July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
July 14th, 2016
Our knowledgeable team of professional sales associates are certified yacht brokers with many years of experience in both domestic and international yacht sales. Our factory trained service and support teams are second to none in the industry and are recipients of many awards and accolades assuring your time on the water is the best it can be.
Our floating offices in Galveston, TX are uniquely located right on Offatts Bayou at the Pelican Rest Marina, across from Moody Gardens. This great location allows us to serve the boating needs of the surrounding areas of Houston and Austin. We are proud to represent world class yachts from Viking, Tiara, Cruisers, Princess, Maritimo, and Prestige Yachts as well as pre-owned and brokerage vessels.
- 7819 Broadway, Suite 100, Galveston, TX 77554
- Sales Phone Number: (409) 741-8716
- Fax Number: (409) 741-8714
Hours of Operation (Sales Department):
- Monday – Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm
- Saturday 9:00am to 4:00pm
- Sunday by appointment only
July 5th, 2016
49er (Men’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
Thomas Barrows (St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.) and teammate Joe Morris (Annapolis, Md.) – For Barrows, this will be a second shot at the Olympic podium, having represented the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Laser class in 2008. Five-time U.S. National Champion and college sailing standout Morris will compete at his first career Olympics.
49erFX (Women’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) – Rio 2016 will be the first Olympic Games appearances for both Henken and Scutt, who won bronze at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Nacra 17 (Mixed Two-Person Multihull):
Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) – Two-time Moth World Champion and 2009 US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Gulari will team up with college All-American Chafee in the first Olympic Games appearances for both.
Laser Radial (Women’s One-Person Dinghy):
Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) – Rio 2016 will be the second consecutive Olympics for Railey, a World Champion, Rolex World Sailor of the Year, three-time Pan American Games medalist and US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year.
Finn (Men’s One-Person Heavyweight Dinghy):
Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) – Paine, a Sailing World Cup Series Champion, has been the top-ranked American Finn sailor since 2012, and will compete in his first career Olympics.
Laser (Men’s One-Person Dinghy):
Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) – The Laser North American Champion, Two-Time College Sailor of the Year and Toronto 2015 Pan American Games representative will sail at his first career Olympic Games.
Women’s RS:X (Women’s Board):
Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.) – Rio 2016 will be the first career Olympic Games for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games bronze medalist, who also made the podium at the 2015 RS:X U21 European Championship and won the medal race at the top-level 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta in Palma, Spain.
Men’s RS:X (Men’s Board):
Pedro Pascual (Miami, Fla.) – Pascual won the RS:ONE European Championship before making gold fleet at the 2016 RS:X Worlds, and will sail in his first career Olympics.
Women’s 470 (Women’s Two-Person Dinghy):
Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) – Winners of the 2015 Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015 US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Haeger and Youth World Champion Provancha will make their first career Olympic Games appearances.
Men’s 470 (Men’s Two-Person Dinghy):
Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) – McNay will compete at his third consecutive Olympic Games, but his first with teammate Hughes. The veteran pair have compiled an impressive list of podium finishes at many of the world’s toughest dinghy regattas since January 2013.
July 5th, 2016
New life for old structures: Scientists are finding a surprising diversity of life on Texas artificial reefs
By Janice Van Dyke Walden
If there’s one uptick to the oil business, it’s that an old rig can bring new life. Off the coast of Texas, some 195 structures, many of them decommissioned oil and gas platforms, are forming artificial reefs that provide intense colonies of marine life. For sports fishermen, these are the go-to fishing spots. For divers, these are dazzling underworlds of color and diversity. For scientists, these are proof that the complex web of marine life can take place if provided space and structure.
Artificial reefs provide a solution to the barren bottom often found in northwestern Gulf of Mexico. With the exception of a few natural banks, much of the ocean floor offshore Texas has no form for marine life to cling to, the kind of base that allows reef colonies to form. “Muddy and silty,” is how Jennifer Wetz describes the underwater terrain. As Fisheries Project Manager for Harte Research Institute (HRI), Wetz has been diving and using Remote Operating Vehicles to study fish life among artificial reefs. What she and her colleagues are finding among Texas’ artificial reefs is surprising.
“We didn’t expect to see how quickly these artificial reefs attract marine life,” says HRI Executive Director Dr. Larry McKinney. Not only do submerged platforms become quickly colonized, they populate with an impressive diversity of fish. In their study completed last year, HRI found 52 fish species from all observed sites, Snapper being the most common. “We also found the marine life habitat to be more complex than expected,” says McKinney.
