Show Power-Pole how you “Run It” on the water and win a new CHARGE Power Management Station

January 31st, 2020

CHARGE Giveaway action Show Power Pole how you “Run It” on the water and win a new CHARGE Power Management Station

Photo credit: William Bean/Power-Pole

CHARGE Giveaway lifestyle 819x1024 Show Power Pole how you “Run It” on the water and win a new CHARGE Power Management Station

Photo credit: William Bean/Power-Pole

The new Power-Pole CHARGE Marine Power Management Station from JL Marine Systems, Inc., maker of the original Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors, has taken the concept of “Total Boat Control” to a whole new level.

“As a marine manufacturing company, we are trying to solve problems on the water,” JL Marine vice president Robert Shamblin said. “Total boat control means managing your power consumption and how that power is distributed to all of the products that are vital for boaters throughout the day.”

Since its limited release in November, the CHARGE has been one of the most talked about products in the marine industry. Power-Pole wants to keep that conversation going through the 2020 Bassmaster Classic and beyond.

To celebrate the nationwide release of the CHARGE through the #LetsRunIt campaign on February 3, 2020, Power-Pole wants to show the world how to run things on the water by giving away a Power-Pole CHARGE unit. Contestants may enter weekly through the official Power-Pole Instagram (https://instagram.com/power.pole) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/powerpole/) accounts. The winner will be announced live during the Bassmaster Classic in Lake Guntersville, Alabama.

During the final weigh-in of the tournament, Power-Pole will also premiere its television commercial campaign showing anglers that there is a better way when it comes to power management on a boat.

Photo credit: William Bean/Power-Pole

Each week leading up to the Classic, Power-Pole will be unveiling exclusive digital content created in partnership with their Team Power-Pole pros and social media ambassadors showing the CHARGE in action. Join in the discussion across all of our social media platforms by posting your favorite picture showing how you run things when you are out on the water. Tag the official PowerPole account along with the hashtag #LetsRunIt. Random entries will be selected to receive official Power-Pole CHARGE apparel and accessories.

The future of power management for your boat is here. Let’s run it.

For more information and rules on how to enter, or to see what the pros are saying about the CHARGE, check out the official Power – Pole blog here: https://blog.power-pole.com/chargegiveaway.

About the CHARGE Marine Power Management Station

The CHARGE is the most advanced power management system available that does the work of three devices — a traditional battery charger, a charge-on-the-run and an emergency start system – all in one compact unit. CHARGE is the first bi-directional power management system that has the ability to move power from battery to battery. CHARGE manages your cranking and trolling motor batteries by taking power and moving it to where it’s needed, increasing the efficiency of the entire system.

Features:

  • Automatically moves power back and forth between cranking and trolling batteries
  • Displays battery voltage and status data on your smart phone, Power-Pole Vision, LOWRANCE or SIMRAD MFD (requires CM2 GATEWAY)
  • Complete battery maintenance – uses float mode when plugged in at home
  • Charges on the run from the alternator while the motor is running
  • Works with all battery types – lead acid, AGM, GEL, lithium or TPPL
  • Built-in emergency power transfer

About JL Marine Systems, Inc.

JL Marine Systems, Inc. is the Tampa, Florida-based manufacturer of Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors. With a complete line of hydraulic plus the all-electric Micro, Power-Pole anchors are perfect for all small skiffs, bass boats, flats boats, bay boats, kayaks and more. Power-Pole anchors are distributed via more than 1500 dealerships throughout the US. Visit www.power-pole.com to find a local dealer.

4th Annual Marina Casa de Campo Open Set for March

January 30th, 2020

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Courtesy of Marina Casa de Campo

The 4th Annual Marina Casa de Campo Open kicks off March 12-14, 2020, at the Marina Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Tournament Director Robert “Fly” Navarro says the contest will feature two days of fishing for blue and white marlin, plus sailfish, using a release format. There will also be weight divisions for tuna, wahoo and dolphin. The tournament is presented by the Marina Casa de Campo and Fly Zone Fishing.

“This tournament will highlight all that Marina Casa de Campo has to offer,” says Navarro, president of Fly Zone Fishing. “There are plenty of slips available for visiting boats and lots of offshore action. Boats are already catching blue marlin off the FADs (fish-attracting devices).”

The entry fee will be $3,000 per team with no limit on anglers. Contestants will fish by International Game Fish Association rules with a maximum of six rods. Blue marlin releases will score 400 points, white marlin count 100 points and sailfish earn 50 points, along with unidentified billfish. The heaviest game fish (10-pound minimum) in each division are judged by weight. Prizes include trophies and bragging rights.

“The Marina Casa de Campo Open is intended to be a fun event. We’ll have plenty of social activities and the fishing is laid-back. We just want the boats to go out and have a good time,“ Navarro says. Cobalt-blue water and the depths necessary for billfish are only a short run from the Marina Casa de Campo.

Located on the southeastern corner of the Dominican Republic, Marina Casa de Campo is a favorite destination for boats visiting from the United States and other areas of the Caribbean. The facility is a state-of-the-art operation with all the amenities and services necessary to fully support visiting yachts, including a laundry, ship’s chandler and 300-ton travel lift.

The Casa de Campo Resort & Villas is equally accommodating. Offering golf, tennis, a world-class shooting facility, fine dining and spa, other options include sugar-sand beaches, horseback riding, snorkeling and excursions.

For more information on the tournament, contact Fly Navarro at 561-310-9214 or email: fly@flyzonefishing.com.

 

2020 Big Game Tournament Dates

January 16th, 2020

March 12-14
Casa de Campo Open
La Romana, Dominican Republic
flyzonefishing.com

April 2-4
Chub Cay Invitational
Chub Cay Resort, Bahamas
chubcayfishingtournament.com

May 12-17
Orange Beach Billfish Classic
The Wharf, Orange Beach, AL
orangebeachbillfishclassic.com

May 26-31
Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic
Cypress Cove Marina, Venice, LA
comefishla.com

June 1-7
Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic
Golden Nugget Resort, Biloxi, MS
mgcbc.com

June 17-21
Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic
Sandestin Resort, Miramar Beach, FL
fishecbc.com

July 4
World Cup Blue Marlin Championship
Global
bluemarlinworldcup.com

July 15-19
Blue Marlin Grand Championship
The Wharf, Orange Beach, AL
bluemarlingrandchampionship.com

July 21-26
The Lone Star Shootout
Port O’Connor, TX
thelonestarshootout.com

July 25-26
Swordfish Cup
Global
swordfishcup.com

August 6-8
The Invitational
The Wharf, Orange Beach, AL
milliondollarmarlin.com

August 8-9
Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Billfish Tournament
Pirate’s Cove, Manteo, NC
pcbgt.com

August 10-14
Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament
Pirate’s Cove, Manteo, NC
pcbgt.com

August 19-22
Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament
Virginia Beach, VA
vbbt.com

Invasion of the Lionfish… with a Silver Lining

January 14th, 2020

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Photo by Courtney Platt Photography

By: Stacy Frank, Steve Gittings, Alexander Fogg, James Hart

Lionfish are one of the most destructive invasive aquatic species in history. A frilly, cut-throat invader. Native to the Indo-Pacific they have been damaging reef ecosystems off the east coast of the US, Bermuda, the entire Caribbean Region and the Gulf of Mexico for over 30 years, largely unchecked and unchallenged. You have likely seen them in home or restaurant aquariums. In the mid 1980s, two nearly identical species of lionfish (Pterois miles and P. volitans) were introduced to the Atlantic off the southeast coast of Florida, most likely released by their owners from aquaria. Starting around 2000, lionfish populations exploded. Click this link for more information: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/wetland-and-aquatic-research- center-warc/science/lionfish-distribution-geographic-spread?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects. And at https://www.lionfishuniversity.org.

Below is a map of the distribution of invasive lionfish in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean as of January 2020 (courtesy of Amy Benson and Dr. Pamela Schofield of the USGS).

