012 CBC click here.

2012 Carolina Billfish Classic - Capt. Meeting

Custom LEHI baits for the CBC and Memorial Reef
Just 7 of the 26-boat fleet of Gov. Cup participants elected to fish on Thursday. The weigh-in at Toler's Cove will begin at 5 p.m., with the majority of the boats fishing on Saturday and Sunday. The Wednesday night Captain's Meeting featured a a large show of support for SCDNR including the Chairman of the Board, the Executive Director, and the top leadership from the Marine Resources Division and the Law Enforcement Division. A catered supper allowed the anglers to enjoy the great weather outdoors as the sun set on the ICW next to Gold Bug Island. Plenty of event sponsors were on hand to support the CBC, and donations for the Friday night Memorial Reef benefit were flooding in. Check back here soon for updates from Thursday's weigh-in including fish photos.

Governor's Cup fellowship at Gold Bug Island

 Anglers line up for Jamie Westendorf catering

Artwork by Amanda McLenon  for dolphin winner
To view past blog entires from the 20120 CBC click here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Release Marine at Carolina Billfish Classic

Release Marine SPF-shirt  in action
Long known for their fighting chairs and rocket launchers, Release Marine of Savannah, Georgia is supporting the 2012 Carolina Billfish Classic again this year. Release Marine has donated a step box to the Friday night auction to benefit the S.C. Memorial Reef, and they have worked with tourney manager Deidre Menefee both in Charleston and in Savannah. New for 2012 is the Release Marine clothing line of performance fishing wear that made their S.C. debut at the Georgetown Governor's Cup. The boat Trust Fun is the flagship for Release Marine in 2012, and while they are north of Charleston presently, they hope to make it back to port soon. You can check out Release Marine apparel at the Atlantic Tackle booth at the CBC for long-sleeve SPF shirts with a depiction of a Release fighting chair on the back. For a wider selection of clothes for both men and women, visit their online store to check out golf shirts, pullovers, visors, hats and fun t-shirts like the one with Trust Fun on it!  The Carolina Billfish Classic will be fished out of Tolers' Cove Marina and nightly events will be held at Gold Bug Island. Weigh-ins will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This year's CBC t-shirt is titled 'Ocen King' and is by John Carroll Doyle.

Artist is John Carroll Doyle

Sam Peters of Release Marine and CBC's Deidre Menefee

Trust Fun performance shirt and Release Marine hat
For past blog entries about the 2012 Governor's Cup click here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lowcountry Fishing Report - 6/26/2012

Fishing Report for the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina:
Charleston Inshore Report:

Chris Tierney and friend with a nice Spanish mackerel
Scott Hammond at Haddrell's Point West asks Have you walked the dog lately?? He explains that he means the topwater 'walk of the dog' since that bite is ON! Early in the morning and late in the evening are the times to cast a Super Spook Jr. or a Ba-Donk-A-Donk in mullet color / pattern. Trout are still being found in great numbers, and while many of them are juveniles, reports of 20 to 50-fish per trip have been common when using live shrimp, mud minnows or D.O.A. shrimp under a popping cork. Redfish have been a little sporadic, which is nothing new during summer weather, but anglers can locate them under docks at low tide and along grass edges with shell rakes at high tide. Spanish mackerel are falling for #00 Clarkspoons both in the harbor and just outside the inlets. Tarpon reports have begun at locations like the jetties, north edisto inlet and Bull's Bay. Bait up with a large mullet to entice the silver king! For all the latest seminar information visit Haddrells Point.

Bart Manly at the Market Street location of The Charleston Angler just finished up a week of fishing down at Edisto. He reports that the water temps at the end of June are hovering in the low to middle-80's. Redfish are still feeding around structure at low tide and moving up into the flats at high tide. The trout bite has improved where there is a good current with most of the fish in the 11 to 13-inch range. Flounder are being caught on artificials like the Zman Paddlerz in shrimp color, and the D.O.A. shrimp in chartreuse. Fly fishermen have seen tailing tides with regularity, and should use a stealthy approach for best results when redfish are keying in on their prey up on the flats. Bart also says that fly anglers should target the schools of ladyfish in the harbor right now for multiple strikes, setting up a dance with this acrobatic fighter that is also known as the poor man's tarpon. Sharks are chewing really well in the surf zone when using cut mullet. For all the latest seminar information visit the Internet at Charleston Angler.

