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12/24/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands, Western Pacific Report

Ahoy Crew! Now Hear This!

It's that time of year again and from the good vessel "Deviant" I send you all best wishes for the Holiday Season and for the upcoming New Year. I want to thank all of you "Deviants" who have sent Holiday Greetings in this direction! (You know that traditionally all crewmembers of a ship are known by the ships name. Since this is a "Crewletter" to all my armchair crewmembers that makes you all "Deviants"!)

As you know,I was only planning on spending a month or two in the Marshall Islands when I arrived here 3 years ago! But one thing led to another and I'm still here enjoying the good times and the many friends I've met here. As you know from my crewletter broadsides to you I've had some great times here and some not so great times. Such is life! The fact that I'm still here means that the good has greatly outweighed the bad.

While here I've made the trek to Fiji and back through the island nations of Kiribati and Tuvalu which lie to the south of the Marshalls. I've flown and stopped in Guam, Ponape and Kosrae which lie to the west of the Marshalls. And of course, I've flown to the States and to Caribbean on three occasions. So I have not been idle.

Through my good friend Neal Skinner I've been able to expand my knowledge of off the grid water and power installations. (He and his staff continue to help me out in more ways than I can count.) My fishing buddies keep me active chasing those finny creatures of the deep and working for their continued survival so that I can continue to harass them! Today is Christmas Eve here and I managed to get out for a few hours with my friend Bwiji Aliven to chase them around some more. By the way, Bwiji won the Carry Over Catch 5 Tournament last weekend which I wrote about in my last email. More on that later...

There is no telling what 2012 will bring...

I'm trying to work up a fishing program here that will bring in fishermen from the outside world to enjoy the fishing here in the Western Pacific. Even with the awful and intensive fishing pressure from the industrial/commercial fishing fleet the fishing here is still outstanding both for offshore and for inshore and inner lagoon species. We'll see what develops...

On the other hand, there is still a lot of the world that I want to see before I can't do it anymore. I've learned that none of us are going to be here for very long so we gotta do it while we can.

I think that is a good note to end on. We're not around for a long time... Make sure that you have a good time! And don't let the turkey's get you down!

Have yourselves a "Stress Free" Holiday Season. Many Cheers and Much Love! Oh yeah, lest I forget.... BAH HUMBUG!

Carry on!

Chuck

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

12/22/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - GBR, Australia Fishing Report

LATEST NEWS

Wayne and the boys joined us from Melbourne for a few days away from work. With things a bit slow on the Bank, we headed out wide looking for the tuna aggregation, but alas they were not where they were supposed to be and had been swallowed up by a big edge of green water, that was to be the curse for the rest of the season on the edge. We headed back to Opal for the night, and missed a black and then had a big crash tackle on the big bait. After a bit of a fight we had a nice mako shark around 300 lbs at the back of the boat which we let go. The next day we had a good day in the last of the good water, having 3 bites and tagging 2 fish, which gave all the boys a fish on their trip this year. David and Chris joined us for their trip up to Cairns, David has fished with us almost every year, and brought his mate Chris for his first trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Fishing was a little slow, and the weather didnt allow us to get out to the seamount this week, so we perservered on the edge and had one really good day, seeing 5 fish, and tagging 3 fish up to 800 lbs, which was Chris's second for the day, and his biggest fish ever !!! Well done Chris, a great effort. We all had a great week, with a nice relaxing time for us all, and a few big nights anchored up at Opal Reef, with the last night spent at Michealmas Cay, anchored behind the sand cay!!!

see photo

Our last trip of the season saw my good friend Mark join us for 5 days from the US. With the green water set in on the edge, we spent the first couple of days swimming and light tackle fishing in the mornings, with the afternoons spent a little bit wide of the edge, with a few small yellowfin tunas and wahoo bites. We were able to get out wide to the seamount and Holmes, but missed out on our bites on the way out, but managed to jig a nice dogtooth tuna down at Flora Reef as well as plenty of sharks off the big school of skipjack tunas we found out there. We did have a real lazy bite late in the day from a black marlin just out of Flora Reef, but didnt come tight on the lure. On the last morning of the trip we left super early, and were underway at 2am, arriving at the seamount about 5.30 am to flat calm weather and birds everywhere. We caught a few yellowfin tunas and missed a small black before heading back towards the edge. About 20 miles out of Jenny Louise we caught Mark a real lively blue marlin, which was his first marlin, and to say he was happy was an understatement!!! A great way to finish our season on a high note!!!

The season has wrapped up for us now, and a big season it was for us!!! With great clients, great crew in Steve and Carl, we ended up with some real nice big fish , and Lydies fish ended up being the biggest one of the season weighed for the whole fleet !!!! Well done Lydie, and looking forward to next year with the 50lb again !!!

I am finishing the motor rebuilds now and then flying home for Christmas with my family.

I have a couple of trips that you can join me for in January, first one starting Jan 10th leaving Cairns to Mackay, and then Mackay to the Gold Coast via Lady Musgrave, and wide off Fraser Island chasing the blue marlin back to the Gold Coast. I then have some days on the Gold Coast from around the 22nd into early February chasing some of the excellent blue marlin that have been around on the coast the last month or so, and into next year should continue to be excellent, and the little blacks should have shown up in some numbers by then too, lots of fun on light tackle. Let me know if you would like to join me for any of these trips, or day trips.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your families and loved ones and hope to see you on Tradition in 2012!!!

see photo

Capt Tim

email Tim
visit website
61 427 758768

12/21/11 - Capt. Juan Carlos Torruella - Puerto Rico Fishing Report

Hey Jimmy,

Long time since my last report... Thank God things have been busy. First of all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I hope Santa brings 40 boats to the Boy Scouts this year!

Lots of things going on in PR.

Swordfish were the hot ticket in October, including a nice 414 pounder that was caught aboard a local charter boat.

I caught two in October, both small but great on the grill...

The dolphin run has been nothing short of outsatnding, with the thick sargassum beds showing up in San Juan as early as September with a lot of small fish.

Finally in December some bigger fish started showing up and now there's fish up to 60 pounds out there.

Sailfish have shown up in good numbers and some white ones have been caught as well. Tarpon fishing has been good in the lagoons as ususal, caught a nice 80 pounder this morning. Tell your buddies to visit our website at www.extremefishingpuertorico.com for the best light tackle fishing in Puerto Rico.

Tight lines,

Capt. Juan Carlos Torruella

12/19/11 - Capt. Paul Salazar - QTR - St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Click to enlarge mapFishing is red hot with lots of blue marlin, wahoo and dolphin. QTR Sat 1/2 on blues. 12/17, Ryan Di Pasqualie on Catch 22 1/1 blues, 12/16 1/1 blues, 12/15 2/3 blues. A Two day trip to Gibbs Bank netted 46 wahoo and fed the whole island! Capt. Paul say's "we have a great winter fishery" and he invites fishermen to come give it a try.

12/19/11 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Although there have not been many boats going out the fishing is good and the wind is still blowing as it ought from the NE. There are big numbers of sailfish in the region between Funzi and Chale Pt together with schools of longtail, skipjack and yellowfin tunas. With this wind blowing like this the striped marlin will be there for sure and we hope for some really good fishing this season. It is always really exciting with the anticipation of things to come, wondering whether it might be another of those outstanding marlin years. And, always the blues and blacks are also there with the stripes with a few really big fish to test anglers, crew and tackle alike.

Only those days on which there was a boat out are reported below:

Wednesday 7th December – "White Otter" was out on a short day but did not catch very much only seeing two sailfish.

Sunday 11th December – Again "White Otter" was out this time for a bit longer but as far as I can gather they did not see much and there were no flags flying on their return.

Monday 12th December – "Kamara II" was out with Robert Haarburger and Darryn Potgieter from South Africa with their respective teenage sons. We tried for sail early heading up towards Msambweni and were rewarded with one for Darryn. We missed another 4 or 5 and then headed out to look for a marlin although perhaps we ought to have given it another hour in there as the sail did appear to be coming up. The wind was good but the sea was a little too calm for the amount of wind, a clear indication that the current was not flowing very fast. Darryn’s 13-yr old son Liam caught a nice sail that we estimated at about 32-kg and we also had a few dorado. We did see a couple of striped marlin tailing but they were not interested in anything we had to offer.

Tuesday 13th December – The same party were out again this time with the old man of the sea, Pat on "Broadbill". The change of boat and skipper worked for Robert and his 15-yr old son Nathan as they were the lucky ones this time. Robert caught his first marlin, a nice stripey of around 150-lb and Nathan caught a sailfish. There was another small centre console boat fishing out from the club, called "Sita" and they caught 2 sail as well.

Click to enlarge mapSunday 18th December – With no charters and with reports of lots of sailfish between Funzi and Chale Pt Pat and I decided to go out for some fun with light line. We had heard of big packs of sails seen by the Matiba family on Friday with "Furaha" getting 4 and "Pika Pika" 6. Unfortunately the sails were not that aggressive today but they were certainly there and were seen free jumping everywhere. We did get 6 between us all on 20 or less but apart from one triple strike on most occasions only 1 or 2 in the groups were taking the baits. There were a lot of schools of what turned out to be longtail tuna and we also got a wahoo. It was a good fun day and Pat not only caught a couple of sail but even traced and billed one, which he hasn’t done for around 10 years now. He certainly hasn’t lost his touch!

It is a great shame that with so many fish out there the boats arte lying idle at the mooring. I shall be going up to Nairobi for Christmas as Christopher, my son is arriving on xmas day. We are going to do a safari through Tsavo after Christmas and plan to get back here on about 30th. Pat will of course be fishing and Hamisi will be running Kamara II in my absence and I have every confidence in him and Suleimani to catch fish.

We’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy new year.

Tight lines!

Simon

website
email
Mobile: Tel: +254 (0)722 796198 (Simon)
Fax : 254 40 2227675

Sea Adventures Ltd.
P.O. Box 348
Ukunda 80400, Kenya

12/14/11 - Capt. Brad Phillipps - Decisive - Guatemala Fishing Report

Follow us on Facebook, look for us at GUATEMALAN BILLFISHING ADVENTURES, click 'I like' to keep yourself up to date.

The action has been hot off Guatemala!! Up to 6 blues raised to a boat three days back withe evryone in the mix. We released 17 sailfish from 24 bites yesterday and 21 from 38 bites today. The current is pushing good water inshore and what looks like loads of sailfish on the way. We have a few days open prior to Christmas so come on down.....it's gonna get real good in the next little while!!!

Capt. Brad Philipps
www.guatbilladv.com
info@guatbilladv.com
Website
Email Cindy and Brad Phillipps: email

12/11/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands/Virgin Islands Report

A Happy Return To The Boat


Ahoy Crew!

I'm happy to say that I had a safe return to the “Deev” in the Majuro Lagoon after an absence of almost five months and found the boat in very good nick. I had several friends keeping an eye on the boat for me while I was gone and everything was ship shape upon my return.

Last years rash of robberies and break-ins aboard yachts in the harbor has not been repeated at all this year. In fact I have not heard of any thievery or vandalism directed at yachts in the anchorage in the entire calendar year. It seems that the perpetrators of those crimes were a group of minors and wannabe gangsters and they have not been seen in the area in a long time. The police knew who they were and questioned them but they did not prosecute them. Rumor has it that they were quite severely disciplined by their families and, as I said, they have not been seen or heard from in a year. Perhaps they were shipped off to family in the outer islands or to Hawaii. Good riddance to bad apples!

My return this past Thursday coincided with the monthly Marshalls Billfish Clubs tournament. The tournament was the Annual “Brett McGough Memorial Tournament” dedicated to the memory of a much beloved Aussie who died here several years ago in a diving/spearfishing accident. I wrote about that two years ago in a crew letter that was entitled “There Are Old Divers And There Are Bold Divers”. That phrase was used by my first diving instructor who was a retired Navy Seal. He would say to us that “there are old divers and there are bold divers but there are no old, bold divers”.

Brett loved to hunt for Dogtooth Tuna with his speargun in the passes into the lagoons. He was a very strong swimmer and would free dive, never using scuba gear. He was very successful at it. He pushed his limits too far on his last dive and apparently blacked out by holding his breath too long. When his friends realized that he had been down for much too long they searched and found his body on the bottom in 90 feet of water. He could not be resuscitated. It fell to me to build a shipping crate to send the body back to Australia to his family.

This particular tourny was what the club calls a “Catch 5” format. That means that the winning boat must catch at least one each of five species: Wahoo, Mahi, Tuna, Barracuda and Billfish. On Saturday no one boat caught all five so the tournament will be held again next weekend. Only seven boats participated. Of those seven boats four had Marlin on. The four boats went 2 for 10 on marlin strikes with my friend Ronnie Reimers tagging and releasing the 2 with 5 strikes on board his “back up” boat “Wasabi” which is owned by his fishing partner Cary Evarts. Ronnie's boat “Kirtake” is temporarily down with engine problems. Those two tagged Marlin increase Ronnie's already commanding lead in the annual tally for the “President's Cup”. This is the team that I frequently fish with and they invited me on Saturday but having just returned from the States and being all jet lagged out I took a pass. “Good on ya', guys!!!”

Interestingly enough, one Dogtooth Tuna of 37 pounds was caught, but on rod and reel. Not by free diving.

The commercial/industrial fishing operations continue here unabated. The giant Tuna Clipper Purse Seiners and longliners continue to devastate the resource. It is generally accepted by the local fishermen that there are much less fish around then there was even a few years ago. When I was here for the first time in the 1980's we would always see enormous schools of baitfish boiling the surface of the water with birds diving on them from the air and tuna just tearing it up. The whole food chain would be there with Tuna, Wahoo, Marlin and Sharks. These schools would be sometimes 5-10 acres in size and we would usually see several a day. Unfortunately that seems to be a thing of the past as I have not seen school action like that in the three years that I have been back. However, on any given day there is still a chance for multiple shots at Blue and Black Marlin. Thank goodness for that!

I have been in contact with the International Game Fish Association and The Billfish Foundation recently (I am a member of both organizations) and they are aware of the rape of the ocean that is taking place out here and they are lobbying with national and international organizations to limit the destruction of this very valuable resource. Unfortunately we are really on the edge of the world out here and efforts to control this disaster just don't seem to be effective. There is just too much money to be made until they put that last fish in a can!

That's about it for today, Crew. My rant is over for now. Thanks for listening...

From the edge of the world,

Chuck Handy

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

12/07/11 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

The monsoon has become more settled during this week and the forecast is for more north-easterly winds, which is good news for us fishermen. There was a beautiful black marlin caught by "Broadbill" and another big fish raised the same day by "Kamara II". Otherwise there have a few stripies seen and quite a few sailfish out in the deep water. The dorado and wahoo have also been around to keep the anglers on their toes.

I travelled up to Uganda this week to run some RYA powerboat level 2 training courses for a safari company called Wild Frontiers. I and another instructor carried out training of their boat captains on Lake Victoria at Entebbe and also at the incredibly beautiful Murchison Falls on the River Nile. Unfortunately there was insufficient time to do any fishing for the huge Nile perch that are found in the falls area.

There was no fishing from 27th to 30th November although the NE was blowing nicely throughout this time. Adam Ogden brought his beautiful 38ft Blackfin, the "Black Widow" down from Watamu on 1st December but did not catch any billfish on the way down.

Friday 2nd December – "Broadbill" was out together with "Black Widow" and the latter managed 4 sailfish but "Broadbill" just caught a few dorado. The wind was a bit south-westerly today, which probably accounted for the lack of marlin around.

Click to enlarge mapSaturday 3rd December – we welcomed back a good friend in Koos Pretorius from Cape Town who in the past has done many safaris to Pemba Island and also one to Mafia Island. Koos was fishing with Hamisi on "Kamara II" and they managed to tag 3 sailfish as well as raising a very nice black marlin that Hamisi estimated at around 500-lb. It rose to a lure on a 50 but then switched over to the smallest bait out on a 30-lb although it never took anything in the end. Earlier in the day, James Nutter who lives in Mombasa had tagged and released a beauty of a black marlin on 50-lb line after a 1-hr fight aboard "Broadbill". Pat and the crew estimated the fish at 430-lb but Pat said that it was a beautifully proportioned fish fat all the way back. "Black Widow" also tagged a couple of sails that day.

Sunday 4th December – Koos fished with Pat on "Broadbill" tagging a sailfish in the early morning and then a very active striped marlin on the way home. "Black Widow" did not get anything before 3pm and then turned north to Kilifi. Pat said that the conditions out there are really perfect with wonderful blue water and nice rips.

Unfortunately charters are few and far between this month yet the fishing is often some of the best in the season. If you are going to be on the south coast and would like to have a day’s fishing get in touch with us at . hemphill@bigame.com.

Simon

website
email
Mobile: Tel: +254 (0)722 796198 (Simon)
Fax : 254 40 2227675

Sea Adventures Ltd.
P.O. Box 348
Ukunda 80400, Kenya

11/30/11 - Capt. Brad Phillipps - Decisive - Guatemala Fishing Report

Published on Facebook - November 2011 Please follow us on Facebook, look for GUATEMALAN BILLFISHING ADVENTURES!!

The season is hotting up in Guatemala. Today was the first day of the ILTTA held here in Guatemala. 'Decisive' was top boat going 26 from 42 bites on sails. 30 odd teams from around the world competing, 2 teams from South Africa, 3 more days of fishing!!!

11/30/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers:

As we approach winter, the fishing season is slowing down for most U.S. Atlantic coast fishermen. However, there are other American’s who are enjoying the start of what appears could be one of their best dolphin seasons in a very long time. Fishermen in Puerto Rico are reporting huge mats of Sargassum offshore that are accompanied by large numbers of big dolphin. Anglers are reporting catching plenty of dolphin on most trips. There is a report of one boat bringing in over 100 dolphin from one day of fishing. Dolphin began appearing off Puerto Rico and other Caribbean Islands in good numbers around the first of November. This has resulted in the largest number of dolphin tagged in one year in the Western North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea since the start of this study. Due to this increase in tagging, 2012 may be the year that the dolphin migration circle is closed with a fish tagged off Puerto Rico or in the Caribbean Sea recovered in U.S. Territorial waters of the Gulf or Atlantic.

It will be interesting to see what kind of dolphin fishing the U.S. East Coast will enjoy next spring, after such a strong showing this winter off Puerto Rico and in the Caribbean. As a footnote, I have just received reports from Capt. Rob Harris and Capt. Jim Sharp, who both operate charter boats out of the Florida Keys, stating that they are enjoying some exceptional dolphin fishing with some really big fish showing up as well. Capt. Sharp reports that his charters are catching their limit of dolphin in two hours. Could this unusually good dolphin fishing in the Keys be related to the large number of fish showing up off Puerto Rico?

See Dolphin Report

Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Good fishing,

Don

Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524
cssllc@bellsouth.net
www.dolphintagging.com

11/26/11 - Capt. Fatty Goodlander - Canary Islands to Caribbean

Just a quick note:

We’re currently in the Canaries, getting ready to shove off for the Caribbean in late November. We expect to take between three weeks and a month to make the 3,000 mile ocean passage. But if the winds are light—well, then we might end up celebrating the New Year at sea.

We’re fine. Carolyn just returned from her final 2011 grandchild fix in Amsterdam. She had a wonderful time watching Soku while Roma Orion went to a business conference in the States. (Soku just had her first birthday and is not only walking—she’s climbing stairs, too.)

We had a great time cruising with her aboard Wild Card in Mallorca.

Click to enlarge photo I’m feeling great. It is wonderful to feel better at 59 than I did at 45—yahoo!

Last night we spent scarfing up free food with fellow Caribbean writer Don Street. He’s 81, still going strong, still sailing, and still feisty!

We’re currently covering the ARC for various publications—and have been partying with (seemingly) each and every of the 1,200 rally participants getting ready to shove off November 20th on 220+ vessels. (We’ll let ‘em all get a week ahead or so {to lessen chance of collision} before shoving off ourselves.)

Our latest book just came out—and is, happily, flying off the shelves. It is called BUY, OUTFIT, and SAIL, and subtitled “How to Inexpensively and Safely BUY, OUTFIT, and SAIL a Small Vessel Around the World.”

It is crammed-packed with money-saving tips for sailors—whether old salt or greenhorn. It is available at Amazon.com in both print and Kindle versions, and there’s more info, interviews, related photos, etc, Fatty's Latest Book (Don’t forget: Christmas is just around the corner!)

If you've already read it and/or sent it off as a gift, that's great--please write a review of it (or any of our books) for amazon.com... that's a huge help to us.

Our future plans are: tentative, which is just how we like ‘em. We look forward to seeing our old friends in the Caribbean. Of course, we want to spend as much time with our new granddaughter as possible. I’m still totally enthralled with writing both magazine articles and books—and plan to keep writing until they have to pry the pencil out of my cold, dead hand.

We’ve even considered switching boats—22 years is a long time aboard one vessel—but the jury is out on that idea because we still love Wild Card so much.

That’s it from this end.

We hope you are well.

Happy Holidays from the Crew of Wild Card!

Mind the Rudder, Or Meet the Rock,

Cap'n Fatty

For more info: fattygoodlander.com
And you can befriend me on FACEBOOK at:
http://www.facebook.com/capnfatty
To locate Wild Card's current position - Go to http://shiptrak.org and punch in Fatty's ham callsign of W2FAT.

Editor's Note: Capt. Fatty Goodlander is an old friend who is now making his way back home to St. John, US Virgin Islands. Fatty and his wife Carolyn have been sailing around the world for several years (this their 2nd time aboard Wild Card) and even though he isn't much of a fisherman, he's been part of the Virgin Islands fishing scene since the early days of Capt. Johnny Harms. A prolific writer and a real "go to sea" sailor, we are introducing Fatty to our readers. His books are good reading!

11/26/11 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

This is just a quick note to let you all know that the NE wind started blowing today and as I have always said it is like flicking a switch. With the current still flowing strongly north the rips were showing really nicely and the striped marlin were seen by all four boats fishing the area. "White Otter" and "Broadbill" were fishing a group of South Africans up from Tanzania for a wedding and still very much in party mode. "Kamara II should have been out as well but half the group failed to get out of bed and the two boats that were out were back in by 2pm. Disappointing when the conditions have at last turned just right!

Click to enlarge mapBoth boats raised striped marlin before coming home and the other two boats both from Diani Beach both saw marlin. Martin Matiba, the youngest son of my great friend Raymond caught his first marlin, a stripey of 64-kg from his Dad's boat, "Pika Pika skippered by elder brother Bryan. Apparently Bryan did a great job wiring the fish as well, which is great to hear as he has been a very attentive student of mine.

The other boat, "Zuri" apparently saw 10 marlin in all, which is a pretty good number even in the height of the season so all bodes well for the forthcoming season.

We have availability in December so if you are planning a trip to the coast maybe a day or two marlin fishing would be tempting. Please contact us at .

Simon

website
email
Mobile: Tel: +254 (0)722 796198 (Simon)
Fax : 254 40 2227675

Sea Adventures Ltd.
P.O. Box 348
Ukunda 80400, Kenya

11/26/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands/Virgin Islands Report

Ahoy Crew! Ahoy!

Today is Saturday, November 26. Two days after the American holiday of Thanksgiving and one day after the American holiday of Black Friday... Hmmm... I'm currently making my way down the Pacific Coast from the Canadian border to San Francisco. By car, not by boat! And it's a good thing, too, because I just drove through a wicked early winter storm along the Oregon Coast. I would not like to have been out there in a boat no matter how well found it might be!

