The first blue marlin brought to the scales in the past three years of the S.C. Governor's Cup Billfish Series highlighted the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament, which ended a 3-day run this past Saturday.

Game On, a Mount Pleasant-based boat captained by Bubba Roof, released a white marlin and a sailfish for 800 points and first place in the first leg of the Governor's Cup.

My Time Out, fishing out of Beaufort for Capt. Ty Cordray, finished second with 600 points for a blue-marlin release. Norman Pulliam's rascal also had 600 points for a blue-marlin release, but Cordray's boat won the tie-breaker for having the earlier of the two releases.

Blue Sky, a Georgetown-based boat captained by Steve Krammer, weighed in a 515-pound blue marlin on the third and final day of competition. The fish hit a Spanish mackerel bait rigged on a circle hook, and after a 40-minute fight with Bill Dial of Anderson in the chair, it was boated.

"I saw the blue marlin piling in on the Spanish mackerel, so I picked up the rod and eased up on the drag and stumbled into the fighting chair," Dial said. "That fish burned off half a spool of 80-pound test from the Shimano Tiagra 80W reel in no time."

The crew estimated the fish at better than 105 inches – the minimum requirement to keep a marlin in a Governor's Cup event. At the dock, it was officially measured at 112 inches and weighed 515.

A blue marlin on the docks brings some excitement to the Governor's Cup, and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources took advantage of the big fish.

"We will take tissue samples to test for mercury and other toxins, sample the ovaries to learn about their spawning cycle, and the stomach content will be examined," said biologist Amy Dukes.

SCDNR has received funding to deploy satellite tags for released blue marlin beginning at the second leg of the Governor's Cup out of Georgetown on May 27 – 29.

Meatfish category winners were as follows: David Peterson with a 44.8-pound dolphin aboard Trust Me; Zach Lyman with a 35-pound wahoo caught aboard Miss Magnolia; and Fraser Wilson with a 21-pound blackfin tuna fishing on Small Change. Caleb Teske, age 13, was the top youth angler with a 36.2-pound dolphin caught from Middleton 58.

The Bohicket tournament was the first of five Governor's Cup events. Twenty-eight boats fished the event, and 11 billfish were caught and released: five blue marlin, two white marlin and four sailfish. The Major Motion accounted for a white  marlin on the first day of competition, and 88-year-old Buck Morris handled the fish's release.