Galati Yacht Sales
Texas Outlaw Challenge
Quantum Sails
Sea Lake Yachts
South Texas Yacht Service
Texas Sportfishing Yacht Sales
Marina Del Sol
Seabrook Marina
Tookie's Seafood
The Fishing Boat Club

Tight Budget? How to get the most out of your current sails

Tight Budget Image Tight Budget? How to get the most out of your current sails

Part of managing a sailing program of any kind–be it cruising or racing–is balancing the budget. From deck hardware to bottom paint and sails, something always needs replacing or fixing. Luckily when it comes to sails, there are a few inexpensive things you can do to help you extend that budget a little further.

1. GET YOUR SAILS INSPECTED

Sail inspections can bring to light not only torn stitches or tired webbing, but also use issues that may be causing damage to your sail. For example, broken stitching on the luff of the sail could indicate too much halyard tension or dimples in your spinnaker could be the result of crew pulling it down by grasping the middle of the sail instead of using the tapes.

Annual inspections should be part of every program with the goal of maximizing the life of the sail. Catching and fixing a few small problems (especially if the sail is older) can also prevent catastrophic failure on the water.

2. RECUT YOUR SAILS EVERY FEW YEARS

All sails stretch and lose shape over time and through use. If you’re experiencing the tell-tale signs of stretched sails–an inability to point, difficulty steering, or lack of power under sail–it doesn’t necessarily mean you need new sails. Many sailors don’t realize sails can be recut to bring back up to 90 percent of their original shape and extend their life at a fraction of the cost of new ones. Typically, one or two recuts can be done over the life of a sail. Recutting sails has been a common practice for pro programs for years, sometimes adjusting and recutting sails between race days.

You’ll want a handful of good sail shape photos to take to the loft along with your sail. And bonus points if you take photos of your sails on an annual basis! Click here to learn how to get the best shots and start your recordkeeping. If you’re curious about the recut process and benefits, click here for an article to shed some light on what you need to know about recuts.

3. HAVE YOUR SAILS PROFESSIONALLY REPAIRED

You might have saved the day with your quick fix when the spinnaker caught on a turnbuckle and started to rip, but did you remember to take it to the loft for a proper repair afterward? Onboard sail repairs are great when you need to finish the sail and get back to the dock safely, but they’re not meant to be a permanent fix. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget you have a few strips of duct tape holding part of your sail together when it’s packed out of sight and out of mind. As you can guess, ignoring damage will not end well for the sail or your budget.

4. CHECK YOUR RIG TUNE

If your rig tune is out of whack, it can significantly affect sail performance. Before you throw in the towel with your current sails, check to make sure the issue isn’t your rig. Have an expert sail with you to see what adjustments might remedy the problem. This is especially important for cruisers who don’t regularly tune their rigs for conditions the way a race program might. We have more information on that here.

5. CONSIDER SAIL ADD-ONS

There are a number of sail add-ons and updates that can help improve functionality and extend their lifespan. Reefing points, UV covers, and spreader patches are all on the list. Talk to your sailmaker about what modifications can be made to help the sail work better and make it usable for a few more years.

6. LOOK BEYOND THE SAIL

It is important to look at the health and setup of your boat’s entire system in order to get the most out of your sails. Not all systems are created equally, and having the right sail handling system for your needs will help reduce stress on the sails. Roller furlers are great for easily and smoothly using your headsail, especially if you have a novice crew or sail shorthanded. Mainsail handling systems, such as the Dutchman and an in-mast or boom furling system, can also come in handy and help to reduce wear-and-tear on your sail.

Of course, the right system needs to be in good shape. If the sail handling system is failing, you’re at risk of damaging your sail. Similarly, sun-rotted lines or finicky winches pose threats to sails under load, as do sticky tracks and tired blocks. Invite your sailmaker or local rep to your boat for help identifying problem areas or to discuss options for improving your sail handling systems.

You shouldn’t give up on your trusty sails just because you’re starting to experience performance issues or they’re getting older. Call your sailmaker and explore a few of these ideas before you open your checkbook to pay for a new set. If you decide a new set is the right solution, use this information and the expertise of your sailmaker to ensure your sails are setup properly and you’re using best practices and sail care services to maximize their lifespan and protect your investment.

_______

Contact Quantum Sails Gulf Coast at gulfcoast@quantumsails.com or 281-474-4168 to learn more about getting the most out of your sails. You can also visit QuantumSails.com for more great tips and tricks to help you meet all of your sailing challenges.

Gear Up For Spring

pfg board short Gear Up For Spring

Columbia PFG Offshore Camo Fade Boardshort

Combining good looks and high-performance, these Columbia boardshorts cover all the bases. The Omni-Wick and Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric protects from the sun and dries quickly. Stash your keys or extra tackle in a zippered cargo pocket. These boardshorts even have a bottle opener for those celebrations on the dock or beach. Available in five digital fade colors. Shown in Cedar Redfish Digi Fade Print.

www.columbia.com

salty crew hat Gear Up For Spring

Salty Crew Mahi Trucker Hat

Choose to keep it salty with this Salty Crew trucker hat. Features a mesh back and nylon ‘dorado’ patch sewn to the front.

www.salty-crew.com

Columbia Men’s Dorado CVO PFG Shoe

This versatile shoe combines a comfortable wear-anywhere design and high-performance pedigree. Super-plush and quick-drying, the Dorado CVO PFG is built for the life aquatic with a breathable mesh upper, superior midsole cushioning, and wet grip traction. Plus, advanced water and stain repellency helps ensure a clean look whether you’re dockside or downtown. Shown in Zour/Emerald Sea

www.columbia.com

Yo-Zuri 3D Inshore Twitchbait

This slow sinking lipless hard bait by Yo-Zuri exhibits an erratic darting action during a twitch and pause retrieve. Use the smaller 2 3/4” size in Ghost Shad to imitate an injured glass minnow when fishing the lights at night this spring.

www.yo-zuri.com

Yo-Zuri 3DR Minnow

Small Yo-Zuri jerkbaits have long been a secret weapon for targeting redfish and trout around nighttime light sources. New for 2018, the 2 3/4 3DR Minnow in Real Glass Minnow is a perfect forage imitation to use around causeway or canal lights.

www.yo-zuri.com

Strike King Redfish Magic Spinnerbait

Spring means high winds, high tides and murky water in the marsh. Search out hungry redfish with the extra vibration and flash from this proven Strike King spinnerbait. Shown in Black Neon Chartreuse. Available in 1/8 or 1/4 oz sizes.

www.strikeking.com

FishStix “Kitchen Sink”

The FishStix “Kitchen Sink,”  7’ Medium bait cast rod is built for throwing a little bit of everything. It has enough backbone and power to throw heavier baits such as topwaters, popping corks, live bait and crankbaits but still has a fast enough tip to be able to throw tails. It’s the perfect rod for beginners, everyday anglers, and guides because of its great versatility and dependability.

“Kitchen Sink”

Length/Action: 7’ Medium

Line: 10 – 20 LBS

Lure: 3/8 -1 Oz.

Micro guides

Fuji SK2 Split Reel Seat

www.gotfishstix.com

13 Fishing Concept Z Baitcasting Reel

13 Fishing is exploring the future of fishing reels with the first high performance baitcasting reel that uses zero ball bearings. The result is a quiet and far-reaching cast that won’t suffer performance loss from debris, corrosion or environmental wear. A ridiculous 22 pounds of max drag keeps even the biggest fish in check.