Before that I spent a week freezing my ass off in the San Juan Islands but had a very nice time visiting my dog, my friends and taking care of small errands and picking up my mail. Boring, boring, boring... Walks around the hiking trails on the island with my dog were the highlight of the stopover in the San Juans.

Of course I have finished my trip to the West Indies. I sent you a bunch of photos of the progress of the Island Sloop Project in the last email so let me just say that we brought the project to new levels and much closer to completion...

As I sit here in a generic hotel room in Eureka, California on a foggy,foggy morning getting ready to hit the road again I can't help but think about Thanksgiving and Black Friday, two very popular American holidays...

Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday of mine. It generally does not have the crass materialism associated with it that the Christmas holidays do. It is a nice time to get with family and friends to break bread together. Of course we usually do get a bit carried away with gluttony and over feeding. Considering that the original Thanksgiving was more than likely a somewhat smaller meal than we are used to today and probably consisted of venison, wild fowl, corn and berries and consumed by very hard working women and men who were struggling to stay alive in their new surroundings our Thanksgivings are different. Today an overfed an obese nation stuff themselves with a feast and then collapse on the couch to watch football on TV. (BURP!)

We should keep in mind that not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, either... There were an awful lot of people already living on the North American continent before the first Europeans arrived who did not do so well after the European arrival. Many native Americans and First Nations people do not see the same joy in the holiday that we of European descent do. In fact many view it as a day of mourning for the loss of their land and their culture. Be that as it may, we may not be able to change the past but we should be aware of it.

Now... Black Friday. Black Friday is black in reference to the fact that it is essential in getting retailers in the the profit zone for the year. People line up days in advance for special bargains on what is the biggest shopping day of the year. Hey now... I thought that we were in a recession but the news is that this past Black Friday had more spending than ever.

Interesting... I personally don't like crowds and can't imagine dealing with the lines and commotion that is associated with holiday shopping. That is why I was so impressed to hear that one woman shopper actually pulled out a can of pepper spray to clear the line out in front of her that was blocking her way to bargains on video games! Competitive shopping at its best! You gotta love it!

On that note... Carry On!

Chuck

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

11/20/11 - Sent to us by John Tierney - Australia Action Shot

click to enlarge photo Good picture of Andrew Thorpy on the wire on a nice one! On board Shaka... Click on photo to enlarge

11/19/11 - Wessley Merten via Chris Whitley - Dolphin Tagging Report

Thursday, November 17th, 2011, at 1:10 pm, the Dolphinfish Research Program achieved another milestone and continued to fulfill its research objectives by successfully tagging and releasing a 51.5" (45 lb.) male dolphinfish approximately 19.5 miles NNW off of San Juan with a satellite pop-off tag (PSAT).This is the 12th tag to be deployed on a dolphinfish in the western north Atlantic and the 1st ever off of San Juan, PR.

click to enlarge photo This is the second dolphinfish to be tagged off of Puerto Rico. This milestone was only achieved through the dedication and assistance of Captain Manuel Botello, Irvin Baez, and Alexis Alfalla, local sport and recreational fishermen, who have been participating in the program on the island since 2008.

11/14/11 - Rick Alvarez - Venezuela Fishing Report

Captain Miguel Tirado of S/F Bluebird from Puerto Rico reports fishing in La Guaira, Venezuela, 3 days OCT 22, 23 & 24 with Bluebird owner Jesus Montano and friends, they saw 22 blue marlin, had 18 bites, releasing 15 blues plus a white and a sail for good measure. Awesome!

For more information:" Email Rick or telephone 305 213 5521.

11/04/11 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Greetings from Shimoni,

How safe is Kenya?


I have recently received a number of e-mails and phone calls from abroad asking about the security situation in Kenya, and ultimately is it safe for them to come to Kenya? As a result I have decided to put together a report that I hope you will find informative and reassuring.

Over the past couple of months Kenya has received a fair amount of publicity in the world's media. The abduction of a British lady and the shooting of her husband from a beautiful tourist resort at Kiwaiyu followed by the abduction of an elderly French lady from Lamu were the source of much of this publicity. These most shocking events were a massive wake-up call to the Kenya government. Despite the proximity to the Somali border of Kiwayu (approx. 45 km) and Lamu (approx. 80 – 90 km) security had not been taken seriously enough, nor had anyone foreseen something like this happening. Then more recently the invasion of Somalia by the Kenyan military has fuelled yet more concern of insecurity to foreigners.

Many governments have issued travel advisories to their citizens both residing in Kenya and to those wishing to visit the country. They are all much the same in that they are advising against non-essential travel to those areas within 150 km of the Somali border. They have also promised to review these advisories towards the end of this year. What does 150 km from the border equate to in real terms? 150 km from the Somali border brings you to approximately Kipini at the northern end of the huge Ungwana Bay, just south of Lamu.

Since those tragic events there has been a huge step up in security and all the government departments responsible for security have been drawn together. The National Maritime Security Committee has been set up and regular meetings are held. This is something that ought to have been put in place long ago but at least it is there now. Their mandate covers not only the ocean but also landside security for the entire Kenya coast. A big effort has been made to ensure that all the hotels and resorts are safe and the Kenya Navy is now patrolling the Somali border. In reality, Lamu is now probably the safest place to visit!

In looking at security there are in fact two separate issues that we need to look at. I shall discuss each of these, what the situation is, where the major risks lie and what is being done to mitigate those risks?

1. Piracy has been with us in the Indian Ocean for a few years now and many countries have warships patrolling the western Indian Ocean to protect the important trade routes. The Somali pirates have been causing a real nuisance of themselves hijacking merchant ships and even a few private yachts for massive ransoms. Typically the pirates use fast open fibreglass boats to chase down ships and previously they could only operate during the calm weather. Last year there was a change in tactic as they began to use the ships that they had hijacked as mother ships, which meant that they could go much further afield and still operate during the rough weather.

Up until around October 2010 the Kenya government was under the mistaken illusion that the pirates were purposely avoiding encroaching into our territorial waters. Around that time they began to target merchant vessels within our waters and I think they saw the ships waiting to enter the port of Mombasa as a soft target. There was no security in reality so these ships were very vulnerable and it was just luck that the pirates never succeeded in taking one. When a locally registered commercial fishing vessel was captured by the pirates in the waters of northern Kenya the government had to react. We also realised that even our sport fishing boats or the private yachts must be considered as potential targets.

As the chairman of the Kenya Angling Association (KASA) I met with the director-general of the Kenyan Maritime Authority (KMA) in October 2010 to discuss our concerns. KASA had advised our members to cease all night fishing activities and to avoid going too far offshore where communication may be difficult. I was looking for backup from the director-general as well as an assurance that the Kenya government was taking the threat seriously.

Not only did I find the director-general very supportive but it was also very obvious that they had taken the situation extremely seriously. As well as the threat to sport fishing boats I had also raised concern for the ships awaiting clearance to enter the port of Mombasa who can be there for in excess of five days and hence must be very vulnerable. Two days after our meeting, the KMA circulated the coordinates for a 10 x 20 nautical mile exclusion zone off Mombasa. Ships visiting Mombasa are expected to wait within the exclusion zone with 24-hour security provided by the Kenya Navy. No small boats of any description are permitted within the exclusion zone.

During that same meeting we established a very important line of communication for sport fishing boats anywhere on the Kenya coast. Now, before putting to sea the boat captain is expected to call the Regional Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (RMRCC) provide details of the boat, number of persons on board with nationalities, anticipated fishing area and expected time of return. At the end of the day the captain must report back in to the RMRCC. The RMRCC is an International Maritime Organization (IMO) search and rescue coordination centre manned by KMA personnel responsible for coordinating all search and rescue as well as responses to piracy attacks throughout the entire region. In Kenya we have never had a coastguard and in the past all search and rescue had been left up to individual boat owners so this was a fantastic development. Now at last we have an open line of communication to an official coordinating response organisation in case of any kind of emergency. We have found the RMRCC to be most efficient and professional.

KASA maintains very close ties with the Kenyan Maritime Authority to the extent that we have signed a memorandum of understanding, which is a clear indication of the respect that we have for each other. In addition to the above we now receive meteorological updates and warnings of impending bad weather. We also receive invitations to attend workshops and seminars on subjects that may affect our business, which have included response to oil spills and maritime security. These communications and relationships help keep us all that much safer out there on the deep blue sea.

Since October 2010 increased attention has been placed on maritime security although the main focus was the exclusion zone off Mombasa. In March 2011 KASA was invited to a meeting with the British High Commissioner to discuss the current situation and for him to hear what the private sector was doing to safeguard tourists. A presentation was made by EU-NAVFOR (the EU naval force) after which we were given an opportunity to explain what steps we had taken. Both the High Commissioner and the EU-NAVFOR representatives were very impressed by what KASA had done and advised other groups to follow suit. Since that meeting I have been involved in advising the coast tourist Association members on the steps that should be taken by other maritime tourism sectors.

Click to enlarge mapA follow-up to the above meeting was held on 3rd November 2011 to review the situation. It is clear that the reason for the travel advisories was that when the initial events occurred there was clearly insufficient security in place. However, it was conceded that a great deal has been done since then to improve on security throughout Kenya. British government representatives are touring the coast meeting with British subjects and the private sector to see for themselves the effectiveness of the new measures.

There have not been any attacks by pirates within Kenyan waters on merchant ships since March 2011 and there has never been an attack on a sportfishing boat or a yacht in Kenya waters.

The Somalia border is now heavily patrolled and fishing by locals is now prohibited in the border area until further notice. That should make it much more difficult for cross-border incursions. Patrols along the rest of the coast have also increased significantly not only by the navy but also by the Maritime Police and Kenya Wildlife Service. The hotels have all received fresh advice on their security and Kenya Wildlife Services are raising security in all the parks.

In addition to the steps taken by Kenya the international navies also appear to be recording significant successes. I have been monitoring the situation in the western Indian Ocean throughout and it would seem that most attacks on merchant vessels take place off the coast of Oman and the entrance to the Red Sea although of course there have been attacks elsewhere in the Western Indian Ocean as far south as Mozambique and nearly as far east as India.

2. Terrorism is something that every country in the world is faced with these days. Somalia, for nearly two decades has not had an effective government. Kenya has invaded Somalia with the support of the Somali transitional government to flush out the militant Islamic group known as Al Shabaab who are closely allied to Al Qaeda. That lawless country has been a perfect base for terrorist training camps and after the United States received a bloody nose there nobody has wanted to take responsibility to sort Somalia out. The constant fighting and subsequent famine in that country has resulted in huge numbers of refugees fleeing across our border. The refugee camp at Dadaab near the Somali border is now reported to be the third biggest city in Kenya. Al Shabaab has threatened retaliatory action against Kenya and there have been two grenade attacks both in Nairobi, the one at a bar and the other at a bus station both frequented by local Kenyans. A man was subsequently arrested in possession of a large number of grenades and weapons, pleaded guilty and has already been jailed for life.

The threat posed by Al Shabaab has been taken very seriously and security has been beefed up significantly. Acts of terrorism, such as the grenade attacks are designed to scare the populace so that they stay at home, don’t go to work. But, as in most countries the people have rapidly adopted the attitude of, “You are not going to stop us doing what we do”. Kenyans are, however much more aware and on the lookout for potential threats, which is a great boost to the security organs, making it more difficult for the terrorists to function.

In summary, I believe that the risks from terrorism are no different from any other country. The security on land has definitely been put in place and with all government departments and private sector communicating with one another it certainly helps. There is always room for improvement and as with anything else security procedures should be dynamic. The Kenya government is also receiving constant logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK as well as many other countries.

Do I feel safe travelling around Kenya? Yes, I do and I don’t think that any of us have changed our movements in anyway.

Do I feel safe going out fishing? Yes, I do but I guess we do all have a much more heightened awareness of what is around us than perhaps we did a few years back. The link to the RMRCC is very comforting and we no longer feel all alone out there. However, I would not go out fishing at night for fairly obvious reasons.

I truly believe that Kenya is a safe destination to visit and I'm sure that you will enjoy your stay in our beautiful country with its friendly and hospitable people.

Tight lines and happy days!

Simon

website
email
Mobile: Tel: +254 (0)722 796198 (Simon)
Fax : 254 40 2227675

Sea Adventures Ltd.
P.O. Box 348
Ukunda 80400, Kenya

11/01/11 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Greetings from Shimoni,

I am very pleased to report that the ocean is looking really good, the water temperature is up and the fish are there in the channel. Pat and I went out on Monday with "Broadbill" on our own to see what the sea was like and if we might not find a fish or two so that we might send you a nice positive report.

We tagged a sail almost as soon as we arrived on the drop-off outside Funzi Bay and then headed out. The wind was not great, a bit westerly but the water looked really good and there were even some rips beginning to show. The dorado have really moved in big time and there was seldom long between strikes as these great fighters kept racing in to the spread to grab a lure, sometimes the biggest one in the spread. But, then came the magic moment when the 30-lb on the outrigger began to scream. I soon realized that this was no dorado because although it didn't jump it was running strongly. It made one big splash but none of us were able to get a positive ID on it so we thought that perhaps it was a big wahoo. After the initial good run it came fairly easy and once it started to come in to view Usama from his vantage point called down that it was a sailfish, no its a striped marlin! However, I spotted immediately what it was and warned them all to be careful, this was a very nice shortbill spearfish of around 50-lb.

Click to enlarge mapThese fish are so beautiful and I have been very lucky to catch probably more than any other skipper in East Africa. This was however, the first one that I have caught myself and only the second spearfish that Pat had seen in 49 years of fishing.

Apart from the dorado we also caught skipjack tuna and frigate mackerel a good indicator that there is plenty of food out there. There have to be marlin although we did not raise any but "White Otter" had released one a few days earlier and yesterday released another one so they are there. The water temperature is up 3ºC since September and the sea looked really nice.

We still have plenty of availability unfortunately in November and December with a few slots still available in January to March.

Tight lines!

Simon

website
email
Mobile: Tel: +254 (0)722 796198 (Simon)
Fax : 254 40 2227675

Sea Adventures Ltd.
P.O. Box 348
Ukunda 80400, Kenya

11/01/11 - Scott Kerrigan - Aqua Paparazzi shooting on Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Hi Jimmy,

Managed to catch a nasty cold at the end and have been laying low trying to recover at home. Not even the strength to go down the street to the boat show.... I just posted my GBR wrap up this morning.

Back from Australia. Had a great time. Tim and the crew of the Tradition run a first class operation and made it a fantastic trip. The monster Black Marlin were hard to find, but we had plenty of action from some smaller ones. I hope everyone who ever dreamed of seeing the reef gets the opportunity I had. Definitely a bucket list check mark.

GBR update #7 Scott's photos .

Scott

10/16/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands/BVI Report

The Fry Are In Thick


The fry are in thick and the Tarpon are having a feast! The Tarpon are called “Bass” by the locals here in Jost Van Dyke but by whatever name they are called they are a wonderful thing to watch from the dock or nearby shore as they cruise under and crash through the small fish we call “fry”.

The fry are about two inches long by maybe a quarter of an inch in diameter and areas of the harbor become black with them as they school up in the millions providing a wonderful food source for the larger fish who crash them from below and for the Pelicans who dive bomb them from above. Of course Foxy, who was born here tells me that, back in the day, there used to be many, many more fry literally blacking out the entire harbor.

Fishermen in the group will recognize Tarpon because they are a much prized ocean gamefish, especially on light tackle and fly. Let me just add that I just saw a nice group of Snook, another prized gamefish, taking a close look at the fry over by the government dock. There are always Snapper and Hard Nose busting up the fry along with the always present Barracuda and small Shark, too! It's great stuff. Foxy and I were watching the show last Sunday morning at dawn. We watched silently from the dock and agreed that it was every bit as powerful a thing to be experiencing as any religious experience anywhere. Mother Nature at her best! We had a sizable chunk of the marine food chain doing its thing right there in front of us. Beautiful.

The little island of Jost Van Dyke, located in the British Virgin Islands, is a mountainous island of only about 3 square miles with a full time population of about 250-300 persons. I come here on what has become an annual migration to spend time with my friends here and to help in the building of a 32 foot replica Island Sloop, the "Endeavour II", that is being built under the auspices of the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society.

Once again, after 5 weeks of focused energy we have managed to bring the construction of the "Endeavour II" to another level and have brought it closer to its launching and to its ultimate completion. It will be the only boat of its size ever built here on this small, out of the way island and it will be the Flagship of The Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society. You should check out their website and Facebook pages for more information on this non-profit, non-governmental organization that is dedicated to preserving the environment, elucidating the history, and just generally making the smaller islands of the British Virgin Islands a better place for locals and visitors alike...

I have attached some photos of the Tarpon and fry action along with some photos of other fish, friends and the "Endeavour II". I hope that you enjoy them! Chuck's photos (lg. file).

That's about it for now, crew, so Carry On!

Chuck

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

10/14/11 - Scott Kerrigan - Aqua Paparazzi shooting on Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Hey Jimmy,

In case you can post this information on your web page, I'm shooting in Australia for 13 days and am able to update my blog daily Scott's photos . I have some posts from my first 4 days already posted and am added more. I'm a million miles away, but still enjoying your North Drop updates each evening while anchored up on the reef.

See you at the FLL show,

Scott

Aqua Paparazzi, Inc. ft lauderdale, fl / 954.553.5445

10/09/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - GBR, Australia Fishing Report

LATEST NEWS

Halfway between Lizard Island and Cooktown.

I last left off at the end of day 3 in the Lizard Island Classic after a shocker!!!! What a difference a day makes, I went down and fished No: 7 Ribbon Reef for the day and we ended up with 3 from 3 fish, for a great day, with a 350, 450 and 800 lb fish for Lydie. Lydie did a wonderful job on all the fish as usual, and was nice to finish the day with a nice one!!!

Next day we fished the same spot and were marking fish all day but only one bite. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet were catching pretty consistently, but some days you are watching others do all the catching.

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Day 6 was so calm it was ridiculous!!! We left the Anchorage at #7 and trolled up the inside catching some baits and fished on No: 10 again for the day. The fish were marking real well and we stuck it out and were rewarded with a nice 400 lb fish for Lydie, and raised another 4 that didnt eat. 3 of these were all 500-600 lb fish that would come up on the big bait and then fade away time after time.

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Next to us the Askari, which won this years Lizard Comp, hooked up a big one so I stood by and shot some great video from the tower. A real nice fish that Cory called 1100, and the photos never do them justice!!!

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I trolled south for the anchorage and just after cease fishing we got piled on by a big one, 15 minutes too late to count in the comp!!!

Lydie fought a really tough hard mean fish, we had the leader after about 6 minutes, but there was no way she was slowing down yet, at the 45 minute mark we had the leader and Lydie decided she wanted to take the fish.

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This is Lydies biggest fish to the boat in 6 seasons fishing with us, and about 40 fish tagged, so a well deserved big fish for her.

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We weighed the fish the next morning and she weighed in at a very impressive 1103 lbs !!! A magical grander for sure, and the first one of the season for one of the GBRs favourite anglers!!!

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The whole fleet fished down No: 10 back to Lizard on the last day and with flat calm conditions was really nice, even though the fishing was slower for everyone. We did get a bite at second corner late in the day, but didnt come tight. We ended up 11th out of 24 boats, and with a bit of luck there for a couple of days could have been much higher. But even so we got Lydie runner up lady angler in this years comp.

Today we are just trolling back to Cooktown to drop off Peter and Lydie and resupply for our next trip which starts in the morning. We have Stephan all the way from Germany and also coming along for the trip is my good friend Scott Kerrigan who has been shooting photos for as long as I can remember. Going to be a great trip!!!

With just incredible fishing this week for the fleet of 25 boats , with at least 30 fish over 70, plus 5 or 6 over a 1000 lbs . The current is incredibly good this year and looks like continuing for a while. Come and grab your spot on the TRADITION, I have Oct 30 to Nov 10 inclusive available as a block or split up, so let me know if you are interested in coming and fishing the greatest place on earth, the Great Barrier Reef , where the monsters live !!!!!

Back in a few days!!!!

Capt Tim

email Tim
visit website
61 427 758768

10/05/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - GBR, Australia Fishing Report

LATEST NEWS

Oct 5 2011

No: 9 Ribbon Reef

The weather has been awesome since we started, and even a few days of flat calm.

Our first trip was 11 days with the boys from the US, and was very cruisy, with lots of spearing and fishing in the afternoons. We stocked up on bait and dropped off a load of bait in Cooktown for later in the season as well.

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The boys really enjoyed their time on the reef this year, and were totally relaxed by the time the trip was over.

Fishing wise, we caught some small ones, and one afternoon after a really long spearing session we put the bait in at the top of No: 3 Ribbon and didnt even go 200 yards, and there she was a nice big one. The fish sat still for a moment, still swimming around, and we snuck up on her pretty close when she realised something wasnt right and took off out to the deep!!!

With some great angling in the Scopinich Chair, we got the leader on a really nice fish and tagged our first big one of the season, a really big fish at 900++.

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We are currently fishing the 25th Lizard Island Classic, and with our lady angler Lydie back with us for their 6th season with us !!!!

Starting in Cooktown at lunchtime we just chugged out to the reef catching baits, and getting ready for the week. Our fabulous "chefs" prepared Tasmanian oysters and garlic/ginger Moreton Bay bugs with rice for dinner, a great way to start off the trip.

Saturday morning was a glass out on the reef and we fished down No:10 for the first time this season, and were rewarded with great fishing. Early on we caught a feisty fish about 350 lbs, that just went nuts!!! Jumping all over the place in different directions. Kept going and we fought a nice fish around 700 for a while , only to pull the hook 6" from grabbing the leader !!!!

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By now i was marking lots of fish and we managed to tag another one about 300 for Lydie, and then saw another couple on our way up to the top of No: 10, before we ran into Lizard Island for the tournament briefing.

First day of the comp was totally different conditions, no current like the day before and much slower, we didnt even see one, and pretty slow for the fleet. Day 2 we saw a few , missed a 700 and tagged a 350 for Lydie to put us in 2nd for the ladies division.

Yesterday was frustrating, started off watching the 2 boats next to me tag one each, and we had to listen to the good fishing for a couple of boats on the radio while most of the fleet watched the action too!!!

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First day of the comp was totally different conditions, no current like the day before and much slower, we didnt even see one, and pretty slow for the fleet. Day 2 we saw a few, missed a 700 and tagged a 350 for Lydie to put us in 2nd for the ladies division.

Late afternoon we raised a pod of fish , including a real big one and as she was going to eat, the males charged in and took her away to make baby marlins !!! Very frustrating, and then we had a double header, and jumped them both off. Just wasnt our day.

There are definately some big fish around, with big ones being seen everyday.

I have had one of my client pull out, so I have some exceptional time open beginning on Oct 24 and into November, which is always regarded as incredible time for fishing and weather on the GBR. Let me know if you can get away from work and get here to fish with us on TRADITION.

Till next time, Tim

email Tim
visit website
61 427 758768

10/04/11 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Greetings from Shimoni,

Unfortunately I am not able to report on much fishing activity in the Shimoni area because there simply have not been the charters. The boats are lying idle at their moorings with the crews working on odd jobs here and there. But, I can report on some good fishing in the Pemba Channel.

