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12/29/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Marshall Islands

Missing But Not Out of Action…

I was skyping from Fiji with my very good friend and sometimes shipmate, Leslie, just before I left and she asked whether or not I would be taking crew along for the 1,600 mile, transequatorial passage across “Cyclone Alley” from the Fiji Islands to the Marshall Islands. I replied that no, I would be singlehanding. “Singlehanding is sooo boring”, she skyped back. She does have a point there as singlehanding can get pretty dull at times. I have sailed solo well in excess of 10,000 miles (which is not a lot by some standards) and boring is not always that bad. In fact I prefer being bored to, for example, all hell breaking loose! Any day! Another thing about sailing alone is that I don’t have to feel responsible for the life or well being of crew members when things get rough. If anything should go terribly wrong out there it is only myself that I have to deal with. Finding “good” crew is not always easy, either. Having someone on board a small yacht for an extended period of time who grates on your nerves is not a happy place to be. I have been blessed with some excellent companions in the past and I appreciate their company very much. They can sail with me again any time. Leslie, Joby, Lisa, Kyle, Captain Pete… You know who you are, thanks a lot.

The second day out from Fiji my SSB/Ham Radio gave up the ghost. This was very disappointing at the start of a two week trip as it is my only means of communication with the rest of the world. I had set up radio skeds (schedules) with two informal sailors networks and they expected me to check in with them twice a day to report my position, weather details and general condition. Well that wasn’t going to happen now and I was worried that lack of communication from the good ship “Deev” would set off a lot of concern on their part as no one would hear from me until I arrive in port. It also left me in a position where I could get no marine weather forecasts and in the event of a major problem onboard I would not be able to put out a distress call or a call for assistance. I was on my own.

Like everything else on the boat the radio is at least 10 years old and it was used when I bought it. Other radio operators have told me that I should upgrade to a newer, more modern set and one with modem and email capabilities. But let’s face it… I’m just too cheap to give up on something just because it’s obsolete! (Heck, some say that I’m obsolete!) It had been working fine all along except for some automatic tuning difficulties which I had repaired in the States. It was working nicely and while it was on and I was waiting for the scheduled contact it went absolutely silent. No more noise on receive and no output on transmission. Just like that, zero, zilch, nada. There was still power to it and it was lit up but it was dead. I tore it apart and put it back together again twice looking for a simple solution to its silence but to no avail. Bummer…

Merry Christmas Everyone!

As of this moment and this paragraph I am writing this at sea and underway on Christmas Day! Merry Christmas one and all! Ho, Ho, Ho!!!

It is 3:00 in the afternoon and I am grinding out the miles under power. Yesterday the wind and currents turned against me and it started to appear that I was not making any forward progress at all. In fact I was actually losing ground! Then the wind became very light, although still in my face, and the seas have laid down. The adverse current also moderated and I have been making decent progress toward Majuro under power. With less than 500 miles to go I may have enough fuel to get there at this rate but then again, possibly not. Hopefully the prevailing Northeasterly Trades will reestablish themselves and send me on my way without having to motor. Another option is to pull into the capital of Kiribati (The Gilbert Islands), Tarawa, and pick up fuel there while waiting for the wind direction to change. I am currently just east of the Gilbert Island chain at 0 degrees, 45 minutes North and 174 degrees, 30 minutes East.

More to follow…

Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands

After one day of adverse conditions (see previous paragraph) I found the Tradewinds…

I’m now in Majuro and anchored up. All is well on board. It seems that the failure of my radio and subsequent lack of radio contacts created a bit of a stir around here. But those that knew me and the boat remarked that they thought that I would be all right and that it was more than likely that my radio had failed. It was felt that if I did not check in within another couple of days an alarm would be posted and perhaps a search initiated! That alarm would have been posted three days from now. I certainly thank everyone for their concern and support. Once again, all’s well that ends well!



Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

12/26/09 - Capt. Brad Philipps - Decisive - Guatemala Report

Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - Christmas Fish Report - 2009

Where the year goes is difficult to say, the festive season is on us and it seems like just yesterday that we were writing the last fishing update. November and December has seen some good fishing, with a steady pick of sailfish, great weather and flat seas. Recently announced is that Capt. Brad Philipps won The Billfish Foundations top award of Overall Release Captain of the Year for 2008/2009 and also the Top Pacific Sailfish release Captain of the Year. Both these awards he has won for the past 8 years running and attests to the quality of Guatemala's fishery and the crew on the 'Decisive'.

November saw us start with 41 sailfish releases for Gary Hughes and friends. Scott Lund, a.k.a. Dr. Dog, released 6 on the fly and 4 on spin on the 4th, with Alex Palazio and friends releasing 17 from 22 sailfish two days thereafter.

Dr. Dog was back with his friends Brian and Jessica on the 16th and 17th to enjoy the golf at Antigua Golf Resort and a steady pick of sails on the fly, spin and conventional tackle.

Mike Viveiros, Dell Dembosky and Craig Johnson fished the 19th as a warm-up to the annual PCCA tournament which started on the 20th. With a slow day of pre-fishing we ran in the opposite direction to the fleet on the first day of tournament fishing to find the fish and release 13 sails and a feisty 275 pound blue marlin for Dell, to jump team 'Decisive' into a day one lead. Day two saw the fleet piled around us but with a steady pick and 14 releases we went into the final day with a few fish lead. The final day saw us a little out of sorts, missing some fish and without our usual fish raising hummm, to let victory slip from our grasp in the dying hour to finish with 10 releases and a solid second placed finish and many trophies for the team and it's anglers.

The 28th of November through the 1st of December saw the Texas couple of Chris Keese and Theresa McClendon with us. The fishing was good, averaging 15 plus raises a day although many a fish proved finicky in getting them to eat the fly, but with the ever ready ballyhoo on the spin rod a fun time was had pulling on a bunch of sailfish. When all was said and done, both anglers had released sailfish on the fly, spin and conventional tackle to make for an outstanding trip.

Joe O'Brien along with his boss Jon Sharp of England were all over the sailfish from the 3rd through till the 6th of December. They averaged over 30 raises a day with between 5 and 7 releases on the fly and up to 14 on the spin rod each day, with Jon catching his first billfish on the long wand. A serious freshwater fishermen, Jon commented latter that after releasing one of his fish on the fly, a particularly large 125lb plus fish, he'd been overwhelmed with emotion at the extent of what he'd just achieved and at the unbelievable joy the entire experience had brought him......well this is what it's all about.......... and sharing this with us over dinner that night really made us all feel very special. Nothing makes us happier at Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures than to hear compliments of this nature, thank you Jon!!

Dr. Dog was back with us the 6th and 7th with plenty of sailfish on the fly and spin rod as well as some dorado.

The bite slowed a little over the next week although anglers were still kept busy with their share of action.

Miguel Ricart and Romel Marranzini joined us the 18th of December to see fishing pick up releasing 17 form 27 bites and miss a blue. Manuel Tavares, his son Raúl, and Eduardo Reid and his son Horacio, joined their Dominican friends on the 19th sharing the 'Decisive' and 'Circle hook' with the 'Decisive' finding a late bite to release 19 from 25 bites, and some yellowfin and dorado. The next day the 'Decisive' again pulled the magic rabbit out the hat at the end of the day to release 11 from 15 sails and raise a big blue that would not hang around. The 21st saw lots of bird life and deep blue water but only a handful of sailfish. The highlight was a 100lb striped marlin on 20lb, a first for Manuel, nice going!!

It's now time for a short holiday break, so to all our wonderful clients, anglers, friends, family and generous sponsors we wish you all a Blessed Christmas, joyous New Year and all the compliments of the festive season.