81416963 3427115310695005 8185913778743803904 n 768x768 Invasion of the Lionfish… with a Silver Lining

In the early 1990’s the first invasive lionfish was sighted in the Mediterranean, likely originating from the Red Sea and entering through the Suez Canal. Populations of lionfish have showed a marked increase in that region. Many Mediterranean countries prohibit spearing activities, including spearing invasive lionfish, but that is starting to change, much like it did in the western Atlantic when people realized that we had to confront the threat head on. The Mediterranean may represent a whole new destructive chapter of this invasion.

Every year thousands of species are introduced to non-native locations all over the world. So how has the perfect storm developed that has allowed lionfish to be so destructive in the wrong oceans? Adult lionfish mature within the first year of life and can grow to over 18 inches. They are slow moving and don’t scare easily and rely on their 18 venomous spines to keep predators away.

While there are numerous native species that have been reported to consume lionfish, it is not in high enough numbers to control the population. It’s not known exactly what keeps their populations in check in their native range, but groupers, sharks and moray eels have all been seen eating lionfish. Additionally, although lionfish are susceptible to diseases and parasites in their invaded range, the effects on the population are unknown.

Lionfish mature quickly and adapt to a large range of conditions (temperature, salinity, depth, habitat). An average sized female lionfish can produce an average of 25,000 eggs every 2.5 days which is more than 2 million eggs per year!

The impact of the lionfish invasion can be devastating. In heavily invaded areas lionfish reach densities of 200 adults per acre. They are not particular when it comes to food choices, and they are gluttons. They can reduce native fish populations by more than 90%. They are the buffet busters of the reefs at an all you can eat buffet. Lionfish stomachs can expand about 30 times normal size and they can swallow prey up to 2/3 their size. Below is a photo of the stomach contents of one invasive lionfish.

Lionfish prey include recreationally and commercially important species of fish such as juvenile snapper and grouper. They also compete with these same species of fish for food, which can result in significant impacts to local fisheries. Lionfish also eat herbivorous fish, which are vital to reef health because they keep algae in check. As lionfish populations grow, the degraded reefs become more susceptible to the effects of overfishing, disease, pollution and climate change. See National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Impacts of Invasive Lionfish (Feb 9, 2018) for more information. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/impacts-invasive-lionfish

Alex Fogg, Marine Biologist, LFU Science Advisor and Field Reporter

So, what’s being done to control them? Currently, spearing is the most effective method of lionfish removal. Every lionfish speared can save thousands of native fish!

In addition to spearing, specialized traps are being developed to help harvest lionfish beyond diver depths (generally below 150 ft). Lionfish University is working with the trap’s designer, Dr. Steve Gittings, Chief Scientist for NOAA’s Marine Sanctuary System, as well as Coast Watch Alliance and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to help fund and execute the lionfish trap research. The traps work because lionfish are highly attracted to structure and tend to stay put. So, the traps stay open on the ocean bottom, with only a sheet of plastic lattice rising from the center of the trap, and nothing is actually trapped until the minute it is pulled up: native reef fish just swim out, but lionfish hunker down around the plastic sheet and don’t leave. This results in almost no by-catch of native species and no ghost fishing should the trap be lost. The results have been very encouraging and several groups throughout the invaded region have been testing the traps and giving feedback on how to improve them. Here is a link https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/lionfish/ that shows how to build your own lionfish trap, along with great informational resources. Build one, test it, and let us know how to improve it. Note that specialized permits may be necessary to test these traps in your area.

Dr. Steve Gittings’ non containment trap design

So, what is the silver lining? Lionfish taste delicious and are nutritious. You can eat up and know you are helping to save the reefs while enjoying their light, buttery flavor and flakey texture. Many Whole Foods Markets as far west as Austin, Texas carry this delicious invader. They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, low in mercury and provide a source of income for fishers who cull them with spears.

Besides their delectable food value, there are groups who have created successful business ventures surrounding the lionfish invasion including jewelry (http://lionfishcaribbean.com/lionfish-jewelry), art creations (https://kindledarts.com/shop/products/jIEs0DSac), clothing (https://lionfishuniversity.org/product/lionfish-eliminator-performance-long-sleeve-shirts/), and lionfish culling equipment (https://lionfishuniversity.org/product/zookeeper-lcu14/, http://www.lionatorpolespears.com). Despite their venomous spines, their meat is not poisonous and once the spines are clipped off, you can handle and cook them like any other white fish. See this link for a great lionfish cookbook: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/1457558521/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_PKbgEbJH52FHJ.

Quite the culture has grown up around the invasion, fun lionfish derbies and festivals for the ecologically concerned. Check out the Emerald Coast Open – the largest lionfish tournament in the world – May 15-17, 2020 in Destin, Florida. Last year this event had $50,000 in cash prizes, more than $15,000 in gear prizes, and netted almost 20,000 lionifsh! Prizes are awarded for most, largest and smallest lionfish. Find out more about how you can enter this reef saving event and/or attend the festival: https://emeraldcoastopen.com/. As Alex Fogg says: Lionfish are good for money, food, friends and fun!

If you would like to get involved in helping clear the reefs of these destructive fish you can become a certified scuba diver and learn how to spear them safely, making sure to check any local regulations about spearing certification, and types of spears that are allowed. Here are some dive operators in who can get you started:

  • Niuhi Dive Charters (Pensacola, FL)
  • Florida Dive Pros (Pensacola, FL)
  • Jolly Rogers Dive Center (Pensacola, FL)
  • Bluewater Escape Charters (Fort Walton Beach, FL)
  • Off Duty Dive Charters (Destin, FL)
  • Islamorada Dive Center (Islamorada, FL)
  • Juliet Sailing and Diving (Miami, FL)
  • Gary’s Gulf Divers (Orange Beach, AL)
  • Gulf Coast Divers (Mobile, AL)
  • Texas Lionfish Control Unit (Dallas, TX)

So, have a great time hunting while helping to save the reefs!

Eat Em’ to beat Em’. Take a Lionfish to Lunch… And Eat It!

JH Performance Boats

January 7th, 2020

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JH Performance Boat’s most popular model, the Outlaw 230X, anchored down.

High-quality, built to last shallow water boats manufactured by Richmond family

By Kelly Groce

Born and raised in Richmond, TX, John Schubert and his brother Michael built racing boats their entire lives thanks to the knowledge that their father passed down. After starting Sport Marine in 1988 and being a dealer of a variety of boats for years, the family decided to start building their own boats in 2007.

JH Performance Boats has 3 models in a variety of lengths to choose from; Outlaw Series, BX Series and the B Series. Each JH Performance Boat is constructed from the highest quality polyester gel coats and resins using a variety of fiberglass cloth materials in multiple layers for added strength. Each hull is hand laid and filled with full foam flotation throughout. Floors and decks are built with 100% composite core materials and transoms are made of high density solid composite sheets. JH Performance Boats has a wide variety of colors to choose from to make your boat even more tailored to your liking.

With a phenomenal reputation by shallow water fisherman for attention to detail, excellent craftsmanship and above and beyond customer service, JH Performance Boats is now producing 50-60 boats a year and continues to grow. Enjoy

DSC 0189 1024x683 JH Performance Boats

Owner of JH Performance Boats, John Schubert, with an Outlaw model that will be on display at the Houston Boat Show this January 3-12. Photo: Kelly Groce

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

Believe it or not, we’ve never been that much of a fishing family. We’ve been way more of a racing family or  just a normal boating family, but I really enjoy being a part of the fishing group of people that we are involved with now. I think shallow water boats and the shallow water community is a great group of people to deal with. They can be hard on equipment, but at the same time it’s a hard way of fishing. I enjoy that group of people the most and that’s who we cater to.

I’m still not much of a fisherman. My brother Michael and I will build a fishing boat for us to have, but then someone will come and buy it (laughs). We have a lot of fishing guides with our company, so we can always go fishing with them if we want. We mostly do a lot of boat racing and our kids enjoy it. That’s something my father always did, so naturally my brother and I did too. It’s pretty neat and it’s been part of what we do. We’ve gained a decent amount of knowledge doing it.