Broadbill was recently out and lost a nice black marlin that Pat estimated at 300+ that insisted on taking a small lure on a 30-lb outfit and unfortunately the line bust. But, just yesterday a big group of boats returning from the Latham Island fishing tournament out of Dar es Salaam encountered plenty of marlin. Yesterday they were travelling up the channel from Ras Nungwi, N. Zanzibar to Mombasa right past our door. Callum Looman's "Tarka" hooked a big blue marlin on a 50-lb line that spooled them so they clipped on another heavier rod to the 50-lb reel and chucked the first rod overboard. Only Callum would dare do that and it is not the first time! They managed to get the 50-lb rod back on board plus around 150m of line before the 50 popped. Shortly after "B's Nest" hooked a nice blue but when it charged the boat it managed to throw the hook. "Ol Jogi" also missed a nice blue and "Tarka" another one. Rob Hellier's "Unreel" raised a big blue on an outrigger but it declined to take. Most of this action was happening straight off Shimoni in centre channel! Then off Chale Pt just north of here "Tarka" had another big fish up and "Ol Jogi" had a pair of stripies up. "Tarka" rose another stripey off Diani and although all the marlin got away they were there!

Click to enlarge map Those marlin must be here for a reason and this is what it was like when the tuna were running during September and October. Perhaps they are but we are not out there to see!

Very frustrating! I have one engine out of order on "Kamara II" whilst the exhaust elbow is welded but hopefully I shall be back in action soon. "Broadbill" is running really nicely and hence all set to go out. The fighting chair on "Kamara II" having been reinforced is now really strong so we are all set for that big fish! Her new bimini covers also really nice and I have installed a new cooker in the galley.

We have plenty of vacancies between now and new year and there are still some free space in the main marlin season but January and February are filling up fast.

Tight lines,

Simon

website
email
Tel: +254 (0)722 796 198 (Simon) or (0)722 479 864 (Maia)

09/30/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers,

Once again the volunteer taggers have come through for this research program, reaching the goal of 1,000 fish tagged in 2011. This year’s tagging effort has been more spread out among the participating boats. This means that several of the year-end awards for tagging the most dolphin are up for grabs. It seems that several boat crews have set their sights on the year-end awards. These awards are given to the top private boat, top charter boat, top individual angler and top boat tagging in areas other than off Florida’s east coast. The tee shirts given to participants tagging dolphin are nice, but everyone can use another top quality rod and reel or set of world famous sunglasses.

This year’s top taggers in the four categories will receive a Shimano TLD 30 on a Star standup trolling rod. These top quality trolling outfits are made possible by the generous donations of Haddrell’s Point Fishing Tackle of Mt. Pleasant and Charleston, South Carolina, and Star Rods/Sea Striker Tackle based in Morehead City, North Carolina. This year’s second place finisher in each category will receive a pair of sunglasses courtesy of Costa Del Mar based in Daytona Beach, Florida. These year-end awards serve to inspire participating anglers to put forth a little more effort in tagging dolphin, than they normally might, resulting in more fish being tagged. It is only through the support of such conservation minded businesses that the Dolphin Tagging Study is able to provide these outstanding awards. Please let these businesses know that you appreciate their support of this important research. See Dolphin Report

Good fishing,

Don

Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524
cssllc@bellsouth.net
www.dolphintagging.com

9/20/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing

LATEST NEWS Sep 19, 2011

Back in Cairns:

After a couple of really busy weeks at Gold Coast City Marina getting the TRADITION ready for the season, the boys arrived and got straight to work on the tackle and sorting through their stuff.

We left the Gold Coast last Saturday and had a good, but windy trip up the coast to Cairns, but fortunately the wind was offshore or behind us, most of the way. We had a few nights that were really cold which didn't make it much fun up on the bridge. That enclosed bridge is a good idea every now and again!!

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We chugged straight through from the coast to Cape Bowling Green, just south of Townsville before we even put a line in the water, and not even 5 minutes later we had a bite from a bigger fish, not your average 30- 60 lb black you normally get there, this was a real fat 120 lb fish that Carl fought for sooooo long!!!!

We stopped in Port Hinchinbrook where the big cyclone went through earlier this year, what a mess, the marina is still just pilings after all this time, and lots of homes still being fixed. The reason we stopped was to catch up with my great friend and old captain, Greg Edwards, who is up there with his family running a tour setup to the beautiful Hinchinbrook Island. We had a great night at his place, Moreton Bay bugs, Scollops and lots of stories from the old days around his big BBQ. A really good night for us all.

Got to Cairns on Friday evening, so an even 7 days up the coast for 845nm!!! and only burned half a tank of fuel. Heading out tomorrow to do some bait fishing and into heavy tackle.

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Some really exciting news is that my good friend Merijo Attong along with Ozzie Gonzalez and Roddy Hays have put together a live fishing radio show once a week with reports and interviews from all over the world. These are some of the best of the best in the fishing world. log on to the link below for this weeks episode, and bookmark the page for episodes.

see

You can listen there, download or subscribe with your android, iphone, and Itunes should be up soon too.

The few boats that have been fishing have been doing really well, with a few 800/900 lb fish caught this week, as well as the smaller fish, and seems to be about 2-5 bites a day up the reef. Can't wait to get out there.

see website

Our season is pretty full, but due to a couple of cancellations I have some incredible mid season time available as a liveaboard or mothership trip. The open dates are Oct 24 to Nov 10, great tides and the weather is generally really good this tie of the year, and lots of big fish around. I only have 2 other openings, Nov 26 to 30 inclusive (5 days) and starting on Dec 8 onwards. These last 2 sets of dates are when we generally get out wide to the seamount and outer reefs, and when the tuna aggregation is happening, swimming with whale sharks, jigging big tunas from underneath them and also doggies and GT's and big trout out at Holmes, Flora and down to McDermott Bank. These are really great trips to places rarely fished.

January I am doing a couple of trips out wide heading south, the first from Cairns down to Mackay via the outer reefs, and then from Mackay out thru the Swains, and down to the outer reefs and seamounts back to the Gold Coast. Just email me for more information.

Capt Tim Richardson

email Tim
visit website
61 427 758768

09/19/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands/Virgin Islands Report

Thunder and Lightning for a Travelin’ Man

Ahoy Crew! Now Hear This!

It’s a remarkably calm sea out on the ocean right now. Foxy and his crew took his fishing boat, “Ocean Jem”, out to pull fish pots on the North side of Jost Van Dyke this morning. (They really don’t like going out when it’s rough and windy. Can't blame them.) There are a lot of storm clouds moving around right now and the thunder and lightning have been very active the last couple of days. It gets my juices flowing!

It’s been a month or so since I last wrote a “crew letter” and I’ve covered a lot of miles in that time. No, not by sailboat, as the “Deev” lies on her mooring in Majuro Lagoon under the watchful eye of some good friends, but on the big bird which covers the miles very quickly from 30,000 feet above the earth’s surface. From the San Juan Islands on the Canadian border with Washington State to St. Thomas. St. Thomas in the USVI to Jost Van Dyke in the BVI. Back to St. T and then to upstate NY and back again to the Caribbean. Whew! All in a little more than a month. Today is Sunday. The weather is calm though noisy. The tourists have fled the Caribbean with its Hurricane Season and the beach bars and restaurants are all but shut down. There is not a single charter boat or bareboat in the harbor. Just the way I like it! There are no pesky tourists to bother me as I paddle my kayak around Great Harbor!

The first thing on my itinerary when I arrived in St. Thomas was to hang out with my friends in the boatyard. What can I say, once a boatyard rat, always a boatyard rat... From the boatyard I eased on down to the docks at Red Hook where all the Blue Marlin fishing action takes place. Every year from July through September the number of Blue Marlin that move into the waters of the North Drop in the Virgin Islands is huge. The pre-eminent pioneer of this fishery was the legendary Johnny Harms who almost single handedly put this place on the map. One of his mates was a young fellow by the name of Jimmy who resides here still although perhaps he is not as young as he used to be! (None of us are.) Jimmy Loveland is the Tournament Director and primary organizer of the Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament. This year marks the 39th running of this tournament which is considered by many to be the "Superbowl" of Atlantic Blue Marlin tournaments. I participated as a Tournament Observer and rode on a different boat on each of the four days of the event to monitor that the fish were caught and released according to the rules of the tournament. In four days of fishing 107 Atlantic Blue Marlin were caught and released by 20 boats. The start of the tournament was used as a venue to honor the holder of the Women’s All Tackle World Record holder, Maudi Lopez, who caught her “Grander” back in the early 1980’s right here on the North Drop aboard her then husband’s boat the “Prowess”. The record still stands today and a replica of the fish was raised over “A” dock in Red Hook. (See the attached photo.) I knew Maudi and Joe Lopez in those days and I can testify to the fact that Maudi, an Aussie lass, can still drink me under the table! Good on ya, Maudi!

Moving on to the British Islands I rejoined my friends on Jost Van Dyke with the Preservation Society to help on the construction of their 32 foot Island Sloop replica “Endeavour II” one more time. I have been making this pilgrimage annually for the last few years when time and finances allow me to work on this project. It looks like this year will be the year that the boat can be put in the water and taken to the boatyard to complete the rigging and engine installation. “Splice the mainbrace! Rum drinks for all hands!”

Upon arrival to JVD I was honored by the arrival of Hurricane Irene. She was a small storm when she passed over the Virgin Islands and the Puerto Rican Islands but many of you will remember her for the billions of dollars of damage she caused to the East Coast as she slammed it from the Carolinas to New England. Flood damage was extensive to say the least and millions were left without power for days. Irene hit Upstate New York on a Sunday and I arrived the following Wednesday on family business. It was shortly after Irene’s arrival that the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee added to the destruction with more flooding. It’s been quite an active year, weather wise. Some of my friends cringe when they hear I’m coming and begin to batten down the hatches. Come on now! The weather is not my fault! At least I don’t think so…

I’m back on Jost now. The weather is rainy and wet but the seas are remarkably calm. By the way, Foxy just pulled in with a fine haul of Grouper and Snapper. The conch horn was blown and the locals are lining up at his boat on the government dock to buy his fish. All is well on Jost van Dyke.

Carry On!

Chuck Handy/ Jost Van Dyke/ British Virgin Islands

(OH SHOOT! I'll send the photos tomorrow. I promise!) See My Photos

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

09/01/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers,

The Dolphinfish Research Program has enjoyed a long successful run in unraveling the mysteries of this great game and food fish. There are many reasons behind the success of this research program but the two biggest is fishermen’s desire to know more about their favorite game fish and concern for the future of the fishery. These are the two major motivating factors that get anglers to tag fish and people to provide the financial support to make the program possible. These two primary components of the DRP are not one in the same, a point, clearly made this year. See Dolphin Report

A letter seeking donations to support the research was sent to 70 individuals that signed up in 2011 to tag dolphin. As of this date, no financial support has been received from any of these individuals. The point is that there are many anglers who are willing to give up some of their small dolphin for science, but can not afford or chose not to help pay for the research effort. Anglers who spend their time and money to tag dolphin, feel that they are making a financial contribution when engaged in tagging. Offshore fishing is an expensive sport. This is why those, organizations, businesses, and individuals who are willing to provide financial support are so vital to the success of the program.

I am very proud to have Costa Del Mar, Grady White Boats, Sea Striker Fishing Tackle, and Haddrell’s Point Tackle, members of the fishing business community, and Marine Ventures Foundation, an organization dedicated to marine research, as major sponsors but they do not cover the full cost of the program. This year, more fishing clubs and sponsors of tournaments have recognized that it is in their interest to support the work of the Dolphinfish Research Program. It is their members and participants that have the most to gain from a healthy dolphin population. This issue of the newsletter highlights the involvements and support of these groups in the Dolphinfish Research Program.

Also in this issue, Wess Merten, a graduate student finishing his Ph.D. degree in the Marine Science Program at the University of Puerto Rico and is working in cooperation with the DRP, has devised a new approach to following the vertical movements and water temperatures of free-ranging dolphin tracked by satellite tags. Visit his You Tube video to get a new perspective on your quarry’s behavior.

Good Fishing,

Don

Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524
cssllc@bellsouth.net
www.dolphintagging.com

8/16/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing

I have now finished up my contract on the Ambush, with a great 2 week trip mostly diving all thru the British Virgin Islands. The two families we had on the Olga and Ambush had a great time, and the kids all had a blast with us on the Ambush, with some excellent deep dropping trips, and just relaxing. We dove some nice ledges, and a cool old British mail ship that ran aground in a hurricane a long time ago. We trolled the North Drop for a couple of days, but the weed and green water made it tough, but thankfully now on the August moon, the water has cleaned up and the USVI Boy Scout Tournament is going gangbusters!!!! With lots of fish and up to 10 bites a day for some boats. Wish we could have stayed and fished!!!!. Im sure that my Lumo Sprocket would have been on!!!

Well I am back in Florida this week, before heading home next week to get the TRADITION out of the water and ready for another big season. Only the normal bottom job and some paint touch ups this time, by my friends at Gold Coast City Marina, and Dean at Spraytime Marine, who both helped out so much last year with the big refit.

The boys come in early September to help load the boat, do their tackle and for the trip up the coast, which will be a quick one. Straight thru to Hinchinbrook Island to see Capt Greg "Muddy" Edwards for a night and then scad fish to Cairns before we start our first heavy tackle trip with Thomas on the 20th of September for 11 days. Will be a great trip, September is so underrated these days, and is always good for some good wind and plenty of numbers of fish seen each day. Lots of smaller ones, but also some nice ones mixed in with them. I remember the early days in my career when we would be fishing out of Lizard by the first of September, and now we have the cooler water patterns again, it should really help make our seasons longer again.

Then one of the Reefs favourite couples arrive, with Peter and his lovely wife Lydie joining us for their annual 8 days on the TRADITION, and with the Lizard island Comp back in their dates, Lydie wants to again give the guys a run for their money!!!!. So we are putting the 50lb away for the week and will do our best to bring home the big trophy!!!

Then I have a new client, who has caught 3 grander blues, and is after his big black, so with 2 weeks booked, we should have a shot at a few nice big ones.

A couple of my regular clients cant make it this year, which opens up some opportunites during prime late October and November dates. If you are interested in some of this time, please email me. The wonderful motherhsips, Bali Hai and the Atlantic Princess are both available during this time period, and of course we can also cater for liveaboard trips.

visit website

I am then busy for a few weeks untill December, where we are available from December 8 onwards for our well known trips out wide to the seamount, and outer reefs and atolls of Holmes, Flora, McDermott Bank region. And at this time of the season there are also blue marlin and tunas to be caught, as well as poppers and jigging for doggies and GTs.

visit website

I am looking at leaving the boat in Cairns over the Christmas period this year, and then head down the coast in January. So if you are interested in bringing the family up over the holidays, or exploring some really remote areas on the way back to the Gold coast, please let me know. Would like to check out some of the remote atolls off the bottom of the Swains and seamounts off Fraser Island that are about 100 miles offshore.

Please email me if you have any questions about any trips you would like to try, and also about a special deal on 10 days Mothershipping with the Bali Hai - an EXCELLENT deal is available due to a cancellation.

email Tim
visit website
www.CaptTimRichardson.com

08/11/11 - Capt. James Barnes - Hamilton, Bermuda Fishing Report

The fishing here has been pretty good and so I thought I would send out a quick report.

I was out on Capt. Cragin's "Reel Addiction" on Saturday with Jimmy Thatcher, Brent Slade and Matthew Crumley. We got off to a cracking start heading across the Churn - first a blue marlin attacked the long right and Brent was in the chair and hooked-up, but after it rattled off some line the hook pulled. A few seconds after that the short right Grander Candy rig started peeling and we soon had Jimmy hooked-up tight to what we assumed was a second blue marlin. Jimmy did a nice job cranking and much to our surprise as mate Mark grabbed the leader a beautiful fat yellowfin tuna appeared. Chaos ensued as gaffs came out and Cragin flew down from the bridge and we successfully boated the 136 lb yellowfin tuna. Having that tub of sushi aboard put us in a great mood for the rest of the day. Even the double header of huge barracuda that we caught shortly after on the SE corner did not dampen our mood. We then caught two wahoo on the South side of Challenger and headed down to Argus where we added another dozen wahoo to the box. We fished very late looking for a blue marlin, but the final tally was a pleasing 14 wahoo and the big tuna. Our two biggest wahoo were in the 40-45 lb class and the rest were mixed sizes down from there. See picture attached.

Also on Saturday, one of the visiting boats, "Mio Tempo" on their first trip offshore released a 600 pounder and had 4 other shots. "Great Escape" released a white on Saturday and saw a huge blue, and then on Sunday they released a 600 lb class blue marlin. "Matanza" released a white on Sunday. "Reel Action" came out for a late afternoon troll on Saturday and also released a blue marlin in the 600 lb class.

On Sunday, we headed back out on "Reel Addiction" with Jamie Todd replacing Brent and Jimmy. It was a different trip over to the bank with no bites and a storm of pelting rain, plenty of lightning and 20 knot headwinds. On Challenger we caught a peanut dolphin and missed two huge peels - I'm fairly sure that one was a blue marlin, but can't confirm, and then we went over to Argus and caught 6 wahoo and missed a bunch of strikes. We didn't bother to stick it out with the wahoo and preferred instead to look for marlin and get home very early. The marlin didn't want to play though. "Paradise One" focused on the wahoo and I heard they caught 14 on Sunday; they also had action with blue marlin over the weekend, but I'm not sure how many they caught.

The remnants of tropical storm Emily kept most boats ashore Monday and Tuesday, but it sounds as if the action continues to be decent - "Reel Addiction" boated 4 wahoo and a 40 lb yellowfin today and released a blue marlin.

08/01/11 - Capt. James Barnes - Hamilton, Bermuda Fishing Report

Blue Marlin Bonanza in Bermuda

Quick update - my prediction last week of the blue bite being on the upswing was spot-on. It's been excellent, especially considering how many big fish are being encountered.

The prize for the week goes to visiting boat "Bree" - they released 4 blue marlin and a white marlin on Wednesday 7/27 and then went out on Thursday and released 4 more blue marlin. The two biggest of those 8 blues were estimated at 900 lb and 650 lb.

There's been plenty of other big fish released. Brooks and crew on "Mattanza" released a 600 lb blue marlin on 7/26, and Capt. Allen Desilva and team on "Mako" released a 700 pounder on 7/29.

Capt. Cragin Curtis' "Reel Addiction" did well over the holiday weekend - they released a blue marlin on Friday, and another one on Saturday and scored with two more blue marlin releases on a short-trip on Sunday; and then released another blue marlin on a morning half-day trip yesterday.

I attach below a shot of the 140 lb yellowfin tuna taken aboard Capt. James Robinson's "Wound Up" on Friday 7/29. The big tuna grabbed a Widerange just minutes after the team had released a blue marlin.

It's all happening.......

07/05/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands Report

Ahoy Crew!!

As I reported recently the past Tuna Tournament was a bust with zero qualifying Tuna being caught. Fortunately the July Tournament was a little better. 24 boats entered the Offshore Trolling Division and19 entered the Inshore Bottom Fishing Division and some fish were caught! The July Tournament marks the end of the year for the club and the new year begins in August.

Bwiji Aliven caught the biggest Marlin of the year by landing a 623 pounder. Bwiji has twin 90 HP outboards on his boat and used the power tilt along with a piece of his cabin sole to get the fish in his boat. One must be creative out here on the edge of the world! A total of 16 qualifying Marlin were landed, 4 were tagged and released and 5 were landed but disqualified, 4 because they was smaller than the qualifying 100 pounds and the other because it was mutilated by sharks. Only two Marlin caught were over 200 pounds.

Wally Milne took top honors in the annual points competition aided by the fact that he tagged 16 Marlin this year. He was the top tagger for the year. As you know I have brought up the notion of a Total Release Billfish Tournament here in Majuro but I was pretty much laughed out of town. I mentioned it to Wally at the awards banquet last night and he is all in favor of it and thinks we should do it. We would need sponsors to cover the costs as the the prizes would have to be cash prizes for the top three boats and a smaller cash award for each tag and release. Let me know if you're interested in helping out! It would be nice to bring more Tag and Release to the edge of the world. I think we could organize it for about $5,000 total.

The Tuna showed up over the 2 day event with 4 qualifying Yellowfin hitting the dock. Kenneth Kramer won on the second day with a 113 pound fish. Until then Rudy Aliven was leading with a 104.

That was the highlights of this 29th Annual July Tournament. Check out all the results at billfishclub.com, the website for the Marshalls Billfish Club.

(And, by the way, there are more Tuna Seiners and their Motherships than ever in the lagoon right now.) Cheers from the Edge of the World,

Chuck

PS: I am on my way out of town for a while. A little time in the States and then a couple of months in the Caribbean. More to follow...

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

06/30/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers:

This year’s dolphin fishing has been on and off in all areas. It will be good for two or three days and then turn off for the same length of time. I had a couple of terrific reports recently from the Florida Keys, but the south Florida fishermen never did see that strong run of fish reach their waters. Many tournament representatives have reported serious absences of dolphin, in the Gulf and South Atlantic.The fishing this year has hurt the tagging effort. The number of fish tagged in 2011 is shaping up to be one of the lower years. This year’s salvation is found in the number of tags being recovered. Like 2009, which was another year with low a number of fish tagged, the tag recovery rate is twice the level that it normally is. During an average year, 2.5 percent of the tagged fish are reported recovered. This year the tag recovery rate is 4.0 percent. Thus the program is working more efficiently, capturing the data that normally would require 60 percent more fish tagged to produce. See Dolphin Report

One issue that has surfaced more frequently this year than in past years is late and lost tag cards. Please send in your tag report cards promptly. Check you boat or tackle bag for any old tag cards that may have been forgotten and send them in no matter how old they may be.

This newsletter is dedicated to reporting on ten tag recoveries. I hope that you find them interesting and informative.

Good fishing,

Don

Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524
cssllc@bellsouth.net
www.dolphintagging.com

06/30/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands Report

Marshalls Billfish Club Annual Tuna Tournament

Ahoy Crew!

Last weekend the Marshalls Billfish Club held its annual Tuna Tournament in the waters around Majuro and Arno Atolls in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This was the Seventh Annual Lazarus Andrike Memorial Biggest Yellowfin Tuna Tournament.

The good news is that six Marlin were tagged and released. Wally Milne tagged four, Ben Reimers tagged one and Ronnie Reimers tagged one. The bad news is that not a single qualifying Tuna was caught. To qualify a Yellowfin Tuna must weigh in at a minimum of forty pounds. Only three small Tuna were caught by the entire fleet of ten participating boats.

Traditionally this has been an area loaded with enormous schools of Skipjack, Yellowfin and Big Eye Tuna. Sometimes the surface of the ocean appears to be boiling with the turbulence caused by these huge schools of Tuna cutting through the baitfish. This has been known to occur over acres and acres of the ocean surface. I remember a time in the 1980’s when Ronnie Reimers and I were working the edge of one such school and looking astern I saw the small baitfish being churned by the propellers of the twin outboards. I heard a “thump, thump” and I saw that we had actually run over a Sailfish! There was that many fish! We caught 8 or 10 fish and left the school while it was still going off.

My friend Rudy Aliven is a member of the Board for the club and the Tournament Director. He said “I know where all our Tuna are… In a can!” The presence of the Purse Seiners and their Motherships in the Majuro Lagoon provide counterpoint to the lack of success of the local fleet of fishermen. The other day I counted a dozen Motherships and fifteen Purse Seiners in the lagoon. These industrial/commercial fishing vessels are harvesting the Tuna by the thousands of tons. With their advanced electronics and highly efficient fishing methods they are laying waste to this resource in the Western Pacific just as they have laid waste to other parts of the ocean where they have previously worked. They are actually banned from many other parts of the world because of the damage they cause to fish stocks.