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

Capt. Brad Philipps
Email Cindy and Brad Philipps: email

12/19/09 - Capt. James Barnes - Bermuda/Jeddah, Saudia Arabia Report

Hi All,

My apologies for not being in touch the past few weeks but it was extremely busy in Saudi trying to get the workload finished on the Lam Tara, which, thankfully, was finished on Tuesday enabling me to depart for Bermuda on Wednesday to visit my family for the holidays. I'll be here until the 30th when I head back over arriving on the 1st. I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!!!


12/14/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour Stop - Fiji

Ahoy and Bula Crew!!

The cyclone passed. The eye of the storm, a category 2, passed just a few miles north of us. There is a lot of flooding and wind damage on the island but, all things considered, we got off lightly. The islands power grid and phone system are temporarily down.

The marina suffered very little damage and no boats were damaged. The Deev is in fine nick and I hope to make a dash for the equator and the Marshall Islands in the next 24 hours. I have no email onboard the Deev so dont figure on another contact from me for at least 3 weeks. Cheers,


Editor's Note: We're glad you made it through ok Chuck. Safe trip north to the Marshall Islands.

12/13/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour Stop - Fiji

Bula Crew!

Hold on to your hats, matey's! The barometer just plunged and it's blowing like hell. So much rain that I can't see across the marina.
So I'm cooking up a nice fish curry.
So far, so good...
I am very glad that I am not at sea right now!
Hang On!
Batten Down The Hatches

Ahoy Crew and Bula!

click on image to enlarge

I am sure glad that I was paying attention to the weather situation recently! Watching the developing low pressure system that was just northwest of Fiji had put me on my guard and I decided to let it pass before I left...

I am still in the marina as we speak and the low pressure system has turned into Cyclone Mick and is bearing down on us and continuing to intensify!

There is already much rain and flooding with high winds in parts of Fiji. So far all is well here at Vuda Marina. We are in a very protected place, in fact I believe it to be the best cyclone hole around. Plus there is a bar here for those "Cyclone Cocktails" (for medicinal purposes only). Find Chuck at the bar in Fiji

I don't know how long the power will last here or how long the internet connection will remain so I'll send this off ASAP.

Further updates to follow...

All is well,

Cheers and Batten Down The Hatches!


12/12/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour Stop - Fiji

Ahoy Crew and Bula!

Tropical Lows and Blues (Blue Marlin, that is…)

I’ve got the Deev just about ready for the1800 mile passage north to the Marshall Islands. I was considering spending some more time in Fiji this time around but after conferring with my weather gurus I decided not to wait much longer as the weather situation can continue to deteriorate as the Tropical Cyclone Season advances. Unfortunately there is a low pressure system just north of Fiji as we speak that lies right in my path to the Marshalls. This system has the potential to develop into the first named storm of the season! I’ll wait and see… After this one rolls by there should be a clear weather window for my trip. As I said, I’ll wait and see…

I waited for two days and today is Saturday the 12th of December (Friday for all of you on the other side of the dateline. The low pressure system is moving past us as we speak. The weather models showed 35 knot winds and 16 foot seas where I wanted to go and then wind from the north which I don’t want at all. It’s very pleasant sitting it out here in the marina. My plan is to leave tomorrow morning, just behind the low pressure system and I hope to have fair winds and following seas as I make a dash through what is called “Cyclone Alley” and on past the equator.

Meanwhile some of my friends from the Marshalls are here in Fiji to attend a wedding and they have stopped by to visit me for a couple of days before they head to Savu Savu on the second largest island in Fiji, Vanua Levu. The Commodore of our yacht club in the Marshalls, Cary Evart, and his wife, the journalist Karen Evart arrived here Saturday. Our pal Neal Skinner will be in, Monday. And Dennis arrived Tuesday. Some of you know these folks well. For those of you who don’t know these guys let’s just say that they are a good bunch. I worked for Neal last year while I was in the Marshalls and he has asked me to work for him again. He said that he’s got some interesting projects in mind. Last year it was solar power systems and water purification projects. I can’t wait to see what he has in mind for this year! An eco-resort perhaps?

I have really enjoyed my stay in Fiji and am sorry to be leaving. I’m thinking that I may come back this way next year. You never can tell… I just barely scratched the surface of Fiji on this trip so there is a lot more to see and do… I’m thinking 6 months in the Marshalls and 6 months in Fiji. What’s wrong with that?

I have been inquiring about the fishing in the offshore waters and I’ve been told that there are good numbers of Blue Marlin, Black Marlin. Striped Marlin and Sailfish with the Blues being the predominant species although most seen and caught are small males and the big females are seldom seen. But you know that if a lot of the boys are around the girls must be in the mix somewhere, too. There are some very reasonable island resorts in the outer islands that are close to good fishing grounds and could work as a good base for further exploration. For those of you who are interested in the topic a Google search for Sport Fishing Fiji will lead you to some very good websites including the Denarau Game and Sportfishing Club, The Royal Suva Yacht Club Game Fishing Association and Gamefishing Fiji.

That’s it for now, Crew. I hope to be off tomorrow morning. I’m all fueled up, iced up, watered up and provisioned and I’m chomping at the bit to go.

Cheers and Carry On!


Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

12/11/09 - Joe Ramirez - SF Little Elo - San Juan, Puerto Rico Report

Saludos Jimmy,

Just to say hi and wish you all a happy holidays plus inform you of a good end of the year fishing out of San Juan, Club Nautico.

Saturday November 7 , Fishing close to shore in front of San Juan hotel area between 1 mile and 3 mile out raised two sails release one. A lot of boats connecting on sails in very shallow water and weather extremely calm.

Saturday November 14, Decided to venture 20 to 30 miles out searching for marlin weed , 1 blue 140lb and one white , a lot of mahi and wahoo. November weather very calm in the north of Puerto Rico.

Saturday November 21, one blue 90lb mahi and wahoo

Monday November 23, The weather good went 20 to 30 miles out , full basket of meat fish plus one white and 2/2 blues +-160lb

Wednesday November 25, 1/3 blue marlin 200lb fish very healthy gave a 2hour plus fight hooked on the bill, most of the fight close an deep of the boat in light tackle

We became mostly weekend fishermens this past year. Although the economy was down work was high and kept us grounded monday through friday and close to our homeport at Nautico de San Juan.

Wishing you the best for all you guys in St Thomas for the next coming year,

Joe Ramirez
Little Elo

12/09/09 - Capt. Fatty Goodlander - SV Wild Card - Phuket, Thailand

Happy Holidays from the crew of Wild Card…

We are happy to report our recent haul-out went well. It had been 2.5 years since we were out of the water so it was a big, barnacle-busting job but, thankfully, there were no big surprises. We hauled at Rebak Marine in Langkawi—and our vessel was treated like a Faberge egg. We slapped on $1,400 worth of paint and managed to relaunch in 14 days despite the fact that it rained each and every day… often two or three times.

We had a horrible scare when our engine wouldn’t rev upon relaunch—it must have picked up the giant tarp which was wrapped around the prop within seconds of being splashed… anyway, coming into the slip with fresh paint and no reverse was a tad nail biting. (Hint: aim for something soft and cheap!)

Once afloat again, we returned to Kuah (on Langkawi, Malaysia) to help our local friend Amanda get her new coffee house off the ground. She is a Malay gal who went to college in the States—and was a manager at Starbucks. Now she owns her own thriving coffee shop—which is rapidly becoming the place to be on Langkawi... if you are a coffee addict as I am.

I played guitar there almost every night for weeks. Amazingly, I was joined by Nashville songwriter Gene Nelson, the country picker who wrote “18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses” (and seven other million sellers). We had a ball… well, I certain had a ball playing with someone of his caliber and he made the songs I’ve written sound like million sellers too.

