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Trick ‘Em wins Edisto Tourney; Rascal wins Governor’s Cup Series

Robert Rodelsperger with his 18-4-pound mahi from the Miss Wy. Photo by Jeff Dennis

Robert Rodelsperger with his 18-4-pound mahi from the Miss Wy.
Photo by Jeff Dennis

If it’s late July it is time for some of the hottest weather of the summer, and its 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 exent 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.

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.

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.

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. Other action on Day One included Miss Wy releasing three sailfish and My Three Sons releasing one sailfish.

On Day Two the Rascal chose not to fish, and all boats have a choice to make about fishing days, choosing two out of three. Trick ‘Em (48) went out that day and released a blue marlin and a sailfish, following up their recent win at the MegaDock Billfish tourney in Charleston. SCDNR’s Wally Jenkins and Amy Dukes attend all of the events and provide continuity to all of the Governor’s Cup events.

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. Both of these fish held up after Day Three of fishing to claim their heaviest meatfish divisions, but no wahoo were brought to the dock on Day One or Day Two.

On Day Three the fishing fleet went back to the deep blue sea in search of a billfish, and it was Trick ‘Em (48) that kept the hot hand releasing two more blue marlin to add to their Day Two total. They took the Edisto tourney lead from Rascal, which did release one sailfish on Day Three, winning the 2014 Edisto Tourney by a nice margin. Rascal finished in second place for the Edisto tourney and Daymaker finished in third place with one blue marlin and one sailfish released.

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. Another wahoo came to the docks when angler Wes Frierson brought a BIG wahoo that had suffered a BIG shark bite from an oceanic shark. Frierson told me that he saw the shark bite his trophy wahoo and thinks it was a thresher shark. The big wahoo would have almost certainly been a winner if it had not been eaten by that shark, so it’s tough luck, but that’s fishing.

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.

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

 

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (288 Posts)

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