That’s encouraging news to Chris Ledford, Artificial Reef Specialist at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, who has a queue of 25 structures in the process of being converted and permanently reefed. With 81 reef sites in Texas – an increase from 64 in 2014 – those structures will eventually add to 7 more reef sites being planned.
McKinney sees the artificial reefs as taking the pressure off the region’s few natural reefs. “The number of fishermen with fast, long-range boats are increasing, as are good, relatively inexpensive electronics, making it easier to find these natural reefs. So what these artificial reefs do is make more opportunities available to the recreational fisherman, and it spreads the pressure away from the natural systems.”
An estimated 3,000 non-producing platforms remain in the Gulf, under terms to be permanently removed. If a company is thinking of decommissioning an old platform, converting it to a reef makes sense for the environment, and it could save them money. By converting a 4-pile structure to an artificial reef, a company could realize a savings of up to half a million dollars. To find out more, visit: http://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/water/habitats/artificial_reef/index.phtml
Hart Research Institute’s ROV (remote operating vessel) documented these species on their study sites, listed here in order of most common to least common. (Data courtesy of Jennifer Wetz, M.S., Harte Research Institute.)
Red Snapper Lutjanus campechanus
Spanish Hogfish Bodianus rufus
Mangrove Snapper Lutjanus griseus
Blue Angelfish Holacanthus bermudensis
Rock Hind Epinephelus adscensionis
Horse-eye Jack Caranx latus
Yellow Jack Caranx bartholomaei
Spotfin Hogfish Bodianus pulchellus
Great Barracuda Sphyraena barracuda
Blue Runner Caranx crysos
Lookdown Selene vomer
Atlantic Spadefish Chaetodipterus faber
Vermillion Snapper Rhomboplites aurorubens
Damselfish sp. Stegastes sp.
Creole Fish Paranthias furcifer
Gray Triggerfish Balistes capriscus
Almaco Jack Seriola rivoliana
Greater Amberjack Seriola dumerili
Crevalle Jack Caranx hippos
Rainbow Runner Elagatis bipinnulata
Spotfin Butterflyfish Chaetodon ocellatus
Sheepshead Archosargus probatocephalus
Reef Butterflyfish Chaetodon sedentarius
Tomtate Haemulon aurolineatum
Bermuda Chub Kyphosus sectatrix
Bluehead wrasse Thalassoma bifasciatum
Queen Angelfish Holacanthus ciliaris
Cobia Rachycentron canadum
Blue Tang Acanthurus coeruleus
African Pompano Alectis ciliaris
Bar Jack Caranx ruber
Black Jack Caranx lugubris
Sandbar Shark Carcharhinus plumbeus
French Angelfish Pomacanthus paru
Lionfish Pterois volitans
Black Margate Anisotremus surinamensis
Squirrelfish Holocentrus adscensionis
Townsend Angelfish Holacanthus sp.
Sergeant Major Abudefduf saxatilis
Porkfish Anisotremus virginicus
Creole wrasse Clepticus parrae
Scamp Grouper Mycteroperca phenax
Sharpnose Puffer Canthigaster rostrata
Doctorfish Acanthurus chirurgus
Palometa Trachinotus goodei
Permit Trachinotus falcatus
Silky Shark Carcharhinus falciformus
Pigfish Orthopristis chrysoptera
Lane Snapper Lutjanus synagris
Yellowtail Snapper Ochyurus chrysurus
Cubera Snapper Lutjanus cyanopterus
Rock Beauty Holacanthus tricolor
Brown Chromis Chromis multilineata
Bicolor Damselfish Stegastes partitus
Parrotfish sp. Scaridae
Yellowmouth Grouper Mycteroperca interstitialis
Goliath Grouper Epinephelus itajara
Warsaw Grouper Epinephelus nigritus
July 5th, 2016
By Capt. Joe Kent
Seaweed or Sargassum Weed as it is called is found mostly in the Atlantic Ocean and comes in concentrations from the Sargasso Sea. Sargassum Weed’s name is a result of Portuguese sailors likening this ocean-dwelling species’ bladder’s appearance to small grapes called salgazo.
Sargassum weed gravitates toward milder, more temperate and tropical oceans and farther toward shallow bodies of water. While some Sargassum weed attaches to the ocean floor, there are two species – the natan and the fluitan – that have become holopelagic, which means that they drift and migrate around the oceans and bodies of water throughout the world, though they are mostly concentrated in the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding bodies of water such as the Gulf of Mexico.
