Capt. Charles Foreman used his years of local knowledge as a charter captain to rally his Country Girl team to the lead in the final minutes of the Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament this year. A single sailfish release was enough to put them on top of the leaderboard, claiming the largest payout among the 274 anglers on 86 boats that were competing for more than $1 million in prize money this year. With two blue marlin and four sailfish, the team on the 57-foot Buddy Cannady earned $370,438 as the top boat and daily winner for Day Four.
“It was just an awesome day, a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said first-time blue marlin angler Wayne Camden before the awards ceremony. “My dad fished with me all my life, and he’s not here anymore, so it was a very emotional moment.” Country Girl’s other team members were Lee Collins, Angie Campbell, Amanda and Max Chapman, Larry Holland, Robert M. McGinn Jr., Jeff Campbell, H. Weyman Chapman Jr., Meredith Foreman, Ronda Ierna and Darrell G. Payne.
Bill Collector, a 52-foot Jarrett Bay charter boat run by Capt. Stephen Draughon, took home $118,312 for its second-place finish and second-place daily awards for Days One and Four. The team released one blue, one white and four sailfish. Blue Sky earned third-place honors after scoring a blue, three whites and a sail. Capt. Jay Weaver led the South Carolina-based team aboard the 60-foot Spencer to overall winnings of $73,583. For the week, 112 billfish were released by the fleet, including 30 blue marlin, 29 white marlin and 53 sailfish.