Cameron J. Rhodes | September 2021
It’s hard to believe that the Gov Cup’s tournaments have wrapped up for the year. It was a whirlwind summer, even with only three tournaments in the Series. The final leg, the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament hosted at the Marina at Edisto Beach in late July, was an absolute blast.
As always, the folks in Edisto know how to put on a party. Live music each night made for a great atmosphere. That said, nothing could compete with the excitement on the docks – most notably the midnight arrival of Glazed and their boated blue marlin.
Communication had been relatively scarce between Glazed and tournament staff at the end of the day. Folks back at the dock knew that Glazed had been hooked up for a while and that the crew had confirmed they were fighting a big fish.
Miles Herring, the owner and captain of Glazed, provided updates when he could, but had to remain focused at the helm while angler Wilson Springs fought the fish into the evening. After an arduous fight that lasted roughly 6 hours, one in which leader was in hand numerous times, the crew boated the fish and made their way for the scales.
Around midnight, the crowd filled every available space surrounding the weigh station. Little kids clung to their parents’ hands as they watched Glazed and her tired but ecstatic crew come into view. A rumble of loud cheers and applause erupted from participants and spectators when the boat finally backed into the slip near the scale.
Staff with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources first measured the fish and officially qualified it for the tournament. Afterward, Miles Herring and his crew of family and friends stood by as the blue marlin was hoisted and weighed.
Anticipation built as the weigh master waited for the scale to settle. The announcer eventually called out across the dimly lit marina that the 117-inch blue marlin officially weighed in at 505 lbs and cheers erupted from the crowd again. This is the heaviest of two blue marlin to be weighed in the Series this year.
That evening, biologists sampled the fish, analyzing gut contents and determining sex. The head was also kept so that staff could later extract otoliths, or ear bones, to determine the fish’s age.
Once all samples had been collected, the crew processed the fish for consumption, cutting large chunks of meat that will be used to make smoked fish dip. It was after 3 AM when the crew and tournament staff finally hit their bunks.
Although their landed blue marlin didn’t earn Glazed the overall win of the tournament, the fish did bring in a fat check of nearly $90,000. The team certainly had much to celebrate!
Home Run, owned by Steve Mungo and captained by Grant Bentley, went on to win the entire event with 2 blue marlin releases and 2 sailfish releases. This win is special for the Home Run team – they’ve come very close to top spots in numerous Gov Cup tournaments in the past – but have fallen short based on time. This year, they won the event with 600 more points than the next highest scoring boat.
The overall Series winners are still unofficial at this point. They have yet to be approved by the Gov Cup’s Advisory Board of Directors. Once those results become official, we’ll be sure to share the news here.
To see a complete list of all of the winners during this year’s Carolina Billfish Classic, visit govcup.dnr.sc.gov.
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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