Gene is circumnavigating on his C&C 48 Emelia with his two teenage sons.

We made dozens and dozens of local friends—went to weddings and grand openings and Muslim parties, etc—in the year we headquartered out of this area. Lovely people. Very honest. Very generous.

We also bumped into Jurgen and Sabine of Rockall who just recently were captured by Somali pirates and held for 52 days (constantly being threatened with death and worst-than-death) before someone paid 1.5 million Euros for their release. (No, they don’t know who.)

Their boat was looted so badly… no engine, no sails, no boom. Nothing remained functioning after both the pirates and then the ‘police’ got done stripping it.

…perhaps the thing which drove Jurgen the craziest was that the pirates were so primitive that they didn’t use the stove on his boat… just built a fire on deck and fed it with bits of varnished mahogany crow-barred from his interior. (Yes, I have a story about this coming out in Cruising World soon.)

Finally, after a year in Malaysia, we sailed up to Phuket, Thailand, with a family friend named David Galbraith from New England. He turned out to be a fast learner and was great crew.

Currently we are anchored in Naiharn, Thailand, on the island of Phuket.

Within the month, we’ll be heading west across the 3,000+mile, wide Indian Ocean to Oman—to make the Red Sea run, pirates permitting. (If the situation deteriorates, we’ll head southward to the Cape of Storms once again.)

Roma is doing fine in Amsterdam. My 90+ mother is adjusting to Knoxville with my sister Carole. Una Jensen, my great niece, is moving up the record charts in Massachusetts. All is well.

My latest book is now listed on Amazon.com, just in time for Christmas. It is called All at Sea Yarns—and contains some of the weirdest, most twisted of my bizarre writing… compiled from hundreds of mss written over the last 15 years in that wonderful Caribbean marine publication. It is available at Amazon.com or click on this link: See Fatty

That’s about it. I hope you all are happy and well.

Mind the Rudder or Meet the Rock,


…in the cockpit, under a million stars, on an utterly delightful evening…

Editor's Note: Fatty Goodlander is a St. John friend who is sailing around the world with his wife Carolyn for the second time. Fatty is a well known sailor who writes for many marine publications including 'All At Sea'. Fatty's Amazon page and other books: More Fatty's Books

12/06/09 - Rick Alvarez - Venezuela - Dom. Republic Tournament Announcement


After careful consideration and taking into account a multitude of ever increasing logistical and economic difficulties, as well as the decreasing number of foreign flag sportfishing boats visiting La Guaira, Venezuela, during the March and April blue marlin season of each year, which has practically rendered the “international” aspect of our event as an almost non existent factor, we have decided to move the annual event to the Dominican Republic. Therefore, until such time when an atmosphere conducive to our being able to deliver billfish events of the high quality we have achieved in the past returns in Venezuela, starting in 2010 the tournament shall be known as the International Cap Cana Billfish Shootout, where we will hold Shootout XVI from June 1st thru the 6th.

On a very personal note, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to all those individuals and sponsors who have helped make our Venezuelan events a success during the past fifteen years, and also thank all those sportfishing friends who have competed in our tournaments. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

We hope to see all of you in Cap Cana next June and take this opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Thanks and Good Fishing,

Rick Alvarez

Directror ILGBS

PS – We will continue holding the Venezuelan International Super Slam in La Guaira usually held during late SEP or early OCT

12/06/09 - Pacific Fins Newsletter - Guatemala Report

See PF Newsletter

12/03/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour Stop - Fiji

Ahoy Crew and Bula!

I’m happy to report that having just returned from 10 days out from the womb of the marina that all is well aboard the good ship “Deviant”. I am more pleased about the condition of the boat than I have been in a long time. Of course I don’t want to get too cocky… One of my Kiwi friends here says “Don’t get too organized, Chuck, or else you’re bound for trouble. You want to keep her a little loose.” Well knock on wood, Chuck, but she’s in pretty good shape!

I was fortunate enough to hook up with some other members of my tribe last Thursday and with the help of the staff at the very secluded “Robinson Crusoe Island” at Likuri Harbor a bunch of us sat down to a really good feast on our Thanksgiving Day. A few other yacht-cruisers were there and some other Yanks came by car and ferry to share with us and spend the night in the cottages on the island. As you all know, or should know, we Americans are known around the world as “Yanks” and it is not always used in a derogatory fashion. People from New Zealand are “Kiwis”, Australians are “Aussies”, and people from Great Britain are “Brits” or “Poms”. As I said the titles are not derogatory, it’s just the way it is. On Thanksgiving Day I was waxing eloquent in a toast before dinner and observed that when the good old USA was founded there was a bit of discussion as to what bird should be considered our national bird and a symbol of America. This is a true story now… The Bald Eagle won out by a very slim margin over the Turkey as the Turkey was a very important part of the lives of the Americans and helped them to survive those early years. Imagine what we would be called today if the noble Turkey had been proclaimed the national bird! Such is life…

While I was out I managed to get a little fishing in and caught a couple of beauties in the mix. The red one in the photo is known locally as a Mangrove Jack and the brown one as a Rock Cod. Both are very good size for their species and oh so good to eat!

I may be leaving soon for a return to the Republic of the Marshall Islands. I’ll drop an email off before I depart.

Cheers Crew and Carry On!


Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

12/03/09 - Dr. Conkle/John Tierney - Additonal photos of Doc's Australia Fish

Taken by a video camera aboard Tim Richardson's Tradition. Doc Conkle released this fish in just 10 minutes.

12/02/09 - Ellen Peel - TBF - 2009 ICCAT Report

See Ellen's Summary

12/01/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

Nov 30 2009

It is hot in Cairns!!! We are back in town for a few days, after fishing Greg for the last 10 days. I headed out to the middle Ribbons where there were some good numbers of bites, but the conversion rate was a bit average!!! Fish grabbing the bait again and dropping it right away for a few days, then we found a nice little bite one afternoon at No: 5 and managed to get 2 from 3 , with a 200 lber to start, then jumped off one about 300 lbs, and then had a great crash bite on the skipping tuna at about 5.30pm.

The fish came up and did one jump then just headed out to sea down deep. With the big circle hook firmly planted in the corner of her mouth Greg put lots of pressure on her, and with some good boat handling we got her up after 45 minutes, and just on dark she came up jumping!!!! Chris got a great pull and a huge going away jump. A really tough fish, Gregs longest fight in 4 trips and a really healthy fish about 800 was on her way to continue her life. A great day all around.

The rest of the week was lots of spearing, good meals and seeing a bunch of fish, but not getting many good bites. We jumped off a few and that was about all. The tuna aggregation has begun, and the body of fish is now east of Cairns, so hopefully we can get out there on our next 3 day trip starting Wednesday.

Meanwhile down at Fraser Island the blue marlin bite has been incredible, only a few boats fishing , and the best day so far has been 9 blues up to 600lbs in one day, and up to 22 bites in a day a few days ago, cant wait to get there on the 15th of Dec.

I am looking for a few anglers to fish Hamilton Island to Gold Coast with 4-5 days off Fraser. Leaving Hamo afternoon of the 13th and arrive Gold Coast night of the 20th. Let me know if you are interested.

Still in heavy tackle mode till the 13th of Dec, and after the rest of this week off Cairns, the following week we will be at Myrmidon Reef off Townsville. The boats that have fished thru there so far this past week have seen a bunch of fish and a few over 1000 as well, should be fun!!