Weight: 6.4 oz., Line Capacity: 12/135, Ratio: 6.6:1, 7.3:1 or 8.1:1

www.13fishing.com

Wilderness Systems Ride 135

What you can see is what you catch when sight fishing for marsh redfish. This time-tested Wilderness Systems yak is stable enough for any angler to stand up in and gain a better vantage point. The 13”6’ length will keep you paddling happy vs. shorter kayaks. Shown in Mango.

www.wildernesssystems.com

 

Galati Yacht Sales: A Name You Can Trust

galati houston Galati Yacht Sales: A Name You Can Trust

Galati Yacht Sales Texas Manager Jay Dee Jackson continues a family-owned tradition of excellence

annamaria Galati Yacht Sales: A Name You Can Trust

Galati’s first location at Anna Maria opened in 1970.

Galati Yacht Sales, a once storm ravaged Florida marina, is now a No. 1 dealership with locations in the USA, Mexico and Costa Rica. The company’s humble beginnings start with Jay Dee Jackson’s grandfather, Michael Galati Sr. in 1970.  He moved his family of seven from New York down to Anna Maria Island, Florida.

“He felt drawn to Anna Maria, as this is the name of my grandmother. He saw this as a sign and decided to purchase a marina there that had just been devastated by a storm,” said Jay Dee. “From there, he and his wife, Anna Maria, and their five children worked to rebuild the marina and grew the company to what is now Galati Yacht Sales.”

Galati now has ten locations in three countries and carries some of the world’s finest yachts, including Maritimo, Viking, Prestige, Princess and Cruisers Yachts. They offer new, pre-owned and brokerage yacht sales with the ability to accept trade-ins on new or pre-owned purchases. Their Texas location is just off 45 south on Offatt’s Bayou in Galveston.

Join the Family

Galati Yacht Sales differentiates itself from the competition with a business philosophy that this family-owned company has lived by since inception. The third generation now leads the company and the principle remains the same; a passion and love for the industry in everything they do.

Their mission statement “Consistently Exceeding The Expectations Of Our Customers,” means clients are treated like family. Michael Galati Sr. was known to say that “Our customers are always there for us, so in turn, we will always be there for our customers. We must stick together as a family, work hard and earn our customers business.”

This work ethic has not gone unnoticed. Galati has been recognized in the boating industry in more ways than one. They recently earned No.1 dealer in Boating Industry’s Top 100 Dealers Award. They have won multiple times since 2007 and have now been entered into the Boating Industry Hall of Fame.

Every Step of the Way

Galati is there for its customers and can assist for every step of a yacht purchase — an exciting process than can be a little stressful for some. Years of experience and in-house financing makes for a one-stop yacht shop. Whether you are a new boater, or an old salt, Team Galati strives to make your experience one to remember and enjoy for years.

The relationship with the Galati family does not end after your new vessel is purchased, that is just the beginning. They are always available to customers for anything they need along their boating journey. From hosting boating trips to our endless service technician support, they are happy to put in the work to help you have a more enjoyable experience on the water. For whatever your needs may be, Galati is a name you can trust.

A Team Like No Other

“Apart from our family, we have been extremely fortunate to build an incredible team over the years. Our Galveston location staff members and brokers are there to support our customers in every aspect and have led us to only build upon the values that we laid our foundation on,” said Jay Dee Jackson.

Jay Dee is the manager of the Galati Yacht Sales Texas location. “My wife, Alyssa and I moved to the area recently from Sarasota, Florida and I am a graduate of The University of Mississippi with a degree in Business Management,” said Jackson.

Larry Smith joined Team Galati 13 years ago and boasts 46 years of experience in the marine industry. “It is a pleasure being associated with a company that puts customer service at the top of their priorities!” said Smith.

David Hunt is a native of Seabrook and continues his life-long love of the water and a passion for boats. He is a third generation member of Lakewood Yacht Club and a past president of the Gulf Coast Yacht Brokers Association. “I pride myself on my honesty, attention to detail, and desire to always act in my client’s best interest. Our marketing can make sure that your yacht is exposed to buyers throughout the world,” said Hunt.

Cory Webster is a native Texan and has spent the past 17 years developing his expertise in the boating business. Over the years, Cory has been fortunate to represent some of the best boating and yachting brands. “Working side by side with the best of the best in manufacturing, dealers and salespeople in this industry gets me excited. Seeing their values, passion and innovation keeps our business going strong!” said Webster.

Jordan Butler was born and raised in Galveston. The son of a well-respected captain, he was exposed to both the sportfishing and boating scenes at an early age. “Boating and fishing has always been a huge part of my life. I will always have a lifelong passion for going offshore and being on the water,” said Butler.

Randy Bright is a native Texan and has held every position in the competitive marlin fishing world as an owner, captain, angler and cockpit/wire man. “I stay very involved with many of my clients through the Houston Big Game Fishing Club events and several Gulf Coast and international fishing tournaments. I enjoy the friendships that I develop before and after the sale and spend time fishing, boating and traveling with clients particularly to the Bahamas and Costa Rica,” said Bright.

Galati is a certified dealer for Viking Yacht Sales.

Start Your Adventure Now

The boating season is just around the corner. Get in touch with Galati and they’ll get you on course to owning the boat or yacht of your dreams. Visit them in person at 7819 Broadway St., Suite #100 Galveston, Texas 77554. Call them at (409) 741-8716 or view inventory online at galatiyachts.com. Find them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @galatiyachtsales

Marsh Fishing in Spring

redfish marsh fishing Marsh Fishing in Spring

Captain Clay Sheward hooked up to a redfish deep in the marsh.

By Capt. Steve Soule

www.ultimatedetailingllc.com

Spring may be the toughest season of all to figure out on the upper Texas Coast. It’s the first of our two annual transitional periods, and in my opinion, definitely the harder of the two to get a solid grasp on when it comes to patterning. With so many factors at play, March and April can wreck even the best made plans.

To gain a better understanding, we need to think first about where we are transitioning from. In a winter season like we’ve just had, the coldest in nearly 10 years, we truly put fish into a winter pattern. This is a pattern that can be predictable and reasonable easy to describe and understand. Fish tend to move slightly deeper and hold over certain types of structure or bay substrate. Food sources, though limited have become reliable and are somewhat easy to locate as they are larger and more visible than at other times of the year.

Temperature

At the first signs of spring, anglers can often do very well. Predatory fish move from deeper to shallower water as the air and water temperatures warm. The initial warming creates added temperature to the cold blooded fish as well as their prey. This change typically makes both more active and sends predators out in search of food. But this isn’t always the easiest thing for hungry predators to accomplish.

Everything is transient in spring; both predator and prey. Temperature and barometric pressure swings wildly during this period. Weather varies from mild to violent

and boating and fishing pressure is steadily increasing.

Wind, tide, temperature and timing; all of these factors play a major role in spring fishing. But the prevalence and types of available food for predators is still limited.

Spring Prey

Winter forage, like mullet and finfish are still present but the return, or emergence of other various food sources happens at a much slower pace than their departure during fall. Wintering crabs and shrimp that have buried in mud through the cooler months will be some of the earliest additions to the menu, followed by a slow trickle of various other small baitfish species. Keep in mind that this is a slow process that is triggered more so by the “photo period” or length of daylight versus darkness than it is by temperature. Many food sources don’t truly return in force until later in spring.

Wind

Wind is always a factor in spring, especially during the first half of the season. Light wind days are few and far between, and late season cold fronts can often push us well into the small craft advisory range. This doesn’t lend itself well to great fishing days and certainly doesn’t make spring inviting for anglers. With high winds come several other factors that influence fishing. High tides and rapid barometric pressure come to mind at the top of the list.

reds Marsh Fishing in Spring

Marcos Enriquez with a nice shallow water redfish.