We also have  a house at Selkirk Island, which is up north from Matagorda. The whole family goes there and we bring a ski boat to run the river and pull the kids on tubes. The bay is right there if we want to go fishing, so that’s nice. My kids are getting older so its not just about going tubing anymore, but hose are some of our favorite times.

What is your most popular model?

The 23′ Outlaw. The boat drives and handles incredibly well. It is a great boat for getting across the bay and keeping you dry. It’s just a great running boat. We’ve sold a lot of them and people come in and want them again and again. We have lots of returning customers, which we appreciate. We;ve had Generation 1 and Generation 2 of the Outlaw. When my brother and I set out to build that boat, we drew what we wanted on paper and designed what we wanted. We built that whole boat out of wood, put a transom on it, bolted on a 200 HP Yamaha and ran that thing. Right out of the box it was pretty close to what we were thinking. We would go run it and come back home and in about an hours time we would have it flipped upside down and on the trailer. Since it was wood we would modify it easily; change angles, widths and all that kind of stuff. We would flip it back over, put a motor on it and go run it. We wouldn’t be in the water more than 3 minutes and know that quick if our modifications worked or didn’t work. We would do this over and over again until it was right. We had 16-18 hours on that boat after the fact just trying to figure out what would work. We got that one built and we were pretty happy with it. It didn’t carry the speed we wanted, but everyone said it was fine. They were all liars. There is no such thing as fast enough (laughs). We changed it up and we got it where we want as far as speed goes.

Does JH Performance Boats put on any events you want our readers to know about?

We do. Our JH Performance Boats Owners Tournament is in mid to late October each year out of Matagorda Harbor at the pavilion. Last year, we had 65 boats and 300+ people come out to support. It’s a really fun event that starts on Friday. We feed everyone and make sure everyone has plenty of cold beer. We get a lot of great product to giveaway too. Everyone is welcome.

JH PERFORMANCE BOATS

The Best and Worst Times of the Year for Fishing?

January 7th, 2020

fishing texas The Best and Worst Times of the Year for Fishing?

By Capt. Joe Kent

With the new year just getting underway, let’s address a topic that is one of the most debatable among anglers and that is when is the best time to go fishing and when is the worst.  We also will address the best and worst seasons for fishing, again a very debatable subject.  All of this centers around fishing the Galveston Bay Complex.

A number of years ago when the Houston Fishing Show was held in the old Albert Thomas Convention Center in downtown Houston a survey was taken of participants asking what they thought were the best and worst times to fish.

The answers were published in the Houston Post Newspaper which later became part of the Houston Chronicle.

According to the crowds visiting the show the best times are:

When you can; when the fish are biting; when you mow your grass the most often; during the Full Moon; during the New Moon; when it is overcast; when the wind is from the southeast; when winds are calm to light; summer and or fall.

The answers for the worst times were:

When the fish are not biting; when you take your vacation; during the winter months; during March; When it is stormy, windy, cold and when the tides are unusually low or high.

When reviewing the results of the survey I agreed with most of the responses for both the best and worst times.

Now, let’s take a look at what my experiences have shown as the best and worst times of year for fishing by evaluating each season.

Winter

Fishing often is good during the winter, especially the early part.  While a number of species of fish have migrated away, trout, reds and a variety of pan fish are around.  Winter presents two problems, one is the number of cold fronts that empty the bays and bring cold temperatures.  This results in a disruption of the location of fish and their feeding patterns.

The other problem is with anglers who just do not like to be uncomfortable while fishing.  Cold temperatures definitely present such problems.

Besides trout and reds, sheepshead, whiting and sand trout are good bets for action and tablefare.  Toward the end of winter, the black drum run begins to take place.

Spring

In my opinion this is the worst of the seasons for fishing, especially around spring break each March.  The culprit here is wind and constantly changing temperatures brought on by the continuous frontal systems.  The three windiest months of the year occur during the spring and in order of magnitude they are April, March and May.  The highlight of spring fishing is usually the black drum run when huge fish are caught all around the island, especially along the jetties and Texas City Dike.  Some of the black drum are well over 50 pounds.

Summer

Summer is the beginning of more constant fishing and runs a close second to autumn as the choice of anglers for the best time to fish. Since offshore fishing is one of my choices, summer is my favorite time to fish, especially from mid-July to Labor Day.  Just about all of the species of fish that are found around Galveston are present during the summer.

Fall

Fall is the choice of inshore anglers as fishing tends to peak in October and November and conditions are very pleasant to be outdoors.  The annual croaker and flounder migrations of November add to the reasons for anglers choosing fall as the best time to fish.

In closing, I must go back to the very first reason given in the survey as the best time to go fishing and that is “when you can.” Have a great fishing year in 2020!

Saltwater Soul Shore Patrol

January 3rd, 2020

shorepatrol Saltwater Soul Shore Patrol

Billy Wagner of Saltwater Soul Apparel has started a new movement to help keep our shorelines clean, Saltwater Soul Shore Patrol. Fed up of seeing litter around the Galveston area, Billy started picking up trash by himself and posting online how much trash he would collect in such a small distance and time. The amount of fishing line, hooks, plastic and trash he collects has quickly grabbed the attention of locals who see how littered some of our bay and bayou shorelines are, not just the beaches. Let’s help Billy keep our hometown waters pristine for the fishery, ourselves and future generations. Contact Billy or follow Saltwater Soul Shore Patrol on Facebook and Instagram for more information on volunteering at clean-up events and to keep up with the latest news.

Instagram: @saltwatersoulshorepatrol • Facebook: @SWS4L

Lure Focus: KDEN Lures

January 3rd, 2020

kdenlures Lure Focus: KDEN Lures

Blazin’ Shad

KDEN Lures has spent countless hours developing the perfect swim bait, designed to meet the demands of any fisherman. The Blazin’ Shad paddle tail swim bait is available in 4’’ and 5’’ models with a variety of color options to meet any condition. All KDEN Lures swim baits are made in Texas using a revolutionary plastic formula that produces one of the strongest, most durable swim baits on the market. The ribbed V shaped belly design paired with a unique paddle tail creates amazing vibration and life like action while being pulled across the water.

Draggin’ Up

January 1st, 2020

dragginupmarlin Draggin Up

It took Draggin’ Up 20 hours to bring in this blue marlin! They placed third with this fish at the 2018 Poco Bueno Tournament.

Family, friends and most importantly, fun on Chris Heule’s tournament winning 74’ Viking

By Brandon Rowan

For Chris Heule, owner of Draggin’ Up, it’s all about being out there with family and friends. Catching fish is just the icing on the cake. Draggin’ Up has hit the ground running in the short couple years they’ve been on the tournament scene. Multiple blue marlin have hit the scales, awards have collected and tournaments have been won. That’s a whole lot of extra icing.

“I bought Draggin’ Up in September of 2016. I had always wanted a sportfish,” Chris Heule said. “I have a big family, with a lot of friends, so I was looking for something that could handle the crowd of people that we run with.”

Chris was born and raised in Seabrook and hasn’t strayed too far since. He now calls Friendswood home but keeps Draggin’ Up at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook.

“I’ve always enjoyed the water so I wanted to stay near the water,” Chris said.

tbc draggin up Draggin Up

Crew, family and friends celebrate a win at the Texas Billfish Classic.

Family First

Chris and his family fell in love with the room and performance that a Viking Yachts 74, like Draggin’ Up, has to offer.

“My son Sam loves to fish too, so him and the crew he brings make a big impact on the boat,” Chris said. “All of his friends hang out with us.”

Chris and his son, Sam Rasberry, share a mutual passion for fishing and hunting, and get to spend a lot of time together. But it’s not a boys club out there. Chris’ wife Erika and his daughter Kennedy also love boating and fishing. Kennedy recently caught her first sailfish on a trip to Isla Mujeres

“I don’t have to bargain with Erika to go out on the boat, she’s always ready to go fishing!” Chris said.