It’s a sad state of affairs for sure... You guys have already heard me rant on this topic so I will leave it at that. This weekend the club has its big two day July Tournament, the biggest local tournament of the year. We’ll see what happens then…

Cheers from the edge of the world!

Chuck Handy

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

06/25/11 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Sea Adventures Ltd 2011 Newsletter

Greetings from Shimoni,

First of all apologies for the lateness of this year’s newsletter but the off-season has been fairly busy thus far. Pat & Maia travelled to Australia for a family wedding during March/April as well as to see the new editions to the family. As soon as they got back I went off to the UK for three weeks largely to do some powerboat training on the Hamble River near Southampton but also took the opportunity to visit my kids and see my first granddaughter.

I’m now a qualified advanced powerboat instructor, which means that I can teach the full range of the RYA powerboat courses. It was a great experience in Southampton especially considering the incredible numbers of boats, buoys, lights and traffic, far more than we ever see here.

Every season has its ups and downs and every season is completely different to the previous one. You never know what you are going to get, just one of the reasons why we go fishing. As has so often been said, “A bad day’s fishing is better than a good day in the office!” Fish and fishing are unpredictable and as soon as you think that you have it all worked out the fish will show you something new.

Without a doubt the biggest talking point has been catching that first broadbill swordfish in daytime. We always thought that it was only in places like Sesimbra, Portugal and in Chile that for whatever reason broadbill could be caught during the day. We have seen many finning on the surface during the day but none ever looked at a bait, live or dead. We have even seen them free jump in daylight and Henry Henley, who once worked for my father as a skipper during the 1970’s captured one on camera as it jumped towards the boat. And then there was that incredible story of a fight between a broadbill and a huge mako shark witnessed by Piet van Dyk from his boat Yellowfin in the early 1970’s. Off Venezuela there were reports of regular catches being made during the day fishing very deep. But until February 2011 all broadbill catches in Kenya had been made at night either drifting with bait or trolling with artificials or even on fly.

But all this was to change following an article that appeared in Blue Water Magazine documenting the exploits of a couple of guys off Florida who were recording incredible success rates. They reckon that they never fail, catching every time that they try and what’s more they are catching much bigger fish. Pat was hooked on the idea and immediately set about putting together all the gear needed. We tried a couple of days in October but perhaps it was a bad time, too deep or the wrong place. History was made by Nick Michaelides on White Mischief off Watamu with a broadbill of 156 kg and quite a few others have been caught and lost since then. It was not until early March that Pat was to get another chance and this time it all paid off with a beautiful 155.1 kg broadbill caught by Christo Wentzel on 80, very appropriately from Broadbill. But, what a story it was and who would have thought that pilot whales would attack a fish on the line?

Pat with his beloved Broadbill also had the biggest marlin of the season, a super blue marlin estimated at 600 lb on 50 caught by Tim Kane from the UK on 12th February 2011. This was Tim’s first time and hence his first marlin – not a bad way to start. Tim caught a sailfish a little earlier and lost a stripey so how near was he to catching a grand slam at his first attempt? Pat also had a nice black marlin of just under 400 lb caught by Ian Gostling from the UK on 5th January 2011. That fish was part of a grand slam together with a stripey and 2 sails.

There was some great marlin fishing in January culminating in a wonderful striped marlin estimated at 230 lb on 50 caught by young Brett Ager from Zimbabwe fishing on Kamara II on 31st January 2011. It was by far the biggest striped marlin that I have seen in the water, a lovely fish caught early in the morning not that far out either. A few days earlier Ken Dodgson, also from the UK fishing on Kamara II in some quite rough weather had a grand slam of a blue, a stripey and a sail.

Mark Lempri é re from Guernsey in the Channel Islands fishing early on in the season, on 25th August 2010 remarked going out that he would really like to catch either a black marlin or a spearfish, could I arrange it? Sadly we couldn’t oblige with a black but we did get two shortbill spearfish caught only 20 minutes apart. I do not think that any other skipper in this region has been as lucky as I have been with spearfish over the years. Mark also added a striped marlin that same day so not a bad day’s fishing at any time of the year but especially in August.

Pat after 48 years of fishing these waters finally landed his first shortbill spearfish on 23rd November 2010 caught by Emil S ø rensen from Denmark. That just goes to show how rare they are. Now Pat joins me in being some of the very few skippers that have caught all six billfish that can be caught in the Indian Ocean.

For those of you who may be interested in statistics the nest week for marlin was that from 21st to 27th February 2011 with fractionally less than one marlin a day (0.91). Close behind was 24th to 30th January 2011 (0.75 marlin per day). The best week for all billfishes was 21st to 27th February 2011 averaging 2.0 billfish per day but altogether there were 10 weeks from 15th November 2010 to 13th March 2011 averaging at least one billfish per day, which I don’t think is too shoddy.

Unfortunately no big tunas were caught during the 2010/11 season but it is interesting to note that a small local long liner landed some very big tunas a couple of weeks ago in early June 2011 including one of 90 kg. These small open boats fishing out from Mombasa, run south during the day until near Pemba Is, then set their long lines and drift north. It’s a very encouraging sign so hopefully this will be the year that the big tunas return to the Pemba Channel.

The last time that we had good tuna fishing was in 2003 and so its about time that they returned. Records show a similar tuna drought between 1969 and 1976 with hardly any schools of big tunas but then in July 1976 it all changed with tuna everywhere so I am sure things will revert to normal very soon. When the tuna are running there are typically big blue marlin following the schools, not to mention the other game fishes too.

There were no safaris in the 2010-11 season, which was very disappointing and meant that we had our worst season in terms of bookings. Normally 100 days per boat is considered as the break even level but neither of us reached that this year. But still Kamara II ended up #1 on marlin in Shimoni with 33 marlin, a position she has held every year since her arrival.

Because of the ever increasing fuel prices we have had to raise our rates but we have tried to keep the increases down as much as possible. Sadly we have been forced to place night fishing on hold until the Somali piracy problem has been eradicated. Our fishing association, of which I am the chairman, has declared that night fishing should not be carried out anywhere off Kenya. But, now that we know that swordfish can be caught during daytime, who needs to go out at night?

FISHING

Until 30th November 2011:
Full day fishing (ave. 9 hr) USD 700
Short day fishing (ave. 6 hr) USD 500

From 1st December 2011:
Full day fishing (ave. 9 hr) USD 800
Short day fishing (ave. 6 hr) USD 640

ACCOMMODATION

Betty’s Camp (rates per person on half-board)
Tented bungalows USD 100
Regular rooms USD 125
Junior suite USD 145

Shimoni Reef Lodge (half-board)
1st November 2011 to 14th December 2011:
Double room USD 204
Single room USD 132

Other dates:

Double room USD 264
Single room USD 162
We hope that we shall get to see many of you during the 2011/12 fishing season and that it is going to be a great year. Certainly Shimoni is due a really good year and may be those big tunas will show up again.

Tight lines

From us all at Sea Adventures Ltd

website
email
Tel: +254 (0)722 796 198 (Simon) or (0)722 479 864 (Maia)

6/22/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters on Ambush - Caribbean Report

We spent a week in the BVI's (British Virgin Islands) on the Ambush with the Olga and had some great fishing. After a couple of good days deep dropping, we followed these by a swordfish expedition to an area that looked good on the chart.

I had only fished for an hour or so and we had our first bite, and the damn thing stayed on !!!! We caught a nice 225 lb swordfish in about 1550 feet of water on conventional tackle, a great effort by our guest. It is quite amazing how different the bite and fight are on mono with a normal reel, as opposed to 65 lb braid with an electric. The fish fight the stretch and diameter of the mono, as opposed to the minimal water drag of the thin braid. On braid the fish come up jumping and put on a show regularly, but on the mono they are done !!!!

Back at the big boat we weighed it, took some photos and cut the fish up for everyone to get a good feed from on the grill and plenty of nice fillets to take home for future meals.

The next day we went back and had a drift again, but no solid hook ups on swords, but we did get a couple of bites, and ended up catching a couple of bottom fish on our sword baits. That afternoon we fished back down the egde towards Virgin Gorda and tagged a nice blue for the boss on the Pakula sprocket in express color.

After a couple of days swimming and relaxing, we ran back to Puerto Rico for a week off before heading back to St Thomas for a few days blue marlin fishing.

Our June moon ended up being a bit shorter than we had planned, but we sure had enough bites. We tagged a nice fish around 400 lbs and missed a few on the pitch. Our luck was elsewhere as we jumped off a bunch of small blues in a row. It was great to catch up with some old friend son the radio, and looking forward to getting back down next week for a 3-4 week trip with the Olga.

My Cairns season on TRADITION is coming up soon, and myself and the boys are all jacked up about a good long season coming up. I have a few openings in excellent times, including late September, an awesome period in Oct and early Nov as well as a week in late November that will be prefect for getting out wide to the seamount and the tuna aggregation that is always a blast if the fish are not on the edge!!!

Looking forward to getting out fishing again, but have been really enjoying my time in Puerto Rico as well, including a trip to the big Arecibo Observatory last weekend.

If you haven't made plans for your trip to Cairns this season, send me an email and I can help you make the most of a wonderful trip.

If you have not seen the good work being carried out by my friends at Pacific Marinelife Institute, please check them out and try to support the work to share the history of the Cairns fishery, as well as help explore the wonderful South Pacific.

Till the next report,

Capt Tim Richardson

email Tim
visit website

06/09/11 - Lee Fickenger - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - Fishing Report

Hey All,

I'm in the Dominican , Punta Cana, fishin' (observing)!! Today was the 1st day of fishing. I was on a 68' Hatteras "Blue Bird". We got 10 for 11---9 whites & 1 blue and broke off another blue that was bill wrapped!!. Not bad for the 1st day. There are about 20 boats fishing and the days catch was around 100 fish!!

LAST WEEK I OBSERVED AT ANOTHER TOURNAMENT WITH 11 BOATS & IN 3 DAYS WE GOT ABOUT 105 FISH.

Anyway--that is the report for today!!!

Lee

06/08/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters on Ambush - Caribbean Report

Tim wrote: "we got a 225# sword on wed and a blue on thursday up off Anegada Jimmy"

06/05/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands Report

Ahoy Crew! Ahoy!

I just returned from my favorite “Outer Island” in the Marshall Island group, Likiep. I was gone from Majuro for about a month. The 200 mile trip there was my fastest to date and I arrived well before dawn on the second day and had to heave to for a couple of hours and wait for the sunrise to enter the pass. I arrived on the birthday of a friend who was there with his crew building some new buildings for the school. I had 10 cases of beer with me for him so the festivities were soon underway! A good time was had by all.

Likiep, usually a sleepy little atoll, was a hive of activity this time around. Scott was there with his crew of 10, complete with back hoe, front end loader and cement mixers building buildings, digging holes and running generators. Another crew was also there from Majuro renovating the health clinic on the main islet of Likiep and on the other inhabited islet of Jabol further down the atoll. Busy, busy, busy!

The wind was up most of the time I was there making fishing in the little 12 foot tin boats uncomfortable at best and impossible sometimes. I did get out a few times and had great success catching Dogtooth Tuna and Wahoo. (Sorry, no pictures this time around. I gotta get a new camera!)

I returned from Likiep with 3 guys from the island who wanted passage to Majuro. In return for the ride a couple of them helped me strip the rails of the Deev and I got them sanded and re-coated. They really needed it!

Meanwhile I’ve been in touch with the Jost Van Dyke’s Preservation Society and we’ve been trying to work out the logistics of my return there for the summer to continue work on their flagship project, the replica Island Sloop “Endeavor II”. It looks as if I’ll be heading that way sometime in July. With any luck I’ll be able to get in a few days of some of the best Blue Marlin fishing in the world off the North Drop of the Virgin Islands! We’ll just have to see what shakes out…

Unfortunately it looks as if I will have to leave the sailboat once again to the mercy of the thieves in Majuro. Last year my boat was ransacked and several thousands of dollars worth of dive gear and fishing tackle were stolen. This time I will install alarms and ask my fellow yachties to please keep a closer watch.

When I return to the boat in the fall I intend to head downwind! My time in the Republic of the Marshall Islands is nearing an end. When I stopped here 3 years (has it really been 3 years?) with Leslie on board as crew I only intended on staying a month or two to visit with friends. Well, I think that I have visited long enough and it’s time to move on. After all, it is a big world out there! My intention is to sail through the Federated States of Micronesia with stops in Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. Then on to Palau and to the Philippines. Anyway, that’s the plan for now!

All the best from the edge of the world,

Chuck Handy

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

06/01/11 - Mike Fuller - St. Croix, US Virgin Islands - Fishing Report

We caught this swordfish on Saturday the 28th in St. Croix. From left to right Captain Scott Jones, Mike Fuller, Adam Adcock, Captain Ryan Dipisquale. The fish weighed in at 312 pounds and took 1:40 minutes from hookup to landing.

05/31/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers: This is going to be an interesting year. I am getting conflicting reports on fishing from most areas. One captain said that dolphin fishing in the eastern Bahamas was poor and the next caller says he heard that dolphin were abundant in the Bahamas. These types of conflicting reports are being received from most areas. Tagging activity has been slow but has started picking up. Low numbers of fish being tagged does not necessarily mean no fish. It could be that fishermen are making fewer trips. I do know that some people are finding fish. The crew of Dave Wamer’s boat Wam Jam out of Taylors, South Carolina was able to tag 25 dolphin during three days of fishing off the Florida Keys in May. You can help, e-mail me your thoughts on the dolphin season. Be sure to tell me the area you are referring to and what months. See Dolphin Report

This issue of the newsletter talks about the status of the satellite tag that was deployed in the Caribbean Sea in April and some of the tag recoveries reported in May. Important information about these amazing fish continues to pour in. I hope you find it interesting.

Good fishing,

Don

Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524
cssllc@bellsouth.net
www.dolphintagging.com

05/31/11 - Chris Whitley - Cap Cana, Dominican Republic Report

Fishing in Punta Cana has been good. Pre fishing the International Cap Cana Billfish Shootout tournament yesterday Caroline got 11 whites and 2 blues (3 double headers). Black Gold got 8 whites. The Puerto Rico Light Tackle Tournament ended on Sunday with 10 boats catching 80+ whites, and 6 blues in 3 days.

5/28/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters on Ambush - Caribbean Report

May 29, 2011

After a break from travelling and hanging at the dock in Puerto Rico, with a few weekend trips here and there, we start up our summer blue marlin season tomorrow in St Thomas and the British Virgin Islands.

The fishing in the Dominican Republic has been very good the last few weeks, and hopefully a sign of some good water.

I have been enjoying exploring Puerto Rico and making the most of being in a new place. If you did not hear, Scuba Steve who crews for me on TRADITION is fishing with Zac Conde in Cape Verde for the season, and having just incredible fishing, with over 150 blue marlin in the last 2 months, including a monster 1151 lb blue a couple of weeks ago.

While excited about getting fishing again, I cant wait to get home and back on the TRADITION, and up to the Great Barrier Reef for our black marlin season. Our regular clients are all booked in and excited, especially Lydie, who is going to give the guys a run in this years Lizard Island Classic.

Thats about all for now, some more updates once we get fishing on the AMBUSH. There are some great opportunities to fish on TRADITION this season so please let me know if you are interested in fishing for the big black marlin and enjoying time on the Great Barrier Reef.

Capt Tim Richardson

email Tim
visit website

05/19/11 - Bill Easum - Davis Clapp's A-Fin-Ity - Guatemala Fishing Report

The fishing got better each day. 12 sailfish the last day mostly on 4 lb.

Bill



05/18/11 - John and Jessica Kimberley - New Zealand - Fishing Report

Beginners luck for Kiwis


A spell of poor weather and the lack of charter bookings has led to a pretty quiet ending for our game fishing season. Lack of effort leads to lack of results which, in turn makes anglers assume that it’s all over.

This is simply not the case and was proven last week when one of the few boats to try caught two nice Striped Marlin, with one going an impressive 340lbs. Back in April, the biggest (so far!) was taken by a local angler. At 433lbs this Stripey was his first….what away to start!

The upside of attention being taken away from Marlin has been greater effort made for Broadbill Swordfish. For many, these fish are the ultimate challenge for the saltwater angler and a successful capture is very prestigious. The potential here for big swords is better than most places in the world but this potential goes mostly untapped by all but a very few. Their distribution is also very widespread around New Zealand, unlike the Marlin which only visit the northern waters.

The advent of deep daytime fishing is certainly increasing the popularity of this sport, as many don’t fancy the long night time battles. Results are very encouraging though slow trolling at night still seems more productive.

Several good swords have been caught with one boat getting a couple in one go and some very good ones have been lost, as is often the case with these elusive, soft-mouthed, fearless predators. An estimated 650-700lb fish pulled the hook after a back breaking 6-hour struggle but, at the other end of the spectrum, a couple of boats have been very lucky indeed.

A lone angler who was deep-water fishing from Gisborne had a solid hook up which eventually proved to be a Broadbill of large proportions. This fish was too much for the solitary fisherman to drag aboard, so he gutted it and tried again. It was still too heavy so he towed it back to harbour where the empty fish thumped the scales down to 572lbs.

A young fella from Auckland fancied a try out the back of Great Barrier Island from Auckland and….would you believe it….hooked up, hook held and four hours later boated a fat sword of 605lbs. There must be something in this beginner’s luck…..trouble is that it’s all downhill for them from now on!

As we move in to winter, thoughts turn to the short, but productive, giant Bluefin Tuna fishery, where a different variety of sea monster can be taken on.

New Zealand is a pretty good place to wet a line!

Tight Lines,

Pacific Promotions NZ
Tel: 09 433 9981
Mobile: 021 430 717
Fax: 09 433 9971
website

05/17/11 - Bill Easum - Davis Clapp's A-Fin-Ity - Guatemala Fishing Report

First day 2 sails. Today 9 sails and 1 blue. 8 of the sails were on 4 lb and 1 on 8 lb. What a blast!



05/17/11 - Capt. Gene Kelly - Montauk Fishing Reports

Montauk fishing is just getting hot. Check it out at montauksportfishing.com and for more information about fishing in Montauk, you can contact me at captaingene@montauksportfishing.com. If you are interested in receiving weekly fishing reports use this address reports@montauksportfishing.com

05/17/11 - King Sailfish Mounts - News Report

See News

05/17/11 - Shawn Wallace - Brazil News Report

See News

05/12/11 - Glen Mumford - Marina Pes Vela Newsletter - Costa Rica

See News

05/04/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers: The fishing season in the South Atlantic Bight has started, but with mixed reports. The dolphin season that started early in the Florida Straits quickly fizzled leaving charter boat scrambling to find fish. A few boats seem to find fish in most areas but the wealth has not been spread among most of the boats. This may be the reason for the low level of tagging during the first four months of 2011. See Dolphin Report

It will be interesting to see if the south Florida dolphin fishery and the dolphin fishery off the Carolinas follow the same pattern in 2011 or will there be a marked difference between in number of fish moving over from the east side of the Bahamas and those traveling up the Florida Straits. More fish moving from the east side of the Bahamas would primarily benefit fishermen from the Carolinas northward into the Mid-Atlantic Bight.

Remember, I need your help to get dolphin tagged along the entire route that these amazing fish travel. This study is to benefit you. So please, get out there and tag a dolphin.

Good fishing,

Don

Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524
cssllc@bellsouth.net
www.dolphintagging.com

05/03/11 - Matthias Henningsen - Cape Verde Islands - Fishing Report

SMOKER had a great april on Cape Verde, releasing 65 Blue Marlin during 30 days of fishing!

TL

Capt. Matthias Henningsen

skype: tcwalhalla
website
email


05/01/11 - Nelson Morales - Cap Cana, DR - Fishing Report

Hi Jimmy, we 3/2. Foxy Lady 5/3 at 2 pm. 2 local boat saw 5/0.

Regard

Nelson Morales

05/01/11 - John Tierney - Cape Verde Fishing Report

Fishing with Zak Conde on Amelia 5 days. We raised 33, 25 bites and released 16. Largest 650 and average was 300! Great fishing. Zak's boat broke down and we used another boat 2 days and spent last day trolling from Sao Nicholas where the fishing was hot back to Sao Vicente for our flight home. That day Gladiator was 11 for 14 plus a spear fish and Smoker was 10 for 17...Gladiator released 20 plus 2 spearfish in 2 days !!!

Wonderful trip and everyone who loves blue marlin fishing should go there. Zak has days open in June.

Call me or email if you want more info...John

04/28/11 - Capt. Rob Haid - Pacific Adventures - Fishing Report

We're in Huahine, French Polynesia.......just back from Bora Bora...........fishing is extremely slow.....makes Kona look like a "Hot Bite" .... Lady Columbo went to the Tuamotus a couple of weeks ago.....not much to it but did release a 700 lb blue.............Patriot got a small blue yesterday while we were traveling from Bora Bora to Huahine......I had a lure out on the Trailblazer but no bites........Diving is great!

Rob

04/27/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands Report

The Marshalls Billfish Club held it's monthly tournament last weekend and there were a lot of Blue Marlin in the mix. There are is a good chance of having multiple shots at Billfish on any given day in any given month out here in the Marshall Islands but last weekend was exceptional. In fact the last month or so has been rather good. Remember that most of the boats out here are small inboards or outboards. There are no big money machines out here...

Some notable events of the last month... Wally Milne on "Marah" landed a 550 lb Black Marlin winning the March Tournament. Bwiji Aliven, fishing by himself on "Celinda" had a 1000 pounder next to the boat 4 times before it ran away for good. And Bwiji doesn't lie.

April Tournament Results... A "Biggest Billfish" format... 12 boats competed catching a total of 15 Blue Marlin of which 6 were tagged and the rest boated. The winning fish weighed only 200 pounds but several bigger fish were lost including a 400+ pounder that was on the leader before it ran for the horizon.

Wally on "Marah" tagged 5 fish. Good on ya, Wally. Bwiji on "Celinda" had a triple header and missed them all. Ronnie and Cary on "Wasabi" had a double header of which they caught one. I think that they were 3 for 6 for the day. I fished on Scott Howes boat, "Patumahoe" with Kyle Aliven and his Uncle Melvin. We were 1 for 3. I don't know for sure how many fish were raised by the whole fleet but there was action all day long.

That's it in a nutshell. I continue to advocate a total release format but am a voice in the dark out here. The guys out here are not rich.They need to pay for their fuel with fish money. At least the fish are not wasted. They are totally consumed. (I remember the old days in St Thomas before tagging was the rule there when many dead fish were towed out in the morning to be set adrift after the pictures and weighings of the night before.)

For what it's worth, we need more folks like my old boss, the late Don Tyson, who responded to the crews who complained about the fish he released being worth $50 apiece to them (big money in Mexico in those days). He offered them $100 for each release!

Below is second part of Chuck's recent communicaions:

Ahoy Crew!

It's been a while since I've fired a broadside at all of you. So here goes nothing...

You have undoubtedly already received my latest report to Jimmy Loveland, http://www.abmt.vi/Pages/f_reports.htm, which I Bcc'd to all of you "crew members" concerning the latest monthly Marshalls Billfish Club tournament so I'll not repeat myself except to say that the fishing has been very good of late despite the increasing industrial/commercial fishing pressure out here on the edge of the world. (Anybody who wants to send me a nice twin diesel Bertram 31 will get good press from me!)

I've recently returned from an exceptionally wonderful trip to the island nation of Cyprus. I was invited by a friend of mine to vacation there and am very glad that I took up the offer. The Med in Springtime made for a nice change for a while. We had a great time. I know, I know, you want photos... I'll see what I can do.

