After his crew released five sailfish in a flurry on Saturday to win the MegaDock Billfishing Tournament at Charleston City Marina, Capt. Mike King of Stream Weaver reflected on winning the fourth of five tournaments in the 2013 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.
King regularly fishes prestigious billfish tournaments along the East Coast aboard Stream Weaver, based out of Wrightsville Beach, N.C., including the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, N.C., the White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Md., and events in the North Carolina Governor’s Cup.
“It’s a big-time tournament for anywhere, anybody,” said King, who fishes Stream Weaver out of Charleston for part of the summer. “For me especially it’s been an amazing deal to win the MegaDock. It’s not just another ordinary tournament. To fish against these guys in their backyard and to be able to win it is pretty amazing.”
The MegaDock, established in 2003, has become known for the prolific number of sailfish releases in its 11-year history, and it was a quick, hot sailfish bite that boosted Stream Weaver, owned by Rusty Carter, to the victory.
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After releasing a blue marlin on Thursday (July 11) and sitting out the next day, King found a group of active sailfish on Saturday.
“I saw some sails chasing some flying fish and it was on,” said King.
One sail hit a bait on a long rigger line but the other four approached teasers about 30 to 40 feet off the stern and took naked ballyhoo on circle hooks pitched to them by the crew.
“We haven’t seen that all year, not even in North Carolina,” said King. “We’ve had mainly long rigger bites [this year].”
When the dust settled, anglers Wes Carter of Charleston, Thomas Garmany of Charleston, Tim Kidwell of Wilmington, N.C., and Scott Carter of Wilmington, N.C., had released five sails in a mere 47 minutes.
Stream Weaver finished with 1,600 points, just 200 points, or one sailfish release, ahead of runner-up Sportin’ Life.
Charleston entry Sportin’ Life, the current series points leader heading into the finale at Edisto Marina (July 24-27), finished with 1,400 points after releasing two blue marlin and a sailfish.
“[Sportin’ Life Capt.] Mike Glaesner is hard to beat down here,’’ said King. “It was a tight, fun tournament. Blessed we were.”
Home Run finished third, also with 1,400 points after releasing a blue marlin and four sailfish.
The field of 32 boats released a total of 56 billfish including 42 sailfish, 11 blue marlin and three white marlin.
The crew of Russellhatt, out of Coquina Harbor Marina, landed the winning wahoo during the MegaDock, and it was an adventure.
Kirkley Russell was the angler on the wahoo, which was hooked up during a heavy rainstorm on Friday (July 12). Russell worked the fish close to the boat where mate Eric Beltz gaffed it, but the fish came off the gaff and fell back into the ocean, still hooked up.
Mate Brian O’Quinn still had his hands on the leader, and Beltz was able to gaff the fish again. It was all hands on deck to get the 71.8-pounder on board.
Other award winners:
| Stream Weaver, one blue marlin, five sailfish released.
| Game On, angler Kelli Ann Roof, 42.6 pounds.
| Cacique, angler Chris Gepford, 25.4-pound blackfin.
| Reel Patience, two dolphin released.
•1st Place Youth Angler
| Angler River Simmons, 9, Arica, one blue marlin released.
•1st Place Female Angler
| Angler Kelli Ann Roof, Game On, one white marlin, two sailfish released.