Owner Chris Heule, center, with Sam Rasberry and Capt. Kevin Deerman.

At the Helm

No ship is complete without a captain and Draggin’ Up has one of the best in the biz. Capt. Kevin Deerman has been fishing most of his life and took his first captain job in 1986. Deerman has some serious notches on his belt. As former captain of the Legacy, he was at the helm when angler Richard B. Richardson, Jr. reeled in the 972.72 lb. Texas state record blue marlin during the 2014 Bastante John Uhr Memorial Billfish Tournament.

“Kevin Deerman:  He is the reason we do what we do,” Chris said of his captain. “He has really pole vaulted us to the marlin and bigger gamefish we are catching now. We wouldn’t be where we are now without our crew and Kevin.”

Before Draggin’ Up, Chris and Kevin were strangers, but closer to each other than they knew.

“We didn’t know each other but it’s crazy how many mutual friends that we had,” Kevin said. “But I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have Chris and his family in my life. They’re great people and they enjoy doing the things that I love. If they weren’t so passionate about fishing we wouldn’t be out there doing what we’re doing.”

Tricks of the Trade

We all know the drill. The pineapple is a must and absolutely no bananas on board. Every boat has their own superstitions and rituals and Draggin’ Up is no exception. Chris, Kevin and Sam lit up with excitement when asked about theirs.

“Oh man, I didn’t before I met Kevin but now I have a whole slew of them,” Chris laughed. “Some of them we can talk about, some are hush hush.”

And I’m good with that. Here at GCM, we’re not about giving away fishing spots or secret tournament rain dances. But Chris and company were gracious enough to let me share a few of them. Dunkaroos are big on Draggin’ Up.

“That’s when you take a bucket full of ice and water and you stick your head in there. When you come up you drink a beer.”  Sam Rasberry said. “Every since we started doing that we seem to get a marlin bite a few minutes later so we keep it going.”

The guys agree that the boat has to be jamming Post Malone and of course, no bananas are allowed on board. Kevin experimented with two pineapples for extra luck but went back to a solo fruit after that didn’t work out. Maybe the fish gods found it greedy.

The guys on Draggin’ Up also insist that Chris keep his comments to a minimum.

“We can’t let Chris make any comments on anything that might happen because then it will happen,” Kevin said.

For example, Chris couldn’t help but talk about how good a hook-up ratio they were having during a trip. But on the next trip out, the boat only went 1 for 5.

“And on another trip, Chris said to me ‘It’s amazing we haven’t seen any sharks in a long time!’” Kevin said.  “So I yell down ‘One shark, coming up!’ It wasn’t more than 30 seconds later that a 500 lb. tiger shark came up chasing the teaser. Of course, it took a bait and we caught it.”

Tournament Success

In their first tournament season, Draggin’ Up came out swinging. In 2017, they clinched a 4th place blue marlin at Poco Bueno, Kanon Lasserre was named top junior angler at the Lone Star Shootout, and they weighed a 3rd place blue marlin at Texas Legends Billfish Tournament. Things got even better in 2018 with a 3rd place blue marlin at Poco Bueno and a 1st place win at the Texas Billfish Classic in Freeport. The boat stays busy and fishes tournaments up and down the Gulf Coast.

“We really like the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic. We look forward to that one every year, but we have so many good ones on our coast,” Chris said.

“The Houston Big Game is another one of our favorite competitions,” Kevin added. “We got top private boat the first and second year we entered.”

In 2018, the boat also collected awards for Top Captain, Kevin Deerman, Top Male Angler, Sam Rasberry, and 2nd place blue marlin, Chris Heule.

Draggin’ Up likes to keep the mood light and the mojo going during tournament time. Rituals and superstitions come into play and also antics, like catching fish out of an inflatable kiddie pool on the cockpit, are not out of the question.

The boat’s second favorite fish to catch is Yellowfin Tuna but they never get tired of seeing the man in the blue suit.

“When a blue marlin hits your bait, it’s completely different than anything else out there,” Kevin said.

Chris agrees.

“You could be having the slowest day, with everyone walking around pouting and moping, and the mojo on the boat is completely down, but when that bait goes off everyone’s attitude completely changes,” Chris said.

Fish From Hell

The Bahamas are a favorite destination for Chris Heule and Draggin’ Up.

The guys from Draggin’ Up have seen some truly wild occurrences in the few years the boat’s been on the water. The boat travels and Chris’ absolute favorite destination is the Bahamas. But the water is not without peril. The boat encountered a tropical wave on a trip to Isla Mujeres one year and the next year they were struck by lightning. But the one story that stands head and shoulders above the rest is the 20 hour blue marlin fight during the 2018 Poco Bueno Tournament.

“We have so many memories from this boat but that one marlin trumps anything we’ve ever done. Fish don’t usually last that long,” Chris said.

The crew did everything they could to stay awake during the fight and Chris never left the fighting chair.

“We tried every trick in the book,” Kevin said. “We made circles on it, tried getting it to come up, or on both sides of the boat and the fish just kept switching on us. It was on the leader most of the time.”

The man on the leader, Andy Hollen, literally collapsed once the fish was landed. It took 20 hours, and a fight reminiscent of The Old Man and the Sea, but the crew was able to capture third place in the tournament with the 575.5 lb marlin.

The majority of billfish are tagged and released on Draggin’ Up.

Many Firsts

Chris entertains a large group of friends and family on Draggin’ Up and the boat boasts several first catches. At least 18 people have caught and released their first blue marlin on board.

“When we go out and fish, we tag and release the majority of billfish,” Chris said. “It’s important to do what’s right and preserve what we do. It’s not always about killing. We are passing on the future of these fish still being able to be caught where we live.”

The amount of billfish released far outnumbers those retained. Kevin can count on two hands the amount of marlin retained over the years, including time before Draggin’ Up.

All in all, Team Draggin’ Up doesn’t have too much to complain about, especially with all of their accomplishments in such a short span of time. They continue to stay the course with family, friends and fun out on the water. Look for Chris Heule, Kevin Deerman, Sam Rasberry, mates Conner Golightly, Seth Brennan and the whole Draggin’ Up extended family, to continue making waves in the 2020 billfish tournament season.

The Shimano Experience

January 1st, 2020

 

shimano group pic 1024x536 The Shimano Experience

Reese Haven, Scott Null, Dave Lear, Cindy Nguyen, Brian Barrera, Ed Zyak, Mark Nichols, Johnny Lu and myself at the end of the Shimano Headquarters tour in Ladson, SC.

DSC 0024 1024x683 The Shimano Experience By Kelly Groce

Since 1921, Shimano has been a reputable company that anglers have relied on for quality fishing products. After a day of fishing in Charleston, SC myself along with Cindy Nguyen, Johnny Lu, Brian Barrera, Mark Nichols, Ed Zyak, Dave Lear, Scott Null and Reese Havens were fortunate enough to take a tour of the new and remarkable Shimano Headquarters in Ladson.

Shimano’s Field Marketing Manager, Blaine Anderson, greeted us at the door and began the tour. As soon as you walk in, there is an exhibit that shows a timeline including when Shozaburo Shimano created Shimano in 1921 and other pivotal moments in the company’s history. Blaine talked us through other exhibits that showed Shimano’s latest technology that is used in each reel such as Micro Module gears that enables smooth reeling, X-Ship which also enables smooth reeling but under heavy loads, and Shimano’s precision cold forging technology. My favorite display (pictured right) was two reels broke down piece by piece. This was a truly remarkable sight and showed just how much detail goes into each reel.

Shimano’s Field Marketing Manager, Blaine Anderson, greeted us at the door and began the tour.

