FLORENCE, SC - The Francis Marion University fishing team will compete in the 31st-annual Coastal Carolina University Invitational Intercollegiate Fishing Tournament, Friday in Murrells Inlet. The event is the oldest collegiate fishing match in the United States.
FMU will compete against anglers from CCU, Clemson University, and the University of South Carolina (defending champions). Competitors will sail out of Captain Dick’s Marina aboard the New Inlet Princess with Capt. Jack Orr at the helm.
This year’s competition will honor Jim Michie, an angler who was instrumental in the landing of a world-record 1,780-pound tiger shark on June 14, 1964, at the Cherry Grove Pier. Michie, a native of Marion who died this past summer, formerly taught at CCU and was an archaeologist with the S.C. Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at USC.
The 2004 FMU team will consist of juniors Marshall Butler and Ben Ward of Georgetown and junior Josh Britt of Darlington. Lang Beaty, assistant director of purchasing at FMU, will coach this year’s Patriot squad. He will be assisted by David Granath, a professor of theatre arts and speech-scenic design at FMU and coordinator of the university’s Theatre Arts Program.
The competition includes drift fishing for king mackerel and bottom fishing for black sea bass, vermillion snapper, grouper, and amberjack. The catch will be recognized at the awards banquet table, to be held this year at the Hot Fish Club in Murrells Inlet.
The competition began in 1974 and once included Ivy League schools and entries from foreign countries.