High Tides

Discussions on high tides seem to happen repeatedly during spring. For those who fish open and deeper water areas, the significance is reduced dramatically. For those who fish relatively shallow waters, the impact is quite substantial.

Big rising tides push small prey animals deeper into marshes and other areas where they can find cover from predation. The host of predators, like redfish, trout and flounder, will follow. Often, this puts predator and prey out of reach of most boaters and increases the overall size of the area we have to search. Fish become like needles in a haystack.

It often seems like redfish enjoy exploring new territory, and high tides are the open invitation for them to take off wandering.

Pressure

The large swings in barometric pressure during spring can provide both good and bad fishing. Changes in pressure seem to create short windows of increased feeding activity, especially when they happen in conjunction with moving tides or a moon position that would already cause fish to hunt for food. We can’t fish purely around pressure changes, not predictably anyway. You can shoot for catching the big changes as fronts approach and pass the coastline, but safety and comfort are often compromised. More often than not, most of us as anglers are stuck with the days that we can get on the water. It’s interesting to note, that even small changes in the direction of barometric pressure movement can effect fish feeding behaviors. Steady pressure, or pressure that is steadily on the rise or fall, often yields stagnant fish feeding

Timing

Timing, as I mentioned earlier, can have a huge impact on our success rates in fishing. Knowing seasonal patterns is very helpful in understanding when fish tend to feed in certain areas. If you don’t have years of fishing log information, then you can only go and hope for the best in finding actively feeding fish or rely on local information. Often, springtime doesn’t follow the typical feeding periods normally associated with summer. Don’t be one of the anglers that hunt out a summer feeding pattern this early in the year.

Bottom line, springtime fishing requires more thought on average than any other season along the coast. Careful planning, understanding the conditions, researching or having years of experience can help greatly. Knowing the available food sources, and making appropriate adjustments in your lure arsenal can pay off with big dividends. Most of the new arrivals of prey animals are quite small, which often leads to day where even larger predatory species are focused on eating small but numerous meals.

With careful planning, and an educated approach, spring can pay big dividends of big trout. But, if you think that you’re going to find a summer pattern just because of the rapid warm up, you will be in for quite the surprise.

Get out and enjoy the warmer weather, and don’t be discouraged by the difficulties. Instead, use the time wisely to cover more water and seek out the patterns hidden within the season.

Fishing After a Cold Winter

max conner trout Fishing After a Cold Winter

Max Conner with a solid stringer of trout and reds.

What will the effects of our icy winter have on fishing?

By Capt. Joe Kent

Beginning in mid-December, the Galveston Bay Complex experienced one of its coldest winters in years.  Many of the anglers have not been through a severe winter from an historical perspective. You have to go back into the 1990s to find when we had subfreezing temperatures along the Texas Coast that lasted more than a short time.

Severe cold is not anything new to the Galveston Bay Complex; however, the number of days of subfreezing conditions has progressively dropped over the last decade.

A frequently asked question by readers of the Galveston County Daily News is how will all of the bitter cold weather affect fishing during 2018?

The answer is that it is hard to pinpoint; however, there are several indicators that tell us that when the weather warms, normal fishing patterns should return.

In the good news department, it appears that there were no major fish kills during the multiple freeze events that took place.  While fish kills were reported, most of the finfish were forage fish, mainly mullet, menhaden and small fish of all species that were not large enough to tolerate water in the 40 degree range very long.

One of the reasons the stocks of gamefish survived well is that they had time to get acclimated to the cold and had moved into areas offering deep, protected waters.

Last January, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department exercised its right to close certain bodies of water when freeze events took place.  This is the first time the TPWD has exercised that option and the areas around the Galveston Bay Complex that were affected were Moses Lake in the vicinity of the flood gates and most of Offatts Bayou.

Both areas are known to hold large concentrations of trout and other fish when the water temperatures fall into the low 40s or lower.  In those pockets of deep water, fish are sluggish and easy prey for anglers.

Shortly after one of the freeze events in the early 1960s,  I fished with a friend at the Blue Hole in Offatts Bayou and recall catching close to 50 trout (there were no size nor bag limits back then) with many of the fish being snagged by the treble hooks on my Bingo Lure.

In the bad news department, the freeze took its toll on aquatic vegetation.  There is little doubt that the plants will rebound; however, it could take a while after this long winter.  Like with all other vegetation, warm weather is the key to rebounding and growth.

The effect of the loss of aquatic plants is in the loss of cover for fish, mainly young fin fish, crustaceans and shell fish.

Over the past 10 to 20 years when mild winters were the norm, we started the spring season with a good crop of bait in the marshes and wetlands.  It remains to be seen just how badly the freezes affected that part of the marine life cycle.

Overall, I expect 2018 to be a good year for fishing, barring any catastrophic events such as major floods or droughts.

While not on the topic of fishing directly, one of the big effects of a long cold winter is on boats, especially engines and mechanical equipment.  A large number of boats have not been run for many weeks and problems likely are going to be widespread, with contaminated fuel, frozen water lines and other parts that are vulnerable to freezing weather or sitting up very long.

Before using your boat for the first time this year, check it out. For the first trip away from the dock, make it an abbreviated one and do not venture too far.

Galveston Bay Spring Fishing

sheephead Galveston Bay Spring Fishing

Phoung Nguyen with a nice sheepshead

Come On Spring!

By Capt. David C. Dillman

Spec-tacular Trout Adventures832-228-8012

always wonder how the folks up  “North” survive the winter. After these cold, cold months all I can say is “I have had enough!”

This is the first real winter in many years for “us” on the Upper Coast of Texas. The wintery mix of snow and ice was a novelty, but worrisome for those of us that enjoy the fishery of Galveston Bay. We dodged a major fish kill disaster from a devastating freeze. I think we are all ready for some sunshine and warmer temperatures. Come on spring!

This coming March and April we should experience a traditional spring fishing pattern in the Galveston Bay Complex. The traditional “drum run” will be in full swing along the Galveston Jetties. Also plenty of sheepshead, along with redfish and speckled trout will prowl the rocks. Depending on how fast the water temperature rises, these fish should make their way into lower Galveston Bay, at the end of the month.

In April, while the “drum run” is still happening, many anglers will set their “radar” on speckled trout. This winter, trout fishing was decent. It will improve significantly this month! Late season cold fronts this month can bring moderate to strong winds prior to their arrival. These winds are usually from the south-southeast. East Galveston Bay and the waters north of the Texas City Dike offer protection from the winds. Every incoming tide will push trout into these areas this month. In East Bay, Sievers Cut to Stingaree Cut and the adjacent reefs are the “go to” places. On the West side, Mosquito Island to Dollar Point offers plenty of protection and areas to fish under strong south winds. The shoreline in front of the floodgate at Moses Lake, is a good springtime spot to catch speckled trout.

Live shrimp supplies should be good, but I would call a bait camp ahead of your planned trip. In the Clear Lake – Kemah area, check with Eagle Point Fishing Camp at 281-339-1131. Eagle Point offers quick access to the above mentioned areas and is a full service marina with a boat launch. Enjoy this upcoming Spring weather. See ya on the water!

EuroSport Marine

euro zar EuroSport Marine

ZAR Formenti 85SL

Your Yachting Lifestyle Company in Texas

EuroSport Marine is all about supporting the yachting lifestyle.  They import ZAR Formenti Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB’s) from Italy.

The ZAR Mini line is a rugged aluminum boat that is lightweight and practical.  Coach boats, fishing boats, lightweight tenders, and other uses make this a cost-effective solution for many.  This boat is like the ‘standard’ RIB most people think about where the tubes are wrapped around the hull.  There are many center console options and can be easily customized to fit a broad range of uses.