CONSERVATION AND ANGLER ADVOCACY
After the headquarters tour, Shimano America’s President, David Pfeiffer, spoke with us about Shimano’s involvement with conservation and angler advocacy. Shimano works with organizations that are involved in forming policies in Washington such as Center of Sport Fishing Policy, The American Sportfishing Association, The Marine Manufactures Association and Coastal Conservation Association. David informed us that fishing and boating is the 5th largest economic generator in the U.S. and that if more companies were involved in making a change, they could combine forces and ensure that our fishery stays healthy and productive for not only us, but for future generations to enjoy.

Low Country: Fishing South Carolina with D.O.A. Lures

January 1st, 2020

landscape 1024x660 Low Country: Fishing South Carolina with D.O.A. Lures

The view from our dock looking at the Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge.

metrout 858x1024 Low Country: Fishing South Carolina with D.O.A. Lures

Catching this trout on D.O.A.’s topwater, the PT-7, was the highlight of my trip. Photo: Scott Null

By Kelly Groce

South Carolina is home to 6-8’ tides, incredible seafood and BBQ, miles of marshes and mature oaks draped with moss. I was lucky enough to be able to fish this area with some great people in the fishing industry and the Low Country did not disappoint.

An hour north of Charleston, is the small, quaint community of McCllellanville. Here you will find the marsh land beauty and National Wildlife Refuge, Cape Romain, that separates the ICW from the Atlantic. I was expecting to catch a lot of redfish here, but speckled trout were the ones that showed up to play our first day of the trip. Capt. Jordan Pate has lived in the area his whole life and enjoys everything that there is to offer such as fishing, hunting and surfing. Jordan uses similar tactics we use here in Texas. Jordan had some rods rigged with a popping cork and D.O.A. 3” Shrimp and the other rods had a jighead with a D.O.A. 3” Shad. The wind was howling, but both of these methods worked just fine. Capt. Brian Barrera had to try the D.O.A. 3” Shad in the color Candy Corn since he was told he’d never catch anything on a lure that color in these water. He turned the skeptics into believers.

Charleston is home to great seafood. The oysters were incredible.

The second of the trip, Scott Null and myself traveled into Charleston to fish with Capt. Joe Benton on his Cayo poling skiff. We started the day fishing around some exposed oyster reefs and looking for tailing reds. The waters were calm so it was the perfect opportunity to throw D.O.A.’s topwater, the PT-7. As I was working my PT-7 alongside some grass I got a blow-up pretty close to the boat and it ended up being a beautiful 23” trout. Once again, coming to South Carolina I thought I was going to be catching redfish for the most part, but I’m not going to

complain about catching thick speckled trout on topwaters…ever. We poled around the corner and there was a beautiful sight of shrimp jumping followed by redfish wakes and tails waving. They weren’t amused with my topwater, so Scott got some photos and I enjoyed the nature show. If I would have had the time to change out my lure, a D.O.A. shrimp or their new lure, the Snakoil, would have done the job. Meanwhile on a different boat, Ed Zyak was putting a hurt on redfish using the Snakoil. It is great for sight casting big redfish and trout.

Both days of fishing ended with exchanging fish stories paired with incredible meals. South Carolina’s oysters are un-be-lievable. Shrimp and grits, crab cakes, pulled pork, chicken wings… it’s all good. If you don’t come to South Carolina to experience the fishery, you should definitely make the trip for the cuisine.

Thank you Mark Nichols, Ed Zyak and Brian Barrera of D.O.A. Lures for the invite to experience everything the Low Country has to offer. With fishing gurus such as Bill Carson, Scott Null, Cindy Nguyen, Johnny Lu, Jeff Burleson and Dave Lear in the mix, it’s always a fun few days of learning and laughs.

Capt. Joe Benton and Scott Null heading in after a day of fishing Charleston.

Capt. Brian Barrera with an example that similar tactics we use here in Texas such as a popping cork rigged with a D.O.A. shrimp worked just as good in South Carolina.

My first South Carolina speckled trout. We caught plenty of trout this size using a D.O.A. jighead with a 3″ Shad tail or the 3″ shrimp rigged under a popping cork. Photo: Brian Barrera

Flounder Tips and Tactics

January 1st, 2020

briansp Flounder Tips and Tactics

Capt. Spencer with a nice 20″ flounder.

By Capt. Brian “The Flounder Professor” Spencer 

The fall flounder run showed some awesome numbers up and down the coast it was a great sight to be seen. During that time of year, the fish are typically way bigger since a lot of them are females heading out to deep waters to spawn. A few fish I have seen being pulled in have been in excess of 8 pounds! Granted, most of them are all around 5 or 6 pounds, which is still a hefty fish in anyone’s eyes.

My personal best is almost 27 inches and 8.7 pounds and she was caught late in the year a couple of years ago. I was fishing an old spot of mine during the run and was bouncing a lemon pepper Chickenboy Lure on the bottom when she decided to bite. She was fighting weird, almost like a big redfish so I didn’t try and tire her out and just horsed her in. Luckily, she was hooked well and I was able to land it but that is one memory I will never forget.

A good fishing memory is one thing a child will have ingrained in their mind if you get them out there and no matter the outcome, it is something that will always be in their memory. Even if you don’t catch any fish it is definitely the experience that means more than a cooler full of bounty. Although it is nice to catch also, the lesson on how to fish will get them further than a full belly. If you ever get the chance to take a person who is either a child or new to the sport you should do it so that the sport can be passed along to others and not be forgotten.

When fishing, a great place to lay your line would near any kind of structure with a nice big drop-off not too far away from it. Deep ship channels and basins are a great place to start, or even the jetty. Lately my bait of choice has been to run a tandem rig with a bubba clucker in the front, in one of the many great colors, but with stained water I would choose a good bright one and in the back, usually a Gulp! Swimming Mullet in either chartreuse or pink. I use a 1/4 ounce jighead in the front and 1/8 ounce in the back to keep it in the best area of the water column. But adjust accordingly to your depth and water current.

As we get further into January, the flounder will start to trickle out and then be gone until around March. You can still catch them year round it is just not always as easy as it is during the run.

Check out my YouTube channel at “Flounder Professor Outdoors” for tips on how to tie up the tandem rig and subscribe for a chance to win a free flounder trip! When I reach 500 subscribers I will pick one name and then when I get to 1,000 I will pick two names. Get out there and go catch a big one. Until next time, tight lines and sharp gigs.

Flounder Professor Outdoors  /@ You Tube & Facebook

Flounder Professor @ IG & Twitter

Sponsors: Chickenboy Lures, Power Pole, Wet Sounds, Waypoint Marine, Penn Fishing, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Slick Sticks, Steves Lures, Kelley Wigglers, ForEverlast Inc, Houghy Sticks, Redtail Republic, Stinkypants fishing, Jerrys Leds, Salt Thugz Apparel Co

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

December 31st, 2019

flyfishingredfish Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Stephen Young with a good redfish on the fly rod.

TRACKING DOWN COLD WEATHER REDFISH

By Steve Soule | ultimatedetailingllc.com

After 51 years of living in some of the southernmost regions of the United States, its very safe to say that I’m not the biggest fan of cold weather. I have however, many years back, learned that I truly love winter fishing.

Once you can get past the initial shock of cold air and water, even the damp and cloudy days can be some of the best that we will see all year. Let’s take a look at why winter is often so good for anglers and how to capitalize on cold weather fishing.

Forage Focus

As summer exits on the upper Gulf Coast, our abundance of baitfish and other food sources begins it dwindle. At first glance, this definitely doesn’t seem like it would lend itself well to better fishing. But if we think back to the dog days of summer, one of the most difficult parts of consistently catching fish would be locating the right areas. But when nearly every place that you would consider fishing is covered with mullet and other obvious signs, it can be confusing. I know it seems strange to think, but less abundant food supply can lead to better catches.

Why, you ask? Well, when there are food sources at every location, it becomes difficult to determine which area has not only the proper food sources, but also the predatory creatures we so desperately want to capture. During the cooler months, less can often equal more when it comes to catching redfish and trout. As food sources dwindle, they also concentrate! The resident populations of mullet and other fish now occupy much more limited areas of the bays, and remaining populations tend to become concentrated in areas of greatest comfort and reliable food sources. To less experienced anglers, this may still sound like it won’t help us locate fish. But as you begin to explore the bays in winter, it becomes evident that if you find concentrations of bait fish and other food sources, you will inevitably find concentrations of predators nearby. On the coldest, and most difficult days, never overlook the slightest presence of baitfish!!

heddonsuperspook Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Heddon Super Spook in Okie Shad.