Sargassum weed acts as a mobile transport habitat for a great variety of marine life and as sublime refuge for young fish that may lack mobility. When young fish find a safe haven in Sargassum weed, they are far more protected from the ocean’s predators, thus making it possible to survive to adulthood. These patches of seaweed as we call them provide shelter, food and a place where schools of fish may form, further protecting young fish and other marine life. Many species of marine life take refuge in the Sargassum weed and travel thousands of miles with this floating habitat, seeking protection and survival. With the presence of all of these young fish in one location, large fish often hover around, awaiting a shot at the young prey. All of this serves as a great advantage for anglers in search of the predator fish.
August is in my opinion the best month for offshore fishing along the upper Texas Coast. Anglers able to make it 20 miles out should easily locate this fishing phenomena and the variety of fish in and around it.
Chicken Dorado, as the smaller of the species of Dorado are called, attack small bait with a vengeance and fishermen focusing on weed lines and patches mop up on them.
One nice thing about Dorado is that there are no bag or size limits; however, with that being said, good stewardship dictates taking only as many as you, your family and friends will consume.
For table fare, Dorado are among the best fish in the ocean. Other fish commonly found among seaweed are all of the pelagic fish, tripletail and all sorts of small bait fish.
Offshore anglers fishing off of the Texas Gulf Coast encounter basically two types of seaweed concentrations. Weedlines and Weed Patches.
Weedlines are, as the term suggests, long lines of seaweed clumped together along a tide line or water color change. The patches are big clumps ranging in size from a few square yards to several acres.
One of the best ways to fish long weed lines is to troll both sides. However, often there is so much scattered seaweed along the edges that trolling can be frustrating as the lures keep getting clogged with the weed. Drift fishing is the other popular method for fishing around seaweed and is the method of choice if trolling is a problem.
Once a strike takes place, it is a good idea to chum the area to keep the schools of fish nearby. Dorado in particular will continue to feed although others in the school are hooked and fighting for survival.
Some of the largest ling I have caught have come from seaweed concentrations as there is another benefit that comes from the big concentrations and that is shade. Ling and Dorado love shade during the heat of the day and seaweed definitely offers that benefit.
Just about any bait used otherwise for offshore fishing will be good for fishing the weed lines and patches. The idea is to keep the bait suspended anywhere from the surface to just a few feet below.
One of the best ways to test an area is to toss some chopped bait into the water. If fish are nearby, they normally will come check it out and you can actually see your target.
Fishing around seaweed offshore is one of my favorite types of fishing. If you have not tried it, chances are you will share my enthusiasm once you experience it.
July 5th, 2016
By Capt. Steve Soule
Galveston Bay doesn’t have a large amount of sea grass. Prior to 2008 we had very little at all, with the exception of Christmas Bay and three areas where grass had been planted by the Galveston Bay Foundation during the late 1990s.
Galveston’s West Bay did historically have sea grasses, like much of the Texas coastline, but they had long since been wiped out. During the 1990s, when I moved to the Galveston area and started fishing, Christmas Bay was the only area where I could consistently find sea grass beds to fish. Though, there were years when certain coves in West Galveston would grow sea grass, it was primarily widgeon grass. It might grow well one year and then not be seen in the area for several years. Back then, I didn’t really realize why this grass was here some years and not others. I did however always know the benefit of the sea grasses and the incredible habitat that it provides for sea life.
Enter the Galveston Bay Foundation and their efforts to restore the bay in the mid to late 90s. They had already been involved in some shoreline restoration projects where they would replant shoreline grasses (Spartina). They also planted sea grass in three areas along the south shoreline of West Bay at Dana Cove, behind Galveston Island State Park, Snake Island Cove and at San Luis Pass behind the old water treatment plant. All of these areas still grow grass well, with Dana and Snake Island probably being the most prolific, and these grasses still thrive today. The type of sea grass that was planted at these areas is shoal grass
These patches of planted grass were a fantastic improvement for the bay. Prior to these plantings, there was only sporadic grass growth along the north shore spoils, primarily widgeon grass. Due to these grass projects and an interesting set of recurring circumstances, the shorelines of West Bay have been transformed.
All of us who fish are well aware of how breezy Galveston can be during spring with wind directions predominantly from the south or southeast. There are many days when 15-25 mile per hour winds are the norm. Stepping back and taking a look at the big picture, and remembering the three areas where grass was planted and thriving, add some powerful south winds and a seeding period in late spring, and the result is spotty grass growth along north shore spoils. The first area that I remember seeing it was west of Karankawa cut. This long flat filled in with grass rather quickly while other areas took slightly longer to grow. Next was the stretch from Greens Cut to Karankawa Cut. Over the years since, this grass has spread and now covers nearly every inch of the West Bay spoils.