Charleston Offshore Report: Bart reports that the offshore results have not slowed down one bit, since good weather allowed lots of bluewater trips, which yielded a good amount of dolphin and wahoo. Billfish are being caught regularly in deeper waters, but they can be a bit spotty to locate. In the nearshore fishery the cobia bite is ongoing and the spanish mackerel and bluefish have moved in to provide light tackle excitement.

A long stretch of good weather gave Scott's customers multiple chances to get out to the bluewaters of the Gulf Stream. Reports of 10 to 20-dolphin per trip are common, with the fish in as close as 120-feet of water all the way out to 1000-feet. Sailfish have begun to show up in good concentrations from 350 to 600-feet of water. For bottom fishing, large black sea bass have been easy pickings in 55 to 100-feet of water. The grouper bite is also strong over live bottom around 90 to 120-feet when using cigar minnows and live pinfish.

To view past Lowcountry fishing reports click here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Lowcountry Anglers inshore tourney

Brandon Riley with his second-place flounder
Tom Benton took 2nd and 3rd for sheepshead
One of the largest fishing clubs in the Charleston area held their annual inshore fishing tournament, which began with a Captain's Meeting at the Maritime Center complete with a fundraising auction. Categories included trout, flounder, bluefish, sheepshead, black sea bass, spadefish, spanish mackerel and king mackerel. Beautiful weather on Saturday June 23 greeted the anglers who set out to target these fish from the tidal creeks on out into the nearshore fishery. These experienced anglers brought back coolers that were full of harvested fish, since the tournament awards three places per category. While many outstanding sportsmen were involved this day, Lowcountry Outdoors would like to give special recognition to angler Brandon Riley, for releasing his trout alive after the weigh-in at the Maritime Center. It's not easy to keep three nice trout alive in your baitwell all day, and then it's a pain to fill a 48-quart cooler full of seawater and tote it to the weigh station on the pier. But that's what Riley did, and right after getting these fish weighed, he took them back down the dock and released them! Riley knows that despite a mild winter in 2012, trout populations were hit very hard during the previous two winters, and clearly he feels he should continue to steward their comeback. Riley took first place with his 3.96-pound trout, and besides being named the Outstanding Male Angler for this tourney, he deserves a special shout out from other anglers who support conservation of our fisheries by supporting catch and release tactics. Riley also released three bluefish after the weigh-in and he elected to keep three flounder for supper. Other winners included first-place flounder for Clay Lemly with his first-place 4.58-pound flattie, Alex Pennekamp for first-place sheepshead with his 9.34-pound sheepie, Brandon Riley for his first-place 1.52-pound bluefish, Bob Ogden for his first-place 2.22-pound black sea bass, Doug Hoover for his first-place 6.92-pound spadefish, Chris Tierney for his first-place 4.22-pound spanish mackerel and youth angler Andrew Olsen for his first-place 19.8-pound king mackerel.

David Jones with his 3.58-pound trout

Nick Stallsmith, Jeffrey Pierce, Hunter Hames
To view past blog entries from the Lowcountry Anglers click here.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 James Island King Mackerel Tourney

John Barnwell, Teddy Gilbreth and Parks Smith : 2012 champs

Patriotic Tourney T-shirt

Jessica Britt from Yard Boy 

 JIYC member Bobby Watkins and son Robbie
Something in the neighborhood of 30 boats fished for king mackerel on Saturday June 23 out of the James Island Yacht Club, which debuted their brand new dock/pier! It should be noted that lots of the 'heavy-hitters' of competition king fishing were out of town fishing the Little River tourney. That being said, first place went to the crew of the Storm Along, a 20-foot Sea Hunt, when angler Parks Smith reeled in a nice 31.8-pound king. Their smoker king was first to the scales at 3 p.m. and held up to win the competition that pays out for the first five places. Lady angler Jessica Britt weighed in a fine 26.95-pound king while fishing from Yard Boy, and she reports that was the only bite they had all day. Other boats reported a slow kingfish bite as well, but Sheldon Peeples aboard Local Talent managed to reel in a respectable 22.8-pounder. With a new inshore division added in 2011 consisting of trout, flounder and sheepshead, a few anglers brought those fish to the scales, with lots of James island yacht club members participating in smaller boats, which always adds to the fun.