This pic is from the last trip with Doc, how thick is that one!!!! (Editor: No photo came through).


email Tim
visit website

12/01/09 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers: See Dolphin Report

The 2009 dolphin tagging activity will likely end being one of the lowest years in the number of fish tagged. This is not surprising when anglers along the entire East Coast reported making fewer offshore trips this year due to the economy. What is surprising is the doubling of the historical rate for tag recoveries being reported. This year already has the second highest number of tagged fish reported recovered, 50 fish, in a single year.

This increase in reporting tag recoveries is certainly due to better informed and more cooperative offshore fishermen. The great coverage provided this program by the printed outdoor media, especially the regional and national magazines, has played the key role in informing anglers about the study and the importance of reporting the recapture of tagged dolphin. I thank all of the writers, editors and publishers who have placed this information in front the offshore fishermen.

We are in the middle of our holiday season. While we all face our own personal problems, we should stop and give thanks for all of the blessing that we do have. You don’t have to look far to find people far worse off that yourself. I recognize that one of my greatest blessings is to know and work with you, the greatest group of conservation minded fishermen gathered under one cause.

Wishing you a joyful and safe holiday season,


Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524

11/30/09 - Capt. Bruno Larica - Vitoria, Brazil - Fishing Report

Hi everyone!!!

After finishing the meat fish tournaments here in Vitoria, we are back on chasing marlins. Fishing aboard "Tira Onda", the last 2 days of fishing, we raised 35 white marlins, and 3 sailfish, getting 34 bites and tagging 15 whites and 2 sails. With the fish ranging from 70 to 100lbs. Many other boats on the fleet reported to raise more than 10 fish per day. Weather has been nice, and we should hit the water again this week. Let you all know how did it go!!!!

Pura vida

Capt. Bruno Email Bruno

11/29/09 - Capt. Gary Clifford - Grenada,WI - Fishing Report

Fishing Report November 28th 2009

I brought "Yes Aye" back up from Trinidad on November 8th after a 3 week major refit including fresh Cummins power - she now has 30 knot capability!

First few charters were spent testing minor adjustments and catching wahoo up to 35 lb. However, Grenada's billfish season finally got into gear over the last 10 days - the water colour had been switching between green and blue for weeks but finally seems to have decided on blue. Flying fish are showing up as well but very unevenly distributed - you got to be in the right places !

We scored our first blue release (a 300lb fish) on the 21st, 5 miles offshore and backed it up with a 150 lb release for Richard Scott 18 miles off on the 25th. Both fish ate ballyhoo/tracker combos on the right rigger. Yesterday (28th) we went looking for blues again but no sign - we followed birds out to 20 miles and found feeding porpoise. Fishing amongst them we raised a small sail which refused to do anything but nip at a ballyhoo and then a nice yellowfin nailed a small artificial/ bird combo on the left flat line right behind the boat. 25 minutes later we gaffed a 108 lb yellowfin onboard. The birds had now stopped feeding so we started to work back to shore. A very quite ride back up with no flying fish seen - eventually back at 5 miles off a lone frigate bird showed us where the sailfish were feeding - we missed 2 before getting an airborne hook up - this fish was tagged and released for angler Aaron Pickrell after a 10 minute fight, estimated 50 lb.

The fishing should stabilise and improve now in the run up to the 41st Spice Island Billfish Tournament January 25-28 2010. Anyone interested in taking part should see www.sibtgrenada.com To charter the "Yes Aye" see www.yesaye.com - special discounts for online bookings.

Tight Lines


Gary Clifford
True Blue Sportfishing
email Gary
visit website

11/28/09 - Capt. James Barnes - Jeddah, Saudia Arabia Report

Hi All,

I would imagine everyone has had their fill of turkey by now! Here it is another Saturday but at least I have this one off!!! The new boat, a used 68 Hatteras named Lam Tara (soon to be called Deep Sea) did arrive last Sat and we had to get her off the ship which when all was said and done made the day end at around 10pm. That was just the start of it as the paperwork and clearance took all of the next few days but we finally did manage to get the boat moved to a marina early on Tuesday morning. A lot of running around and just plain mayhem. What made this process a disaster was the fact that most offices were closing on Wednesday for the Eid holiday here, which as far as I can tell would be Christmas and New Years for us.

Wednesday proved to be a disastrous day as it was like waking up in South Florida, thunderstorms and rain, lots of it, something that the Saudi's don't seem to be too prepared for. There was flooding all over the place (luckily not our hotel) and we were told to stay in the hotel until the rain subsided, which was around 12 noon. I then headed to the office where only a few others had ventured and learned that some of the diving trips for the whole of the Eid holiday were canceled due to the fact that the construction zone of KAUST had taken a hit but which are to resume this coming Monday, not that this makes much difference to me on the fishing side of things. My main job now is to get LT up and running and she needs quite a bit of work to get restored to Bristol fashion. I have ordered pieces and parts from the States and am eagerly awaiting their arrival, hopefully Monday. I haven't done a lot of fishing in part as there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get the fishing side of things up and running, not just with the boats but there are policies and procedures to be written up. The good news is that I have coerced my old crewmember Richard (Dickie) Howell to come over and be my second in command! He is scheduled to be here sometime in the middle of January, which is not a moment too soon!

I am doing well but extremely busy, as you can probably tell by the e-mail. Other than that, nothing else to report. Pink Floyd is playing on the ipod and I am planning on a relaxing afternoon before all the fun starts again tomorrow!

Take care,


Editor's Note: Capt. Barnes of Bermuda has been employeed by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and will be exploring the fishing in the Red Sea. We'll keep our readers updated as his reports come in. Should be interesting to hear of his experiences in that part of the world.

11/25/09 - Jim Hale - Inshore Fishing - South Florida Report

Mutton Snapper and Snook on Beautiful Warm Days

November 2009

This week we were riding from La Siesta Marina in Islamorada through the Florida Bay backcountry of flats and finger channels to the Flamingo area to find bait on a warm humid November morning. The bait we were looking for are perfect sized pilchards or Snook candy, once in the bait spot with a little help from chum we started seeing flashes of silver behind the boat, I only had to throw the cast net one time to black out our live well for a perfect start to the day. We got the liveies in case the Snook were not going to be interested in our flies!!

Once on the flats we started seeing small Snook here and there and caught a couple small guys around 16 inch’s on fly. Standing on the tower searching for more Snook I looked down at one point in about three feet of murky water from mullet muds and saw 50 to 75 Snook slowly swimming away. I got off the platform and grabbed a net full of live Pilchards in the live well and started chumming the Snook until I saw the water boiling with the fish going nuts, and it did 7 Snook later with an average size of 30 inches until we spooked them out. The next day they would not touch a thing in the same place but here were a ton of Redfish there as well. There are some Reds up on the flats as well out front with a mix of larger Black Drum. But they have been kind of spooky this week.

There are also a lot of Tarpon in the Gulf and that should be the trend until we get a cold blast which should happen this weekend. There is also plenty of Pilchards around the cheeky huts in west Whitewater Bay and some small Snook in some of the ponds in Northwest Whitewater.

Leaving out of Homestead Bayfront Marina and sticking close to the eastern shoreline we have been finding loads of Pilchards for the Snapper bite.

This week in one day on a trip close to Miami we managed to catch 21 Muttons on 8 lb spinning outfits which are a blast! The largest was 12 pounds and 2 Mangrove Snapper that were 4 or 5 pounds on live bait out on the patch reefs, and I have had reports of Muttons being caught up to 16 pounds. We are also catching them on plugs.

