South Carolina Billfishing & Offshore Report – August –

Cameron J. Rhodes | August 2021

By the time this column hits newsstands, the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series will have wrapped up for the year. The final event, the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament, will have closed out the month of July and an unofficial winner of the Series will be sitting at the top of the fleet.

We’ll cover all of that exciting news next month. For now, let’s take a look back at the Carolina Billfish Classic, the second leg of the 2021 Series.

Weather on the first day of the tournament was pretty snotty offshore, so all 40 competing boats took a lay day. This collective lay day has become a welcome tradition at the tournament in recent years.

Participants and their families get to fully enjoy the amenities offered at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, grabbing refreshing cocktails (I highly recommend Geoffrey’s Mud Slide) and blackened mahi tacos all while lounging poolside. It’s tough to beat the special atmosphere and excellent company.

Although poolside activities can be tough to leave behind, each team eagerly pulled away from the dock on the second day of the tournament. The fleet had high hopes for a good bite. Fishing reports hadn’t been very promising leading up to the tournament, but each captain, mate, and angler had big dreams of big blues.

Fishing was tough. Some boats saw billfish but couldn’t get them to eat. Others suffered heartbreaking losses as fish broke off right before the leader was in hand. At the end of that first day of fishing, a total of 11 billfish had been released: 1 white marlin, 3 blue marlin, and 7 sailfish. The Lucid Interval had the lead with the first blue marlin release in the tournament, however the win was still up for grabs, especially if fishing improved.

Catch reports on the last day of fishing definitely did not rival what we saw earlier this season (think back to Georgetown’s blue marlin bite). That said, the fleet managed to find the fish and tally some points. None did this quite as well as Blue Sky, a 60-ft Spencer owned by Greg Smith and captained by Jay Weaver, and Glazed, a 58-ft Dean Johnson owned and captained by Miles Herring.

The Blue Sky had released a sail on the first day of fishing, but needed some additional points to catch up with the boats that already had blue marlin releases. It didn’t take long for them to close that gap. Just an hour after lines went in the water, Blue Sky released a blue marlin, launching them to the top of the fleet. At this point, no other boats had doubled up on fish – the Blue Sky had a real chance of holding onto the lead.

An hour or so after the Blue Sky released their blue marlin, Miles Herring and his crew of family and friends released their first fish of the tournament. The sailfish put points on the board, but Glazed needed 600 additional points to catch the Blue Sky’s lead. They released another sail just after noon, getting them 200 points closer to a tie.

An hour later, Glazed released a blue marlin with just under two hours left to fish the tournament. This brought their total to 1000 release points for two sailfish and a blue marlin. Just ten minutes later, the Blue Sky would release a second sail, bringing them to a total of 1000 points for two sailfish and a blue marlin as well.
Glazed went on to clinch the win based on time. A total of 9 blue marlin, 1 white marlin, and 19 sailfish were released during the tournament.

Glazed also took home the award for top youth angler for the second year in a row. Miles Herring’s 12-year-old son, Woods Herring, released both of the sailfish caught aboard the Glazed during the Carolina Billfish Classic.

To see a complete list of all of the winners during this year’s Carolina Billfish Classic, visit

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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