By Zachary Granat
The Carolina Billfish Classic, part of the South Carolina Governor’s Cup, concluded June 25 with The Blue Sky winning first place. In second was the Showtime, followed by the Buddy Rowe in third.
These were just three of the 53 boats that participated in the tournament, which lasted from Wednesday June 22 to Saturday June 25 at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. Final registration ended on June 22, and the fishing itself lasted from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day from June 23 to June 25.
The Top Three
The winner of the Carolina Billfish Classic, the Blue Sky, is a 60-foot Spencer owned by Greg Smith and captained by Jay Weaver, both residents of Pawleys Island, South Carolina. This is not their first time competing in the Billfish Classic, or their first time winning first place, which they did in 2019. Then, it caught two blue marlin and three sailfish for a total of 1,800 points. This time, it caught two blue marlin and seven sailfish for a total of 2,600 points.
Andrew Dupps owns the Showtime, a 62-foot Spencer captained by Jon Meade. Their boat caught one blue marlin and eight sailfish for a total of 2,200 points. Back in 2021, Capt. Meade and his crew generously hosted the InTheBite team during the 53rd Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament.
The Buddy Rowe, a 57-foot Sunny Briggs owned by Todd Wigfield and captained by Cords Lucas, caught the first sailfish of Day Three at 8:57 a.m. With one blue marlin and seven sailfish, the Buddy Rowe scored a total of 2,000 points.
The Micabe caught the largest dolphin, a 51.8-pounder, and the Pistol had the largest tuna, a blackfin weighing 23.2 pounds. Out of the wahoo, The Syked Out‘s 41.2-pound catch was the largest.
The Syked Out also had the top female angler, Holly McAlhany, who caught four sailfish. Natalia Carolina and Kelly Kirkpatrick, both onboard the Showtime, caught three sailfish and two sailfish respectively.
As for the youth anglers, Sidney Thomas of the Sa Fix performed the best, catching one blue marlin and three sailfish. Woods Herring of the Glazed was right behind him with one blue marlin, while Jack Eudy of the Black Jack caught two sailfish.
Over the course of the whole event, participants released 99 billfish—a new record for the Carolina Billfish Classic—including 16 blue marlin and 83 sailfish.