|Robert Rodelsperger off the Miss Wy|
If it’s late July it is time for some of the hottest weather of the summer, and is also time for the Edisto Marina Billfish Tournament. All of Edisto Beach is a winner during the Governor’s Cup week and this is the 26th year for the tournament. Organizer Becca Smith worked tirelessly before the event lining up sponsors and signing up the fishing boats that bring so much fun to the docks. Congratulations to Trick ‘Em (48) for winning the Edisto Tourney by releasing three blue marlin and one sailfish.
|Girls just want to have fun at the Edisto Governor's Cup|
Everyone assembles at the Edisto Marina on Wednesday, with the sportfishing boats getting assigned their slips, and the boatload of anglers settling in to their rental beach houses. Edisto Beach mayor Burly Lyons helped to kick off the afternoon Captain’s Meeting in Big Bay Park, and a blessing of the fleet asked for calm seas and BIG fish. Despite a frog strangler thunderstorm during the weigh in on Friday, the fishing weather were just fine.
|Blackfin tuna from My Three Sons|
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources runs the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. A total of five of these events take place during the summer up and down the S.C. coast and a Series winner is determined using a points system for billfish releases. Since this tourney was held in Colleton County the SCDNR Game Wardens on site for license checks and crowd control included J.P. Jones, Kevin Ryan and Blake Graham. SCDNR Exec. Dir. Alvin Talyor and Col. Chisolm Frampton were also on hand. SCDNR’s Wally Jenkins, Amy Dukes and Willie LaDue attend each tourney and provide continuity for all of the Governor’s Cup events.
Day One of fishing on Thursday saw the Series leading boat named Rascal, go out and release a blue marlin and a sailfish to take the early lead. Owner Norman Pulliam of Spartanburg is an SCDNR Board Member and a longtime Governor’s Cup participant. Co-owner Foster McKissick and the veteran crew on Rascal realized that they were in a good position, and ends up their points tally held on to earn them the Best Billfish Boat title for the 2014 Governor's Cup Series.
|Shark Bite Wahoo for Wes Frierson on Rascal|
At the weigh in scales on Day Two a large 31.4-pound mahi caught by Fred Bergen Jr. aboard Legal Holiday jumped into the lead, and the first blackfin tuna was weighed in by Voodoo Child and angler Susan Daly, which tipped the scales at 18.8-pounds. A wahoo did come to the scales on Day Three and angler Poe Ratteree took home the top spot with his 22.5-pounder caught from the Christy II. Congrats to these meatfish category winners.
The largest crowd of spectators waited to assemble on Saturday during the weigh in from 5 until 7, and they were not disappointed. A band played on the deck at the marina, as patrons inside Pressley’s Restaurant looked down on the docks. It was hot and muggy right through the afternoon in into the awards ceremony after dark in Big Bay Park. The tide was ebbing, the sun was setting, and the summer was waning but all was well on that Lowcountry evening that served to offer a final salute to the fishing fun.
To read this article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
To view more photos form the 2014 Edisto Tourney click on Gov. Cup Lifestyle or Island Life.
To view past blog entries from the Gov. Cup finale at Edisto click 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.