Winter Lure Choices

Now that we have unlocked the key to locating predators in cooler water, we can get down to catching them! Hopefully. Winter is a “pick your poison” time of the year. My personal lure preference are larger mullet imitations for covering open water areas and structure. If I could only fish with one type of lure for the rest of my life, it would have to be a topwater. They prove deadly effective to the patient winter angler. Most won’t have the level of dedication and patience required to fully take advantage. If, by chance you are within the group of patient and you want to see some of the most explosive strikes that fish can provide us with, then tie on a Super Spook or She Dog and be prepared for some fun. Here are a few general rules for topwater fishing:

  • Make sure that you vary the retrieves!
  • Don’t assume tight cold water means you have to fish slowly to get bites.
  • Be patient
  • Some days, what you think is slow, isn’t slow enough, so go slower

There are always those days when they trout and reds just don’t want to come to the surface to eat a topwater. Though these days disappoint me greatly, it’s a fact that must be accepted. Coupling this fact with the fact that I’m constantly searching for the bigger fish, I will continue with my larger baitfish patterns during winter. Subsurface finesse baits, such as MirrOLure Catch 2000, Catch 5, Corky original and Fat Boy are some of the most effective winter standards on the Texas Coast, and rank very high on the list of big trout and redfish producers. These subsurface baits, much like topwaters, require a great deal of angler input to be truly effective. But once you’ve mastered a few retrieves, they will astound you with their ability to pry open the mouths of fish in very cold water. The key here is to experiment and vary retrieves and learn some of the many things that these baits can achieve. And of course, just like in the case of the topwater, there are days when slow just isn’t slow enough, so go slower!

Another type of bait or lure that can prove exceptional during the cooler months of the year, and is equally effective in the hands of a dedicated angler, is the “Twitch Bait.” What I’m referring to here are floating or suspending lipped baits. The big brand names that we all know in this category would be Rapala, Bomber, and more recently Yo-Zuri, along with a host of others. This category of lures has been around for many years, and can be just as effective as the others mentioned above. They can do so many things once the operator has taken the time to explore various retrieves. When you’re just getting started with this category, just varying speed with steady cranking can be very effective. Of course, like every other lure type, there are so many options with start and stop, fast twitches, and definitely lots of pauses.

Cold water, though it can provide us with some devastating and explosive attacks from our favorite predators, can also frustrate us with horrifically slow and subtle bites. On these days, learning new retrieves is often the trick that can take a day from zero to hero. Fast, slow, in-between speeds, starts and stops, and often long pauses can lead to some of the best catches when water temps plummet. Winter’s coldest days are the ones that make some of the best anglers shine. These are the days where the average angler just gives up, but for those who possess patience and persistence, and of course, who are in the “right” areas, be prepared for some serious photo ops.

Soft Plastics

If you just aren’t ready for the “grind mode” and patience isn’t your thing, that’s okay. Soft plastics, such as “rat tail” or “swim tails” will still produce well. Bass Assassin Sea Shads or MirrOLure Lil’ Johns offer less angler input and will typically produce much better numbers when fished though concentrations of baitfish. These are perfect for the drifting anglers and can work just as well for a wade fisher. To be honest, the Sea Shad has become one of my staple baits for sight fishing year round. A small profile with a swimming tail is effective in so many situations. Add to this, these baits require very little beyond just a steady retrieve to catch fish consistently, making them great for those just getting into lure fishing.

Last but not least, of the fun things about winter fishing is the water clarity and potentially extreme low tides. Though for many of us these can make for tough fishing days and potential new oyster rash on our prized fiberglass fishing crafts, they also combine to give us some of the best bay learning and exploration days of the year. Get out there and take advantage of the clear water and low tides. Learn some new areas and expand your understanding of the areas you already fish. Take your time when exploring; make sure that you look for structure. Try to gain a better understanding of the tide flows in these new areas. Don’t get in a rush. Try some new lures and new retrieves, and don’t forget that some days, slow just isn’t slow enough.

Not All Oils are Created Equal

December 31st, 2019

lucas marine Not All Oils are Created Equal

Lucas Oil Marine Products offer lubrication and protection for extreme marine environments

Forrest and Charlotte LUCAS started Lucas Oil Products with the simple philosophy of producing only the best line of lubricants and additives available anywhere. Since its inception, Lucas has steadfastly adhered to this corporate objective. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas has established itself as a top selling additive line in the American truck stop industry.

Lucas is also one of the fastest growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry. A premium line of oils, greases and problem-solving additives has helped to firmly establish Lucas as a prominent figure in this marketplace.

Lucas also produces a heavy-duty line of products for the industrial and agricultural markets. President Forrest Lucas sums it up; “Our forte is to make better products for industries and specialty situations that are not having their needs completely satisfied by other oil products and, believe me, the major oil companies have left a lot of weak spots. We have an excellent staff and a world of technology which we have gained through years of research. Together we have done a great deal in a short period of time and we intend to do a lot more.”

Lucas has long been directly involved in the American racing industry through multiple vehicle sponsorships and racing event promotions, at all levels. Seeing a need for better lubricants in this industry, the Lucas people went to work again. The end result being a line of high-performance engine oils and gear oils that are second-to-none in the racing industry.

The Lucas success story has been built upon hard work, an unparalleled line of premium products and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. This single formula for success will continue to guide Lucas Oil Products as it grows in the years to come.

Marine Products

Lucas Oil offers a complete line of marine products that meets or exceeds all manufacturers specifications.

Lucas 4-Stroke Marine Engine Oil SAE 25W-40 is fortified with special additives that coat all moving parts to guard against rust, corrosion and moisture during long storage periods. This oil increases catalyst life in newer inboards and also has applications for 4-stroke outboard and personal watercraft.

No matter the style of boat or type of engine, Lucas has got it covered. They also produces oils for 2-stroke engines and a formulation specifically for 4-stroke outboard motors.

For racing or high performance tournament boats, look to Lucas Extreme Duty Marine SAE 20W-50 Engine Oil. It is designed for use in high performance situations that require the ultimate protection. It lowers oil temperatures, extends oil life and minimizes metal fatigue. This product is compatible with methanol and all racing fuels.

Treatments, Stabilizers and More

It takes more than just oil to keep your boat working at tip-top shape. Lucas Marine Fuel Treatment fights corrosion, keeps fuel lines, carburetors or fuel injectors clean and free of deposits while lubricating and protecting vital engine parts. Powerful detergents improve cleanliness in the fuel system and internal engine parts.

If you’re one that puts the boat away during the winter months, look to Lucas Fuel Stabilizer to prevent gasoline break-down during storage. It’s easy to use and safe in all grades of gasoline and in all 2 and 4 cycle engines.

Fishermen will be especially interested in Lucas Fishing Reel Oil. A special blend of oil and additives penetrates into tight spaces to lubricate and provide corrosion resistance in even the harshest saltwater environment. It’s also a great product for your folding hunting or bird knife. In fact, Lucas produces a whole subset of oils, cleaners and polishes for guns and hunting rifles.

Whether you’re boating or hunting this winter, Lucas Oil provides the best products to keep you enjoying the outdoors with friends and family. Palmer Power Marine Distributors carries Lucas Oil products at their Houston location, at 6451 Rupley Circle or at the Kemah location at 935 Lawrence Rd. You can call the Houston store at (713) 644-6410 and the Kemah store at (713) 244-6650, or visit them online at www.palmerpower.com

Visit www.lucasoil.com for information on their full product line and other retailer locations.

FlatsWorthy

December 31st, 2019

flatsworthy FlatsWorthy

FlatsWorthy’s Chuck Naiser holds up Steve Soule’s redfish caught on the fly.