To view a photo of the winning king from 2011 JIYC tourney click here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wahoo, Mahi and Tilefish aboard Lil' Bit

Glen Allen, angler Griffie Loy and first mate Coy Myers

Sand Tilefish jigged up from the Edisto Banks

Coy with a 'Cuda

Griffie Loy and angler Glen Allen
The weather for the week for June 18 - 23 can only be described as perfect, since it provided a window for offshore anglers to prepare and execute a blue water excursion. Captain Pete Loy and his regular crew took a few family and friends on the Lil' Bit to try for marlin and more. A blue marlin was spotted in the back of the bait spread at 10:20 but the fish did not eat, and a sailfish was spotted a short time later with the same cruise-through mentality. The wahoo responded well in the afternoon over the ledge and several fish were lost due to cut-offs while two nice wahoo came to the gaff! A barracuda, a mahi mahi and a sand tilefish rounded out the saltwater species that were reeled in by the crew that slipped offshore on a Friday to start the weekend off right!

To view past fishing reports with Lil' Bit click here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guy Harvey World Headquarters visit

Beautiful redfish license plate

Guy Harvey golf bag

Guy Harvey beach bag

Guy Harvey HAWG!!
If you are passing through Davie (in South Florida), then plan to stop by the flagship store for the World Headquarters of Guy Harvey Inc., and be prepared to see a full array of marine-related artwork. From Guy Harvey t-shirts, to beach towels and even iron patio furniture, it's all here. Memorabilia from Dr. Guy Harvey's achievements are framed and on the wall for visitors to view. Some interesting facts about Dr. Harvey include that he is originally from Jamaica, but currently resides in Grand Cayman. Guy's parents were both accomplished anglers and they introduced him to fishing at a young age. His wife's name is Gillian and they have two kids, Jessica and Alex. Guy's favorite fish is the blue marlin, and favorite sports include water polo, scuba diving and fishing. Back on land Guy likes the shooting sports and birdwatching. Guy's favorite medium is watercolor but he is well versed in sketching and photography. Guy is a marine biologist with a PhD in fish biology, and he founded the Guy Harvey Research Institute in 1999 and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation in 2008. Dr. Harvey has said that it takes cash to care about about the oceans, that's why a percentage of customer purchases goes to benefit conservation work. While in the store pick up the Responsible Seafood Guide that is available, to promote the sustainable seafood initiative. There is lots of merchandise to see inside the World Headquarters store including Guy Harvey coffee, tervis tumblers, women's clothing, prints, pillows, technical shirts , books and so much more. If you can't get there but wish to order some of these items, you can call Maria in the store at 954-581-0073. She is very helpful, and she especially likes the sound of a southern accent! Many thanks to the staff at the HQ for giving me a tour of their offices while providing a deeper understanding of their mission.

To see a past blog entry about Guy Harvey in Charleston click here.
To view blog entries about Guy Harvey Magazine click here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inaugural Savannah Tall Ships Challenge

Indonesian Naval vessel Dewaruci arrives in Savannah

Indonesian cadets entertain the Tall Ships Challenge crowd

It's been a while since the Tall Ships have been on display in the Holy City of Charleston, but our sister city to the South held their Inaugural event to celebrate Tall Ships in May. To view my article on the Savannah Tall Ships Challenge during May in Savannah, click on All At Sea.

