South Carolina Billfishing & Offshore Report

Cameron J. Rhodes | May 2021

SC Wahoo Series

If you’ve been keeping tabs on social media accounts or reports over the radio, you’ve likely heard about some pretty impressive wahoo hitting the scales this spring. Reports have been relatively consistent, with many large wahoo, blackfin tuna, and even yellowfin tuna making their way into the box.

Anglers up and down South Carolina’s coast have been enjoying fresh sashimi, poke, fillets, and steaks. In addition to this bevvy of excellent table fare, fishermen had a chance at winning some alluring cash prizes in the 2021 South Carolina Wahoo Series.

The Series offered a first place prize of $40,000 this year, with cash winnings guaranteed through 11th place. A total of 180 boats competed for that pot of cash as well as other nice prizes. By the time of publication, a winner will have been announced.

Competing in the SC Wahoo Series has numerous perks. Participating teams get to pick three days to fish and are allowed to weigh 1 wahoo per day, with the two heaviest weights added for total points. This year, fish days ran from February 19, 2021 through April 24, 2021.

Each team could select whatever fish days were best for them. The SC Wahoo Series website proudly boasts, “take the bad weather out of the equation!” It’s a great format, especially when considering work schedules and snotty conditions.

In early April, Stranglehold and Captain Chas Shiels of Statesboro, Georgia were in the lead with a 68.5 lb wahoo, a 81.1 lb wahoo, and still another day to fish. Game Hawg and Captain Jerry Fehlig of Conway, South Carolina were holding onto second with a 69 lb wahoo and a 75.3 lb wahoo.

Many boats were still in the running, so the competition remained fierce. Multiple fish in the 50 to 80 lb range made it back to the dock for weigh-in, with one fish tipping the scales at a whopping 98.2 lbs! That monster hoo was caught aboard the Reel Happy with Captain Mark Huggins at the helm.

Game Hawg

Be sure to visit https://www.scwahooseries.com/ to get Series results and to learn more about other similar tournaments in South Carolina.

Dolphin & Wahoo Management

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the body responsible for management of dolphin and wahoo along the Atlantic coast of the United States, is considering actions that would change dolphin and wahoo recreational bag limits and vessel limits, as well as other items, in Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10. These management measures will certainly affect offshore fishermen in South Carolina.

Holly McAlhany of the Syked Out

The Council will consider the amendment for final approval at their upcoming June meeting that will be held from June 14-18, so be sure to review the actions and provide public comment on what’s being proposed. Visit https://safmc.net/amendments-under-development/dolphin-wahoo-amendment-10/ for more information.

SC Governor’s Cup

As you’re reading this, the blue water fishing community is gearing up for the 53rd Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament, the first leg of this year’s South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. Don’t miss a bite! Be sure to follow along at http://govcup.dnr.sc.gov/ or the Gov Cup’s Facebook or Instagram accounts.

Due to marina construction and repairs, both the Megadock Billfishing Tournament and the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament have been cancelled. The Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament, the Carolina Billfish Classic, and the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament are moving forward as scheduled.

Until next time, tight lines! – Cameron

– Over the last several years, Cameron Rhodes has served as the official photographer and social media manager for the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. Utilizing her Bachelor’s degrees in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami, Cameron also works in federal fisheries management as an outreach and communication specialist. While she is very proud of all of this work, Cameron is most excited about sharing the stories, experiences, and expertise of fishermen. She is not the expert here, but will instead be sharing news and information from those who know these waters best.

 

 

All Photo’s for this article unless noted are courtesy of Cameron Rhodes/SC Governor’s Cup

 

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