Trash Man Cleans Up in Edisto
It’s not just the beach town vibe, the people, or the live music that make the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament such a fun experience. There’s something else at work there in mid-July. Since the event is the last leg of the Series, the air is thick with anticipation, intensity, and rivalry as participants fish their final days in the Gov Cup’s season. And amid all of this excitement, the ease of island life still settles in among participants and spectators alike.
Although it’s nice to see a boat that has consistently performed well throughout the Series close out their Gov Cup run with a big win in Edisto, it can be just as fun to watch a crew that hasn’t fished the Series all year show up for the final leg, fired up and ready to win. The Trash Man, a 59-ft Weaver owned by Mr. Burke Wall, didn’t fish the first three legs of the 2019 Series, but certainly came prepared to compete for the fourth.
With Captain Shelby Myrick at the helm and mate Kyle Clark in the cockpit, the Savannah based boat arrived at the Marina at Edisto Beach with specific intentions, the pursuit of blues. Although the fishing this year has been considerably slow compared to what the fleet experienced in 2017 and 2018, the bite did pick up a bit in time for Edisto. And while sailfish have typically been thick off South Carolina by mid-July, a few hungry blues also seem to cruise around the South Carolina Memorial Reef at the same time.
Captains and mates are then faced with a difficult choice. Do you fish for sails, steadily racking up increments of 200 points? Do you pull lures, waiting on the interest of a blue marlin, the species that can earn you 600 points for a single release? Or do you fish a mixed spread, continually changing your set up to focus the fancy of any hungry billfish below? The Trash Man chose the latter. After releasing three blue marlin over two days of fishing, we’d say they definitely played it right.
Those three blue marlin releases catapulted the Trash Man to the top of the 46 boat fleet. They held on to the lead and won the tournament, a proud victory for a class-act crew. “My crew and I were very excited about winning this tournament. I have had calls and text messages from up and down the East coast congratulating us about our win,” Mr. Wall said. “[We] had a great sense of accomplishment, since winning a Governor’s Cup Tournament is extremely difficult to do. You have to have luck & skill along with no tackle failures!”
Luck certainly plays a role in sportfishing, but this group of anglers has honed in on some impressive skills too. Captain Shelby Myrick, mate Kyle Clark, and anglers Chris Cook and Brian DeMille have been fishing with Mr. Wall for close to 9 years now. “Each crew member knows his job and when we get a fish on, there is no hollering or jumping up and down or celebrating,” explained Mr. Wall. “Each crew member knows what to do and goes and does what’s needed without being told.” Captain Shelby chimed in too, “I feel our current team is special because we work together and we get along like family.”
The Trash Man family proudly stood together during the awards reception to accept the win of the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament. As his crew stood beside him, Mr. Wall took the time to address each man, recognizing them for their hard work, skill, and continued dedication to the program. It was a special moment in the Gov Cup’s memory.
The Series has been fortunate to have Mr. Wall fish Gov Cup tournaments since the late 1990s. While thanking tournament and Series staff, Mr. Wall said, “In my opinion, this fishing tournament series is the best on the East coast. The camaraderie among the various crews is really good, everyone is extremely friendly, and the time spent on the docks is very enjoyable.” Thank you for your kind words, Mr. Wall! We’re incredibly grateful to have you with us year after year. Congratulations to you and the rest of the Trash Man team!
Good luck to everyone fishing the tournaments up North! We’ll be cheering for you from Charleston!
The Teaser is a series dedicated to showcasing the stories of the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series and its lively community. The Gov Cup was created several decades ago to encourage the conservation of ocean resources through the tagging and release of billfish. Learn more here.