DayMaker and Pipe Down Triumph at 2024 South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational

The 2024 SCBMI saw fierce competition, with the DayMaker taking home top honors and a substantial portion of the $545,600 purse
A sport-fishing team poses in celebration in the cockpit of their boat DayMaker. They hole their hands up with trophies and an oversized check.
Capt. Bobby Krivohlavek and the Charlestson-based DayMaker won $252,560 with a 533.6-pound blue marlin. Courtesy SCBMI / The Buckskin Billfish

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The 2024 South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational (SCBMI) boasted bites from several 500-pound blue marlin as boats vied for the tournament’s record-setting $545,600 purse. Renowned teams from all along the Atlantic coast turned up to fish the waters off the Palmetto State this spring with the hopes of taking home a big check. The competition was certainly fierce throughout the 39-day tournament.

The SCBMI allows competitors to select three fishing days from May 1 through June 8, providing flexibility to accommodate busy schedules and bad weather days. Boated blue marlin must measure at least 105 inches, but after a first and second place fish are secured, the minimum length benchmark shifts to be increasingly more conservative. The fleet of 41 boats released 56 blue marlin and boated four during the tournament.

Capt. Jeffrey Crabtree and Pipe Down, owned by Todd Luke and Heather Gonzales, set the tone after boating a 507.4-pound blue marlin caught by 16-year-old Gavin Gonzales and took an early lead for the Duffie Boatworks Blue Marlin Jackpot. However, just days later, Pipe Down would be bested by Capt. Bobby Krivohlavek and the DayMaker.

Two-time Marlin Expeditions grad, Mark Stewart—a generally quiet and focused man who fishes in South Carolina with his wife, Jenn Armon, also a Marlin Expeditions client—was fishing with his buddy, Joe Gorin, who landed the 533.6-pound blue marlin to catapult DayMaker to the top of the SCBMI leaderboard.

“My tournament partner, Joe, was on the rod for the big one,” Stewart said, “but I know my Marlin Expeditions experience contributed to our success as a team, along with the amazing preparation and experience of our crew.”

Although two more blue marlin made it back to the scales during the tournament, DayMaker and Pipe Down held onto first place and second place, respectively. DayMaker’s fish secured the tournament’s top honors and won $252,560; Pipe Down earned $108,240.

The tournament also offered exceptional payouts for the three KryptoQuiet Blue Marlin Release Daily awards. Each release daily winner not only took home a check for $61,600, but they also won a set of KryptoQuiet marine bearings. Capt. Chris Kubik led Sweet Spot, owned by Sweet Spot Marine, to win the Day 1 Daily after releasing four blue marlin. The Sweet Spot team would also go on to catch another blue marlin in the tournament to win the Overall Blue Marlin Release category, clinching a prize package including special offers from the tournament’s many generous sponsors. Liaho, owned by Bill Choate and captained by Worth Farrington, took the Day 2 Daily with two blue marlin releases. Lastly, Stephen Davis’ Bench Mark with Capt. Jordan Parker won the Day 3 Daily with two blue marlin releases.

Following the tournament, the SCBMI donated $15,000 to the South Carolina Memorial Reef, an initiative to honor sportsmen that have passed. This year’s donation, made in honor of Frazier Baldwin on behalf of the DayMaker and Marsha Conley Luke on behalf of the Pipe Down, will help support future South Carolina Memorial Reef projects.

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