Types of Galveston Sea Grass
We don’t experience the same level of grass growth every year, nor do we have the same grasses appearing. We have high and low salinity years, and as it turns out, some grasses are more adept at growing during each of these types of years.
Spartina grass (Spartina alterniflora) along our shorelines grow in both high and low salinity and don’t seem to be effected much by annual changes.
Shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) grows well during higher salinity years and has some interesting characteristics. This species, native along nearly all of the Texas Coast, is a straight bladed grass with small fibers along its blades. These fibers do an amazing job of filtering small particulate matter from the water column. This is the grass that gives us very clear water by trapping suspended silt in the water column so common in the Galveston area.
Widgeon grass (Ruppia maritima), grows prolifically in lower salinities and it is very different when compared to shoal grass. Widgeon grass has multiple offshoots along the length of the plant stem, grows rapidly during low salinity periods and grows much taller than shoal grass. This grass will continue to grow rapidly during spring and will often grow to the water’s surface. Interestingly, as we often experience high tides in spring in conjunction with higher south winds, widgeon grass will grow to the level of the water during these high tides. This sounds great, and as it benefits the environment, it is. Due to the multiple offshoots, greater height and the density of its growth, this grass makes for an exceptional cover structure for all of the small prey animals that inhabit these areas, and the predators that follow them.
Not that it makes much difference, nor can we change what mother nature sends our way in terms of weather, but it will help you to understand when and where these grasses grow and how they will impact the water where they are present. Shoal grass is an incredible water filter and provides very good cover and habitat for small fish, crabs and shrimp that redfish and trout frequently feed upon.
Widgeon grass on the other hand, does not tend to filter the water column nearly to the degree that shoal grass will. Widgeon grass will definitely grow much thicker and provide a great habitat for both prey and predator, but will not give us the clarity of water that shoal grass provides.
For those who have been fishing the grassy areas over the past few years, you are quite aware that 2015 and now 2016 have not been great water quality years. The underlying case has been low salinity. Though we do have some areas with shoal grass, for the most part the bay floor has been taken over by widgeon grass and will stay that way until late summer when salinities are higher. Unfortunately, this is in my experience typically too late for the shoal grass to recover and grow as the early season growth of the widgeon will choke out and prevent photosynthesis.
One last note about sea grasses and Galveston Bay, and well the entire Texas Coast for that matter. Don’t quote me on the exact timing, but two-to-three years ago, Texas Parks and Wildlife department passed a law prohibiting the intentional destruction of sea grasses. These grasses are a valuable and limited part of the overall habitat, providing cover structure for numerous animals both predatory and prey. This resource can be damaged and frequently is by boaters either unaware or not concerned. Given the rate of growth and expansion of the areas with sea grasses over the past ten years, we can only hope to see a continuation of this trend. With some cautious stewardship from all who operate boats in these areas, this may be a trend that continues and provides excellent habitat and fishing for many years to come.
July 5th, 2016
Blackburn Marine originated in Houston in 1967, and has been serving the marine industry ever since. The store moved to Kemah in December 1991. They will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2017.
Blackburn was originally wholesale only, but in 2010, they moved to the old Blue Water Ship’s store building on Marina Bay Drive and opened a retail division, in addition to wholesale. This store is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
When visiting Blackburn Marine, you will find customer service employees that specialize in everything from sailing, power boating, electrical, plumbing, detailing with compounds and polishes, wood finishing, painting and all the supplies to go with it and much more. If you prefer to do-it-yourself or you are a contractor, Blackburn Marine can help with any and all boating and supply needs. Their team excels in customer service, you can ask them anything!
In December 2012, Ruthie, Steve and Casey Lambert took over ownership of Blackburn Marine and since then, their oldest son, Calan, has joined the team. They have all been on the water their whole lives and know the boating industry very well. Buying Blackburn could not have been a better fit.
Visit Blackburn Marine at 2030 Marina Bay Dr, Kemah, TX 77565 or call them at 281-334-5474. Their website is www.blackburnmarinesupply.com
July 5th, 2016
By Cody Phillips
With all the rain this month, most kayak anglers were deterred from getting on the water. The rain has stacked fish in certain locations up and down the coast. Those who have braved the weather were rewarded with full stringers of speckled trout and redfish. This time of year, the Gulf pushes tons of small baitfish into the bays including brown shrimp, shad, croaker and glass minnows. That’s why my lures of choice have been Wedge tails in blk/chartreuse or chartreuse and Vudu Shrimp by Egret Baits. Last week, the big gulf shrimp hit the coast. Many people were taking advantage of this by cast netting on the beach front and loading up.