The ZAR ZF is the ZAR Formenti high end tender line that ranges in size from 10 ft to 15 ft in one-foot increments.  The ZF series has all the features of the ZAR Sport Boat line, in a more compact package.  It allows a yacht owner to dial in exactly the size of boat to fit a particular swim platform or davit.

The ZAR Formenti Sport Boat line is the top of the line RIB made anywhere.  Along with the ZF line, the sport boats are all hand made in a small village in Italy outside Milan.  These stunning boats are unlike any other RIB on the market, and are a must see.

See all these boats in EuroSport’s showroom located at 804 Anders Lane in Kemah.  Give them a call at 1-832-308-0190 anytime or stop by and visit them.

Crawfish for the Win!

Tis the season for mudbugs! Crawfish are plentiful and besides heading out to your favorite fresh fish market for the little crawlers or restaurant for a well seasoned boil by the pound, you can enjoy recipes with your leftovers or buy bags of frozen pre-cooked crawfish meat. It’s all good.

You can sometimes find more healthful versions of the following recipes. However, full disclosure here, these all include calorie happy ingredients, and the taste is worth the splurge.

crawfishsolo Crawfish for the Win!

Jalapeño Crawfish Dip

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 cups of mixed and chopped onion, celery and green bell pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/3 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of boiled crawfish tails
  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Heat butter on medium heat in a medium pan. Add chopped veggies, jalapeño and cook until onions are translucent. Add minced garlic and continue to stir.

Add crawfish tails and stir, until warm. Add cream cheese to the mixture and stir until melted. Add salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. May be served hot or cold on small baguette slices or bagel chips.

crawfish pasta recipe Crawfish for the Win!

Debbie’s Crawfish Fettuccine

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb. cooked Louisiana crawfish tails
  • 1 squeezed lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • Cooked pasta for 4 servings.

Saute: butter, garlic and mushrooms.

Add: crawfish, lemon, seasoning, and flour.

Add cream last and cook till done.  Serve over fettuccine or farfalle.

Pair with white wines such as Riesling or Albariño.

Debbie’s Crawfish Balls

  • 1 lb crawfish tails, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

In bowl mix crawfish, pepper, parsley, onions, bell peppers, salt and red pepper.

Add: egg and bread crumbs and mix.

Form into balls (hint, coat hands with oil to make rolling easier).

Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 min.

Makes 50 crawfish balls!

Lethal Crab Traps Collected in Christmas Bay

crab trap removal Lethal Crab Traps Collected in Christmas Bay

Brazoria County Gulf Coast Rescue Squad volunteers remove crab traps from Christmas Bay. Volunteer Chuck Courson drives the orange boat at back. The front boat is manned by Boy Scout/Angleton Troop 531. Joeseph West, left, Dylan Hanson on top and non scout volunteer Sterling Greathouse on the deck. BC/GCRS volunteer and Troop 531 leader Mike Hattaway at the wheel. Photo by Jim Olive.

By Janice Van Dyke Walden

The fisherman had been dead for quite a while, and now his crab traps were full.  On the morning of Saturday, February 17, 2018, as the sun came out and the tide retreated, volunteers in airboats found the metal cage crab traps among the grasses in the backwaters of Christmas Bay.  They were full of crabs.

They also found 50 sheepshead trapped at another location, and, like the crabs and all other marine life they find in the traps, they released them.  “Last year, we found a turtle in one of the traps,” says Jim Olive who organizes the effort every year.

When he started the Christmas Bay Foundation years ago, Olive was working to save the sea grasses from shrimpers, and keep a pipeline of human waste from dumping in the shallow pan bay of Follet’s Island.  Now, years later, the shrimpers have been banned, and the pipe re-directed into the Gulf.  The sea grasses flourish, and Christmas Bay has become a popular place for recreational fisherman.

The crab fishermen still place their cage traps out in the waters, but not all can be recovered by the third Friday of each February.  That’s when the State of Texas calls a 10-day closure on crab trap fishing, allowing volunteers to collect what has gone adrift or been forgotten.

“They are a pernicious, lethal killer,” says Olive of the traps.  “When they are abandoned, the crabs die in the trap; the scent that they put out attracts more crabs to the trap.  Those crabs die, and it’s just an ongoing cycle.”

This year, Olive and 14 other volunteers from Boy Scouts, Brazoria County and Texas Parks and Wildlife manned 7 boats for 6 hours, fanning out into the lakes and bayous that eventually feed into Christmas Bay.  They covered more area than in years past.  “It was definitely our most extensive coverage,” says Olive.  In all, the group collected over 60 crab traps.

Bruce Bodson of the Lower Brazos Riverwatch was one of the volunteers.  When he returned to shore, he stomped on the cages he’d collected so they couldn’t be used again.

Since 2002 when the law took effect, over 33,820 abandoned crab traps have been retrieved from Texas coastal waters, from Sabine Lake to Brownsville, with volunteers in the Galveston Bay area and San Antonio Bay consistently collecting the most traps.

To join the effort next year:

www.christmasbayfoundation.org

www.galvbay.org/get-involved/volunteer

Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance Announces 2018 Featured Marques

kwphoto Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance Announces 2018 Featured Marques

The 23rd Annual  Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance, benefiting Today’s Harbor for Children, formerly known as Boys & Girls Harbor, has announced the Featured Marques for the event slated for Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6, 2018.

The Concours, presented by title sponsors Bay Area Regional Medical Center and the City of Seabrook, will feature the automobile Marques of Ferrari, Pierce-Arrow, and Super Cars. The event will also be honoring Vintage Wooden and Classic Glass boats. Owners of classic cars and antique wooden boats are encouraged to register for the judged competition. Judging takes place on Saturday, May 5. The classic boating side of the event is sanctioned by the Antique and Classic Boat Society, an international organization established to standardize the judging procedure.  An incredible array of  classic wooden boats and vintage fiberglass boats, both large and small, will be on display.

The weekend-long, nationally acclaimed classic car and vintage wooden boat show takes place each spring at the Lakewood Yacht Club in beautiful Seabrook, TX and attracts more than 15,000 attendees. The car and boat exhibitors come from every part of the United States, contributing to the more than $1.7 million that the Concours has raised to date for local charities.

Sixty car and 20 boat judges evaluate nearly 40 classes for cars and 20 classes for boats. In addition, Keels & Wheels welcomes celebrity and VIP judges to participate in honoring select vehicles and boats.

Invitations and entry forms for the 2018 Keels & Wheels event are available online. Because only 200 automobiles and 100 boats will be selected, it is important for submissions to be made as early as possible. Potential exhibitors are asked to submit one photo of the car or boat, along with year, make, model, owner information and a brief history of the entry. Keels & Wheels does not typically consider any automobiles newer than 1972 for entry in the event.

For more information about submitting your classic automobile or antique boat, or to download an entry form, please visit www.keels-wheels.com or follow us on Facebook.

About Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance:

Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance is a weekend-long, nationally acclaimed classic car and vintage wooden boat show that takes place each spring at the Lakewood Yacht Club in beautiful Seabrook, Texas. Keels & Wheels welcomes approximately 200 cars and 100 boats, and has raised more than $1.7 million for local charities, while drawing thousands of participants and spectators from all over the U.S. and Europe.

Proceeds from the 2018 event will again benefit Today’s Harbor for Children, whose mission is to provide a home and safe environment for abandoned and abused children and healthy, comprehensive care for children and families in crisis. For more information please visit www.keels-wheels.com or follow us on Facebook.

