With the clock winding down on the last day of the 39th annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament, Country Girl made it count with a minute to spare. The final fish put the 57 Buddy Cannady over the top for the win.
“We had a triple blue marlin up first thing this morning but only one ate,” says Country Girl mate Lee Collins. “We had a pair of sails up later and pulled one off and caught the other. Then we picked up a single sail at the very end of the day. We got lucky and we got blessed. This is the best of the best and it is an honor to fish in this fleet.” Country Girl, run by Capt. Charles Foreman, finished as the top daily boat with 450 points.
Bill Collector, a 52 Jarrett Bay with Capt. Stephen Draughon at the helm, scored two fish (blue and white) to earn second-place daily honors. All In, a 58 Blackwell also made a late push by releasing three sailfish on Friday.
“We were out by the 850 line in about 40 fathoms,” said All In’s Capt. Daniel Caison. “There was a lot of bait and the water temperatures were between 78 and 81 degrees. Everything had pushed in.”
Outnumbered, a 65 Viking, also released a blue and white marlin on Friday for the third-place daily score. James Breen runs the boat for the Summerville family team.
A total of 28 billfish were tallied on the final day of the 2022 event. Eleven blue marlin, 11 sailfish and six white marlin were caught and all were let go. The PCBT is a modified release event, with only trophy blue marlin eligible in the weight division.
The biggest game fish on Friday was the 75.5-pound yellowfin, caught by Joe Woodington aboard his 66 Viking, Desperado (VA). That fish was the top tuna for the week.
The 39th annual awards were presented later Friday night at the Pavilion at the host Pirate’s Cove Marina. A total of 86 boats were competing this year for $1.04 million in prize money.