On my way back I spent a couple days in Guam (little America) with it's malls, K-Marts, and wannabe Waikiki strip. I enjoyed it more than I expected to. I also spent 4 days on Pohnpei and 3 on Kosrae. Both of those islands are member states of the Federated States of Micronesia and downwind from the Marshall Islands. I enjoyed them both and look forward to sailing that way in the very near future.

I'm doing a little work on a water purification project here on Majuro for my pal Neal this week but next week I'm hoping to get out to my favorite Marshall Island Atoll of Likiep to visit my very good friends up there. I've written of my times in Likiep before and will give you a full report when I get back.

I don't know what the summer will bring. I may or may not get to the States and to the West Indies... I may or may not head down to Fiji again for a haul out... How's that for definite plans! Not to worry, I'll be sure to let you know my intentions when I make up my mind...

Until then, Carry On! From the edge of the world,

Chuck Handy

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

04/27/11 - Matthias Henningsen - Cape Verde Islands - Fishing Report

Fishing is good on Cape Verde. SMOKER and his crew managed to release 46 Blue Marlin in 24 days of fishing in april so far.

More info under Reports

TL

Capt. Matthias Henningsen

skype: tcwalhalla
website
email


04/26/11 - Capt. Matt Mauldwin - 76.6 Cobia - Pensacola, Florida

Cobia 76.6 lbs.

04/24/11 - Dr. Dave Conkle - Miss Babbie - Pensacola, Florida

Cobia catch aboard Miss Babbie



04/24/11 - Jim Jamison - St. Thomas, VI - North Drop Fishing Report

Fished the North Drop on Friday. Grouper estimated to weight 90 pounds. Head alone weighed 35 pounds. Tiger shark estimated at 10 feet and 600 pounds. Took 2.5 hours to bring the shark to the boat. Fought the shark on 60 pound test line. This tiger shark did not eat the grouper. A bigger shark ate the grouper.

Jim

Editor's Note: In case you are wondering about the photo - while Jim was fighting the shark his friend Kevin hung over the back of the boat with an underwater camera.

04/20/11 - Ecuagringo - San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands - Fishing Report

Our latest report is a sort of mixed bag of weather, fish and activity. While most of the month of April showed excellent weather we did get quite a bit of rain for a few days. Water began to cool early in the Month down to 76 F and within a week's time went back to 80 F everywhere we went to fish offshore. The highlights of April have been black marlin, blue marlin, quite a bit of tuna and the old striped marlin. Most days have been crystal calm while a few have been windy and choppy due to storms in the area. Some anglers hit it just right while others experienced more challenging weather. The fishing has not been great when compared to other years but most anglers are still experiencing multiple and double digit raises of marlin on their trips. Fly fishing has been difficult as fish have not been as of aggressive as in the past. Black Sheep Bank has been the place to be as all other banks have showed very little marlin action this month with the exception of nice blues reported by several boats.

One interesting observation seeming to be the pattern most of the month is that all types of marlin were more consistently raised on long baits from the riggers and very few fish were raised to teasers. Boats trolling only lures were not raising as many fish as boats trolling baits.

April 5, 2011 Captain Edwin Buenano reported raising 3 striped marlin and a blue onboard his own vessel Kelly, a 26 ft center console. He released 2 stripeys and caught several tuna on Rosa Blanca and reported water of 79 F with calm seas.

April 7, 2011 Gus Hernandez reported fishing on his boat On the Hook. He fished Black Sheep Bank pulling lures with his guests from Argentina. He reported raising 11 striped marlin and releasing 3.

April 8, 2011 the Big Fish onboard with Jim Gallagher, Totto Groenmeyer and Gerd Ellerbrook went to the ole' fishing hole known as Braden's Bank or 0-30. The water was 80 F and blue. No marlin raised in the area but several nice dorado in the 25# and a few peanuts were caught. Gus Hernandez reported raising on Black Sheep Bank 8 striped marlin and releasing 2 on lures onboard On the Hook.

April 9, 2011 the Big Fish ran to Black Sheep Bank and found water 80 F green/blue and very calm. Most of the day was spend fishing baits with circle hooks. Anglers Jim Gallagher,Totto Groenmeyer and Gerd Ellerbrook each caught striped marlin in the 150 to 170# class on 30# and 50# stand up plus spinning rods. The highlight of the day was the last fish hooked, caught and released by Totto, a black marlin estimated over 400#. A memorable accomplishment for Totto as he now has caught striped marlin, blue marlin and black marlin in just 2 trips to the Galapagos Islands. A total of 17 marlin were raised with 12 bites and 7 releases all on circle hooks. We also spend almost 2 hours fly fishing during the day where we did not raise a marlin. A nice wahoo about 45# ate bait and made for a nice dinner meal. On The Hook reported raising 8 striped marlin on lures and releasing 1 fishing the same area of Black Sheep Bank.

April 10, 2011 Gerd onboard the Big Fishrequested we search for tuna and big blue marlin so we made the 50 mile run to Bank 90. Famous for being on the 90th degree West. The World has land every 90 degrees. Bank 90 has produced lots of big eye tuna and some large blue marlin in the past. Most of the day went uneventful with small tunas pestering and ruining our baits. We caught several tuna that varied from 5 to 20#. Around 2 pm a very large dorsal fin from what seem like a blue marlin chased the left long bait 3 times. The width of the fins was well over an inch which usually indicates a fish over 500#. She did not eat and we came back a few minutes later and again raised another very large fish this time on the right long that may have been potentially the same blue marlin but again only chased the bait and did not eat. The day was cloudy and we did encounter sporadic rains along the way.

April 11, 2011 onboard the Big Fish we ran to Black Sheep Bank. We had the pleasure of being joined by fishing writer and photographer Mark Hatter. Mark has produced some amazing photos in the past. One such photo can be found on our business cards of a marlin chasing sardines underwater. On this particular day the weather was the most miserable I have personally experienced all year. Choppy seas and a storm that never ceased to rain all day was the story. We arrived on Black Sheep and there were plenty of birds, bait, tunas and life in general. The marlin were acting very finicky and we were not getting very many raises. Water was 80.7 F for the most part. The weather got windier and choppier throughout the day. We decided to call it a day around 1:30 pm. Four striped marlin were raised and 1 was caught out of 2 bites on conventional by Jim Gallagher.

April 12, 2011 the same guest on the Big Fish went to Rosa Blanca to try luck closer. The bank was full of tuna. Lots of tuna 30 to 50# and very hungry were all over the bank. After catching enough for dinner we tried to find marlin but throughout the day we did not get any raises or bites we could confirm as marlin. Tuna were everywhere making it very hard to catch marlin. Water was blue and 80 F.

April 13, 2011 we decide to mix thing up a bit and go bottom fishing. In the morning we tried 5 Fingers rock with not much luck. The Big Fish headed North to a reef called the Barge that protrudes out the water. Upon arrival we hooked into a couple of wahoo and landed a nice 35# for dinner. Next we moved closer to shore to fish 130 to 90 feet of water in certain fishing holes. It became a fun afternoon filled with various species of groupers up to 20# and lots of rod bending. Everyone caught groupers, wrasse, yellow trigger fish and some other species for which I don't have a name for. Lots of nice fish caught for dinner. Spinning rods with 50# braid was the way t go. Jigs and baits worked well.

April 14, 2011 it was time on the Big Fish to get serious fly fishing again for Mark , Jim and Gerd. However a tropical storm that lasted all night and well into the morning cut our plans of running on the Big Fish to Black Sheep Bank. We decided to wait out a bit and try a different area. Finally by 8 am the rain let up and we headed North of the island. The Northern drop of San Cristobal is known for abundance of life such as dolphins, birds, tuna and even marlin. Fishing less than 6 miles offshore form the island the seas were choppy and the rain followed by strong winds. Mark and Jim decide to head closer to shower to try for bottom fish. We soon arrived back on the spot where we had the action the previous day. Water color was not as nice but as soon as the anglers dropped baits down they were in on the action. It did not take long for groupers of various sizes to eat the baits. We spent the rest of the day bending rods with grouper and various bottom fish.

April 15, 2011 the Big Fish headed with Mark, Jim and Gerd to fly fish to Black Sheep Bank. Seas were about 6 ft and choppy. Winds began to die down towards the afternoon and skies were cloudy. Water temp was 80.6 in the morning and color was dark blue. We managed to raise 5 striped marlin and a large bull dolphin. Only one striped marlin teased in but did not eat the fly. The choppy seas made it a real task for the crew to work teasers.

April 16, 2011 the final day of fly fishing for Mark Hatterand Jim Gallagher. The Big Fish headed for Black Sheep Bank. Lots of rain all day and sea conditions started out choppy. As the day progressed, seas flattened out and made for a nice ride in the afternoon. Water was blue and 79.5 F. We raised several clusters of fish. One fish teased in and made a frontal bite on the fly from which we wound up with 7 raises and one bite on fly. Anglers chose to tease fish themselves which put the crew in an unfamiliar position making it hard to coordinate the action. Jim and Mark's experience fly fishing on the water is unquestionable as they have both caught many marlin around the World. I know I will get some flak from Jim for writing this but I feel my reports have to be a mirror to the best of my knowledge of what I see onboard or what is reported to me by other crews. Would we have caught a fish or two had things gone smoother and the crew would have been allowed to tease? Maybe not but then and only then do I feel the responsibility would have been more the crew's. If you do not give the crew their space it has been my experience that cockpit chaos and fever can take over in the heat of the moment.

Captain Edwin Buenano fishing on another boat also fishing Black Sheep Bank reported raising 4 striped marlin and releasing 2 on lures. He also mentioned on the radio that a large blues he estimated over 600# attacked two lures but they could not set the hook.

April 17, 2011 Captain Edwin Buenano reported fishing Black Sheep Bank. Conditions were very good water temperature was 79.5 F and there was plenty of bait. He reported getting 15 bites out of 19 raises and released 5 striped marlin on lures.

Folks as you may assume from reading this report the Galapagos Islands still has some very good fishing even though we are experiencing a slower than normal year. The cause can be attributed to several things all of which I have not been able to pinpoint for sure. Water temperature is warm but not unusually warm. Bait has been far less than normal and for some reason the mixing of currents typical for the region has not been felt yet thus providing less plankton and algae vital for bait fish to eat. Nevertheless we have experienced many days of double digit raises on Black Sheep Bank. Rosa Blanca Bank will come back around and as soon as it does we will be there to inform you.

We still have some limited availability for you to fish May and June. October and November 2011 are starting to book up as well as Jan to June 2012. No other destination has been raising or catching as many marlin altogether in the last few months much less the last 10 years. When you take into account that very few boats fish Galapagos by comparison to other destinations in the World then you will realize that the amount of fish raised and released is second to none.

website
email


04/19/11 - Capt. Brad Phillipps - Decisive - Guatemala Fishing Report

Fish Report - Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - March 2011

We had some spectacular fishing for the first half of March with bait, billfish, whales and dorado all in huge numbers, although thigns slowed for the latter part.

The month started with us hosting the 64th Ocean City Light Tackle Derby with a total of 271 sailfish and two blue marlin releases for the thrilled anglers. Decisive took top boat honours by more than 10 sailfish and two blue marlin.

Craig Zigler and his son Mike joined us the 8th for three days of great fishing. Releasing 20 sailfish on their first day, then 13 the second, followed by 10 on their final day.

The 11th saw us return to the dock early in preperation for what might have been. We had warning about a possible Tsunami as a result of the Japan Quake and headed out later to ride it out a mile offshore and thankfully experienced no problems what so ever.

Eddie Dalidowicz and his son Bronco, started with us on the 13th and what a day it proved to be with 12 sailfish releases and one of the most spectacular fish of the season so far for 15 year old Bronco, a magnificent 650lb black marlin. Bronco did a fine job on the fish, showing loads of determination, while the marlin put on some fantastic boatside antics, as only a black marlin can. Well done Bronco!! The following day the father and son duo released a busy 19 sailfish with another 12 or so aboard the Intensity the next day to finish out their most memorable fishing trip yet.

John and Heather Harvey of Richards Bay, South Africa made their annual pilgrimage to join in our fish fest and were again treated to some stunning action. On their 5 consecutive days they tallyed a total of over 100 sailfish releases with their best day seeing 38 releases. Another amazing trip for the couple!!!

Len Kouba my old 'grander' friend from the big marlin waters of West Africa joined us along with his friend Ron Desideri for 4 days of fishing. This was Lens 3rd trip to Guatemala and thankfully he has seen it great on those previuos trips because things unfortunatly slowed a little from the previuos weeks of red-hot activity. The duo released as many as 5 sails in a day and missed a blue on their first day, but we sure hope that they make it back so Ron can see how good the fishing usually is here. Good luck on your African leopard hunt Ron, we look forward to the stories.

One of our most loyal friends, Denny Doyle of Jacksonville Florida joined us the 25th, along with his longstanding friends, Sutton McGehee, Charles Sorenson and Phillip Meide, for three days of good times...and what an enjoyable group it was. One cann't go wrong when the coradery is that good. The fish were not to co-operate, but everyone did catch a sailfish and we were spoilt with an unusual visitor in the form of a 50lb wahoo which made for some great steaks on the grill to put the icing on a special trip for the old school friends.

Our neighbour and another long term friend of ours, Scott Lund was down with us along with his friend Scott Armand for the 28th and 29th, releasing a few sailfish each day on conventional, spin and fly rod to end out another Guatemalan month.

Until next report, tight line, eagle claw circle hooks and healthy releases.

"Decisive"
Website
Email Cindy and Brad Phillipps: email

04/20/11 - Ecuagringo - San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands - Fishing Report

Our latest report is a sort of mixed bag of weather, fish and activity. While most of the month of April showed excellent weather we did get quite a bit of rain for a few days. Water began to cool early in the Month down to 76 F and within a week's time went back to 80 F everywhere we went to fish offshore. The highlights of April have been black marlin, blue marlin, quite a bit of tuna and the old striped marlin. Most days have been crystal calm while a few have been windy and choppy due to storms in the area. Some anglers hit it just right while others experienced more challenging weather. The fishing has not been great when compared to other years but most anglers are still experiencing multiple and double digit raises of marlin on their trips. Fly fishing has been difficult as fish have not been as of aggressive as in the past. Black Sheep Bank has been the place to be as all other banks have showed very little marlin action this month with the exception of nice blues reported by several boats.

One interesting observation seeming to be the pattern most of the month is that all types of marlin were more consistently raised on long baits from the riggers and very few fish were raised to teasers. Boats trolling only lures were not raising as many fish as boats trolling baits.

April 5, 2011 Captain Edwin Buenano reported raising 3 striped marlin and a blue onboard his own vessel Kelly, a 26 ft center console. He released 2 stripeys and caught several tuna on Rosa Blanca and reported water of 79 F with calm seas.

April 7, 2011 Gus Hernandez reported fishing on his boat On the Hook. He fished Black Sheep Bank pulling lures with his guests from Argentina. He reported raising 11 striped marlin and releasing 3.

April 8, 2011 the Big Fish onboard with Jim Gallagher, Totto Groenmeyer and Gerd Ellerbrook went to the ole' fishing hole known as Braden's Bank or 0-30. The water was 80 F and blue. No marlin raised in the area but several nice dorado in the 25# and a few peanuts were caught. Gus Hernandez reported raising on Black Sheep Bank 8 striped marlin and releasing 2 on lures onboard On the Hook.

April 9, 2011 the Big Fish ran to Black Sheep Bank and found water 80 F green/blue and very calm. Most of the day was spend fishing baits with circle hooks. Anglers Jim Gallagher,Totto Groenmeyer and Gerd Ellerbrook each caught striped marlin in the 150 to 170# class on 30# and 50# stand up plus spinning rods. The highlight of the day was the last fish hooked, caught and released by Totto, a black marlin estimated over 400#. A memorable accomplishment for Totto as he now has caught striped marlin, blue marlin and black marlin in just 2 trips to the Galapagos Islands. A total of 17 marlin were raised with 12 bites and 7 releases all on circle hooks. We also spend almost 2 hours fly fishing during the day where we did not raise a marlin. A nice wahoo about 45# ate bait and made for a nice dinner meal. On The Hook reported raising 8 striped marlin on lures and releasing 1 fishing the same area of Black Sheep Bank.

April 10, 2011 Gerd onboard the Big Fishrequested we search for tuna and big blue marlin so we made the 50 mile run to Bank 90. Famous for being on the 90th degree West. The World has land every 90 degrees. Bank 90 has produced lots of big eye tuna and some large blue marlin in the past. Most of the day went uneventful with small tunas pestering and ruining our baits. We caught several tuna that varied from 5 to 20#. Around 2 pm a very large dorsal fin from what seem like a blue marlin chased the left long bait 3 times. The width of the fins was well over an inch which usually indicates a fish over 500#. She did not eat and we came back a few minutes later and again raised another very large fish this time on the right long that may have been potentially the same blue marlin but again only chased the bait and did not eat. The day was cloudy and we did encounter sporadic rains along the way.

April 11, 2011 onboard the Big Fish we ran to Black Sheep Bank. We had the pleasure of being joined by fishing writer and photographer Mark Hatter. Mark has produced some amazing photos in the past. One such photo can be found on our business cards of a marlin chasing sardines underwater. On this particular day the weather was the most miserable I have personally experienced all year. Choppy seas and a storm that never ceased to rain all day was the story. We arrived on Black Sheep and there were plenty of birds, bait, tunas and life in general. The marlin were acting very finicky and we were not getting very many raises. Water was 80.7 F for the most part. The weather got windier and choppier throughout the day. We decided to call it a day around 1:30 pm. Four striped marlin were raised and 1 was caught out of 2 bites on conventional by Jim Gallagher.

April 12, 2011 the same guest on the Big Fish went to Rosa Blanca to try luck closer. The bank was full of tuna. Lots of tuna 30 to 50# and very hungry were all over the bank. After catching enough for dinner we tried to find marlin but throughout the day we did not get any raises or bites we could confirm as marlin. Tuna were everywhere making it very hard to catch marlin. Water was blue and 80 F.

April 13, 2011 we decide to mix thing up a bit and go bottom fishing. In the morning we tried 5 Fingers rock with not much luck. The Big Fish headed North to a reef called the Barge that protrudes out the water. Upon arrival we hooked into a couple of wahoo and landed a nice 35# for dinner. Next we moved closer to shore to fish 130 to 90 feet of water in certain fishing holes. It became a fun afternoon filled with various species of groupers up to 20# and lots of rod bending. Everyone caught groupers, wrasse, yellow trigger fish and some other species for which I don't have a name for. Lots of nice fish caught for dinner. Spinning rods with 50# braid was the way t go. Jigs and baits worked well.

April 14, 2011 it was time on the Big Fish to get serious fly fishing again for Mark , Jim and Gerd. However a tropical storm that lasted all night and well into the morning cut our plans of running on the Big Fish to Black Sheep Bank. We decided to wait out a bit and try a different area. Finally by 8 am the rain let up and we headed North of the island. The Northern drop of San Cristobal is known for abundance of life such as dolphins, birds, tuna and even marlin. Fishing less than 6 miles offshore form the island the seas were choppy and the rain followed by strong winds. Mark and Jim decide to head closer to shower to try for bottom fish. We soon arrived back on the spot where we had the action the previous day. Water color was not as nice but as soon as the anglers dropped baits down they were in on the action. It did not take long for groupers of various sizes to eat the baits. We spent the rest of the day bending rods with grouper and various bottom fish.

April 15, 2011 the Big Fish headed with Mark, Jim and Gerd to fly fish to Black Sheep Bank. Seas were about 6 ft and choppy. Winds began to die down towards the afternoon and skies were cloudy. Water temp was 80.6 in the morning and color was dark blue. We managed to raise 5 striped marlin and a large bull dolphin. Only one striped marlin teased in but did not eat the fly. The choppy seas made it a real task for the crew to work teasers.

April 16, 2011 the final day of fly fishing for Mark Hatterand Jim Gallagher. The Big Fish headed for Black Sheep Bank. Lots of rain all day and sea conditions started out choppy. As the day progressed, seas flattened out and made for a nice ride in the afternoon. Water was blue and 79.5 F. We raised several clusters of fish. One fish teased in and made a frontal bite on the fly from which we wound up with 7 raises and one bite on fly. Anglers chose to tease fish themselves which put the crew in an unfamiliar position making it hard to coordinate the action. Jim and Mark's experience fly fishing on the water is unquestionable as they have both caught many marlin around the World. I know I will get some flak from Jim for writing this but I feel my reports have to be a mirror to the best of my knowledge of what I see onboard or what is reported to me by other crews. Would we have caught a fish or two had things gone smoother and the crew would have been allowed to tease? Maybe not but then and only then do I feel the responsibility would have been more the crew's. If you do not give the crew their space it has been my experience that cockpit chaos and fever can take over in the heat of the moment.

Captain Edwin Buenano fishing on another boat also fishing Black Sheep Bank reported raising 4 striped marlin and releasing 2 on lures. He also mentioned on the radio that a large blues he estimated over 600# attacked two lures but they could not set the hook.

April 17, 2011 Captain Edwin Buenano reported fishing Black Sheep Bank. Conditions were very good water temperature was 79.5 F and there was plenty of bait. He reported getting 15 bites out of 19 raises and released 5 striped marlin on lures.

Folks as you may assume from reading this report the Galapagos Islands still has some very good fishing even though we are experiencing a slower than normal year. The cause can be attributed to several things all of which I have not been able to pinpoint for sure. Water temperature is warm but not unusually warm. Bait has been far less than normal and for some reason the mixing of currents typical for the region has not been felt yet thus providing less plankton and algae vital for bait fish to eat. Nevertheless we have experienced many days of double digit raises on Black Sheep Bank. Rosa Blanca Bank will come back around and as soon as it does we will be there to inform you.

We still have some limited availability for you to fish May and June. October and November 2011 are starting to book up as well as Jan to June 2012. No other destination has been raising or catching as many marlin altogether in the last few months much less the last 10 years. When you take into account that very few boats fish Galapagos by comparison to other destinations in the World then you will realize that the amount of fish raised and released is second to none.

04/15/11 - Matthias Henningsen - Cape Verde Islands - Fishing Report

The first 12 days of fishing SMOKER released 21 Blues , the biggest 900 lb.Our best lures are the Black Bart Abaco Prowler and St Thomas Prowler.

More info under Reports

TL

Capt. Matthias Henningsen

skype: tcwalhalla
website
email


04/08/11 - Al Schaefer - Casa Vieja Lodge, Guatemala Fishing Report

Casa Vieja Lodge April 2011 report:

Release with Capt. Chico Alvarenga - Roy Cronacher - 16 raises, 11 bites and 8 releases on fly rod. Sean Tierney & Ned Ruffin’s first day - 6 raises, 2 bites and 1 raised blue, but no releases.

Captain Hook with Capt. Ron Hamlin - Gary Beaumont and friends from Naples, Fla with 16 raised, 14 bites and 7 releases + 1 blue bite. Dr. Frank Denoff group from Orlando area first day results – 5 raised, 3 bites and 3 releases.

Intensity with Capt. Mike Sheeder - Drs. Vanzant & Kelley from Oklahoma – 10 raised, 6 bites and 1 released on fly rod. Hooter’s Canada Chieftain Johnny Goard and Mark James – 3 raised, 3 bites and 3 releases. The following day they were aboard the Makaira – Capt. Jason Brice’s boat – 5 raised, 5 bites and 1 released. The Konzelman – Majors party from NJ on Makaira – 20 raised, 16 bites, 11 released.