Meet Debbie Roberts of Pelican Insurance Agency

pelican deb Meet Debbie Roberts of Pelican Insurance AgencyHow did the business get its start?

I formed Pelican Insurance Agency in December of 2017. We are an independent insurance agency that brings better choices and competitive prices to the entire state of Texas.

What coverage does Pelican Insurance offer?

We offer a broad range of insurance products including home, auto, recreation vehicle, watercraft, commercial and more.

How are you different from your competition?

With other agencies, you get one company that sells one brand of insurance, but with Pelican Insurance Agency LLC you get choices and that will allow you to find the best fit your individual or business needs at a competitive price.

What is your mission statement and your business philosophy?

Communication and follow-up is important to us. The goal at Pelican Insurance is to maintain strong, trusting and lasting relationships and to help our customers through all the phases of life. Whether you are moving into a new home, starting your own business, or retiring to spend all your free time on your watercraft, we will make sure you are properly protected.

What certification or special recognition have you received?

We are active members of the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas and affiliated with Trusted Choice. We enjoy an online market access system available exclusively to Big “I” members, and as Best’s Members we access rating content available from A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

Tell us about your community involvement.

I am a standing member of the League City Chamber of Commerce.

Where are you from and how did you get your start in insurance?

I grew up in League City and graduated from Clear Creek High School in 1980. I have over 34 years of experience in the insurance industry. I began my insurance career in 1983 as a claims adjuster and worked as a claims professional, which included handling litigation prior to becoming a licensed agent. I am proficient in contract interpretation and can communicate directly with underwriters, inspectors, and claims adjusters to advocate on your behalf.

What do you do with your free time?

I enjoy family life, reading, swimming and soccer

How can customers get in touch?

We offer free insurance quotes, and a risk-free, no obligation coverage analysis to our potential customers. Our contact information is: 832-871-4448

201 Enterprise Avenue Suite 625 League City, TX

www.Pelican-Insurance.com

Facebook: @ Pelicaninsuranceagencytexas

Bay Oil Company Keeps Galveston Bay Moving

bayoil Bay Oil Company Keeps Galveston Bay Moving

Bay Oil Company, a fourth generation, family-owned business, has been serving fuels and lubricants to Houston and the surrounding areas since 1921.  We proudly introduce our new Marine Division, providing non-ethanol fuel to vessels and fleets of all types throughout the greater Galveston Bay system and Houston Ship Channel.

United States Coast Guard approved for over-the-water transfers, we can deliver fuel to you, service dockside fueling, or you can bring your trailered boat to our on-site bulk facility.  On-demand service, 24/7 live dispatch, and customizable delivery schedules set us apart.  Bay Oil Company’s Marine Division is committed to providing the highest quality fuels and services to our clients—keeping you fueled up and on time!

In the Galveston Bay system, we are currently providing fuel to the following client types:  tug boats and barges, racing and pleasure boats, fishing guides, cruise lines, shipping companies, emergency and repair services, fishing fleets and luxury yachts.  Our family lives right here in the Bay Area and we all own boats and love the water.  It was only natural to expand our Bay Oil Company to provide products and services to our friends in the marine industry.

For more information or to set up a delivery:

Call:  833-BAY-FUEL

www.bayoilmarine.com

Starship Marina and Boatyard

star ship slips Starship Marina and Boatyard

Accommodating boats of all kinds, from sportfish to sailboats

Starship Marina and Boatyard features a 75 metric ton Marine Travel Lift to accommodate large boats.

We provide environmentally clean facilities, protecting our Texas coastal and inland waters from pollution. We make it easy so you can spend more time enjoying your boat.

Located on the channel between Clear Lake & Galveston Bay- we are just 1/4 mile from the Kemah Boardwalk on FM 2094.

starshipsail Starship Marina and BoatyardBoatyard

  • 75 metric ton travel lift
  • Professional technicians and craftsmen on site
  • Self service available
  • Gate to ensure boat security

Marina

  • Covered boat slips – electricity included

Launch Ramp

  • Concrete launch ramp

Dry Storage

  • On your trailer or on blocks & stands
  • From $69/month

Call 281-334-2121 or visit www.starshipmarina.com

1206 FM 2094 Clear Lake Shores, TX 77565

Down South Lures’ Mike Bosse

mike bosse dsl Down South Lures Mike Bosse

Mike Bosse with a big trout caught on a Down South Lure in red shad.

Interview by Brandon Rowan

Where are you from?

I was born is Cypress, Texas. We moved to Chappell Hill when I was four years old. I grew up there and went to Brenham High School. We grew up fishing ponds, the New Year’s Creek and the Brazos River. Eventually, we graduated to fishing Lake Conroe, Fayette, and Gibbons Creek before I got bit by the “saltwater bug.”

DSLkickin Down South Lures Mike Bosse

Down South Lure in Kickin’ Chicken.

Tell me about the journey that led up to the design and success of Down South Lures.

Like many people, I had an extreme love for fishing. Since I pond hopped all the time, I loved to fish for bass. This inspired me to make my first lure when I was 12 years old. I cut about 3 inches off my mom’s wooden broom handle and carved a cup out of one end to make a “popper lure.” Then I grabbed an old Heddon Torpedo, took the screw-in eyelet off the nose and screwed it into the nose of my bait. The hooks were removed from the old Torpedo, and I screwed those into the bottom of my lure. I did not paint the plug; I just tied it on and went fishing. A two-pound bass was caught that afternoon on it.

Since we bass fished big lakes like Conroe, we threw a lot of Carolina rigged sickle tailed baits in deep water. We loved the way the bait swam down off the ledges when we dragged them over humps and creek beds. We were firm believers that fish ate the bait when it was falling, more often than not. Well, fast forward about 15 years and I found a love for saltwater fishing. I noticed that most of the paddle tails and tout tails did not swim on the fall like our bass worms did. After that, I began to tinker with other plastic baits, modifying them to have action while falling. It just grew from there. More and more friends were asking me to make them baits. After that I cut my own mold design. It has grown into the Down South Lure that you see today.

Were there any unforeseen challenges or surprises have you encountered while developing Down South?

One of the biggest challenges in the lure industry is that you have to prove that your bait is different and has a place in peoples’ tackle boxes. The only way you can do that is by fishing with it, and getting it into the hands of reputable fishermen. Once they see that the bait has merit, they will begin to purchase your lure. It’s very hard to get fisherman to switch from something they have been throwing successfully for years.

Another surprise to me was that it was extremely hard to get shelf space. Going into it, I figured that if I had a good product with professional packaging, I would be granted pegs. That’s not the case at all. People have to ask for your products over and over. Then you can get a spot on the wall in a tackle shop.

Michael Naymik with a 23.3″ Galveston flounder caught on Down South Lures.

What is your personal favorite DSL lure/rigging?

I’m pretty simple. I like a 1/4 oz. or 1/8 oz. 3/0 jighead rigged with either the original Southern Shad or the Super Model XL. I throw various colors, depending on the water clarity. If I had to pick one color for all clarity it would be Chicken of the C.

What colors and riggings are best for the super DSL for big trout in the winter?

I like to go with as light a jighead as possible considering the conditions. If it is windy, or the current is moving pretty good you may have to use a little heavier jighead.  If you notice that your lure is not getting down to the bottom, and there is a big bow in your slack line, you need to go heavier. My personal favorite “big fish” colors are Red Shad, True Plum, Key Lime, and Howell’s Strawberry Wine.

What kind of retrieve do you recommend when fishing DSLs?

