Many of our youth anglers are quiet victors. They are often measurably reserved when they march to the winner’s circle to claim their awards during tournaments. Their poised demeanor is profoundly professional. They smile big, blush from the embarassing whoops and hollers from their families and friends and politely shake hands with the men and women calling them to the front of crowds of hundreds of people.
Woods Herring, a quiet, powerhouse youth angler fishing aboard Glazed, is undoubtedly that kind of winner. While we recognize that we might just see the shy versions of otherwise boastful kids, we seriously doubt that possibility when considering Woods. The 12-year-old seems too collected, sportsmanlike and mature for such foolishness.
Woods has numerous tournament wins under his belt, including two consecutive years as the top youth angler at the Carolina Billfish Classic. The two sailfish he released on dink poles earned top honors at the tournament this year and were instrumental in Glazed climbing to the top of the fleet on the final day of fishing.
Glazed, a 58-ft Dean Johnson owned and captained by Woods’ father, Miles Herring, is a strikingly beautiful boat. She’s got classic Carolina boat characteristics, with ample bow flare and a tremendously sleek shearline. There aren’t many Dean Johnson builds that fish in the Series these days, so Glazed often stands apart from the crowd.
The team aboard Glazed, Miles Herring, Miles Herring Jr., Ella Neal Herring, Woods Herring, Critt Gore, Justin Condor, Johnny Cisne, Wilson Springs III and Lee Tiller, would have to fight for their win in the Carolina Billfish Classic this year. Each release would make a significant difference in the eventual outcome — a fish-for-fish battle against the Blue Sky, a 60-ft Spencer owned by Greg Smith and captained by Jay Weaver.
While Glazed went into the last day of the tournament without any release points, the Blue Sky had released a sail on the first day of fishing. A handful of other boats already had a blue marlin release, an automatic 600 points, so both boats had some catching up to do.
It didn’t take long for the Blue Sky to close in. Just an hour after lines went in the water, the Blue Sky released a blue marlin. This fish put them on top of the fleet and, at this point, no other boats had more than one fish on the board.
An hour or so after the Blue Sky released their blue marlin, Miles Herring and his crew released their first fish of the tournament. Glazed now needed 600 additional points to at least catch the Blue Sky’s lead. They released another sail just after noon, getting them 200 points closer to a tie.
An hour later, Glazed released a blue marlin with just under two hours left to fish the tournament. This brought their total to 1000 release points for two sailfish and a blue marlin. They captured the lead — but would it hold?
Just ten minutes later, the Blue Sky would release a second sail, bringing them to a total of 1000 points for two sailfish and a blue marlin as well. But it wasn’t enough — the Glazed had clinched the win based on time.
Although they were sitting at the top of the leaderboard, the crew aboard the Glazed didn’t know it during the ride in. “We actually didn’t know we had won until we were almost back to the hill,” explained Miles Herring. “We thought Blue Sky had one more sail than us. But then our phones started blowing up with congratulations. We were excited to have won, as we are a good group of family and friends just out having fun. It all came together for us!”
Their showing at the Carolina Billfish Classic now puts Glazed in fifth place in the Gov Cup. They’ll look to the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament, the final leg of the 2021 Series, to close ranks on the other boats fighting for the overall win.
Get information on other winners at the Carolina Billfish Classic, as well as details for the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament at: http://govcup.dnr.sc.gov/.
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.
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