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2016 Edisto Invitational, Release Timing, Decides Governor’s Cup

Syked Out wins Edisto Invitational, returns flying billfish release flags Photo by Jeff Dennis.

Syked Out wins Edisto Invitational, returns flying billfish release flags Photo by Jeff Dennis.

The Marina at Edisto Beach has made some great strides to bring the right mix of competitive fishing and family fun to the 2016 Edisto Invitational. Three days of sizzling bluewater fishing served to shine a spotlight on just how good this venue can be, as it decides future winners for years to come. After the 27-boat fleet was done fishing, Syked Out won the Edisto Invitational tournament, and Sportin’ Life won the entire 2016 Governor’s Cup Series.
In order to earn points over the Series, fishing boats practice releasing billfish, which is then tied to the actual time of release. For instance, if a boat releases one sailfish at 8 a.m. and another boat releases one sailfish at 9 a.m. causing a tie in points at the end of fishing, the first release is deemed the winner. Sportin’ Life won the 2016 Series by the narrowest of margins, ending tied with two other boats for points, but winning based on their time of release.
Based out of Charleston, Sportin’ Life is owned by Manly and Graham Eubank, a father-and-son team that has been fishing in the Governor’s Cup for two decades. For Captain Bobby Garmany, it was his first time at the helm of a Series winner, so the crew gave him an especially rousing icewater bucket dump when back at the dock on Saturday afternoon. This group went fishing with lots on the line Saturday, after battling some mechanical issues on Friday that only served to fuel the dock talk that is always part of any big money tournament scenario.
Two other boats named Rascal and Electric Bill had an opportunity to surpass the points total posted by Sportin’ Life, but after a frenetic day of fishing on Saturday, it was a dead heat for points. Keep in mind that offshore fishing boats make regular reports to tournament officials about when they release any billfish, so while the crews are out of cell phone range from family and friends, their sense of what is happening on the water in real time is palpable. Each team wanted to win, but congrats to Sportin’ Life for finishing strong, and holding off the competition.
The Edisto Invitational tournament winner is another boat from Charleston named Syked Out, and owned by David Sykes. They enjoyed two days of impressive billfishing, releasing two blue marlin and six sailfish for a total of 2,400 points. Rascal, based out of Georgetown, finished in second place for the Edisto Invitational with 1,600 points for releasing one blue marlin and five sailfish. Mount Pleasant boat Electric Bill took third place in the Edisto Invitational for releasing two blue marlin and two sailfish, good for 1,600
points. Rascal and Electric Bill finished second and third respectively in the Governor’s Cup Series as well.
Other winners at the Edisto Invitational are determined by the daily meatfish weigh-in for tuna, wahoo and dolphin. First place tuna went to Frayed Knot and angler James Pederson for a 14.5-pound blackfin tuna, and second place tuna went to Legal Holiday for angler Thomas Barrow’s 12.6-pounder. First place wahoo went to Bad Becky based out of Edisto Marina, after angler Robert Gill brought in a 64.9-pound HOO, with second place going to angler Lovick Hornsby on Hay Fever, for a 50.9-pound wahoo.
The first place dolphin weighed 32.8-pounds and was caught from Sea Tiger, based out of Charleston. Angler Jerry Smith caught the winning dolphin and he also serves as boat owner and Captain on Sea Tiger. The second place dolphin weighed 29.6-pounds and was caught by Ross Miller fishing from Gryphon. The Lady Angler award goes to Kayse Dantzler aboard Dough Boy for releasing a blue marlin and a sailfish. The Youth Angler award goes to Rance Jennings fishing from Micabe for releasing three sailfish.
When each day of fishing is complete, the evening activities in Bay Creek Park begin, including nightly meals catered by Pressley’s Restaurant. A large tent is home to a dance floor and live music, while a DJ entertains the crowd in between bands so that line dancers can have some fun too. Vendor tents sold items that ranged from jewelry to artwork, with lots of kid stuff too like the marshmallow cannons that were such a big hit. In fact, marina manager Brian Bell made sure to have an emphasis on kids in the park this year with face painting, cotton candy and more.
The Town of Edisto Beach and Colleton County are seeing returns on the investments made into Bay Creek Park, and visitors couldn’t help but notice the large wooden permanent stage under construction now for the Beach Music and Shag Fest on September 2 – 4, featuring bands like the Shag Doctorz. This stage will benefit the Edisto Invitational for years to come, as tourney organizers look to build on the successes of 2016, by reeling in bigger sponsors and providing more economic support for all of Edisto.

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at LowcountryOutdoors.com

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (280 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com