Retrieves can vary with the conditions as well. My personal all-around favorite is to let the bait sink to the bottom and then retrieve with a twitch, twitch, pause cadence. I think fish are more reactionary feeders, and that they do not over think when feeding. That’s how they have survived this long. The twitch, twitch, pause resembles a classic “two hop” shrimp escape. Though my bait more resembles a fish swimming, or an eel escaping to the bottom, I always think that the most natural movements get the most strikes. You will notice that most of your bites will be when this bait is falling.

Do you have a favorite fishing moment? Could be a big fish or trophy but also a special fish or situation.

I have a bunch that stick out, but probably my favorite was when I was when I located some big trout while prefishing for a redfish tournament in Galveston. I was throwing my baits against a stretch of rocky shoreline. There was a lot of bait activity on that particular rock line point, so I fired my Chicken of the C in there and caught a 5 pounder. The next cast was another solid 5 pounder. I just eased away and told myself, “I’m bringing my girlfriend here first thing in the morning.”

We got up early, and I told her I was not going to fish, just run the trolling motor. We eased up to the point and she caught 3 fish very quickly to 4 pounds on a pink MirrOlure She Dog (She loves topwater and the conditions were perfect for it.) As we approached to honey hole, I told her to cast right by that one larger rock that had a wash out behind it. She gave it a perfect cast, and within 6 twitches she had a major explosion. It ended up being her largest trout ever measuring 28.5 inches. She said, let’s quit on that cast, but I wanted a flounder for lunch. We agreed to try for 15 minutes pitching around some rocks in a spot where I have caught them before. It was only 50 yards away from the trout spot. Within 5 minutes I had the solid thump of a flounder right by the boat on my Chicken of the C lure. I set the hook, and all hell broke loose. It was a big red! I told my girlfriend to get the net because I saw how many spots it had on its side. It was absolutely covered. I told her whatever you do, do not miss this fish! I’ll never hook one like this again. She got it on the first swipe. It measured 31.5 inches and had 144 spots on it. I took close up photos of both sides of the fish, and released the beauty for someone else to catch.  We never made another cast that morning. I racked the trolling motor up and we headed back to the dock. The moral of the story is, I’ve had better days with numbers of fish, but we both broke personal records that day.

This big trout was caught on a Key Lime Super Model in Mansfield with Capt. Daniel Land.

What’s your favorite place you have fished?

If I had to pick one bay system in Texas, it would be Port Mansfield. The vast grass flats are just too appealing. The deep reefs and rocks of Galveston are a close second in the state. Poling for permit in the Florida Keys is my favorite out of state adventure.

Aside from fishing, what else are you passionate about?

When I’m not fishing, I like to hang out with friends, watch football, and BBQ while enjoying a cold beverage. We enjoy going deer hunting when we get a chance as well. Recently, I have become more intrigued with deer hunting, so my tournament partner and I have secured a deer lease in south Texas for next year.

Is there any Down South Lure news or upcoming events you’d like to let our readers know about?

Yes, always be on the lookout for new and innovating products and colors that we are working on releasing. Give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram to see all the updates. We post everything up there, and feature exceptional catches on our page. As always, we will have a booth at the Houston Boat Show in January, The All Valley Boat Show in McAllen in February, and The Houston Fishing Show in March. We always have our lures and apparel on special at these shows, so come by and get a deal. In addition, we will be doing some raffles and drawings for people that stop by at these shows. As always, you can shop all of our products at www.downsouthlures.com. See you guys soon and tight lines.

The Changing Fishing Patterns Experienced in 2017

kellyspec The Changing Fishing Patterns Experienced in 2017

Gulf Coast Mariner’s Kelly Groce caught this 26 inch, 7 pound trout on artificial in East Matagorda Bay.

By Capt. Joe Kent

Fall fishing in the Galveston Bay Complex has been undergoing changes for several years now.  The biggest factor contributing to the changes has been the warmer weather over this period of time.

Likely, the most noticeable change has been in the late migration of flounder.  Another area that has evidenced this change is trout action in the upper bays.

For fall fishing patterns to get into full swing, the water temperature needs to fall below 70 degrees.  Each year, September is looked upon as being a transition month, when at some point during the month our first cold front of the season crosses the Texas Coast.  Most years we would see ambient temperatures fall into the upper 40s and lower 50s for a short period of time; however, it would be long enough to send signals to fish to get moving.

In recent years, water temperatures have barely fallen below 80 degrees in September, which continues the summertime mentality in fish.  This year it was well into October before the Galveston Bay Complex got into the low 70s.

By October, flounder should start showing signs of movement and trout action in Trinity and other bays would pick up.  Bird action has been one of the traits of October, as seagulls would work the bays feeding upon shrimp driven to the surface by schools of feeding fish, usually speckled trout.

A number of anglers sent notes or called in expressing concern over the lack of activity on specks and flounder.  Now, while there were those concerns over two of the big three, reds continued to offer excellent action.  September is usually prime time for reds around the jetties and in the surf and 2017 was no exception.  In fact bull and slot reds saved the day for fishermen during September and October.

We just have not had the strong cold fronts to hit until after October.  Until a few make their way here, fall fishing patterns will not get into full swing.

A good example of how the weather patterns have changed and affected fishing was in the new flounder regulations that came out several years ago.  Known as the Special November Rules which limit the bag limit on flounder to two fish and prohibit gigging for flounder, they applied only to the month of November.

Early on, it was noted that the annual flounder migration, for which the rules were designed to protect, continued well into December.  When written, the flounder run usually peaked around Thanksgiving and was followed by a steady decline of fish moving out of the bays.

Soon, the rules were extended to mid-December, as the migration continued well into December.  Interestingly, the Special November Rule prohibiting taking flounder by gigging ended December 1 but the two-fish limit continued.

One of the most experienced Galveston area flounder guides, a long time fisherman who has been keeping logs on flounder for decades, always said that the peak of the flounder run occurred between the Full Moons of October and November.  A few years ago, he revised his observation and pushed it forward due to the warmer weather.  Now the peak is between the Full Moons of November and December.

While the flounder run is the most obvious change, speck action follows close behind, as now we are seeing the fall pattern start in November and run well into December or early January.

January 2018 should be an interesting month for fishing if we do not have any significant freezes beforehand. While most flounder will have migrated each year there will remain a number of flounder that decide to stay in the bays.  The key is food.  If bait is available, we will see them hang around until enough marsh emptying northers blow through to send the small fin fish and crustaceans to deeper waters.

At that time, trout will be starting their winter patterns.

A New Beginning

Cruzfish2017 A New Beginning

Mike Johnson, Juan and Addie Cruz after a good day with Capt. Dillman.

By Capt. David C. Dillman

Spec-tacular Trout Adventures832-228-8012

can’t tell you how many times lately I have heard the phrase: “ I will be glad when this year is over.” For all of us that live on the coast of Texas, this is so true. South Texas coastal residents are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Here on the Upper Coast, the destruction left by the flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey is still daunting. What has become a normal routine is still not “normal” for a lot of us that reside on the coast of Texas.

What is normal? The first two weeks of January is the annual Houston Boat, Sport and Travel Show. In its 63rd year, the show begins January 5, 2018 and runs through January 14. It is the largest indoor show of its type on the Gulf Coast. It features something for everyone that attends. I will be at the Eagle Point Fishing Camp booth during the show. While you are there, please stop by and say hello!

Maintain Your Ride

January/February is the time to get your boat ready for the upcoming season. Before one knows it, springtime on the Upper Coast will be here. You should perform all your required maintenance on the boat and engine. If it needs to go to a repair facility, don’t hesitate. They get busy and the earlier you get it in, the better chance it will be ready by March. If you are mechanically inclined, order all your parts now. They can become scarce during high demand times.