This weekend when we get a north wind and it murks up the water a bit should be the best bite. Also on the West side of the bay we have been doing ok on Bonefish that are the average 8 lb fish. Some days when it was overcast I have found chumming with cut up shrimp has been working best on sandy bottom with good current.. But this past week the water was high and dark with the cloud cover. But most bones were in 2 to 3 feet of water mudding, which are easy to see on a clear day, but as we know overcast days can be difficult. We are getting to Tarpon time in some of the bays to the North!. If we have some calm warm days in between fronts we should have a red hot Tarpon bite on fly. Good Luck!

Capt. Jim Hale
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11/20/09 - Ten year old Wes Davis captures Royal Slam - All Billfish Species

A Hell of a Week in Venezuela

Wes Davis loves to fish. Perhaps he’s not that much different from most 10 year old boys. But what does make him different is that he’s the youngest individual ever to complete an IGFA Billfish Royal Slam. Perhaps there was something about being aboard the Sea Genie II, with Capt. Gene Vander Hoek, watching his dad, Mark, catch spears and blues, that had a serious impact on this young man. In July, 2005, at the age of 6, Wes was able to land his first billfish, a short billed spearfish. Possibly the best part about catching his very first billfish was that he was able to do it aboard the Sea Genie II with “Uncle” Gene, who had known Wes since he was just over a year old.

The white marlin followed in September, 2005 off the Oregon Inlet, North Carolina aboard the “Qualifier” with Capt. Fin Gaddy. In February, 2007, two Atlantic sailfish were landed with Capt. Norm Welter on the “Double Up”. This was followed by a Pacific Blue Marlin with “Uncle” Gene on the Sea Genie II in July, 2007. In 2008, they ventured to Zihuatanejo, Mexico where Wes caught three Pacific Sailfish. Later that year, in July, Wes caught his swordfish with Capt. Norm Welter, out of Fort Lauderdale. This year, in January, their adventure took them to Pinas Bay, Panama where the black marlin was landed with Capt. Isauro aboard the “Florida”. With only two fish to go to complete the slam, Mark and Wes journeyed to Cabo San Lucas in August where Wes fished aboard Paul Bender’s “Summertime” with Capt. Martin Vigil. There he caught three striped marlin.

Finally, they arrived in Caracas, Venezuela in September, Wes missing his first week of school to make the trip. There, off of the La Guaira Bank, he landed a 300 lb. Atlantic Blue Marlin with Capt. Bubba Carter, aboard “Tijereta” where Wes experienced his toughest battle to date. In the words of Capt. Gene Vanderhoek, who was with Wes and his Dad when he completed his slam “it was an epic battle on 30 lb. line. I’ve known this kid since he was little more than an infant and to be next to him, running the chair (and in his ear) during those two hours, will be, without a doubt, one of my finest fishing memories”. All of the fish Wes caught to make up the slam were tagged and released with the exception of the swordfish.

What made this week even more incredible in Venezuela was that Capt. Vanderhoek, at age 55, completed his first Billfish Royal Slam, with four of the billfish being caught on a fly. Additionally, Mark Davis, completed his second and third Billfish Royal Slam. It was a memorable trip for all.

11/19/09 - Dr. David Conkle/Miss Babbie Fame - Australia Fishing Report

click here to enlarge photo


john and i just back from the great barrier reef. picture of a nice one we let swim.

wishing you and all my st thomas friends a blessed thanksgiving. i know that this old man has much to be thankful for, especially all my friends.


11/18/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report


The last day with the boys from Moscow was spent fishing No:3 Ribbon and again we got the bites, jumping off a 600 and tagging a fun one about 250lbs.

John and Doc from Florida, joined us for 5 days, and were met with just crap weather for November, it blew 20+ everyday, and the first day just rained hard , nonstop - not the nicest day I have spent in the tower !!!

On No:10 we raised 2, had one bite but didnt get it too the boat, and with a big evening high tide, I elected to head to Lizard for a nice night in the lee of the Island. A good decision according to those who anchored out at No Name Reef.

Next morning the rain was gone, and a great bait fishing session on the way out filled the freezers up again and we fished down to the Marks and back to Second corner for the day, and got the bite that the boys came here for.

A really nice big fish that went hard, and the Tradition, harder!!!! The boat stayed right with her and she was on the leader and let go in under 10 minutes!!!, Chris got some great big jumps on the leader and the video cameras worked hard to see thru the waves and spray rolling into the cockpit.

The boys were estatic, and made the long trip worth the while for them. A really nice big fish, 950+ and super thick.

Back to Lizard for the night and a few drinks and a great dinner of fresh coral trout and salad. The next few days slowed right up along the whole reef, and managed to see a few more but none made it too the boat, A fish of a lifetime for Doc, and well worth the effort of coming this far.

The majority of the fleet are back down at Linden Bank, and there have been a few big fish each day for the fleet of nearly 15-20 boats still out down there. Alot of boats are finishing up this week, and the fish are still coming in in numbers and we are now into the nice weather that November is famous for, 10 knots and lots of sun with BIG fish around. Out wide the big fish are also around with the tuna aggragation, so November and into December is looking awesome!!!

Up on No: 10, the few boats fishing are seeing big fish everyday, and the choice to go north or south tomorrow will be tough!!!

At least up north we can catch bait and go for a spear, so may do that for a few days and then head south on our 10 day charter with Greg, who is back for another trip looking for a beast!!!!

With another late season bite from big fish like last year, we can still fit you in for that big fish you are looking for:
Nov 29 - Dec 4 Cairns Heavy tackle with choice of motherships or liveaboard
Dec 7 - Dec 12 Cairns to Mackay heavy tackle via Myrmidon reef with choice of motherships or liveaboard
Dec 14 - Dec 23 Mackay to Gold Coast - head to Swains for a night, then out to Suamarez Reef for a night or two, then out to Wreck Reef and Cato Reefs if the weather is good, 10 day trip, fishing for big blues and blacks, jigging and poppers for GT's, Wahoo, Coral Trout etc. limited to 4 places

Or out to Lady Musgrave and Fraser Island for blues, last weeks tournament saw the winning boat go 7 from 10 up to 800 lbs in 2.5 days!!!


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11/18/09 - Lynda Wilson - IGFA World Championship Final Report - Cabo San Lucas

day 1 - day 2 - day 3 - Day 4

11/17/09 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Greetings all,

News from Shimoni

There have not been enough days fished in the Pemba Channel thus far by either ourselves or our neighbours, Pemba Channel Fishing Club. But, the marlin fishing has been better than normal as reported in my earlier newsletters. The wind swung in to the NE for a fortnight at the start of the month and on the 2 days that were fished White Otter caught a stripey one day then lost 3 the following day. This is typical in the Pemba Channel, as soon as the wind swings in to the NE the marlin are there, its like throwing a switch. When I came back with Kamara II from Lamu on Thursday 12th and also when Pat was out on Sunday 15th it was encouraging to note the number of those beautiful big blue-winged flying fish and the lovely blue water. These flying fish are an important sign for good striped marlin fishing, we tend to say that "No flying fish, no marlin" although it is not as cut and dry as that but not far off. I hadn't seen that many flying fish on the North Kenya Banks when I was there earlier in the month so perhaps this will be a big season for Shimoni this year.

I was going through the statistics the other day and it was really interesting to note that over the last 10 years one of our boats had been the #1 marlin boat no less than 7 times, as well as five 2nds & four 3rds. Not too bad at all, I thinks myself! Last season was the first year that we had missed out on a top 10 position - not good so this year we need to make amends!

