Governor’s Cup Series gives 15 awards

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 12:15pm

The Division of Marine Fisheries recently handed out 15 awards to anglers participating in the 2016 North Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Conservation Series at an annual awards banquet in Morehead City.

The division manages this annual sportfishing series, working cooperatively with eight major billfish tournaments held along the Tar Heel coast to promote conservation, protection, and preservation of our marine resources. Participating boats or teams are awarded Series points for billfish caught and released and for billfish taken which met tournament minimum size requirements. Penalty points are assessed for undersized fish taken.

This year, 46 boats participated in the series and caught 274 billfish, including 42 blue marlin (35 released and 7 weighed), 89 white marlin (all released), 142 sailfish (all released) and one spearfish (released).

The Viking 72, owned by Viking Yachts and captained by Ryan Higgins took the overall first place trophy. The boat caught two blue marlin, 13 white marlin and one sailfish. One of the blue marlins was weighed at 564.1 pounds and was the third-place winner in the Blue Marlin Division of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

The Viking 72 team took the overall first place trophy at the 2016 North Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Conservation Series Annual Awards Banquet Nov. 10. The tearm, from left to right, were Kelsea Hall, John Riggs, Randy Ramsey, Ryan Higgans, Drew McDowell, and Earl Hall.

Other winners were:

  • 2nd place Private Boat – Piracy, owners Curtis and Russell Struyk/Captain Chris Russell
  • 1st place Charterboat – Bill Collector, Captain Stephen Draughon (one blue marlin, seven white marlin and eight Sailfish released)
  • 2nd place Charterboat – Sensation, owner Mike Rowe/Captain Dale Britt
  • Blue Marlin – 1st place – CATBABY (648.5 pounds, Hatteras Village Offshore Open)
  • Blue Marlin – 2nd place – Pig Rig (637.3 pounds, Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament)
  • Dolphin – Inspiration (49.3 pounds, Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament)
  • Tuna – Mollie Whopper (71.0 pounds, Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament)
  • Wahoo – Double B (37.2  pounds, Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament)
  • Junior girl angler – 1st place – Hannah Struyk aboard Piracy (one blue marling and 1 white marlin released)
  • Junior girl angler – 2nd place – Lindsey Denning aboard Marlin Fever (one sailfish released)
  • Junior boy angler – 1st place – Logan Dyer aboard Bill Collector (three sailfish and two white marlin released)
  • Junior boy angler – 2nd place – Parker Evans aboard Salvation (one white marlin and two sailfish released)
  • Lady Angler - 1st place – PamElla Simmons aboard Salvation (one white marlin and three sailfish released)
  • Lady Angler – 2nd place – Allison Struyk aboard Piracy (one white marlin and two sailfish released)