Hot Cold Fishing

On the fishing scene, the trout population is really good. However, there is a noted decrease in the overall size. TP&W has deemed the trout fishery is good and recommended no changes in the current bag limits this coming year.

The catches of redfish have been “off the chart.” Redfish have been plentiful throughout our bay system, along with sheepshead and black drum.

This January/February, fishing should continue to be good, before and after cold fronts. The Northwest reaches and the West side of Galveston Bay will offer your best opportunity for speckled trout and redfish. As the sun rises and sets, this side of the bay receives the most sunlight. The water remains a tad bit warmer than other areas of the bay, thus holding the fish. Also, during passages of cold fronts, the adjacent water is deeper and offers protection to the fish. Eagle Point up to the Seabrook Flats, Sylvan Beach, Tabbs, Burnett and Scott Bays will be the places to fish. West Galveston Bay will also see its fair share of fish.

Live shrimp this time of year will be in short supply. Few, if any bait camps will have some, much less even be open. You can always call Eagle Point Fishing Camp to check on their bait supply. Usually, they hold live shrimp all year. Hopefully we will have a “mild” winter, and avoid a major freeze!

Warming Drinks and Food Bowls

By Betha Merit

Houston, we had snow! And what a year it was. We started with hosting the Super Bowl, went on to survive Hurricane Harvey, won the World Series and then had snow that delighted hearts with our winter wonderland morning after. Bottom line for this column is that we got to enjoy some cold weather. And now we need some warming up.

There are a great variety of hot drinks to be enjoyed, and a touch of hooch make them especially fun to be shared with friends or when entertaining. One of my favorites is heating up eggnog and sprinkling with nutmeg then adding a shot of whiskey or rum. Many hot drink recipes can be made without the alcohol if you have minors in the crowd.

My friends know me for cooking healthy, simple one pot dinners, a lot. They are easy, filling, feel warm in the hands while eating, and have been dubbed as, “pure sustenance.” The basic recipe is to brown a pound of ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef, bison, lamb, etc.), add spices and herbs to the browning with a dollop of olive oil. Then cut up and toss any veggies from the fridge into the pot, or add bags of frozen veggies from the freezer. Additional items might be quinoa, wild rice, potatoes or sweet potatoes. These last additions may be pre-cooked or added raw to the browned meat and veggies; you just adjust the water amount for what you add. If pre-cooked, you may add the veggies and any of the extras with a few tablespoons of water and cover with a lid.

bison bowl Warming Drinks and Food Bowls

One-Pot Bison Bowl

  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of your favorite dried green herb (thyme, dillweed, basil, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 3 small Mexican gray squash, chopped (any green squash will work)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice blend
  • 2-4 Tablespoons water or any broth
  • 1/2 bag of frozen kale
  • salt and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet sized pan, drizzle olive oil as pan heats. Brown bison, onion and garlic on medium to high heat until crumbly. Add herbs and spices and optional tomato paste. When blended, lower to medium heat and move the meat to the edges of the pan to form a circle with an open middle, add the squash and frozen kale to the pan, pouring the liquid over the top and covering with a lid. After about 20 minutes of good simmering, add the cooked rice and stir everything together. Cook another few minutes, adding liquid if needed. Salt and pepper to taste.

tequila hot chocolate Warming Drinks and Food Bowls

 

Tequila Hot Chocolate

  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 6 ounces hot chocolate (your choice on how you make it)
  • 1-3 Tablespoons whipped cream
  • dash of chili powder for garnish.

Add tequila and hot chocolate to a glass. Garnish with a hearty dollop of whipped cream and a dash of chili powder.

Warm-You-Up Hot Toddy

  • Boiling Water
  • about 5 whole cloves per drink
  • 1 lemon wheel
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces scotch (or any whiskey)

Fill a mug with boiling water and let stand to heat up. Meanwhile stick the cloves in the lemon wheel. Now empty the mug and fill just over half way with fresh boiling water. Add the brown sugar, stirring to dissolve. Add the lemon wheel and stir. Now add the lemon juice and scotch and stir once more. May remove the lemon wheel and attach to side of mug.

1st Annual Ladies’ Night at West Marine Rig Shop

judy mission WM 1st Annual Ladies’ Night at West Marine Rig Shop

Kemah West Marine’s check presented to Judy’s Mission.

West Marine in Kemah hosted Ladies’ Night in the Rig Shop, and a benefit for Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation on Thursday, Nov. 9. It was an evening filled with education, fund-raising and good times to empower women to be confident boaters, to connect ladies with a shared passion of being on the water and to educate them (along with their first officers who attended) about early symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation was created in 2010 to honor Judith (Judy) Liebenthal Robinson, Ph.D., a NASA scientist and avid sailor at Lakewood Yacht Club. Despite habitual exercise, a consistently healthy diet, and regular medical examinations, Judy was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer and died within a year. While battling ovarian cancer, it was Judy’s mission to raise awareness about the vague symptoms and ineffective screening procedures associated with ovarian cancer. She inspired all who knew her; and as a result, friends (many from Lakewood Yacht Club) came together to create the Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Along with lots of food, and spirits provided by cosponsor Railean Distillery of San Leon, West Marine Rigging associates Suzanne Kutach and Randi Miller taught knot tying and dock-line instruction, while Rigging associate Josh Gray (with his wife Angie) spiced up the evening in ‘Pirate’ regalia.

rigging table 1st Annual Ladies’ Night at West Marine Rig Shop

Knot tying and dock line instruction at the rigging table.

With ‘Rigging Solutions’ donated by the West Marine Rig Shop (Tide-Minder Soft Shackles, Dyneema Cleat- Extender Loops and Shackles, and Sailboat Rigging Inspections), as well as donations from the 2017 Harvest Moon Regatta, $1,255 was raised in silent auction for Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

“Although Ladies’ Night was our first event of its kind,” said West Marine Rig Shop Manager Franklin Viola, “The overwhelming enthusiasm and support by local lady sailors will certainly not make it the last!”

Plastic in Paradise Part II: Microplastics

plastic shard Plastic in Paradise Part II: Microplastics

Colorful, tiny and abundant, microplastics enter the marine system as fragments, film, fiber and microbeads and may stay in the ocean for thousands of years. (Photo courtesy University of Florida IFAS Extension, Florida Microplastic Awareness Project)

It may be in the oysters we eat, the water we drink and in the air we breathe.  There’s no magic way of getting rid of it.  And, it seems the Gulf of Mexico’s most pervasive plastic pollutant may be literally on our backs.

By Janice Van Dyke Walden

For years, scientists have reported on the extent of plastic pollution in far-off places of the world.  But a new effort is revealing just how extensive “plastic soup” is in the Gulf of Mexico.  In the first citizen-scientist effort to document the extent of microplastic pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, volunteers and scientists are finding that these permanent fragments are in nearly every sample they take.

The low-level collection method of dipping one-liter water bottles and collecting sediment in one-gallon bags is also showing that microplastics are just as extensive in urban areas as they are in remote locations of the Gulf.

2017 10 09 09.07.07 300x300 Plastic in Paradise Part II: Microplastics

Plastic fibers float in a sample collected in Galveston. Photo courtesy Turtle Island Restoration Network, Galveston.

Microscopic trash

Most microplastics are created when sunlight or wave action breaks down larger pieces of plastic debris into tiny, even microscopic bits.  Colorful and abundant, they enter the marine system as fragments, film, fiber and microbeads.  Lifted in the air, washed from our landfills, or drained from our sinks and washing machines, they end up in our oceans for thousands of years where marine life ingest or adhere to it.