An exciting trip up to Lamu

On 1st November the crew and I took the boat up to Lamu to meet Linda and Chris Gardener who were due to fly into Manda on Tuesday 3rd. In order to reduce fuel consumption I decided to fish north slowly during the day then overnight on the North Kenya Banks before putting in to Lamu on 2nd. There had been a huge amount of rain in the north, Shimoni had had little of this, and a bridge on the road between Malindi and Lamu had been washed away. The forecast was for heavy rain on 1st, some on 2nd and thereafter it looked good. We were certainly hoping so after our earlier trip where we had been rained on from day 1. All the way north the storms were always ahead and we only had a light sprinkling that was quite welcome since it was very calm and hot.

We saw no billfish going up but caught quite a lot of small stuff mostly released as our freezers were full to the brim. We trolled up well offshore passing over the line of undersea mountains including the South Mlima and Centre Mlima. There were quite a few football size tunas on these but we had no time to explore. The current was humming and even on one motor at normal trolling speed we were making 10 knots easily. We passed along the Casuarina Ledge soon after 5pm and altered course to the NKB. I didn't have much hope for the night because it was right on full moon and sure enough we never even had a touch all night. In the early morning in the soft light of dawn the banks were alive with small tunas and very soon the reels were screaming. Once the sun came up the tuna went down so we carried on our way north to Lamu expecting to be in by around 11am.

But, it wasn't to be because just short of Lamu with the sand dunes of Shella in sight all hell broke loose. The sea was a beautiful blue, the wind was ENE and we were only 7nm off Kinika Is in just 84m of water. We were fading too, Hamisi was asleep on the fish box, Suleiman his brother and new crew was sitting at the top of the ladder supposedly watching the lines and I was wondering how long before we could make the final dash for Lamu. All of a sudden the little lure on the 30 behind the teazer was snaffled and the Tiagra screamed, I swung around to see a marlin rocket out of the ocean and Hamisi already at the transom rod in hand. But, right in the wake there were two more sets of landing lights chasing the teazer. As I pulled the teazer out of the way two angry marlin smashed the two short riggers and the 50W tiagras were adding their voice. I had to rush around clearing teazers, then clear the other rods out of the way all the time wondering how the heck was I going to fight the 3rd marlin and drive the boat. As I got back on to the bridge the one on the 30 fell off, perhaps fortuitously so Hamisi was able to pick up the 2nd 50, which was by now getting very low on line. Both fish had gone in opposite directions so I couldn't do a lot anyway but gradually Suleiman's fish slowed up and turned towards us so I could work closer to Hamisi's fish. Both marlin were tagged and released and we very proudly sailed in to Lamu with our two green flags flying high from the rigger.

North Kenya Safari Linda & Chris arrived on time by Air Kenya and I was there to meet them. We are very grateful to Carol and Lars Korschen of Peponi Hotel for allowing us to make use of their transfer service from Manda Airstrip to Peponi as well as for the loan of a mooring whilst we were up there. It makes life a lot easier because the tide rips are so strong that getting an anchor to hold is not always easy, and picking it up afterwards even less so. Peponi is a great place, very popular with great hospitality and great food.

We fished the first day south of Lamu in the same area where we had caught our marlin the day before but although the sea looked nice the wind was in the south. Fishing was very slow and neither us or Simba managed to get any sails either. We did raise one early and saw a few free jumping but no luck. The following day we moved on up the coast to Kiwayu, an idyllic location that is really beautiful old Africa still unspoilt. We were not alone, Neptune and Tarka had been fishing the area a few days already and Cheza from Manda Bay was also up there as was Jeremy Block and Billy Lynch fly fishing on Jeremy's centre console, Pretty Fly. The day we got there we found a few sails and managed 2, Neptune and Tarka also catching 2 each.

But, we did have a remarkable catch of a large manta ray caught by Linda on 50-lb line. Surprisingly it was not foul-hooked but hooked in the mouth on a CD-18 rapala trolled on the down rigger and a strong fighter, too. We thought that she must have a big yellowfin tuna on and were very surprised to see this ray come up. We didn't have much more luck with the sails, a lot of tuna and quite a few wahoo up there but the water was very green for miles out. The 2nd night we were there the wind really started to howl from the NE, which made for a nice cool night but by the morning the wind had largely died down to pick up gain later in the day. The next night also blew hard and for a while the wind and tide in the anchorage were battling it out but it is still very calm in behind the island. After 3 nights in Kiwayu we moved back south to Lamu following a beautiful blue water line that we found of Paté Is. Earlier Chris had caught a nice 17-kg kingfish. We fished the deeper blue water south until past Lamu and then turned back in to the west. I had hoped that with the wind in the NE we might be able to raise another stripey out there but it wasn't to be. The final day out of Lamu was very quiet, very calm and nothing showing on the surface and Linda & Chris flew out that afternoon on Air Kenya to Nairobi.

The return voyage was very quiet, we got a nice big wahoo of 30-kg crossing Ungwana Bay caught by Hamisi which is so far the biggest for the season weighed in to Malindi. We had a couple of sail strikes but saw no others despite seeing lots of schools of baitfish all the way across the bay and good water. Once south of Ngomeni the water was very green and the boats were concentrating on the ledge straight off of Malindi where apparently there were a lot of sails, if you could raise them. We spent the night in Malindi then fished south to Kilifi where we stopped off at the Kilifi Boatyard to get some stainless steel welding done before coming home.

Prospects With the wind starting to swing the marlin could make an early appearance, which could be good for later this month and for December. Unfortunately we have plenty of availability during this period until about mid January and again in March. If you would like to make a booking please drop us a line at and check out the blog from time to time.

Tight lines,


Pat, Maia, Simon, Tina, Lyndsay, Chris and all our wonderful staff Sea Adventures Ltd, website Simon Hemphill email Tel: +254 (0)722 796 198 (Simon) or (0)722 479 864 (Maia)

11/14/09 - Capt. James Barnes - Jeddah, Saudia Arabia Report

Hi Everyone,

I hope that everything is going well with you. All is well here but very hectic. There is a big push to get all of the watersport operations up and running. The diving is already up and the next ones are to be the fishing and the sailing operation. The University is up and running but most of the area is still under construction. Our offices and accommodations there are not complete as of yet, looks like maybe the end of the year before all is said and done and we can move out of the hotel in Jeddah. This makes for long days as when we do go out on the water we start the day with an 1 1/2 hour drive to the marina located at the University. There is a lot to do to get the fishing operation up and running, I need to get the boat fitted out with both safety and fishing equipment but I am making headway each and every day. I have been fishing three times now trying to get the lay of the land. No big catches but have been able to keep ourselves entertained with some bottom fish and a few oceanic bonitos.

We are making the best of our time in downtown Jeddah. The place is a shoppers paradise, they have all of the fast food chains, high end designer stores and pretty much anything else that you can think of. I went to a mall the other day and it puts most of the malls I have been to in the States to shame.

Today is my day off, in case you didn't know Thursday and Friday is the weekend here which is when most of our boat trips are planned. Things are going to more hectic as the Hajj season is coming in (starts on 11/25, I think) which is a big time off for the locals and there are more trips planned. Hopefully we will get a break after that.

As I mentioned earlier, all is going well here. It is actually easy to get acclimated to and so far the people have been most helpful. Not much else to report on this end.

Take care,


Editor's Note: Capt. Barnes of Bermuda will be exploring the fishing in the Red Sea and we will keep our readers updated as his reports come in. Should be interesting to hear from that part of the world.

11/11/09 - Lynda Wilson - IGFA World Championship Report - Cabo San Lucas

day 1 - day 2 - day 3 - Day 4

11/10/09 - Pacific Fins - Guatemala Fishing Report

Fishing season in Guatemala has officially started, and the billfish know this pretty well!

We had groups like the Hanson’s that released 91 sails in 3 days, fishing aboard Fishy Business.

We had the honour of having with us the President of Mexico’s Sportfishing Association and they also had 25+ Sailfish days!