Rum Line with Capt. Chris Sheeder - The Longstreet group from Fla – 25 raised, 20 bites, 13 released + 2 marlin raised, only 1 bite. The Cuomo group – 18 raised, 14 bites, 12 releases + 2 marlin bites and 1 released 350 - the group also fished on the Circle Hook with Capt. Eddie Bairez – 8 raises, 6 bites and 4 releases.

Running total for month:

Release: 22-13-8
Makaira: 25-21-12
Intensity: 13-9-3
Captain Hook: 21-17-10
Rum Line 43-34-25 + 1 350 blue
Circle Hook 8-6-4

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04/04/11 - Nelson Morales for Javi Berrios - Vieques, Puerto Rico - Fishing Report

Hey Jimmy,

Attached you will find a picture of a 596 lbs Sword Fish caught by Javi Berrios at Vieques South this weekend in his boat "Fishing Hooker".

Regards

Nelson Morales

04/03/11 - Ecuagringo - San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands - Fishing Report

The weather continues to be some of the nicest and calmest I have seen in recent years. Picture perfect sunny days as well as scattered showers have made day temperatures quite pleasant. The story of the year so far is that bait in the World famous Rosa Blanca Banks has been quite absent and fishing has been slow for the last 2 weeks on Rosa Blanca. Most of the boats have been making the 68 mile run daily to Black Sheep Bank. Black Sheep has had more bait and daily displays of surface feeding marlin but they have not shown much aggression making them more difficult than usual to catch. There are lots of marlin swimming around Black Sheep Bank but finding the hungry one or fish that will tease well enough to eat a fly has taken more work than usual.

Catastrophic events such as earthquakes and tsunamis are being blamed by many for slower fishing, but personally I don't think much of it is as relevant as some people want you to believe. Fish feed when they want to and cannot be forced. I saw similar slow feeding patterns in 1999 when we first started the fishery and there were many more fish in the Pacific back then than there are now. Out of control commercial fishing has taken its toll all over the World and even as good as Galapagos is some of the same fish that swim Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru and perhaps Australia probably migrate through here as well.

March 7, 2011 the Blue captained by Julio Rodriguez fish with legendary Louisiana guide Greg Arnold and Jerry Iverson. Their goal was to catch marlin on fly. Fishing on Rosa Blanca Bank the mound known as the Honey hole only produced 1 raise.

Jhonamar 2 captained by Edwin Buenano fished with guest Tom Wheat and son Garrette. They reported raising 2 striped marlin and 2 blue marlin with 2 bites and no releases.

March 8, 2011 the Blue fished again with Jerry and Greg trying to catch a marlin on fly. While fishing on the Black Sheep Bank they raised 18 striped marlin and had 1 bite on fly with no releases. Fish would not tease in well. Paticia fished captained by Yuri Gutierrez hosted Captain George Sawley and Gary Mabry. They reported raising 30 striped marlin, having 16 bites and releasing 11 on baits. Jhonamar 2 with guest Tom Wheaton and Garrette reported raising 16 striped marlin, 6 bites and releasing 1. Annette fishing with Pete Santini reported 32 raises on lure with 15 bites and 4 releases.

March 9, 2011 the Blue fishing with Greg Arnold and Jerry Iverson ran to Black Sheep Bank. 6 striped marlin were raised to teasers but only one stripey bit and gave Greg Arnold a short fight on fly that end in a very close but no release with a spit hook. Patricia reported raising 11 striped marlin with 10 bites and 5 releases on baits and circle hooks. Anette fishing with Pete Santini reported raising 11 striped marlin and 1 blue. They released a blue and a stripey.

March 12, 2011 the day after the tragedy in Japan and the tsunami that scared most people in Galapagos. Onboard the Patricia, Greg Arnold and Jerry Iverson fished Black Sheep Bank trying to get a marlin on fly. They raised 10 striped marlin but none would eat the fly. March 13, 2011 Terry Carter and Darrel fished onboard the Big fish on Rosa Blanca Bank. Terry is one of the best fly fishermen I know and has fished with us for years. Trying to get Darrel a fish we started using baits. The fish did not cooperate much and only 2 stripeys were raised with one half ass bite.

March 14, 2011 onboard the Big Fish with TerryCarter and Darrel went to Black Sheep Bank and was greeted by good action from more responsive marlin. Right of the bat Darrel hooked and released a nice stripey on a spinning rod. Then 3 more fish were screwed out of eating the ballyhoo by the birds. A total of 10 striped marlin and a blue around 250# were raised with 4 bites on baits and bite on fly and 1 release on the circle hook. Terry cast the fly at a few fish that refused it including a blue but managed to get a bite out of one striped marlin. The Patricia fishing with Mike Love, Riley Love an Guthrie Allen fished the same area and reported raising 7 striped marlin with 4 bites and no releases.

March 15, 2011 the Big Fish with Terry Carter had a very slow start with no fish raised until 2 pm when a flurry of striped marlin got hot and heavy on baits and teaser. Some bad timing and cockpit fever got the best of anglers and crew with 14 stripeys raised, 1 blue and a wahoo estimated over 100#. 8 bites and 1 release were had to baits from marlin. Patricia reported 8 raises, 4 bites and 1 release with Mike, Riley and Guthrie.

March 16, 2011 the Big Fish traveled to Black Sheep Bank with Terry Carter and Darrel Kidwell. Ocean was calm and the water was nice. Again fly fishing there were 7 striped marlin raised to the teasers of which 2 refused the fly and one took a hell of a skyrocket bite and was released 1 hour and 50 minutes later as Terry only uses a very short leader. The fish was estimated at 180# to 190# which would be beat the current World IGFA record on fly. Since marlin are not allowed to be killed in the Galapagos this would be one of many record size striped marlin we have released on fly. Patricia reported raising 7 and releasing 1 striped marlin out of 5 bites.

March 17, 2011 the Big Fish with Terry and Darrel fly fishing raised 6 stripeys but did not get any bites on fly. Patricia reported raising 5 and releasing 1 striped marlin out of 3 bites. March 18, 2011 the Big Fish went bottom fishing and jigging with Terry and Darrel. They caught cubbera snapper, wahoo, grouper and tuna by casting poppers and jigging various plugs.

March 19, 2011 The Big Fish travelled to Black Sheep Bank with Juan Durini and his friends Mauricio and Juan Carlos from Quito. They raised 8 striped marlin and saw several tailers with 3 bites and 1 release on the pitch baits.

March 20, 2011 Big Fish went to Rosa Blanca and fished the Honey Hole. Sharks, tunas and marlin were destroying a large ball of bait. Juan Carlos and Juan Manuel each landed a striped marlin. 6 were raised with 4 bites and 2 landed on pitch baits.

March 21, 2011 the Big Fish went wahoo and tuna fishing and after catching several fish the group was ready to celebrate their stay in Galapagos with a few drinks. Folks although our fishing has not been as good as it usually is for whatever reasons we are still catching and raising on average more marlin than anyone else in the World! Don't wait to book as our capacity this year is quite full but a few windows are available,

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03/30/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers,

I am happy to say that the U.S. East Coast tagging season is underway. Reports from the Florida Keys to Sebastian Inlet indicate a good abundance of small school dolphin along with fair numbers of 10 to 15 pounders. This is early for the small school fish to be in the Florida Straits. With some luck, the fish should start showing up off the Carolinas at any time.

See Dolphin Report

April 2011 is going to be a busy month. On April 7 and 8, the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council will convene the Dolphin/Wahoo Advisory Panel to hear results of the input from the public hearings, provide guidance on the dolphin/wahoo actions in the comprehensive ACL amendment and the latest actions by the Council on dolphin and wahoo. At council’s request, I will be presenting a summary of the findings of the Dolphinfish Research Program to the Advisory Panel.

On April 19-20th the American Sportfishing Association’s Government Affairs Committee will be meeting on in Charleston, SC. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sports fishing community. The Government Affairs Committee keeps watch on existing and potential laws and polices that significantly affect our members’ business and sportfishing itself. One of the topic the committee is examining is whether fisheries management agencies are utilizing the latest research information in development of management plans. In this light, I have been asked to make a presentation on the Dolphinfish Research Program and its interaction with fisheries management.

On another note, the current issue of Marlin magazine has an excellent article about dolphinfish prepared by Jan Fogt. In this feature, she explores the life of dolphin and the findings of the Dolphinfish Research Program.

Good fishing,

Don
Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524
cssllc@bellsouth.net
www.dolphintagging.com

03/29/11 - Capt. George Sawley - Stalker - Galapagos Video

See Video


03/20/11 - Mark Davis - New Zeland Fishing Report

March 16, 2011
Broadbill Swordfish, New Zealand Western Bank
Weight: 550 lb.
Fight Time: 6 hours, 55 minutes

Thanks to Capt. John Gregory and the crew of the PRIMETIME. Special thanks to John Angus for inviting me on this incredible trip.

03/19/11 - Capt. Brad Phillipps - Decisive - Guatemala Fishing Report

Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - February 2011

February delivered some fantastic fishing for us off the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. We have seeing nice sized blue marlin on a very regular basis and some of the most spectacular balls of bait with sailfish, large Dorado, whales and birds all over them to make for 'National Geographic' like scenes which lasted for up to two weeks and kept anglers enthralled with non-stop activity.

The month started with Tony Interdonato, Mike Mooney, Greg Hochstetter and Steve Walker all friends from Florida joining us. Greg was the fortunate angler on the first day to release a spectacular 450 pound blue on 50lb standup to add to the 8 sailfish for the group. We continued the blue marlin run with Steve releasing a 200 pound fish on 20lb tackle as well as 6 sails for the guys the next day. Their final day we released 5 sails and spent more time in search of blues and were very unlucky not to capitalize, raising one blue that would not eat and having another extreme large marlin, perhaps a black, eat the live bonito we were pulling around a bait loaded log, 3 different times but every time just spit it out.

Clint and Lisa Everrett from the Carolina's joined us for 5 days aboard Decisive and 2 days aboard our second boat Circle Hook, starting the 4th going 9 from 20 on the sails and 11 from 19 the following. Heading inshore and east the next day Lisa was rewarded with a 325lb blue early in the day off the bridge teaser. Not much latter we found a log with loads of bait and choose to livebait while also skipping a dead bonito up close. Not long into it a 400lb plus blue inhaled the skipping bonito right under our noses in what had to be one of the most spectacular bites ever. Lisa again did a fine job hooking and fighting the marlin to put number two for the day under her belt, and together with 8 sails and a half bite from another blue they saw out a spectacular Guatemalan fishing day. The 7th and 8th saw a few sails each day and a blue of about 200lbs that we missed to end a fantastic trip.

Mike Coe and his son Andy fished with us on the fly next and raised an average of 4 to 14 sailfish a day. Althought they proved finicky at times each of the duo released a few fish and enjoyed their trip emensly.

Our neighbour and good friend Dr. Scott Lund was with us the 13th and 14th along with his friends Mike Carastro and Mark Boydston. Day one proved very tuff but we found them biting inshore on day two going 13 from 19 on the sails with some handsome dorado for the grill.

Jeff and Judy Schneider fished with us the 15th through the 17th. Having never caught a billfish on fly they achieved their goal and each managed to release a sailfish or two on the long wand to leave most happy with themselves. Fine job guys.

The weekend of the 19th saw Brad at the Miami Boat Show and The Billfish Foundations Annual Awards Dinner at which he was honoured for winning the Top Release Captain of the year as well as Pacific Sailfish Release Captain. This is the ninth year in a row he has received these much acclaimed awards. His mates Kennedy and Johnny were also honoured as top mates.

Fanie Steyn of Zimbabwe returned to fish with us bringing along with him 4 of is fellow Southern African's, John Reid, Tony Nesbit, Peter Robinson and Brendon Rundle to experience what this part of the Pacific has to offer. The 22nd saw the group releasing 12 from 16 bites and in high spirits. The 23rd saw 6 sailfish released and a very impressive blue marlin of 450lbs caught by Brendon around a group of spinner dolphins. The following day saw 11 sailfish released fom 16 bites. Their final day saw us find the birds, bait, dorado, sailfish and marlin at 14 miles and the action was no-stop. The boys released 24 sailfish from 44 bites, some big dorado were boated and the highlight of the day was a 350lb blue which Peter caught, while another similar sized fish just would not bite. The "Africans" couldn't have been happier and its always a pleasure to see people that come from so far be rewarded with some outstanding fishing and lifelong memories.

The month ended with us organising and help host the 64th Ocean City Light Tackle Derby, a 20lb conventional trolling tournament. 15 anglers fished on 5 boats, with a practice day followed by 3 tournament days. Barry Fitzpatrick and Richard Barrazzotto came in early to enjoy two days of fishing with us the 26th and 27th. Each was deservedly rewarded with a blue marlin release, as well as another blue that was missed and 2 more that would not eat, while getting heaps of practice on the sailfish going 14 from 34 over the two days. The 28th saw us on the official practice day, going 21 from 35 bites to put all the competitors in high spirits. The 1st of March saw day One and 'Decisive' releasing 10 from 28 sails as well as a 225 lb blue marlin for Mike Sparco. Day two saw 'Decisive' release 28 sails from 56 bites as well as a 300lb blue for Tony Calabrese to be top boat for the day. The final day saw the bite get even better, with 'Decisive' releasing 33 sailfish, with countless Dorado and a large marlin which crashed the teaser, to again take top daily honors. The final results saw 271 sailfish and two blue marlin releases for the happy Ocean City anglers. Wayne Six was the top angler with 2800 points, John Carbone came in second with 2600 points and Barry Fitzpatric third with 2300 points. Team Italia of Matthew Barrazotto, John Carbone and Tony Calabrese was top team and "Decisive" took the top boat spot by more than 10 sailfish and two blue marlin, to see the OCLTT derby out in fine style with many saying it proved to be one their most successful events yet.

With the amount of bait and fish we have seen this past month one can look forward to another great report next month. Historically February is not one of our better blue marlin months but with the numbers we are seeing, one is inclined to think that come May and early June we will see some superb marlin fishing along with the usually high numbers of sails. Anyone thinking of trying for blues on fly, light tackle or 50lb standup should seriously think of looking at getting here this May, as the fishing is lining up to be spectacular.

Until next report, tight line, eagle claw circle hooks and healthy releases.

Capt. Brad Philipps

"Decisive"
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Email Cindy and Brad Phillipps: email

03/18/11 - Chris Whitley - Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico Report

Jimmy,

I have been fishing on Manuel Botello's boat Missing Angel in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico for the past few weeks. We are trying to Satellite Tag a dolphin for Donald L. Hammond's - Dolphin Research project. March 12th we released a Blue Marlin 150lbs 25 miles off the South drop of PR. Unfortunately we have not had a large enough Dolphin (30lbs+) to deploy the Satellite Tag on. We are back at it next week end off Mona Island.

I would like to congratulate Manuel Botello and the crew of the Missing Angel for tagging over 100 Dolphin fish for the Dolphin Research Project off of Puerto Rico during the 2010 calendar year! Irvin Baez was responsible for tagging 50 of those fish. Two of these fish were recaptured, to see the maps please go to http://dolphintagging.com.

Jimmy, we all know how important these fish are, and we really need some help from the folks in St. Thomas and St. Croix tagging Dolphin. If any one is interested please go to http://dolphintagging.com.

Chris Whitley

03/18/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers,

The start of the U.S. East Coast offshore fishing season is so close you can smell it. For many anglers in the Caribbean the dolphin season is winding down. In the big scheme of the ocean, the season ends in one area so it can begin in another.

I had the pleasure of starting my 2011 dolphinfish fishing a month early thanks to the wonderful fishermen of Club Nautico de San Juan in Puerto Rico. I wish to thank Agie Vicente, commodore of Club Nautico De San Juan, Gonzalo Ferrer, past director of the San Juan Billfish Tournament, Ryan Christiansen, host of the Friday radio show “Live from Club Nautico” and Manuel Botello, who along with his crew aboard his boat Missing Angel are the leading dolphin taggers in Puerto Rico, for making my visit possible. Because of the generous offers of Mansa Regis owner of the Marlin Magic and Manuel Botello owner of the Missing Angel, I was given the opportunity to fish the island’s north and south coasts. Participating in the area’s fishery and talking to the fishermen, provides the best insight into the nature of the area’s dolphin fishery. I definitely left Puerto Rico with a better understanding of their two distinctively different dolphin fisheries.

See Dolphin Report This issue of the newsletter gives a clear picture of what fishermen have to gain from releasing small dolphin. It also reveals the real story behind one of the fish myths that has recently been making the rounds on the internet. Hope you find it interesting.

Good fishing,

Don
Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524
cssllc@bellsouth.net
www.dolphintagging.com

03/11/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands Report



Somali Pirates and Fishing???

Ahoy Crew!

Arrrgh Matey’s! The floggings will continue until morale improves! This issue of the “Crew Letter” has a lot to do with pirates so I thought I would say something pirate-like.

First of all let me apologize to those I've already sent the following YouTube link to - I have since decided that it really deserves the full broadside to all of you. A friend of mine sent me this link the other day and it really hit home vis a vis what we have been discussing concerning overfishing on an industrial scale. I look forward to your thoughts on this...

SEE UTUBE LINK

Now don’t get me wrong here… I am in no way condoning the actions of the Somali Pirates, but as you will see in the link, their actions have dramatically improved the fishing in the areas in which they operate. Prior to their pirate activity the area of the Indian Ocean in which they operate the overfishing by trawlers and other international commercial fishing interests had depleted the stocks of fish to such an extent that local small boat fishermen and sportfishermen had been catching very few fish. In fact the surge in pirate activity along the Somali coast has in part been attributed to the fact that the fishermen could no longer support their families as a result of the poor fishing caused by the unrestricted industrial fishing.

A direct result of the pirate activity has been the abandonment of that area by commercial fishing vessels. Since then the fish stocks along the coast have improved rapidly and dramatically. Local fishermen in Kenya report the best fishing in years!

So here is the connection… Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong… Overfishing on an industrial scale helped lead to Piracy. Piracy led to the elimination of the factory ships in the area. This in turn reduced the pressure on the fish stocks. There is once again fish available for the local fishermen to catch. Voila!

Now here’s the rub. Those who have turned to piracy (also on an industrial scale, no less) will never return to fishing. Piracy pays better! They will have to be blown away.

Needless to say, you will not hear of the “Deviant” sailing in those waters!

Just thought that I would give you some food for thought…

Carry On!

Chuck

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

3/15/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters on Ambush - Caribbean Report

St Vincent, Windward Islands , Caribbean

Yes, I am a long way from the GBR!!!

We have been doing lots of traveling on the “Ambush” and the “Olga” the last 5 weeks.

The boats have done almost 1000nm, and visited lots of countries, from our base in Puerto Rico, and around most of the islands in the US and British Virgin Islands.

From there we fished a couple of days on both the north and south drops, but nothing was happening.

We then started our trip south to St Marteen, where stayed for a few days, then fished our way down to the island of Nevis , and the next day down past Guadeloupe, to the anchorage of Prince Rupert Bay in the island of Dominica.

Tanner, the mate and I fish most of the time while we travel, and missed a blue off Dominica.

The island of Montserrat was on our way and we rode right down the beach to check out the destruction from the volcano a couple of years ago- just amazing the power of nature.

Fishing our way down to Marigot Bay in St Lucia, a natural hurricane hole, we tagged our first blue of the trip, about 400lb on a tuna lure. Both boats spent a week here, resupplying and exploring the island, before heading south to the Pitons, two huge volcanic peaks that surround a nice anchorage with mooring buoys.

Tanner and I fished our way south from Marigot Bay to the Pitons, but took the long way to check out some FADS. We were told there are about 8 FADS around St Lucia, but of the ones we checked out, there was only 2 of the 5 we checked left. Heavy currents and LOTS of shipping would have most probably accounted for these losses.

South of St Lucia, I marked some birds on the radar and off we chugged to check it out. Not only were there packs of birds, but huge stands of bait, and all around 3 home made FADS, that the locals fish out of their pangas. As soon as we arrived we got piled on by a blue, tagged it, and then 2 big mahi mahi.

We fished for a couple of hours and ended up seeing 5 blues, had 4 bites, and tagged 2, not too bad for just the 2 of us on board.

The next day we tried to fish, but couldn't put a crew together, so we went snorkeling and exploring around the Pitons in the zodiac.

Saturday the 7th of March will be remembered for a long time!!!. We took, Clem, Sara and Claire from the “Olga” for the days fishing. We all left on the “Ambush” at 11am, and ran the 8 miles to where we put the lines in, as soon as we got to the area of the FADS, it was on!!!

By 2.30pm we had fished for 2.5 hours and were 5 from 7 on blue marlin!!! Going 7 7 5 , loosing 2 fish on the FAD when we got split on double headers.

At 3.20 pm, we had missed one on the pitch, and pulled another off, but were now 7 from 9, and heading towards the magic 10 in a day.

Fishing the run in tide all afternoon, I just stayed around the 3 FADS, and were marking fish all over the big stands of bait. The fish were marking from 150 to 300 feet down and coming straight up and just piling on the Pakula Lumo sprocket and the other rigger lure. Both teasers were getting the odd, bite, but the fish were tuned in on the left long!!!

Half an hour with no bite, I was getting worried, but not to worry, by 3.55 we were 8 from 12 and had another hour or so to fish before we had to get back to the anchorage.

Our last fish was released at 4.36 pm, to finish the day with a double header and 10 blue marlin for the day!!! 8 of the 10 fish were on the Lumo on the left rigger!!! Everyone was down and tight!!!

Just an epic day on the Ambush, the boats best day ever, and the first day fishing for the crew from our mother ship- I threw them in at the deep end with a non stop action afternoon. All our fish were 250 -375 lbs, and all behaved pretty much the same.

Unfortunately we had to leave the next day to get down to St Lucia, and Tanner and I fished the FAD for a couple of hours, but they were not biting properly yet, and we had 4 bites. But the Fads were sucked under by the current. Nevertheless, the fish and bait was stacked up, and I must have marked 20-25 marlin on the bait stands. I am sure that after the tide change they would have come on the chew properly. Hopefully we can get back there next month and fish the week up to the moon. Want to join us for that trip?

We are currently in St Vincent, and awaiting the boss and his family for some fishing and cruising around here and Grenada. Should be some more blues and big yellow fin around in April, so we are looking forward to getting fishing again.

The “Ambush” is available for charter from now, until mid August with me running the boat, and we will be down here in the windward islands till May, and then back up to the BVI's for the St Thomas moons for the excellent blue marlin fishing.

Let me know if you are interested in joining me on the “Ambush” or in conjunction with the “Olga”



My 2011 Cairns season is coming along well, with only a few openings left, including some great tides in mid to late September, which is the week before the Lizard Island Tournament, so the fishing should again be great in September, as it is almost every year. If this doesn't suit, I have a week in November into December.

Till next update,

Capt Tim email Tim
visit website

03/14/11 - Nelson Morales - Prime Time - Puerto Rico

Hi Jimmy,

We caught this huge Sail Fish today at South of Vieques. We realesed it. See you soon.

Nelson Morales
Prime Time PR

03/11/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands Report

Yokwe Crew!

I thank all of you who have written expressing your concerns for our welfare out here on the edge of the world. The recent earthquake and tsunami activity gave us quite a scare last night but I am happy to report that nothing out of the ordinary happened here. No shake, rattle or roll. No rise in sea level. Nada. Whew!

Carry On!

