When it got down to the nitty gritty, Showtime! stepped to the forefront.
The crew of the 62-foot Spencer was a double-winner when the dust had settled in the Edisto Marina Billfish Tournament, the final of five tournaments in the 2013 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.
Showtime!, run by Capt. Wink Doerzbacher, released two blue marlin and two sailfish to win the Edisto tournament. The 1,600 points were good enough to overtake Sportin’ Life and hold off Georgetown Landing Marina entry Rascal to claim the overall title in the Governor’s Cup.
“It’s as big as it gets,” Doerzbacher said of winning the Governor’s Cup title. “Very, very seldom do you have an opportunity to do something like that.”
Entering the finale, Sportin’ Life was the series leader with 4,610 points followed by Showtime! (4,375) and Rascal (3,675), but there was considerable shift in the standings by the tournament’s end.
Showtime! finished with a series-best 5,975 points with Georgetown Landing’s Rascal releasing two blue marlin and a sailfish (1,400 points) to catapult Sportin’ Life and claim second place in the series with 5,075 points. Sportin’ Life accumulated only 200 points for a sailfish release at Edisto and finished third in the series with 4,810 points.
Showtime! is owned by Fred Hardwick, the owner of Pirates Voyage in Myrtle Beach, and calls Stuart, Fla., its home port. Hardwick, Doerzbacher and crew spent the summer docked at Toler’s Cove in Mt. Pleasant and fished all five events in the Governor’s Cup.
“We fish hard all the time – fun time or tournament time,” said Doerzbacher. “Sometimes you have more opportunities than others and sometimes you’re fortunate enough to take advantage of them. The competition here is as good as anywhere in the world. All (30) boats (in the tournament) are capable of doing that.”
The Showtime! crew started by releasing a blue marlin and a sailfish on its first day of fishing, Thursday (July 25), to overtake Sportin’ Life in the overall standings.
After a day off, the action on Saturday (July 27) came early for Showtime!, which released a sailfish and a blue marlin before noon to firmly take the series lead. The sailfish took a ballyhoo before the blue came up on a teaser and ate a pitched mackerel.
“That [blue marlin release] was the deal sealer fortunately for us,” said Doerzbacher. “We were fishing south of the Southwest Bank, 320 feet of water, nothing really defined as far as what you would fish. Sometimes it’s just a matter of running over a spot and getting some bites – there’s a lot of luck involved. In short of an hour we caught both of them.”
Other Showtime! crew members that fished tournaments in the series were Tom and Matt Russell, Lee and Joe Bost, Carl Copeland, John Meade and Carson Lunceford.
“Our crew, they get all the credit,” said Doerzbacher. “They’re the ones working their butts off all day, changing lures, cleaning lines.”
A total of 178 billfish including 100 sailfish, 64 blue marlin and 14 white marlin were released during the five tournaments of the Governor’s Cup. The total number of boats competing in the five tournaments was 144, comprised of 65 boats.
Following are the overall award winners for the 2013 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. The award winners will be official when approved by the Governor’s Cup Board of Directors later this month:
•Outstanding Billfish Boat, 1st Place
| Showtime!, released 8 blue marlin, 1 white marlin, 4 sailfish, 5,975 points.
• Outstanding Billfish B oat, 2nd Place | Rascal, released 6 blue marlin, 7 Sailfish, 5,075 points.
• Outstanding Billfish Boat, 3rd Place | Sportin’ Life, released 5 blue marlin, 2 white marlin, 3 sailfish, landed 535-pound blue Marlin, 4,810 points.
• Outstanding Billfish Conservationist | Showtime!.
• Outstanding Billfish – Landed | Sportin’ Life, 535 points.
| Cacique, angler Drew Wilkinson, 60.6 pounds.
| Cacique, angler Chris Gepford, 25.4-pound blackfin.
• Outstanding Wahoo | Russellhatt, angler Kirkley Russell, 71.8 pounds.
• Blue Water Conservation | Petrel, owner Harry Johnson, Jr., Tag and Release 20 Dolphin, 1,000 points.
•Outstanding Youth Angler-1st Place
| Arica. angler River Simmons, 9, blue marlin release.
• Outstanding Youth Angler-2nd Place | Sportsmann, angler Bennett Wyatt, 13, blue marlin release.
• Outstanding Youth Angler-3rd Place | Compromise, angler Harry Hood, 9, 32.2 pound dolphin.
•Outstanding Female Angler, 1st Place
| Game On, angler Kelli Ann Roof, released 2 blue marlin, 1 white marlin, 7 sailfish.
•Outstanding Female Angler, 2nd Place
| Arica, angler Arica Simmons, released 1 white marlin, 2 sailfish.
•Outstanding Female Angler, 3rd Place
| Salty Dog, angler Carson Lunceford, blue Marlin release.