Locals have also been releasing great numbers as well…on our new “Learn to Fish” program we had the fortune of having a family get a video of their first ever Blue Marlin, calculated to be a 450 pounder, plus the usual 10+ Sails released and Dorados for lunch and dinner.

Even Yellowfin Tunas have started showing up in good numbers…50+ catches for another group of locals, with one angler being 87 years young! Sashimi has been amazing, especially having it onboard…

The Guatemalan Fleet have also had great days, especially since fishing has been only 15-20 NM offshore! One of our colleagues did report a 50+ Sails released on one day…

But then again, this is the beauty of fishing Guatemala’s blessed Pacific Coast!

Watch the action our anglers are enjoying!

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

Latest News

Nov 9 2009

After relocating to Port Douglas we fished Scott, Mark and Jamie from Melbourne for 3 days at Linden Bank off Cairns.

We saw a bunch of fish, and managed to tag 3 fish, one for each of the boys and a big one at 900 lbs for Scott, his lifelong dream fish!!! The fish put on an awesome show and gave Chris a big pull on the leader as it constantly changed directions at the boat.

Back out on Saturday with the boys from Russia who are back again after their late season trip last year. Fishing the midle Ribbons the last 2 days we have had 4 bites, had 3 on and got none all the way to the boat yet!!!. Jumped off an 800 lb fish after 20 minutes when she came up jumping all over the place, and then later in the day had an explosive bite form the biggest fish I have seen in years, but she just crushed the big mackeral in half and that was that.

Yesterday we fished the same area again pulled the hooks on a 500, and again right at the back of the boat one about 600 or so.

The fishing up and down the Reef has been incredible this past few weeks, and there have been more than 28 granders so far from what I can keep up with. Pretty much a grander tagged everyday now, and many much bigger ones encountered.

Only remaining dates open for this season are:

Nov 29 - Dec 4 Cairns Heavy tackle with choice of motherships or liveaboard

Dec 7 - Dec 12 Cairns to Mackay heavy tackle via Myrmidon reef with choice of motherships or liveaboard

Dec 14 - Dec 23 Mackay to Gold Coast - head to Swains for a night, then out to Suamarez Reef for a night or two, then out to Wreck Reef and Cato Reefs if the weather is good, 10 day trip, fishing for big blues and blacks, jigging and poppers for GT's, Wahoo, Coral Trout etc. limited to 4 places, AU$5500 each for 10 days, arrive Gold Coast night of Dec 23 at GCCM.


email Tim
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11/09/09 - Juan Carlos Torruella - Puerto Rico Fishing Report

Hey Jimmy,

Sailfishing has been pretty steady for the past couple of weeks. Fished friday for a half day and went 3/3 on the sails (caught a double to start things off). This weekend was the annual Cangrejos Yacht Club sailfish tournament and 38 boats released 30 sails, 2 whites and 1 blue. Winning boat was EXTREME GAMES with 3, second place MARLIN MAGIC with 3 and third place BARBIE with 3. We caught one early saturday morning and then got skunked the rest of the way.

Tight lines, Juan.

11/07/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Fiji

Cyclones, Everyone Loves a Haul Out and the Cruisers Midnight

Greetings Crew! All hands on deck! Avast ye matey’s! ARRGH! (I see that got your attention!)

It seems like the internet is working here in the marina again. For how long I just don’t know so I will try to get this latest crew letter out ASAP…

Cyclone season here in this part of the South Pacific extends from November until March or April. Fiji has been spared any major damage in recent history but the fact remains that it lies right smack dab in the middle of cyclonic activity. One mustn’t forget that… Remember St. Thomas in the USVI… Until 1989 they had no direct hurricane hits since like 1930. People became lackadaisical about it. Then came the devastation of Hugo and the Virgin Islands, particularly St. Thomas, was rendered a mess. In neighboring Culebra, a place considered to be a safe hurricane anchorage, 197 boats were lost. Of course we know that Hugo went on to lay waste to the East Coast of the US as well. Between 1989 and 2000 (correct me if I’m wrong) there were 3 direct hits including Marilyn in 1995. Marilyn is the storm that put the Deev on the bottom of the Caribbean Sea and led to my purchasing her from my pal Tim Peck who had built her and still owned her. I bought her a week after the storm in a “as is, where is” condition. Hell, I’m still not finished rebuilding her but I’ll be darned if that will stop me from sailing the old girl! (As a side note, I lost two friends in Hurricane Marilyn. One we found washed up in the mangroves 3 days later and the other body was never recovered.)

Why am I sticking around here during Cyclone Season? I don’t know exactly but you know sometimes sailing or just hanging out in the Caribbean during Hurricane Season can be the best time of year. The weather is generally nicer, there are far fewer cruising boats and almost no bareboats are active. Folks around here tell me the same thing. Furthermore, the season doesn’t get really active until later in December and January. When I get the Deev back in the water (Tuesday) I’m planning on some sailing here in Fijian waters for a few weeks before heading back to the Marshall Islands. The Marshalls are north of the equator and so out of the cyclone belt.

As you know, I spent the heart of the Caribbean Hurricane Season in the BVI’s with my friends on Jost Van Dyke. I’ve also been known to spend winters in Maine! (In February in Maine you can actually drive on Route 1 in less than bumper to bumper traffic and it is possible to get a seat at most restaurants without a reservation.)

So I’ll stick around here in Fiji for at least another month or so…. Please send out some good vibes to help keep the mean and nasties away!

I always say that everyone loves a haul out because it is so far from the truth. Haul outs suck. There is way too much work to do and it is way too expensive (B.O.A.T. stands for Bust Out Another Thousand.) This haul out is going rather well, though, despite the fact that I am hemorrhaging cash at an astounding rate. Vuda Point Marina and Boatyard is the nicest place I’ve ever hauled. The facilities are clean, all sorts of marine services are available and the rates are considerably better than stateside prices. But haul outs still suck.

I allotted myself plenty of time to get things done so I managed to get to some horrible jobs that I’ve neglected for far too long. For example I have removed and am refurbishing my anchor windlass. That little project required very large hammers, large pieces of pipe, a propane torch, hardwood wedges and every curse word that I could think of in several different languages! I recall that after 35 or more years of living onboard with his lovely wife, Carolyn, my pal Capt. Fatty Goodlander (read his stuff in Cruising World and other publications) finally broke down and bought his wife an anchor windlass for a “present”. All those years he had her hauling up that groundtackle by hand she was developing some serious muscles and I’m sure he finally was threatened with a severe beating if he didn’t break lose of some cash and by that wench a winch! But Fatty, let me advise you to service that winch on a regular basis or it will freeze up on you for sure. And you don’t want that to happen!

It’s getting late in the evening now and I’m going to try to send this off. By “late in the evening” I mean that it is well after dark, like about 8:15 PM. That’s getting late for me. I’m usually hunkered down with my book or fast asleep by 9:00 PM. 9:00 PM is considered Cruisers Midnight. We all know that.

Cheers and Carry On!


Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in Fiji. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

11/04/09 - Virgin Island Game Fishing Club - 2009 Wahoo Windup Report

Release by: Carol Bareuther
Photo credit: Dean Barnes


None of the 114 anglers aboard 27 boats competing in the 2009 Toyota Wahoo Wind-Up fished on November 1 caught a 75-plus pound wahoo to win the highly prized Toyota 4-wheel drive extended cab truck. But, that didn't mean there wasn't good fishing, and good catching, including some real whopper wahoos reeled in.

St. Croix's Curtis Diaz, fishing aboard the Wild Cat, caught the Largest Wahoo, a 51.5-pounder, and pocketed a $1000 cash prize.