With the higher than normal tides, we have taken full advantage by locating schools of redfish in the back marshes. Groups of 10 to 25 reds have been swimming the banks destroying anything in their paths. If you’ve never experienced this you need to put it on you bucket list. I’ve witnessed this hundreds of times and my adrenaline still skyrockets every time. If you can cast a rod and reel, you can guarantee a redfish on the end of your line.
The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 is favored because I can cover tons of water with half the effort thanks to the mirage drive. Also having your hands free increases your catch percentage on the water by being able to fire a bait at any fish that shows their location. Seconds can be the difference between you hooking up with a fish.
The Hobie Mirage Outback also has all the advantages like the Pro Angler but is a lighter hull that allows you to load and unload by yourself. This boat maneuvers very well with minimal effort.
July 5th, 2016
Galveston Bay Foundation Water Quality Monitors Find High Concentrations of Galveston Bay Bacteria After Floods.
By Galveston Bay Foundation Staff
Over the past few months, there has been more rain than usual in the Houston-Galveston area – more than 13 inches above average, to be exact.
And as water from heavy rainfalls sweeps through the streets, urban runoff gets carried along and ends up in Galveston Bay.
“During major storm events, water will run down the streets taking anything left on the ground including sources of bacteria like pet waste, fertilizers, and even sewage,” Sarah Gossett, Galveston Bay Foundation Water Quality Volunteer Coordinator said.
She said stormwater management systems are designed to move water into waterways as quickly as possible, meaning most of our stormwater doesn’t pass through natural vegetative barriers that would help absorb water and filter out pollution. Instead, it tends to increase the bacteria entering our waterways and impacts the saltiness of our Bay.
Gossett said major influxes of rain also cause sewer overflows from damaged or clogged sewage pipes.
Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF), a local nonprofit organization that strives to preserve and protect Galveston Bay, oversees a team of 47 volunteer water quality monitors who collect samples from 48 sites around Galveston Bay. The spikes in bacteria concentrations their samples have found after recent storms have been significant. Many sites sampled had higher than normal bacteria concentrations, some three times or more than EPA recreation standards for swimming.
“While some sites see higher concentrations of bacteria more frequently than others, every location is at risk after a major rain,” Gossett said.
GBF’s 2015 Report Card evaluates the state of the Bay and gave recreational safety an “A” grade for the Bay. Galveston Bay is generally safe to swim in, though GBF recommends avoiding swimming along the shoreline after a heavy rainfall.
“Our main concern is for the safety of people, and the Bay of course,” said Dave Bulliner, GBF Volunteer Lab Technician.
Bulliner said it was typical for bacteria concentrations to be highest during the summer. When he finds an abnormally high concentration of bacteria, he contacts Gossett who has a volunteer collect another sample from that location. If bacteria levels remain high, Gossett notifies the proper decision-makers to recommend preventative measures for the future. To learn more about the current bacteria levels around Galveston Bay, visit www.galvbay.org/citizenscience.
Another water quality parameter that has been impacted by the recent heavy rainfalls is the salinity, or saltiness, of Galveston Bay has decreased dramatically.
“Salinity is everything to the Bay,“ said Paula Paciorek, GBF’s Water Resources Coordinator. “If salinity levels are too low or too high, we can immediately observe a decline in oyster populations and an increase in their predators and diseases, which brings the whole Bay off balance.”
How you can reduce runoff in our waterways:
Join GBF’s Water Quality Monitoring Team
Be informed about water quality issues in your area. To learn more about the water quality or to help protect the water quality in Galveston Bay, visit www.galvbay.org/watermonitors.
Pump Don’t Dump
If you have a head on board your boat, make sure that you and your fellow boaters pump out your sewage instead of dumping it into the water. Visit www.pumpdontdump.org to learn more and find the nearest pump-out station.
Report any pollution you see to the Galveston Bay Action Network, an online pollution reporting service provided by the Galveston Bay Foundation. Reports are automatically sent to the proper authority for clean-up. Visit www.galvbay.org/GBAN to report pollution.
Cease the Grease
Be wary of what you put down the drain. Cooking fats, oils and grease can clog pipes and cause sanitary sewer overflows. Instead, recycle or throw out your cooking grease. Visit www.ceasethegrease.net to learn more.
Install a Rain Barrel, plant with native plants, and create your very own rain garden. Rain barrels can be placed at downspouts or downpours from the roof in order to reduce runoff and flooding, help conserve freshwater and reduce pollution from reaching Galveston Bay. Visit www.galvbay.org/rainbarrel for more information.