Mark Daniels and his crew aboard Daymaker prefer pulling dead ballyhoo when bluewater fishing.

"As a result, you can catch everything, from a big Spanish (mackerel) to a blue marlin," Daniels said. "You have a chance to see a lot more fish."

Including an occasional big dolphin.

Such was the case during the recent Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament, the final leg of Governor's Cup Billfishing Series. On the first day of competition, Daymaker hooked up with a big bull dolphin.

"We saw it leap and everyone knew it was a good-sized fish," said Daniels, a Greenville resident and owner of Daymaker, which fishes out of Georgetown.

Ryan Riggs of Wando, mate aboard the boat, was perched next to the lucky rod.

Capt. Jay Weaver quickly backed down on the dolphin, and within five minutes, it was gaffed and in the boat. It barely fit in the cooler, but no one knew they had a potential state-record catch until they returned to the docks that evening.

"We guessed all kinds of different weights, from the upper 50s to the upper 60s," Weaver said. "In the end, it surprised all of us."

Riggs' catch, which was 65 inches long, weighed in at 77½ pounds, eclipsing by more than 3 pounds the 14-year-old state record caught by William Etheredge of Columbia.

"I'm excited, but I'm more excited for everyone else on the boat - they deserve just as much credit," Riggs said. "It was very much a team effort. Everyone did plenty to help catch him."

The catch highlighted a big tournament for Daymaker, which also caught the biggest wahoo of the event (44.4 pounds) and finished as the top billfish boat, catching seven sailfish in two days of fishing.