Working together to promote respect for anglers and resources alike

By Steve Soule

recently had the opportunity to meet with the founder and president of a very unique and growing Texas organization, whose primary goal is to educate and disseminate information about sharing our coastal waters and resources. If you read my article two issues back, you know that this is something that I feel very strongly about. Chuck Naiser, who guides shallow water anglers in the Rockport area, has been actively guiding since 1993 and fishing the mid coast since 1967. He is definitely a man who has seen coastal change and is passionate about the preservation and enjoyment of our bays, marshes and shallow flats.

Chuck and I made an instant connection while discussing coastal change and it was truly fascinating to hear how much our observations and thoughts mirrored each other, even though we fish waters so far apart. It was immediately evident, even though we had never really gotten to speak one-on-one before, that we had seen very similar changes within each of our diverse and separate ecosystems. These changes were, and are related to the coastal habitat, as well as the people who utilize them.

Diverse Anglers, Mutual Respect

I’ve given a lot of thought to this over the course of many years, watching disturbing activity from boaters increase in the Upper Coast bays and shallows where I have spent the past 25-plus years of my life fishing. The phrase that Chuck and FlatsWorthy chose to use as a descriptor for the organization is “Diverse Anglers, Mutual Respect.” This couldn’t be more succinct and yet so encompassing. These bays and other inland waters belong to us all equally! There is no user group that has more right or entitlement to usage. We are all equal here and anyone with the ability to access coastal waters is perfectly within their rights to do so.

We have coastal enforcement agencies in place who already have an existing set of laws that we are all expected to follow. Texas Parks and Wildlife, along with Texas Game Wardens, are empowered to enforce these laws. Like any other policing entity, they are overburdened and understaffed. One of the most important distinguishing factors about the FlatsWorthy organization is its goal is to establish a set of guidelines, with regard to boating and fishing etiquette, established by users at all levels and styles. The organization seeks a broad and diverse input to help establish these suggested practices, and has chosen to attempt to work to spread information that will help make every day more pleasant for all users of coastal resources.

Its about educating, not legally mandating! If we can establish and maintain a unified, diverse group of people who actively promote and enjoy inshore waters, and work together to promote a level of consideration, etiquette and respect, we can negate the need for Governmental involvement.  Therein lies one of the primary goals and core values; “self governing and cooperation, rather than regulatory enforcement” will allow all users to continue to enjoy the resources in diverse ways.

To date, the FlatsWorthy group has held many meetings, worked with biologists, broad and varied boating, fishing, kayaking and other groups to work to develop a understanding of the concerns each user group has. From this, it becomes clearer the level of respect and courtesy that is needed to help ensure that we can all enjoy coastal habitat and resources without infringing on others who are trying to enjoy them as well.

We have all seen, experienced, and heard multiple stories about boating activities that are much less than desirable. I have personally experienced more incidents than I would ever care to recall or recount. Interestingly, I feel that there are a great number of these occurrences that are accidental and stem purely from ignorance of acceptable behavior. Sadly, there are still a large number of inconsiderate acts on the water that likely can be attributed to individuals who just don’t grasp the concept of courtesy. Many can also be attributed to ignorance on one side, followed by arrogance or anger on the other. I have had my moments on the water of wanting to retaliate against inconsiderate boating behavior, but refuse to allow myself to succumb to the urge.

From boat launch to destination, be it hunting, fishing, birding or just recreational fun, everyone on the water deserves respect and consideration. We, as users, all find pleasure on the water, and many like Chuck Naiser and myself have spent many years promoting what we love. With growing populations and interest in coastal waters, we aren’t likely to see anything short of a continued growth in those who spend time on the water. Given this fact and having an understanding of how to successfully navigate our challenges with respect to others users, we can continue to share and enjoy a healthy coastal fishery for many generations to come.

If you want to learn more about an organization working to make everyone’s time on coastal water better, take a look at www.flatsworthy.com

Among the many things you will find when you look at their website is the FlatsWorthy Code of Angler Respect (COAR). The tenants are 1) Respect Fellow Anglers 2) Respect The Resource 3) Respect The Law

If you like the sound of this organization, please take a look and see if its a good fit for you and your angling and or boating style.

Resolutions and a New Year

December 31st, 2019

dill1 Resolutions and a New Year

Joe Holecek with a bull red.

By Capt. David Dillman

galvestonbaycharterfishing.com | 832-228-8012

“A resolution is a plan of something to be done.”

Every year, people make resolutions, but rarely follow through with them. Without a plan, resolutions fail miserably. Most result in failure.

I, myself, make resolutions every New Year. Rarely, do I follow through with them. This year I plan to resolve this issue. How many of us do the same; make resolutions and not follow through with them? What I hear from a lot of folks I encounter is “I really need to use my boat and fish more this year.” If you fall into this category, January and February is the best time to resolve this resolution.

The weather this time of year is “iffy” to say the least. This makes it the right time, to get your boat and fishing gear in order. Do not hesitate getting that boat into a shop for repairs and maintenance. Before doing so, take all items out of your boat. It is amazing how much ‘stuff’ you can collect during a fishing season. Discard all that is no longer serviceable. Don’t overlook your rods, reels and tackle. Get your reels serviced, rod eyes replaced, and inventory your tackle. I would also recommend having preventive maintenance performed on the boat trailer. Being organized and ready makes that first spring fishing/boating trip enjoyable and not a chore.

If you’re new to boating and fishing, do not miss the annual Boat, Sport and Travel Show at Reliant Center, January 3-12, 2020. On display will be the latest boats, boating accessories, fishing tackle, marinas and fishing charters. I will be at the show everyday in the Eagle Point Fishing Camp/Waterman’s Harbor booth. Stop by and lets chat!

dill2 Resolutions and a New Year

Billy, Stockard and James Bragan.

On the fishing front, catches of trout, redfish, black drum and sheepshead have been good in Galveston Bay. Timing is everything this time of year. Warming periods between fronts is the key. For those who like to pursue flounder, TPWD held scoping meetings in December about further restrictions on these fish. If any change is recommended the vote will take place in Austin, during the commissioner’s hearing in March. I suggest you monitor the web for any new proposals and public comment meeting the next couple months.

I am looking forward to this coming year both spiritually and personally. I have a “plan” in place to keep my New Year’s resolutions. As a new Christian, my walk with Christ will be number No. 1 on my list, along with my upcoming marriage later in the year. I will continue to fish, which is my passion, and God willing, introduce new anglers to fishing. Lastly, I can’t say enough about the great people that keep the magazine in print. I am very blessed to write for them. Until the next issue, ‘tight lines’ and may God Bless you this coming year.

Tie One On: Capt. Brian Barrera

December 31st, 2019

doa barrera Tie One On: Capt. Brian Barrera

We ask captains, guides and those in the industry what they’re throwing, for what species and what they’re drinking after a long day of fishing.

doaluresb Tie One On: Capt. Brian Barrera

D.O.A. Lures Bait Buster in 309 Glow/Gold Rush Belly and 3″ C.A.L. Shad Tail in 455 Texas Croaker.

I’m doing a lot of snook and juvenile tarpon fishing right now. With that being said, the trusty Shimano is always rigged up with a D.O.A. Lures Bait Buster, in a variety of colors worked “low and slow,” or I’m burning a D.O.A. 3” shad tail in anything with chartreuse on a 1/2 to 1 oz. jighead through the thermocline where the fish like to hang this time of year.

Once back at the dock after a long day in the elements, I like to have a Kimo Sabe Mezcal Reposado on the rocks or an old fashion. And bartender… keep ‘em coming!