To view past blog entries from Harbor Fest click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

International Game Fish Association - HQ visit

Billfish statue outside IGFA Headquarters

IGFA Hall of Fish in the museum

While in South Florida for snook fishing, a first-ever visit to IGFA headquarters seemed like a worthy endeavor. The IGFA building is three stories tall, with the bottom two floors consisting of a large museum dedicated to the history of fishing. Many thanks to to the IGFA media team for giving me a tour of their extensive offices, and explaining the IGFA's latest outreach campaigns. The IGFA has a vast reach around the globe, monitoring fisheries and recording world records for game fish. A huge collection of fishing artwork graces the walls of the IGFA, and I can report Charleston's John Carroll Doyle has notched a spot in that display! The IGFA museum is quite impressive with it's Hall Of Fish (mounts) and the corresponding exhibits explaining tackle, tactics and the history of angling. Fast forward to modern technology, and the IGFA has put out a call for assistance in developing their latest IGFA App to recognize fish species. They ask for IGFA members to submit photos of their fish, because it takes a lot of photos to perfect the recognition app. Cheers to the IGFA for the parternship work they do with other organizations such as Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust.

To view past blog entries about record fish in S.C. click here.
Marlin mount outside IGFA HQ
Example of fish pics that IGFA requests

Monday, June 18, 2012

2012 Big Rock Tourney - Flybuoy Wins

Owner Gary Davis, Captain Hollingsworth,
Angler Todd Baxley and Kathy with the 

winning blue marlin at the 54th Big Rock
Once again, a sportfisher based out of Charleston, S.C. has won The Big Rock blue marlin tournament.  A fleet of 120-boats fishing out of Morehead City, N.C. elect to fish four out of six days to determine the winner for heaviest blue marlin. With great weather on Day One, Monday June 11 the Flybuoy found a good fish, one that would exceed the tournament minimums of 400-pounds or 110-inches in length. Angler Todd Baxley was able to bring the blue marlin to the boat where his crew could successfully land it. After arriving back in port, the blue marlin weighed 499.3-pounds, and despite five more days of fishing, the Day One marlin held up to make Flybuoy the winners of the 54th edition of The Big Rock. Flybuoy is owned by Gary Davis, and the captain is Robert Hollingsworth. Angler Todd Baxley was the designated angler and wife Kathy was a part of the crew on Monday, and the Baxley's are a regular fixture at the S.C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series. Other Charleston-based boats to win the Big Rock include Artemis (2008), Bak Bar (2007), Pipe Layer (1997), Diamond Girl (1989) and Summertime Blues (2000) which still holds the all-time heaviest blue marlin record at Big Rock with their 831-pound blue marlin! Over 50 billfish were caught and released by the Big Rock fleet and Benchmark out of Charleston recorded a Grand Slam by releasing a blue marlin, white marlin and a sailfish all on Day One, which is a rare feat.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

2012 World Sea Turtle Day

Guy Harvey's artwork of a Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Saturday June 16 is celebrated as World Sea Turtle Day, and it is fitting since this species has a global appeal. Locally, it's the loggerhead sea turtle that is the most common and the 'Lights Out' at night campaign has been ingrained on Lowcountry residents for decades now. Summertime means sea turtle nesting season and beachcombers are likely to find turtle tracks and turtle nests on the area's barrier islands. Anglers report sea turtle sightings with regularity, and this can include other species as well. I remember one day in the nearshore waters fishing for king mackerel when four or five Leatherback sea turtles came up for a bit of air on their way northward, showing me just how LARGE they are! Back on land, Charleston is blessed to be home to the Sea Turtle Hospital at the S.C. Aquarium, a program that is quietly doing great things not only to help sick turtles recover and return to the ocean, but also to raise awareness about the plight of sea turtles. Did you know that plastic grocery bags (which become pollution in the ocean) are often eaten by sea turtles thinking they are jellyfish - which can cause their death. South Carolina's DNR is conducting summer 'turtle cruises' to perform research on sea turtle's along the coastal waters. Of course, no one locally or worldwide wants anything to happen to these leisurely-oriented creatures which are a vital part of the oceanic ecosystem. Sea turtles are an evolutionary success story, and stand a great chance to continue to populate the world's oceans far into the future.

Two loggerhead sea turtles on Kiawah Island

Guy Harvey Insider and Kelly Thorvalson, turtle biologist

Based in Charleston, South Carolina
To view past blog entires about S.C. sea turtles click here.