Chuck

02/10/11 - Capt. Brad Phillipps - Decisive - Guatemala Fishing Report

Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - 2011 started well for us off the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. We have had some bumper days of up to 44 sailfish releases, with consistent numbers of blue marlin to really make things exciting.

The morning of the 1st broke bright and sunny after a rocking New Years party and Decisive was the first of the fleet to release a sailfish for anglers Dave Lewis from Grand Rapids MI and Paul Herman from Tyler, TX with a couple more under their belts Dave went on to release a feisty 225 pound blue marlin after some espectacular jumps to really break in the new year. The following day saw us release 3 sails, put some some tuna on board as well as plenty of huge dorado up to 45 pounds. The 3rd had us going 9 from 14 bites on sails with another handful released the 4th as well as marlin that wouldn't play.

Bill and Julie Douglas fished on the fly rod the 5th, 6th and 7th with the couple seeing some amazing action around some huge logs holding incredible amount of bonito, dorado and marlin. Their first day we missed a 200 pound stripey around a log only to hook and have Julie release a 500 pound blue a little while later. An hour later we had another big marlin up that would not eat and then missed another while releasing 5 sailfish for the day also. Not to be outdone, Bill released a 200 pound blue the following day with each of the couple catching a few sailfish on the fly rod as well as a good number on the spinning gear to see out a very memorable trip for them.

Dave and Diane Cordes fished on Decisive the 8th and 9th with Dave choosing to give the fly fishing a go. Early in the day a big fish showed up on the short teaser and we pitched a mackerel with Dave doing a fine job on the spectacular 400 pound blue for some fantastic boat side jumps and photo's. Over the course of the next day and a half both Dave and Diane got the hang of the fly deal and each released a few on the long wand with another 9 on the spin of conventional gear.

The 10th saw us gearing up for the next days fly tournament with Decisive fly fishing hotshots, Scott Lund and Joe O'Brien. We looked out way west and reelased 4 sails on fly and Scott caught a 400 pound blue on bait that would not tease for the fly. The 11th saw us in the thick of the action right out front with 13 fly releases from 16 bites to end top boat for day one. With things slowing on day two Decisive pushed back to the west and found some action towards the end of the day managing 5 releases for the day. Having to roll the dice on the final day Decisive went back out west to try find the previous afternoons action but the move didn't pay off as although things looked good the fish could not be found.

Ritchie Howell and friends fished with us on the 14th going 6 from 11 bites out to the east.

Heading back to the west John Hundley and his son-in-law Eric and grandson Copper saw a slow first day for their trip on the 15th with only 2 releases. But in Guatemala things don't stay slow for long and with the girls on board the next day bringing some lady luck we released 14 from 26 bites the next. John had all the fish to himself the following day going 20 from 31, as the family went up to Antigua to enjoy the local culture and history as well as the amazing sights. While Patsy goes for her walks in the mornings, finish reading a book, have nice meals and enjoy the pool to herself!

Our old Texan/Panamanian friend John Richardson along with wife Susie, son Monte, daughter Allison and Scottish friend Neil Cunningham and TBF's very own Elliott Stark rotated stays with us the 20th through the 24th and to say they saw some great action would be an understatement. Things started hot with John and Neil releasing 44 from 70 bites their first day. We mixed thigns up the next day as Monte and Allison wanted to give the fly deal a go and ended the day with 22 on bait and a fly release for Monte. Allison had her turn the next day and did a fine job catching her first billfish on the fly with another few couple on the baits. John, Neil and Elliott were at it the 23rd with 22 sail release a nice big blue we missed and another up that would not play at all. The 24th saw us miss a 300 pound blue and release 3 sails to end a wonderful trip to the Richardson's group.

Some more Texas friends Bobby (Bouche') and Bryan Richter where with us for some fishing fun the 25th through 27th. Running out wide we went 8 from 10 on the baits the first day. With a patch of green water offshore the bite was found no more than 2 miles off the beach right in front of the marina and the boys released 2 on fly with 5 more on bait. Things got really good for the Decisive and team Bouche' the next day with 7 releases on fly and another 5 on bait. Not to stop a good thing they took it a notch further the next day. Still only 2 miles off the beach Bobby and Bryan put on a fine display of flyfishing to release 12 sails on fly and another 8 on spin. Nice work boys!!

Tyson O'Connell, father and friends all of Montana had the booked for the final two days of the month, also to give their had at the fly game. The guys did a great job and had a fantastic time in shallow and enjoying the flat calm seas almost the entire month has brought as well as the adrenaline charged a fly bite brings right at boat side. The guys released 4 on fly and 2 on bait their first day with another 3 on fly and a fish on spin the next.

With the consistent numbers of blues and sails and the vast quantity of bait we are seeing here its' looking like its going to be a great season ahead.

Until the next report, tight lines, Eagle Claw circle hooks and healthy releases.

Capt. Brad Philipps

"Decisive"
Website
Email Cindy and Brad Phillipps: email

03/10/11 - Juan Carlos Torruella - Puerto Rico - Fishing Report

Hey Jimmy,

Cold water has made some of the "winter species" linger around here longer than usual. The last couple of days I have marked 78 to 79 degree F water, conditions that are more tipical for December or January. Nevertheless we managed to release two sailfish on saturday on a 6 hour trip and released another one today on a 4 hour trip. The tarpon bite has been steady, released 6 and jumped off 9 more on a 4 hour trip on sunday. With the moon rising these next 10 days I'm sure some whiteys and blues will show up as well.

South coast reports from Ponce and La Parguera have seen a lot of blue marlin as well as some big dorado. One boat last month caught 6 blues and a spearfish in two days of fishing. Tight lines,

Juan

03/08/11 - Matthias Henningsen - Cape Verde Islands - Fishing Report

Marlin Season has started early again. Just one boat is fishing at the moment. They released 12 Blue Marlin during the last 3 days of fishing. Contact me for free dates! Still 2 free weeks for the season.

TL

Capt. Matthias Henningsen

skype: tcwalhalla
website
email


03/08/11 - John and Jessica Kimberley - New Zealand - Fishing Report

NZ News: Fantastic Season Continues

Early promise continues to materialise into fact, delivering superb game fishing with the Blue Marlin action, in particular, hitting the headlines.

The La Nina weather pattern has brought warm water and plenty of these Blue “Ferraris” with several exceeding 650lbs and the best, so far, at over 866lbs. Even, yours truly, managed a specimen over 600lbs. With at least a month to go before their numbers thin out, we are hoping for a “horse” to be captured as the hard luck stories continue to be reported. One monster being lost after 6 ½ hrs and tales of spooled reels are not uncommon.

Striped Marlin will remain on the coast much longer and there have been very good numbers caught so far, some very close inshore, but also a disproportionately high number of fish have been dropped. Best of the species so far registered 365lbs but, as they continue to pack on weight, this specimen is sure to be surpassed at some point.

One surprising aspect has been the virtual disappearance of Mahi mahi, after such good indications at the start of the season.

Yellowfin Tuna made the usual early showing, of good size up to 176lbs, but in sparse numbers.

The sense of adventure, held by so many Kiwis, has resulted in some extraordinary captures, including Striped Marlin from a small inflatable and another from a jetski. A small Black Marlin, of around 270lbs, was caught from a 14ft tinny, very close to shore and a monster Black was lost from a top game boat recently, where the highly experienced skipper called it as easily a grander.

Other exciting news includes a world record claim Big Eye Tuna of 300lbs on 30lb line, a near world record Mako of 713lbs on 20lb line and the first recreationally caught Broadbill from the South Island of 455lbs.

Shark numbers are definitely on the rise and a very big Tiger shark was recently spotted which, at first, was mistaken for a small Whale Shark.

The current weather could be a bit kinder, as time marches on, but there are sure to be plenty more exciting times ahead!

Tight Lines,

John & Jessica Kimberley

Pacific Promotions NZ
Tel: 09 433 9981
Mobile: 021 430 717
Fax: 09 433 9971
website

03/05/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands Report

A Darker Side of Paradise


The Good, The Bad And The Ugly...

Ahoy, Crew, Ahoy! I haven't written for a while so I just wanted to touch base again. I'm happy to say that everything has been pretty quiet out here on the edge of the world. The weather is a bit strange so far this year with a lot more rain and a lot less wind than usual for this season. So it goes...

Now stand by for the Good the Bad and the Ugly...

The Good...

Yesterday we had a boat blessing. A friend of mine here bought a boat last year over on Kwajalein Atoll and had it shipped over here to Majuro. It turned into quite a project as he added a cabin to the 26 footer for protection from the weather and rough seas. He also swapped out the old gasoline engine for a new diesel engine. The project worked out really well and the boat looks and runs terrific. It's a recreational boat that he and his wife will use for fishing, diving and picnicking. Being a member of the local fishing club, The Marshalls Billfish Club, he will use it in the club tournaments as well. “Good job, Cary! My hat's off to you!”

The blessing ceremony is common here in the Marshall Islands. It seems that everything has to be blessed. Boats, airport terminals, houses, you name it, it will be blessed. A couple of weeks ago they even had a blessing ceremony for a large wind turbine that was put up to supply electrical power at the local marina. (Interestingly enough the normal trade winds have since dropped off to zero so I'm not sure how effective that blessing was!)

Now I'm not a superstitious type of guy so the ceremony's don't mean too much to me but they are kind of cute. A priest dresses up in his outfit, says a few chants and prayers, maybe sings a hymn or two, then sprinkles holy water all over the place to drive the demons out. After that there is always plenty of food and drinks. We usually drink our own “holy water” out of can or bottle. Yesterday it came out of a red, white and blue can that said “Budweiser” on it! A good time was had by all...

The Bad...

You know that sometimes I go on a rant over the commercial fishing that takes place out here in the western Pacific. Well, here comes another one... The big motherships have been schooling up in the Majuro Lagoon again. This morning I counted eight. Each one of these suckers loads up tons and tons of fish to haul away to their home ports in Japan, Honolulu, Korea and elsewhere. The motherships are fed their fish by purse seiners. Sometimes there will be one purse seiner on each side of the mothership offloading its tons of fish into the motherships hold just as fast as it can. Then it takes on fuel and provisions and runs off to get another load.

Purse Seiners have been banned from fishing in many parts of the world because that style of fishing is very destructive to fish stocks Using sophisticated electronics like scanning sonars and with the help of helicopter spotters they locate the schools of tuna then encircle the entire school with an enormous net that is deployed by fast speed boats. The net is is closed around the school then the bottom is closed so that nothing inside can escape. They not only take their target species but also anything else that was with the school like marlin, sailfish and porpoises. Everything dies. The dead fish that were not targeted, the “bycatch”, are thrown over the side.

Attempts to regulate this fishing in the western Pacific are relatively ineffective. There are millions of square miles of ocean to patrol and besides that there is so much money involved that the corruption and the compromising of local officials is common. The tuna stocks in much of the world are at critical levels. The western Pacific holds one of the last large tuna stocks in the world but it is being jeopardized by overfishing. Big- Eye Tuna stocks here have reached critical levels and the stocks of Yellow Fin Tuna are not far behind. Yet the over fishing continues....

And The Ugly...

It has been mentioned to me by several readers that I am hypocritical because I condemn commercial fishing on the one hand but show no remorse when it comes to sportfishing or the harvesting of fish for local use on the other. I will admit to a bit of hypocrisy here but would like to say a few words in my own defense...

When a few small boats go outside and catch fish that will be used locally they put very little hurt on on the stocks of pelagic fish. (Inside lagoons or near reefs it can be a different story with the possibility of overfishing reef fish. In which case I am in favor of restrictions like seasonal closings and certain area closings.) What the small fishing boats catch in terms of Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi and even Billfish are a drop in the bucket compared to what the commercial fishermen take out of the oceans. In the north Atlantic the Cod off the coast of Canada and the US were considered to be a resource that could never be destroyed until one day, with the advent of enormous factory ships, there was no more... The same is happening to Tuna worldwide. When the Tuna are no more there will be no more Billfish either.

Many of my friends in the sportfishing game practice “release”. They let the fish they catch go. That is very common in the Billfishing world where most fishermen practice 100% release of all Billfish that they catch. Other friends tell me that they will purchase no fish and will eat only what they themselves catch.

Be that as it may, I will continue to fish. However I will continue to argue for controls on the resource. I will also continue to eat fish. I just hope that I don't eat the last one!

Cheers from the edge of the world!

Chuck Handy

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

03/01/11 - Mark Davis - Kona, Hawaii - Aboard Sea Genie II - Fishing Report



Wendy's first Shortbill Spearfish and a Stripe Marlin

Our thanks to Capt. Gene Vanderhoek and Capt. Chris Choy

02/28/11 - Capt. Rob Haid - South Pacific Crossing - Fishing Report

Jimmy,

We're breaking tow this morning off Rangiroa, Tuamotus. Do a little fishing today. On the trip the Patriot catch about 15 or so Marlin while we were towing them. We got 1.....I think the Tow line scares them away. My Girl catch about 4.......interesting point...there where Wahoos all the way from Panama to here.

We stopped in Marquesas for a day and a half which I spent most of getting my Sat Communications back up and running so we now have internet and phone again. All good here Jimmy, looking forward to breaking tow in a bit after 25 days......do a little fishin' today then in to Tahiti tomorrow.....

Rob

02/26/11 - Matthias Henningsen - Ascension Island - Fishing Report

Fishing stays good . HARMATTAN released 5 Blues the last 4 days, 200/250/250/650/950 lb.

Capt. Matthias Henningsen

skype: tcwalhalla
website
email



02/26/11 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Good day,

For much of the middle part of the month finding marlin was very hard work indeed but I am pleased to say that the last week has been much more encouraging with good numbers of sailfish plus a reasonable number of marlin. The last group of 6 anglers managed 22 billfish in their 6 days with day 1 a virtual wash-out due to weather putting the fish off. The water temperature is much better, the wind good and the fish are there, which makes all the difference.

BIG BLUE MARLIN RELEASED BY BROADBILL On Saturday 12th February Tim Kane from the UK fishing just one day with Pat on Broadbill first caught his first ever sailfish on the way out in the morning then fought a striped marlin for a short time before losing it. But, then in the afternoon they raised a magnificent blue marlin in to the spread seeming intent on eating an Illander Sea Searcher on the centre rigger before switching over to a much smaller lure, an Ilander Sea Star on a 50-lb rig trolled off the outrigger and engulfing it. Tim fought the fish for 2½ hours before finally bringing the leader within the reach of the mate. Pat and Usama estimated it as at least 600-lb; what a fish to catch for your first marlin and how near did he come to getting a grand slam on his first try?

For much of the following week the weather was dominated by a large tropical storm pummelling Madagascar and of course we receive the side-effects. The group of young Italian Swiss Marika Gattiker, Tiziano Panzeri and Luca Pin had spent 10 days last year fishing in Mauritius without seeing a marlin and were desperate to catch one this time around. Tiziano did get a couple of striped marlin and Mariker also got her first marlin but Luca unfortunately missed out getting a sailfish instead. Fishing on the other boat Karl Stolzlederer and Josef Kowanda from Austria were also looking for their first marlin and sailfish. Karl did get 2 striped marlin and Josef 1 but the fishing was a struggle all week. You can only choose the best time but you cannot put the fish on the hook!

This last week was fished by a group of 6 anglers 4 of whom come from Botswana and the other 2 in Scotland led by John Carr-Hartley who must have been fishing with us for around 17 years now, and Douglas McKendrick now living in Scotland who has also been coming for many years with John. It is always great to welcome back old friends and meet new ones, its part of what makes this job so rewarding.

Their first day, Sunday 20th was horrible in that for the first time that I can remember all the boats were skunked! Not a good record to have guys but thankfully the record was put straight thereafter, 22 billfish in the remaining 5 days including 1 blue, 9 stripies and 12 sails. Three of the party Desmond Cloete, Richard Armstrong and Mike Bearns had never caught a billfish so it was great that everyone caught at least 1 marlin and 1 sail during the week. The best day was had by John, Doug and Clive Evans on Broadbill with Pat when they ended up with 2 striped marlin and 3 sailfish also losing 3 marlin. There were some big stripies as well, Mike's was estimated at 180-lb on 50 from Broadbill, Doug had one of 160 on 50 from Kamara II, and Clive and Richard both had 5:1 stripies on 30 one on each boat.

Conditions for the coming week look good thus far with the water temperature good in the channel at last and the wind still in the right direction. There is a lot of food out there too so hopefully we shall be able to report on a good week coming up. Early March is traditionally the time for the big marlin and last year there were some very big fish around.

In greater detail day by day see our blog at http://www.bigame.com/blog/

Best wishes and tight lines all,

Simon
website
email
Tel: +254 (0)722 796 198 (Simon) or (0)722 479 864 (Maia)

02/23/11 - Matthias Henningsen - Ascension Island - Fishing Report

After a slow week the fish are back and HARMATTAN released 5 Blues of 200/250/350/750/800 the last 4 days.

Capt. Matthias Henningsen

skype: tcwalhalla
website
email



02/12/11 - Ecuagringo - San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands - Fishing Report

San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

Over the past few days we had the opportunity to host a group of 16 from North Carolina. The anglers were led by Captain Barrette McMullan from Ocean Isle Fishing Center. Everyone in the party enjoyed the thrill of catching striped marlin and visiting the Galapagos. This was a fun loving group that showed tremendous spirit. Some anglers were more experienced than others and although some were not familiar with catching marlin on circle hooks they eventually were able to hook and catch their own fish. I have tried to compile the numbers as accurate as I can. Keep in mind that what the captain sees from the bridge often differs from what anglers see from the cockpit.

Feb 1, 2011 we had a group of 16 North Carolina anglers fishing on the Jhonamar 2, Patricia, Blue and Big Fish. The dark blue water was calm and temperatures ranged on the various mounds from 77 to 79 F. Some birds and plenty of dolphins on the banks were feeding throughout the day. Some bait was found scattered on the bank but it was not the large balls we are used to. Blue- captained by Julio Rodriguez had 10 raises, 5 bites and caught 4 fish on circle hooks. Anglers were Tom Bordeaux, Blair Bordeaux, Ken Hill and Kennan Hill. Patricia- captained by Yury Gutierrez Junior had 12 raises 7 bites and released 1 on circle hooks. Anglers were Brant and Amy McMullan, Brian and Stacy Allen and Stacy. Jhonamar 2- captained by Edwin Buenanio raised 16, had 6 bites and released 1 on circle hooks. Anglers were Benji Faulkner, Andy Erbacher, Rube McMullan and Barrette McMullan. Big Fish- Captained by Fernando Yepez raised 15, had 12 bites and released 3 on circle hooks. Bryan Freeman, Brian Robbins, Rick Blase and Steve Austin. On the Hook- Captained by Gustavo Hernandez raised 11, had 8 bites and released 5 on lures.

Feb 2, 2011 the OIFC group of 16 headed to Rosa Blanca to find calm seas, blue water and a nice sunny day. The story was the same across the board. The fish were not aggressive and acted pretty shy making it quite difficult to get them eat the baits and get a good hook set with circle hooks. Patricia- Raised 13 stripes had 4 bites on the circle hook and released 2 fish. Fish were not very aggressive and seemed to shy from the bridge teasers. Anglers Ken Hill, Kennan Hill, Barrette McMullan and Benji Faulkner. Blue- raised 5 had 5 bites released 3 stripeys on circle hooks and headed inshore to catch a few wahoo for dinner. Anglers Tom Bordeaux, Blair Bordeaux, Brian and Stacy Allen. Big Fish- raised 10 stripeys, had 4 bites on circle hooks and released 1. Anglers Brant and Amy McMullan, Rube McMullan and Andy Erbacher. Jhonamar 2- raised 9, had 7 bites and released 1. Anglers Bryan Freeman, Brian Robbins, Rick Blase and Steve Austin.

Feb 3, 2011 Two boats the Patricia and Big Fish head north to Black Sheep Bank 68 miles to check out the fishing. Water was 77-78 F and dark blue. The morning started out with a slight chop but the wind died down and it became a very nice day. Black Sheep bank was not s loaded with bait as other times but there were marlin present. Not the high numbers of raises we are used to but there were some fish. Blue and Jhonamar 2 stayed back to head out to Rosa Blanca. Big Fish- raised 16 stripes had 7 bites and caught 3. The fish were finicky and captain Yepez opted for combining lure on the long with baits on the shorts which produced some better results. Anglers were Blair Bordeaux, Bryan Freeman, Rick Blase and Barrette McMullan. Patricia- had a 7 raises 3 bites and no releases. Just one of those days where the fish would not react much to anything tried. Hard to admit but yes there are a few days a year that one of our boats won't catch marlin. However it is a little hard to catch fish if they don't bite. Anglers were Rube McMullan, Andy Erbacher, Brian and Stacy Allen. Blue- Being the lucky boat the days before went to Rosa Blanca where they raised 6 had 5 bites and released 2 on circle hooks. Anglers were Brant and Amy McMullan, Tom Bordeaux and Benji Faulkner Jhonamar 2- reported raising 10 having 5 bites and releasing 1. Anglers were Ken and Kennan Hill, Bryan Freeman and Steve Austin.

Feb 4, 2011 was the final day for the group and all 4 boats headed out to Rosa Blanca. Blue water in the 76.8 to 78 F range. Very calm seas and overcast skies. Patricia arrived first on the Honey Hole and after seeing the bait there stuck on it and managed to raised 18 stripeys, have 12 bites and released 5. There were several hookups of fish that should have been caught but as luck would have it there were several spit hooks. The fish were quite finicky but reacting much better to the teasers so a combination of lures on long and baits with circle hooks on the shorts were used. Anglers included all the McMullan clan of Barrette, Amy, Brant and Rube. Jhonamar 2- fished the Honey Hole but did not keep the faith and headed back to Rosa Blanca. They quit early to go inshore fishing and ended up only raising 2 stripeys, 1 bite and 1 release. Anglers included Tom Bordeaux, Blair Bordeaux, Benji Faulkner and Andy Erbacher. Blue- raised 6 had 3 bites and released 1. Anglers were Steve Austin, Bryan Freeman andRick Blase. Big Fish- reported raising 9 having 6 bites and 1 release. Anglers were Brian and Stacy Allen and Kennan Hill.

Folks there is still time to enjoy fishing in the Galapagos. We have fish all year round so don't be afraid to book. Prime calm season dates are going fast. Don't let the numbers fool you. There are plenty of fish here and these are common cycles that the fish don't bite much and then all hell breaks loose and we will have much more raises and bites. We have very few dates open between now and May so if you want to experience this incredible fishery you need to get in touch with us now.

Don't let the fishing of a lifetime pass you up.

website
email


02/12/11 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Good day,

Fishing Report, 1st - 11th February 2011

The first half of February has been mostly unusually calm with the marlin unfortunately hard to come by. February, as most of you will know is the best time of the year to fish for marlin along with December and January but fish are an unpredictable bunch of animals. As I have said on many occasion if you visit the best fishing destinations in the world at the best time of the year for any particular species you are after often enough you will get amazing fishing for sure but you are also likely to get poor fishing as well. That is just the nature of our sport and makes it all the more exciting because we never know what will come out next.

But, it has not all been bad news because there have been some very good catches too. We have also seen some big marlin so hopefully in the coming weeks somebody will hook up with that monster. February 2011 also marks the time when history has been made with the first broadbill swordfish caught in daylight off the Kenya Coast. Pat has all the gear and was hoping to be the first to do it but unfortunately he has been beaten to it. Nick Michaelides fishing on Andy Thomas’ privately run 33 ft Blackfin “White Mischief” landed the first one off of the Vipingo mlima situated off Kilifi last week. The fish was weighed in at a whopping 154-kg reinforcing the theory that the biggest ones stay deep. Is this to be the end of night fishing? I believe that two more broadbill have been taken using the deep drop method so it was not just a fluke. Pat has all the gear ready and is all set to go as soon as time allows.

