Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Governor's Cup Runneth Over with 25th Anniversary in 2013

The South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series 
greyhounds into its 25th anniversary season
 with its sights set squarely on the conservation of billfish species.
Leave it to the recreational angling leaders at the Coastal Conservation Association to help lead the cheers for the 25th Anniversary season of the S.C. Governor's Cup. My article in the July / August issue of CCA's TIDE magazine is titled 'The Governor's Cup Runneth Over,' and publishes right in the thick of the 2013 Billfishing Series. The Georgetown, Bohicket and Carolina Billfish Classic tourneys are in the books, and July 10 marks the start of the MegaDock tourney, with the Edisto tourney slated for late July. This is the fifth year of full Gov. Cup coverage on Lowcountry Outdoors, and this article provided me another opportunity to partner with the S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources to raise awareness about the high release rates found in the Governor's Cup Series.

CCA Membership INFO here!
Wallace Jenkins is a long time SCDNR biologist and enters his sixth year as Program Coordinator for the S.C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. “We are really looking forward to the 25th Anniversary competition this summer,” said Jenkins. “In 2012 we recorded 300 billfish releases which is a record for the Series. The breakdown was 58 blue marlin, 32 white marlin and 210 sailfish. Furthermore, the SCDNR data set for pelagic angling goes back to 1977, calculating catch per unit effort.” The S.C. data is shared with the highly migratory species division of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Memorial Reef sidebar with article
Locals love to come down to the daily meatfish weigh-ins each day to enjoy the universal camaraderie of the Lowcountry saltwater lifestyle. The Billfishing Series keeps track of heaviest tuna, dolphin and wahoo on tournament days, even though billfish are the intended species. Bluewater bycatch is always good for a smile, and some filets for the dinner table too.

Captain Pete Loy of Lil-Bit is both a CCA-SC board member and a Governor’s Cup board member. “The missions of these two groups overlap in their efforts to conserve species and promote angling opportunities. The residents of S.C. are blessed with access to these offshore natural resources, and we are now charged with utilizing all the data collected in order to educate the next generation about conservation so that they might share in similar offshore experiences.”

To view past articles I wrote for CCA click on TIDE.

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