-Capt. Brian Barrera

inshorefishingsouthpadre.com | 956-755-9413

Yamaha Announces New Accessories for Proven Off-Road Vehicles

December 9th, 2019

Selection of Exclusive Add-Ons Available on ShopYamaha.com to Customize Your Adventure

Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, introduces new accessories for its lineup of Proven Off-Road ATV and Side-by-Side (SxS) vehicles, catering to a wide variety of adventures and allowing customers to further tailor and customize their Yamaha for specific environments or driving styles. New Yamaha Genuine Accessories, wheel and tire options, and WARN winches are highlighted, with the complete list of parts, accessories, riding gear, and more options available at ShopYamaha.com.

bas f84l0 v0 00 04 Yamaha Announces New Accessories for Proven Off Road Vehicles

For a more compact YXZ option with a winch mount, there is the new Front Grab Bar constructed from 1.5-inch tubing and welded plate steel, providing the same great robustness as the full-width option.
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA

Yamaha Genuine Accessories for Wolverine X2 / X4 and YXZ1000R / SS Models
Designed, tested, and developed alongside Yamaha’s vehicle engineers, Yamaha Genuine Accessories ensure proper fitment and the same superior durability and reliability experienced with every Proven Off-Road Yamaha. New Yamaha Genuine Accessories for 2020 YXZ and Wolverine models include a Heavy Duty Front Brush Guard that matches seamlessly to the vehicles’ front end and features two anchor points, an integrated winch mount, mounting locations for additional lighting, and e-coating and powder coating for exceptional rust resistance and weather durability. For a more compact YXZ option with a winch mount, there is the new Front Grab Bar constructed from 1.5-inch tubing and welded plate steel, providing the same great robustness as the full-width option. Available for both the Wolverine X2 and X4 is a new Rear Brush Guard with mounting locations for LED spotlights or floodlights (sold separately) boasting a rugged powder and e-coated steel construction.

A new Yamaha center mirror and mounting bracket are available, providing superior optical clarity without distortion, unsurpassed scratch resistance, and a composite polymer injection-molded body construction for strength and durability while minimizing flexing and vibration.

Wolverine X2 / X4 and YXZ1000R / SS Tire and Wheel Options by EFX and MSA
For YXZ1000R and Wolverine SxS owners seeking to optimize traction and enhance ground clearance in specialized environments, Yamaha developed four new 28 x 10-inch tire options in collaboration with EFX®. With six-ply-rated bias constructions, the new MotoBoss tire features deep, aggressive lugs delivering excellent performance in mud, and the new MotoMTC has a unique 1.25-inch deep lug for soft terrain. The MotoBoss tire’s 2-inch V-pattern lug design extends down the sidewall for maximum traction in deep mud. Rounding out the 28-inch tire lineup with durable eight-ply-rated radial constructions, the MotoClaw features aggressive 1-inch lugs for intermediate terrain, with the MotoHammer providing exceptional performance in hardpack conditions and terrain. All four 28-inch EFX tires fit 14-inch rims for an increased sidewall feel and are offered in a “square” setup for front and rear interchangeability.

Paired with the aforementioned EFX tires, Yamaha now offers a variety of 14 x 7-inch wheels, providing both function and fashion while on the trail. Available MSA® wheels include black and machined aluminum M25 Rockers and KMC™ XD Series® Machete wheels. The Machete wheels additionally have a true beadlock option. All tire / wheel kits include center caps and lug nuts, which can also be customized with different colored interchangeable rings, caps, and stars available on ShopYamaha.com.

Expanding tire and terrain specifications even further for the pure sport YXZ1000R / Sport Shift (SS), Yamaha also provides SandSlinger and MotoVator EFX tire options. For superior float, balanced grip, and ultimate dune performance, the SandSlinger comes in 28- and 29-inch sizes, with or without KMC Addict 2 beadlock and non-beadlock wheels, in a ribbed front and molded-paddle rear. Utilizing light truck engineering for a smooth, quiet ride with maximum durability, the MotoVator is a steel-belted, true radial tire with superior puncture resistance, featuring a large contact patch with elongated shoulder tread to enhance high- and low-speed cornering with reduced rolling resistance on hard terrain. Available with or without KMC beadlock and non-beadlock wheels, the MotoVator is available in a 30 x 9.5 14-inch size, with the GYTR Torque Assist Gear kit being required for use in model year 2016-2018 YXZs.

All-New WARN VRX and AXON Winches
All-new WARN® winches will be offered from Yamaha in the VRX and AXON™ models. Available in 2,500-, 3,500-, and 4,500-pound capacities in steel or synthetic ropes, the VRX delivers uncompromising performance and value with its all-metal construction, extreme IP68-rated waterproof sealing, load-holding brake, upgraded contactor, and robust new clutch based on WARN’s automotive-style 4WD hub-lock design. With thermal protection and load indication, the AXON combines a powerful motor and first-of-its-kind digital contractor Motactor™ unit. The AXON is available in 3,500- and 4,500-pound capacities with a synthetic rope, all metal construction, IP68-rated waterproof sealing, and increased structural rigidity for extreme environments. All AXON and VRX WARN winches feature vehicle-specific control connections, offer the best warranty in the industry, and are assembled in the USA.

20 grizzly eps se matte silver details01 0015 Yamaha Announces New Accessories for Proven Off Road Vehicles

The 2019 and 2020 Grizzly is now prewired for the Yamaha Adventure Pro, powered by Magellan, bringing more technology and social media capability to recreational ATV riders. The most comprehensive and user-friendly GPS and vehicle data tracking unit available for ATVs and Side-by-Sides, the Adventure Pro offers Magellan’s extensive GPS network and durable tablet technology to adventurous off-road enthusiasts, preloaded with thousands of waypoints, OHV trails, Yamaha dealers, and more, with additional features added daily.
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA

Yamaha Adventure Pro, Powered by Magellan
The 2019 and 2020 Grizzly is now prewired for the Yamaha Adventure Pro, powered by Magellan, bringing more technology and social media capability to recreational ATV riders. The most comprehensive and user-friendly GPS and vehicle data tracking unit available for ATVs and Side-by-Sides, the Adventure Pro offers Magellan’s extensive GPS network and durable tablet technology to adventurous off-road enthusiasts, preloaded with thousands of waypoints, OHV trails, Yamaha dealers, and more, with additional features added daily.

Every Yamaha SxS is assembled at Yamaha’s U.S. factory in Newnan, Georgia, for worldwide distribution.

For more information on Yamaha’s parts, accessories, and Yamalube offerings visit ShopYamaha.com. To view the entire Proven Off-Road ATV and SxS lineup and learn more, visit YamahaOutdoors.com. Connect with Yamaha on social media via @YamahaOutdoors or search the following hashtags on all platforms:  #Yamaha #ProvenOffRoad #REALizeYourAdventure #AssembledInUSA #Yamaha10YearBelt

About Yamaha Motor Corp., USA
Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (YMUS), is a recognized leader in the Powersports industry. The company’s ever-expanding product offerings include Motorcycles and Scooters, ATV and Side-by-Side vehicles, Snowmobiles, WaveRunner Personal Watercraft, Boats, Outboard Motors, Outdoor Power Equipment, Power Assist Bicycles, Golf Cars, Power Assist Wheelchair Systems, Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Machines, Unmanned Helicopters, Accessories, Apparel, and much more. YMUS products are sold through a nationwide network of distributors and dealers in the United States. YMUS has a corporate office in California, two corporate offices in Georgia, facilities in Wisconsin and Alabama, and factory operations in Tennessee and Georgia. Additional U.S.-based subsidiaries include Yamaha Marine Systems Company (YMSC) with divisions Bennett Marine (Florida) and Kracor Systems (Wisconsin), Skeeter Boats (Texas), with division G3 Boats (Missouri), and Yamaha Precision Propeller (Indiana).

ATVs over 90cc are recommended for use only by riders 16 years and older.
SxS Vehicles are recommended for use only by licensed drivers 16 years and older.

45th Annual Houston Fishing Show

December 4th, 2019

Mark your calendars! March 4 – 8, 2020 at George R Brown Convention Center is the 45th Annual Houston Fishing Show. The largest consumer fishing show in the nation filled with fishing equipment/products, seminars, fishing guides, boats, and vacations.

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