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Third Edisto Dolphin Slam sees Big Mahi Bite


Mark Brown and Lance Stroble with their winning fish at Edisto. Photo by Jeff Dennis

Mark Brown and Lance Stroble with their winning fish at Edisto. Photo by Jeff Dennis

The offshore fishing season is kicking in right on cue, and the third annual Dolphin Slam at the Marina at Edisto Beach was a big success. The only thing better was the offshore bite, with boatload after boatload of medium-sized dolphin coming to the docks during the Saturday afternoon weigh-in. Walterboro angler Mark Brown finished in the top spot by weighing in the heaviest dolphin at 35.2-pounds, while fishing on the Struck Out II.
It was only April 30, but the large crowd at the Marina at Edisto and the number of fishing boats participating made this event seem like something more likely found during the middle of summer. A windy couple of weeks in early April kept offshore anglers bottled up in port, but by the end of the month the winds subsided and the ocean became docile again. On Sunday, April 23 many offshore anglers reported large catches of dolphin, and every day of the week thereafter too.
The Captain’s Meeting at 6 p.m. on Friday afternoon is when most of the boats signed up to fish on Saturday, with a favorable offshore forecast clearly in sight. Brian Bell is the manager at the marina and he said only about 8 boats had signed up before the meeting and that 44 boats ended up fishing on Saturday. “The Lord blessed our fleet with good weather and good fishing,” said Bell. “Calm seas allows for the smaller boats like a 23-footer to get out there and compete and have some fun.”
It takes a team to put on a successful tournament and Bell emphasizes that Becca Boykin should get much of the credit for handling all the registration duties as well as being the official scorer during the weigh-in. Marina staffer Larry Darby was running the ship’s store with wife and Edisto Mayor Jane Darby on standby as a volunteer. Other volunteers include Mary Evelyn Fontaine and weigh-in emcee Darrin Moore, who kept that crowd entertained during the weigh-in from 3 to 6.
While there were lots of dolphin coming to the docks, most of them were smaller teenager fish, with a body weight less than 20 pounds. So the early leader was a 24.9-pounder that held up until about 5 p.m. when the Struck Out II pulled into the fuel dock. Their 38-foot Fountain boat is powered by three 300-horsepower Mercury engines, and their six-man crew were all smiles after a productive day of fishing, not knowing they were about to weigh-in the heaviest dolphin and collect over $10,000 in prize money.
When Mark Brown’s winning dolphin bottomed out the scales at 35.2 pounds, it was clearly the biggest mahi of the day. When fellow crew member Lance Stroble weighed in his wahoo at 28.1, he won that category, giving the Struck Out II a double win. Owners Jonathan Carter and Captain Jeremy Carter had lots to celebrate with crewmember Cotton Floyd and mate Ty Odum, who shared that they were steadily catching fish all day long, showing just how good the dolphin bite was going that day.
Finishing in second place for the Dolphin Slam was the boat Pine Monkey, when angler Mark Hales weighed in a 27.3-pound mahi, and Captain Frampton Ferguson picked up the second-place payout of $2,640. Third place in the Dolphin Slam went to angler Will Medlin of Bamberg for his 26.4-pound dolphin, earning a payday of $880 for his fishing team named Joint Venture. There were a few youth anglers weighing fish in for the Dolphin Slam and congrats to Jackson Smith, age 11, for bringing a 25.3-pound mahi to the scales while fishing on Dealer’s Choice.
With the summer saltwater fishing season getting off to a great start, don’t forget to mark your calendar for the next event at the Marina at Edisto Beach. “We have our annual cobia tournament coming up on Saturday May 14, and we want spectators to know that we’ll have live entertainment on the docks again like at the Dolphin Slam,” said Brian Bell. The Captain’s meeting is set for May 13 at 6 p.m. and the weigh-in on Saturday afternoon will be fun to watch. See you there!

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

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (327 Posts)

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