Tuesday 1st February – all three boats out but a pretty bum day for us although Kevin Jacobs and Kevin Martin fishing on Kamara II were unlucky not to get a marlin, losing two and seeing two more. White Otter did manage to tag a striped marlin but that was the only one they saw. It was very calm with only light winds all day and virtually no current flowing.

Wednesday 2nd February - Again all three boats out and still very calm but at least the current was flowing strongly north again. I had two phone calls early this morning from skippers up north asking what was happening here with the current because they had none up there and the fishing was lousy at best. One always has to keep in mind when reading fishing reports from around the world how many boats may be fishing. There are between 20-30 boats fishing the Watamu area but only three in the Pemba Channel. But, back in Shimoni a great day for Richard Ager with his sons Sean and Brett and the latter’s friend Keegan Haasbroek all from Zimbabwe fishing on Kamara II. This was their last day so nice to have a good day, a stripey on 30 for Brett and 4 sails all when the other boats returned empty handed.

On the way home we rose a huge marlin on a small lure on the long rigger that Hamisi first thought was a pilot whale. It then dropped back to a black & red sea star on the other long rigger and was swatting at it with his massive bill. It was really a big fish, we’d guess at in excess of 800-lb. After a while it just faded away without touching anything.

Thursday 3rd February – All three boats out but today was not just calm, worse still the wind was ESE. Kamara II fished by long-time regulars from England, Charlie McCrow and Lindsay Brown tagged a stripey ands a sail with the others again blanking.

Friday 4th February – At least the wind was back slightly northerly although this season it has never really been right always basically easterly. Of the three boats out only Kamara II fished by Charlie and Lindsay tagged two sails. Both Kamara II and Broadbill dropped striped marlin and there were quite a few sail who were mainly intent on taking the big marlin lures.

Saturday 5th February – the conditions looked really good for once, beautiful blue water and a good strong NE but no rips to speak of. But, perhaps the fish really do not like change because they did not come out to play and both White Otter and Kamara II returned without flags. However, Kamara II again rose a nice marlin, no where near as big as the last one but nice all the same, around 300-lb. Again it just followed with even less interest if that was possible.

Sunday 6th February – really quite rough early on but becoming considerably calmer around midday and the water was gorgeous. Neither White Otter or Kamara II actually caught anything but on Kamara II we did have a stripey on briefly before it fell off. We also rose another nice marlin, this one around 500-lb on the long rigger, came in to check out the big konahead on the 80, then the tag line, back to the kona, then back to the long rigger. This one really looked at times as though she might actually take something but it was not to be. Unfortunately there is no bait around because perhaps if we had had something to offer her she might just of eaten.

Monday 7th February – it was very rough all day and Pat said that there were lots of flying fish today, I was not out. Nic de Wit, a farmer from the Kalahari in South Africa fishing on Broadbill tagged our biggest sailfish of the season thus far, a beauty estimated at 45-kg on 30-lb line. White Otter managed a striped marlin and a sailfish, too but not many fish seen.

Tuesday 8th February – only our two boats out today, much less rough but nice water and plenty of flying fish. Broadbill fished by Robert Alleblas, Derrick Verkade, Pierre de Vries and Steve Thompson tagged a stripey for Derrick and a sail for Pierre. On Kamara II with Nic de Wit we went up north looking for sails that we had heard were plentiful but could not find any. Interestingly, we saw virtually no flying fish until we got down to where Pat was to the NW of Pemba.

Wednesday 9th February – all three boats out, very calm early becoming a little more choppy in the afternoon, wind ENE. Far less flying fish again today; we always feel much better when we can see lots of them. Kamara II and Broadbill ended up with a sail each with only the former seeing any marlin one of which gave us a couple of jumps before throwing the hook. Most of the fish were completely disinterested and two of the stripies that we raised never lit up. What are they waiting for?

Thursday 10th February – both our two boats had the day off so White Otter had the entire Pemba Channel to themselves. But, apparently they spent the day bottom fishing for small snappers – what a waste of a 44-ft sport fishing boat.

Friday 11th February – only Kamara II out today with the Dutch contingent. Flat calm all morning with a bit more chop after midday as the wind came up a little from the ENE. There was really blue water close in to Shimoni, blue-green in centre channel and really quite green water on the plateau once the wind got up. Again once the wind came up we saw a lot of sail but they would not look at the strips and even the packs only took the bigger lures. We managed to get two but missed a heap of them never easy to hook on marlin lures. Also remember that on our boats we prefer that you do the hooking yourself and do not sit back and wait to be handed your fish on a plate. Makes it much more enjoyable for all.

Forecast - looks as though next couple of days may bring a bit of southerly winds, something that we certainly do not want, but after that appears that the northerly may blow pretty strongly. Let us hope that the fish approve and the fishing picks up.

Tight lines and best wishes,

Simon Hemphill
website
email
Tel: +254 (0)722 796 198 (Simon) or (0)722 479 864 (Maia)

2/11/11 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing

Greetings,

Another month and a completely different hemisphere and ocean all together!!!

I was fortunate to have the Tradition back home at the Gold Coast City Marina, where she spends the off season, a couple of days before Christmas.

We fortunately missed the January storms around Brisbane that took so many lives, and then followed up in North Queensland later that month and early February saw 2 cyclones hit in the space of a week. The second a major Category 5 storm that devastated small coastal towns south of Cairns. Cairns and Townsville saw some minor damage and flooding, and most of the Cairns fleet of gameboats and motherships fared well.

Whilst all this was going on I was making our 2010 Cairns dvd and finalizing my off season plans.

The dvd is finished and if you would like a copy please send me an email with your address and I will get that taken care of. In the meantime I have flown to Florida for a quick 3 day visit and am now down in Puerto Rico running the 61 Garlington “Ambush” until it is time to head home for the Cairns season.

The “Ambush” and its mothership the 124' “Olga” are heading down to the British Virgin Islands, St Martin, St Lucia and all the way down to Grenada, before return to the BVI for the blue marlin season. Our trip will consist of fishing , diving, exploring and having fun all through the Carribean.

If you are interested in joining me on the “Ambush”, or a get together with friends on both boats please let me know, we are also available for the St Thomas moons.

Our 2011 Cairns season is shaping up nicely with all our regular clients coming back in force this year, which has filled most of the season already. If you are thinking about coming this year, please email me and I can let you know about the possible dates to suit your schedule. We have lots of mothershipping this season as well as some of our favorite liveaboard clients back for some more great fishing this year.

Off the the BVI's tomorrow for a week then further south.

Capt Tim Richardson

email Tim
visit website

02/01/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers,

This year is already showing signs of continuing the growth in the program started in 2010. In 2010 the program enjoyed a high level of media coverage with feature articles in two national and one international magazine. Last year the tagging effort by participating anglers soared to the second highest level in the history of the program but financial support sagged to its lowest point. Media coverage of the program in 2011 is starting out fast with a feature article in the current issue of the new Guy Harvey Magazine and a feature in an up coming episode of Blair Wickstrom’s television show, Florida Sportsman. The program’s financial support has also received a big boost.

See Dolphin Report

I am pleased to announce that the world-famous manufacturer of sunglasses, Costa Del Mar of Daytona Beach, Florida, has approved a grant supporting the Dolphinfish Research Program. Additionally, Costa is joining Haddrell’s Point Tackle and Supply of Mt. Pleasant and Charleston, South Carolina, and Star Rods of Morehead City, North Carolina, in generously donating their product to be used in the year-end awards for anglers and boats tagging the most fish. A pair of Costa glasses will be given to the anglers and boats that are runners-up in the four categories of the year-end awards. So fishermen now have the chance to win a pair of top quality sunglasses, if they do not receive the rod and reel outfit. Here is the opportunity for a real bargain. By tagging and releasing your scrawny little peanut dolphin for science, you can convert them into a top quality rod and reel or a pair of top quality sunglasses.

I am excited about the 2011 season, partially because I get to start my tagging year early with a trip to Puerto Rico in March, but also because of the support the program has already received this year. I hope that each of you has a better year in 2011.

Good fishing,

Don

Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524
cssllc@bellsouth.net
www.dolphintagging.com

01/31/10 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Good day,

Today Brett Ager from Zimbabwe fishing with his father, Richard Ager, elder brother Sean and friend Keegan Haasbroek caught the biggest striped marlin that I have ever seen. Richard who usually fishes with us at this time of year with his brother Marc had brought up his sons to give them a taste of marlin fishing. At 07:50 this morning Brett hooked up in to his first marlin, and what a fish it was to prove to be. It gave him a real workout so that by the end of the fight we weren't sure who was the most tired. But in truth a great effort and I am sure he will remember it for a long time to come.

Hamisi had been able to reach the trace after an hour but had to turn it loose as the fish was still very strong and the leader would have bust for sure had he held on. It had taken a small blue and pink Pulsator lure that John Carr-Hartley gave me last year - thanks John, its caught a fish already. As Hamisi dropped the leader the fish jumped straight out of the water behind the boat to show us just how big she was and Hamisi immediately commented that this fish was going to go past 200-lb no problem at all. After a further 20 min Brett was able to bring the leader back within reach and this time Hamisi was able to lead her alongside. We had a good look at her and came to the conclusion that she would have gone around 230-lb. What a fish?

Apart from this fish January has been quite hard without the numbers as last season but still with some great days. Broadbill with Julian Gostling and chums had a grand slam on 5th January comprised of a very nice black marlin just under 400-lb, a stripey and 2 sail. The same day Jasiri now owned and skippered by George Allen also had a grand slam of a blue, a stripey and 2 sail. White Otter had a grand slam on 14th January with a 285-lb blue marlin, a stripey and 2 sail. Then Kamara II did it with Ken Dodgson from Falmouth in the UK on 27th January with a blue, a stripey and a sail.

In total for January our 2 boats have had 1 black marlin, 2 blue marlin, 22 striped marlin and 31 sailfish.

We still have a boat available from 5th - 12th February if any of you may be interested; either email us at or phone Maia on 0722-479864.

Tight lines,

Best wishes,

Simon

01/28/11 - Juan Carlos Torruella - Vieques Fishing Report

Hey Jimmy,

Caught a nice broadbill yesterday fishing the south side of Vieques. 350 pounds on 50 pound stand-up gear. 4 hour, 10 minute fight. 2 man crew.

Had to to tow her in because we coudn't get her in the boat!

Tight lines,

Juan

01/22/11 - Nelson Morales - Prime Time PR - Vieques Fishing Report

Hi Jimmy,
We saw 6 blues and caught 5 on 20# line at 12 to 15 miles from Vieques (South Drop). We have videos, let me get the pictures from them and I will send you later.

Nelson Morales




01/18/11 - Lyn Tayloe Forward - Legendary NC boat builder Buddy Davis passes away.



Read about Buddy






01/15/11 - Capt. Brad Phillipps - Decisive - Guatemala Fishing Report

It is hard to believe that 2010 is a thing of the past but we saw it out in style with some fantastic fishing off the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. In general the water was good and Decembers top days produced as many as 45 sailfish releases, with many blue marlin and even some striped marlin to spice things up.

Jon Sharp and Joe O'Brien started the month off on the 5th with 14 sailfish releases on the bait and 1 on the fly. The next day saw 9 releases on bait, a release on fly and two blue marlin raised with one that ate but we could not stay attached too. Their last day saw 6 on bait , 1 on fly and Joe releasing a feisty 125lb striped marlin on the fly rod. Nice work Joe!!

Craig Zigler along with son Chuck and friend Chez Yund, saw some of the best fishing of the month, the 11th through 13th, releasing a 250lb blue and 7 sails their first day. Thing got very better with 30 and then 45 sailfish releases each of the next two days, to put the guys in a festive mood.

The 15th saw old friend Jon Beacher along with his son Teo and brother Bill fishing with us. Its always a highlight to see a young man experience the fantastic billfishing we have here and this was no exception. 9 year old Teo had the time of his life and father and uncle enjoyed it almost as much as he did, if not more. The trio released 14 sails the first day, 22 the next and 30 sailfish on the final day along with dorado and other odds and ends to make for an unforgettable trip for the Beachers.

The 20th saw my Australian friend Matt Smith down here with us along with Todd and Anatoli, 2 of his work colleagues from iCiX. The boys started off the trip wit a memorable day of golf at the stunning Pete Dye, Antigua Golf resort and had a great fishing trip releasing a total of 30 sailfish and a 250lb blue along with hordes of dorado and sushi sized yellowfin and were unlucky to be unable to capitalize on the 3 other marlin they had up.

After a lovely Christmas break we were back at it with the Mills family. Father Robert treated his wife Sheila, daughter Suzanne and husband Alex, daughter Helen to two days of fun. Things had slowed down a little but everyone got to catch a sailfish, for most their first, and the highlight was a 300 pound blue that did some great jumping around the boat giving everyone a chance to test their strength on the fish and get an idea of the power of these true open water predators.

Decisive's owners Steve and Diane Cothron were with us to see out the old year. Diane did a fine job releasing a 325 pound blue marlin on the 30th, her first blue and a wonderful catch it was. We had two other fat blues up in short order but just couldn't capitalize on them and saw a huge marlin free jumping in the area. The blues were certainly around and together with the handful of sailfish we released and some huge dorado it all made for a picture perfect last day of fishing on a flat blue ocean in perfect weather.

All that is left is to thank all of our wonderful anglers who joined us this past year. Whom together with our loyal supporters like Alutecnos Tackle, Pelagic Offshore Gear, Eagle Claw Hooks, Berkley Line, Hiltons Offshore Navigator, Big T lures, and Legend Lures, make this all possible for us and keep us as one of the most popular billfishing operations in the world.

So from all of us at Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures, may it be your best year yet and we look forward to seeing you all here with us over the coming year. Until the next report, tight lines, circle hooks and healthy releases.

Capt. Brad Philipps
"Decisive"
Website
Email Cindy and Brad Phillipps: email

01/14/11 - Joe's Reely Tight Fishing Report - Boynton Beach, Florida

Here are some shots folks of our Banner day off Boynton Beach,Fl. In 7.5 hrs we released 58 sailfish out of 85 confirmed bites. Every fish was released by reeling the leader through the rod tip and or taking a wrap on the leader. Not a single fish was casted to, all either came on flat lines or kite baits. We took 48 goggle eyes, 60 Threadfins, 2 runners and a butterfish. The last 4 baits in the water turned into a successful quad to end our day.

If you think the hook upo ratio was less than favorable.....it was, but imagine 5 guys trying to fight sometimes 7 to 9 fish at one time. There's just some fish that won't get caught. The next day we went back out and went 20 for 22 in 4 hrs before the bite shut down. Photo - Tristan Lambert

01/13/11 - John and Jessica Kimberley - New Zealand - Fishing Report

Best start to NZ game season in years.

The last few seasons have seen a rather slow start to serious game fishing action, but with coastal Marlin running on further into late autumn than might be the expected. Highly experienced professionals were beginning to suspect a shift in seasons/migration patterns from what they had experienced over many years of operation.

Things looked different in the early part of the summer this year, however, so much so that I predicted/guessed that the first Blue Marlin, which often doesn’t appear until February, would be caught before the New Year.

My guess was soon proved correct when the first serious efforts were made, as a fish close to 500lbs was caught on Boxing Day. Unlike recent seasons, with a slow, sporadic build up, the fishing has been “full on” and very exciting since. It makes me wonder if the Marlin had already been here a while.

Almost as many Blues as Stripies have been caught so far, again unusual, with the best of each species, so far, going 690lbs and 308lbs, respectively.

A boat from the Bay of Islands hooked 6 Striped Marlin in a day, comprising a single, double and treble but was unlucky enough for none of the fish to stick!

The most notable capture, by light tackle specialists, is a 498lb Blue captured on 30lb stand up tackle by the 10 year old son of the skipper. The same team accounted for a pending world record claim for a 473lb Blue on 18lb/8kgs line, for the boat’s owner.

Whilst not disputing the extreme skill of light tackle teams, I can’t help wondering if the fish actually fight harder when hooked on “conventional” heavier tackle after feeling a more serious threat from the stronger resistance. A recent encounter with a big Blue on 80lb gear resulted in a smashed rod and fish lost after a 3 hour battle.

A sad downside of the latter seems to be that fish go so “ballistic” that a proportion die in their efforts and sink to the depths. With so many trailer boats now deployed in the game fishing here, lack of experience and inability to back-up speedily, probably compound this problem A much rarer Black Marlin, was recently seen tailing on an inshore reef but the two subsequent efforts only resulted in the live-baits being rapidly snaffled by the marauding Makos, whose numbers seem to on the increase. Another live-bait was taken by a magnificent 92lb Yellowtail Kingfish…a great fish but not the intended Black.

A few more Yellowfin tuna have shown, of good size, but nowhere near approaching the numbers of yesteryear. A few Shortbill Spearfish have added the spice of variety and Mahimahi are fairly numerous and seemingly of higher average size than we usually expect (up to 30lbs). It’s a pity we don’t have more than the odd FAD out there to permit targeting of these wonderful fish on appropriate tackle. The vast majority are taken as an incidental by-catch on Marlin tackle, when passing rare floating debris.

I’ll make another prediction/guess though; with their astonishing growth rates, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see club or national records being beaten this season for this acrobatic and brilliantly coloured little fighter.

In summary, the action is hot and prospects look fantastic down under, especially if the season runs into late autumn again….watch this space!

John Kimberley

website

01/12/11 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers,

Happy New Year! As we close out the 2009 study year which was surprisingly good, I can not help but be optimistic that 2011 will continue to bring economic recovery and an even better year for the Dolphinfish Research Program. See Dolphin Report

For a year when so many people were struggling with their own economic crisis, it was amazing that dolphin tagging soared to the second highest level recorded for the program. 2009 also saw not just a continued interest from U.S. East Coast anglers but a new interest by anglers on the west coast of Central American to begin a study in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, an area dominated by the commercial harvest of dolphin. This past year saw many amazing tag recoveries, starting with several off Puerto Rico, one of which was from the U.S. East Coast and ending with an East Coast to Dominican Republic movement. This past year saw 36 tagged fish reported recovered in the Atlantic and two in the Mediterranean Sea.

This issue of the newsletter is looked forward to by the hardcore taggers to see who gets a new rod and reel outfit for the up coming fishing season. In addition to announcing the winners of the rod and reels, this issue looks at the changes in tagging effort in various areas and reports on the most recent recovery which is also a first of its kind off the Dominican Republic. I hope you find it informative.

Good fishing,

Don
Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902

01/07/11 - ABMT - St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

ABMT READERS,

Word is quickly spreading around the fishing industry about the passing of avid sports fisherman Don Tyson. Don was an early friend of the "Boy Scout" tournament and he will be long remembered and missed by those of us here in the VI. We were also fortunate to know Don's late brother Randal and we offer the Tyson families our condolences.

To those who have crewed for Don over the many years (including Rick and Donna) we share your loss too.

Read about Don's Life - More

01/06/11 - Chuck Handy - Marshall Islands Report

Greetings Crew and Ahoy!

A Darker Side of Paradise


We've got two threads running in the local rag this week... They are not necessarily linked together but it's interesting to see them side by side as they make up a small part of the whole cloth that is the Marshall Islands. The first is the New Years Day sinking of a 150 foot ship belonging to the Marshall Islands government and the second is a case of massive fraud and grand larceny within government ministries.

Nobody died. However 17 people spent 12 hours in sinking liferafts and finally clinging to floating debris. What a way to start the New Year! The Captain of the ship is being recognized as a hero for his cool under extreme pressure and for his ability to keep his crew and passengers together and in (relatively) good spirits during the ordeal. Another hero is my friend Wally Milne, a member of the Marshall Islands Billfish Club, who took his 35 foot fishing boat the 90 miles to the site of the sinking in rough seas (for a 35 foot boat) to rescue the people from the ocean. The government search and rescue vessel and patrol boat, the “Lomor”, arrived on the scene many hours later, well after dark. It seems that it did not have any fuel when it was notified of the sinking although it always has plenty of fuel to take government officials to the out islands for high school graduations and building dedications. It doesn't ever seem to have enough fuel to enforce fishing regulations in the region, either...

The government shipping agency owns four ships (now three) to service the far flung islands and atolls that make up this island nation on the edge of the world. These ships are the main connection between the out islands and the capital island of Majuro. The ship that sank, the “Jeljelet Ae”, was a landing craft and primarily used to carry cargo and equipment for out island projects. On its final voyage the ship was loaded with construction materials and equipment for work on an elementary school on Likiep Atoll. The other three ships, the “Aemman”, the “Langdrik”, and the “Ribuuk Ae”, (the names are great, aren't they?) routinely carry cargo and hundreds of passengers. If one of these sinks you'll hear about it on the international news because there will be major loss of life. And the chances of one of them sinking is very high! Let me quote the headlines of the local newspaper “The Marshall Islands Journal” in this weeks edition... “Desperate need for the dry-docking of vessels”, “Trouble 'predicted'” and “I hope it doesn't happen to other ships”.

The fact of the matter is that the government does not maintain its equipment. The chairman and the manager of the government shipping agency have been pleading for years for the necessary funds to maintain these vessels but their pleas fall on deaf ears. The local rag reported in June of last year a quote from the shipping company chairman, Alson Kelon. “Marshall Islands government ships are in dire need of dry-dock overhauls but the MISC (Marshall Islands Shipping Corporation) has been told to prepare for budget cuts. The government has told us to dry-dock the vessels in two years. But we're already three years behind schedule for dry-docking”.

The ships are kept together with snot and baling wire. $300,000 has been set aside for the maintenance of these ships for this year. 300 grand is nothing for the annual maintenance of 4 ocean going ships. A drop in the bucket! The fact that these boats continue to run at all is amazing! It is a tribute to the manager of the MISC that he can maintain any service whatsoever to the out islands. The same government officials who complain of lack of service by the shipping corporation to the out islands are the same officials who routinely deprive it of funding for routine maintenance. The “Jeljelet Ae” sank in not abnormal winter conditions because it literally fell apart. End of story.

By the way, the Marshall Islands government is petitioning the government of Japan for a gift of new ships. The government of the Marshall Islands routinely votes with Japan against international whaling regulations and Japan is the biggest market for the dwindling stocks of tuna from this part of the ocean. This is called “checkbook diplomacy”. Even so, Japan has asked to see the operating logs and maintenance records of the government fleet before commiting itself to that multimillion dollar donation. It will be interesting to see how this plays out...

The second thread is all about massive fraud and outright theft within the government Ministries of Health and Finance. It seems that for years that local businessmen have been submitting fabricated invoices to the government and that their cohorts inside the government facilitate the payment of these invoices. We're talking big bucks here. The tip of the iceberg shows the outright theft of tens of thousands of dollars and according to some government insiders it has been going on for a long time. They are now just concentrating on the last 6 years because that is the extent of the statute of limitations!

Although it is acknowledged that the massive fraud has been taking place for many years it is just now appearing in the judicial process. In Marshallese culture it is considered rude and ill mannered to publicly embarrass the ruling class by accusing them of anything bad whether it be the theft of government monies or misconduct by themselves or by members of their families. Crimes committed by the ruling class are swept under the rug. That rug is getting very lumpy!!!

From the darker side of paradise...

Cheers and Carry On!

Chuck

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a sailor-fisherman-shipwright friend who is on a voyage around the world. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.