The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources runs the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. A total of five offshore fishing tournaments take place during the summer up and down the S.C. coast and a Series winner is determined using a points system for billfish releases. Practicing billfish conservation while promoting the sport of bluewater fishing is the top priority for these anglers.
Participating in each series event is not required but it helps to build points and Georgetown-based Rascal did just that. They fished in all five events and though they did not win a single event, their fishing luck was very consistent. Owner Norman Pulliam of Spartanburg and co-owner Foster McKissick of Greenville keep a veteran crew and they claimed the overall title of Best Billfish Boat for 2014.
Mark Rogers is the captain on Rascal and helped guide them to releasing four blue marlin and seven sailfish during the Series. Rascal also owns the S.C. state record for a blue marlin they landed back in 2005. Though the tournament series ended in late July, the official awards ceremony takes place in October. The 2015 competition begins next May and will mark the 27th anniversary of S.C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.
Jeff Dennis is an outdoor writer and photographer who grew up on a creek in Charleston loving the saltwater, and he contributes regularly to All At Sea Southeast. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com