Through a microscope, Theresa Morris has observed baby shells living among microplastics and algae living in Styrofoam.  As a citizen-scientist coordinator based in Galveston with the Turtle Island Restoration Network, she’s one of the scientists involved in creating a more complete picture about the extent of microplastics in the Gulf of Mexico.  “The research is so new, we don’t know how bad it is,” she admits.  Although Morris and volunteers have analyzed just a few samples on Galveston’s beach, she’s convinced that more investigation needs to be done with funding behind it.  Each sample she’s examined contains some form of microplastic.

In the course of her PhD thesis, Caitlin Wessel has seen microplastics in hundreds of samples she’s collected, from the Texas-Mexico border to the Florida Keys.  As she   finishes her doctorate, Wessel works as the Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program based in Mobile, Alabama.  Her two years of degree work collecting samples from water, beach sand and coastal shelf material show just how prevalent tiny bits of plastic are, even in the most unlikely locations.

Wessel got curious about microplastics four years ago during a moment offshore Louisiana.  While helping a fellow grad student off Louisiana’s uninhabited Chandeleur Islands, Wessel found herself picking bits of plastic out of seagrass cores.  It’s not what she expected to find 30 miles offshore at the nation’s second oldest National Wildlife Refuge.  “That got me thinking,” Wessel recalls.  “This is supposed to be a pristine habitat, but there’s all this trash out here.”

Volunteers dipping one-liter bottles are finding microplastics in the most remote locations of the Gulf Coast. (Photo courtesy University of Florida IFAS Extension, Florida Microplastic Awareness Project)

Fiber, fiber everywhere

Around that same time, Dr. Maia Patterson McGuire started wondering if microbeads were present in the ecosystem she works in.  Found in toothpaste and exfoliate healthcare products, the tiny beads of plastic rinse off, go down the drain and into the stream chain.  Because they are so tiny, most wastewater treatment facilities pass microbeads.  When McGuire, a University of Florida Marine Biologist, began her citizen-science investigation in 2015, there was no law forbidding the production of microbeads, and not very much was known about their impact on marine life.  With a grant from NOAA, McGuire trained and equipped 16 partner organizations that organized 130 volunteers to collect water samples along the entire coast of Florida.  McGuire was looking for the tiny microbeads.  Instead, she found a different, more prevalent plastic: plasticized fiber, the kind used in synthetic clothing and other products.

“It could be nylon, it could be acrylic, it could be polyester, it could be the plant-based plastics like rayon or a polymer that is made from cellulose, but still a plasticized product,” says McGuire.  Without access to more precise equipment, “we can’t tell just what kind of fiber it is,” she says.  But what she does know is that the fiber is manmade, it’s widespread, and it’s not going away.  “There seems to be an equal-opportunity of finding plastics in water samples regardless of where they are collected.”

Erik Sparks agrees.  At Mississippi State University, he is the collection point for all the samples taken in this citizen-scientist project.  Working with Morris, Wessel, McGuire and other partners along the Gulf Coast, he’s seen the results of hundreds of samples, from Corpus Christi, Texas to the Florida Keys.  In the two years of data reporting, Sparks is finding that “at least 90% of the microplastics have been fibers.  By far, the most abundant microplastics are microfibers that come off of polyester clothing.”

Clothe the world

With only so much land on earth to produce cotton and wool, polyester fiber is filling the gap, clothing a world population expected to exceed 9 billion people by 2050.   As the population soars, so does polyester production.  In the last 20 years, polyester production increased five times to 50 million tons per year.   In the next 8 years, it’s expected to nearly double to an all time high.

Fibers in bivalves

That’s not good news for the Gulf of Mexico where oysters and other bivalves live and ingest the “plastic soup”.  When they filter microplastic-infused water, plastic can stay lodged in bivalve tissue.  No one knows for how long.  Of the oysters that Caitlin Wessel found in Mobile Bay, 25% contained 3 to 5 bits of microplastic.  Beyond its disturbing presence in tissue, microplastics are also known to interfere with the reproductive and offspring performance of oysters.  A study published by the National Academy of Sciences in March 2016 explains that Pacific oysters exposed for two months to polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) experienced decreases in diameter, oocyte number and sperm velocity.

And, microplastics’ adverse interaction is not limited to oysters.  It appears to affect all levels of aquatic life.  A 2017 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows that in lab results dating to 1991, aquatic organisms experienced at least one impact through interaction with microplastics.   The impacts range up the aquatic food chain from adherence in algae to liver toxicity in fish.

That kind of exposure may affect humans.  “As plastics break down, they leach toxins that are very bad for you,” says Morris, “Like PBCs.  They’re carcinogenic.  They cause mutations in fetuses.  They also cause a lot of physiological complications in your endocrine system.  Fish eat them, and so, when you eat fish,” she explains, “you are eating meat that has had these plastic toxins leached into the meat.  The research is so new; we don’t know if this is what is causing people to come down with cancer.”

Given the recent spotlight on microplastics in the media, there’s still no ceasing the trend of more people on earth.  So, the demand for plastic will be there where natural resources are spare.  Which means, microplastics will be in the Gulf of Mexico a long, long time.  “There’s no feasible way to remove microplastics from the water without basically removing every piece of life from the water,” says McGuire.  And, if that were to happen, we’d no longer have an ocean.

TAKE THE PLEDGE

McGuire used her citizen-scientist investigation to form the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project.  Each volunteer takes a pledge. You can, too.

  • Read labels on personal care products and avoid those that contain polyethylene.
  • Use paper or re-useable shopping bags.
  • Avoid using plastic drinking straws.
  • Bringing your own water bottle or drinking cup instead of buying single-use plastic beverage bottles.
  • Instead of Styrofoam, bring your own washable hot drink cup.
  • Use foil or a washable container as a to-go box.
  • Recycle as many plastic items as possible.
  • Instead of nylon, acrylic and polyester, choose more natural fabrics.

Find it at www.plasticaware.org.

HYC Youth Sailor Brings Home the Gold from China

Charlotte Rose HYC Youth Sailor Brings Home the Gold from China

Charlotte Rose – Sanya, China. Photo by Thomas Miya/Sailing Energy.

Houston Yacht Club’s Youth Sailor and US Youth World Champion, Charlotte Rose, recently returned from Sanya, China where she won the Gold Medal in the Youth World Championship competing against 374 of the world’s best youth sailors from 60 nations.

Rose raced against defending champions, Dolores Moreira Fraschini, (URU and the 2017 Youth Radial World Champion, Hannah Anderssohn (GER), pulling out to dominate the 40-boat competition.

“After a tough week of racing the fact I am a World Champion has still not set in. I find myself still astounded by my achievement even with all the best wishes and recognition I have received,” Rose said.

“It was a tough last race to win gold but I did it. I knew what I needed to do and I did it. I am especially grateful for my coaches, Rosie Chapman and Leandro Spina of US Sailing, for believing in me. I am very grateful for HYC for their positive thoughts and support from afar. The utmost thanks goes to my family who have and always believed in me and supported my dream I cannot thank them enough, they earned this gold medal too,” Rose added.

Rose earned her spot in the World Championships as the only single-handed sailor on the US Youth World Team through hard work, determination and finishing at the top in the most competitive national regattas during 2017.

Rose is a senior attending Westside High School in Houston. She has sailed in a wide variety of national and international sailing competitions including representing the USA in the International Laser Radial Youth Worlds competition in Canada, where she placed 3rd in the Under 17 category.

To learn more about the Houston Yacht Club, please visit: www.houstonyachtclub.com