"We started out of Green Cay and worked our way west along the northshore of St. Croix to Ham's Bluff. That's where we caught our first wahoo," Diaz explains. "Then we went down to Frederiksted and south to Sandy Point. We were getting bored when all of a sudden the reel started screaming with line peeling off. That's when we knew it was a big one."

Eight-year-old Nathan Gatcliffe of St. Thomas, aboard the Double Header IV, caught the second largest wahoo, a 47.4-pounder.

"Two months ago I told him we were going to fish the wahoo tournament together this year," says Nathan's father, St. Thomas charter captain, Jonathan Gatcliffe. "When we went out, I told the guys to let my son be the first up. It just so happened that the first fish was the biggest. We put him in the chair, winched him in and he reeled in the wahoo."

Nathan adds, "It only took me about 10 minutes. It was the biggest we got all day."

The secret to catching plenty of wahoo, says Gatcliffe, "is trolling at high speed. You can cover more ground that way too."

Gatcliffe, driving Double Header IV, earned the Best Boat prize for St. Thomas with the catch of five wahoo weighing 173.07 pounds. Meanwhile, St. Croix's Two Fersure won Top Boat for St. Croix with the catch of three wahoo weighing 91-pounds. Both captains won $1000 cash.

Anglers who caught one of the ten largest wahoo were awarded cash prizes. In addition to Diaz and Gatcliffe, winners were: St. Croix's Tom Hobbs, with a 45.7-pounder off Big Bills; St. Thomas' James MacNeil, with a 42.9-pounder from Mixed Bag; St. Croix's Tom Sedgwick, with a 39.9-pound wahoo aboard Two Fer Sure; St. Croix's Daniel Griffin, with a 39.6-pounder off Maragata; St. Thomas' Steve Morgan, with a 38.58-pounder from Double Header IV, St. Croix's Dieter Oelschlager, with a 38.2-pounder from Wild Cat; St. John's Andrew Hollen, with a 35.27-pounder from Cloud Break, and St. Thomas Steve Morgan, with a 34.17-pounder from Double Header IV.

A total of 28 wahoo, collectively weighing 934.7 pounds, were caught. Personal from the Department of Planning & Natural Resource's Fish & Wildlife Department conducted the weigh-in.

Over $5,500 in cash and prizes, plus the possibility of winning the Toyota truck, made up the prize booty in this tournament.

"This year we had some of the best weather in a Toyota Wahoo Wind-Up that anyone can remember," says tournament director, Jim Jamison. "It made for a nice day, especially for the smaller boats."

The big thrill - and challenge - in this tournament was that both St. Thomas-St. John-based anglers and St. Croix-based anglers competed at the same time. The suspense leading up to the Monday night Awards Ceremonies on both islands was palpable as anglers waited to hear who won once results were tallied and merged.

Both the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club on St. Thomas and Golden Hook Fishing Club on St. Croix hosted the 2009 Toyota Wahoo Wind-Up.

11/04/09 - Capt. James Barnes - Jeddah, Saudia Arabia Report

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note to let you know that I arrived in Jeddah last night at around 10:30 Saudi time, 8 hours ahead of EST. Flights were very uneventful and the connections were great. I am at the Coastline office getting aquainted with the job description and meeting my new coworkers. Obviously this e-mail is working but I will have a new phone number and will update accordingly.

Talk soon,


Editor's Note: Capt. Barnes of Bermuda will be will be exploring the fishing in the Red Sea and we will keep our readers updated as his reports come in. Should be interesting to hear from that part of the world.

11/03/09 - Capt. Albert Miller - SF Freedom Summer Wrap up Report

Well Jimmy, just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for all of your help and efforts on making 2009 another great season in the Virgin Islands. We got off to a pretty rocky start in the end of July and beginning of August as you know, unfortunately having to miss your tournament, but the rest of the season went really well.

We ended up raising 88 blues in 18 full days if fishing and managed to catch 39 of them plus a white and a sail. Topping it off we just had an amazing ride home to American Custom Yachts in Florida clicking off the thousand plus miles in just under 50 hours. The world is getting pretty small here lately. I remember taking two full days to get to the outer Bahamas when I started fishing(which wasn't very long ago).

Thanks again and I'll keep you posted on the sail fish tournaments this winter. See you in the Big Game Room......Al

Albert Miller

11/02/09 - Capt. Brad Phillipps - Decisive - Guatemala Report

Fishing Report - Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - 2nd November 2009

It's been a while since the last report. We have been in Africa for 4 months, visiting with family and friends, hosting some foreign guests, presenting a few billfishing workshops and of course lots of time in the bush on photo safari's and hunting in Zimbabwe and South Africa. The Billfish Inn and the 'Decisive' have had their usual off-season touch-ups, the crew is rested and we are as ready as ever for another good season ahead of us.

With the slower economy, bookings got off to a slightly more hesitant start than usual this October, but the sailfishing action couldn't have been better. Saturday the 31st of October and Sunday the 1st of November saw us fishing with our friends Gary Hughes of Chile, along with his colleagues Ian McDonald and Roberto Cisternas. With reports of a boat releasing 38 sailfish the day before it was a great feeling to be back on the water. With lines in the water only 7 miles from port, it took just minutes before we had our first double of the season hooked up, and the action stayed the same way throughout the weekend with us never having to get more than 14 miles offshore. Saturday saw 'Decisive' release 22 sailfish from 32 bites and then 41 sails from 59 bites yesterday. There was also some dorado action.....you just can't beat those freshly prepared dorado burgers for lunch. The water is blue and there is bait, birds and porpoise life everywhere.

They have also had some exceptional fishing to the east of us in El Salvador over the past month and the blue water current is pushing hard from that direction, so the prediction is that we will be seeing a very good November and December ahead of us. Bookings are looking good for the rest of the season as people realize they can not do anything about the economy and the best recipe for an over worked, under paid, stressed out sole, is a tropical billfishing adventure. We have November 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 23, 24, 25, 26 open, and also December 11, 12, 13 available to fish, so if you would like to take advantage of what is going to be a great month's fishing head of us we are only an email away.

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

Capt. Brad Philipps
Email Cindy and Brad Phillipps: email

10/31/09 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Hello All,

This is just a quick mail to let you know that our website has received a face-lift and looks really good. There is also a blog to which I post regular updates about the fishing and Pat is also posting some fishing stories that may be of interest. You can register to the website and post comments on the reports and stories, too.

I am just off to Lamu for a fishing safari, back around the middle of November. It has been raining really hard recently but hopefully it will let up whilst we are there. I was up there earlier in October with Darren Baynton and the rain started as we left Peponi to head north. The sails were a bit shocked by the change in weather and were keeping a low profile. Hopefully by now they have become used to it, and after all they have to eat sometime. We did quite a bit of live baiting off Kiwayu, Manda and on the North Kenya Banks but without any strikes. We put two skipjack tuna on live off the toe of the NKB for 3.5 hours without a strike, which was very surprising. We had fished that night also off the outer side of the NKB without a strike so looked as though all the fish were trying to come to terms with the sudden deluge of freshwater.

After dropping Darren off in Malindi on the 16th we stayed on to fish the Herbie Paul International Fishing Festival, which is always a great fun event. My father joined me on the team and we had a very relaxing two days. The fishing was not easy although Angus Paul and Neptune made it look easy but still we came in 3rd just behind Unreal who pipped us by virtue of a wahoo on day one. The trophies were great really to be treasured, ours was a GT mounted on a plinth.

Whilst I was up north Pat had done a couple of trips out here and picked up a stripey on each one. Fishing here in the channel appears to be either a marlin or not a lot at the moment although having said that a dhow from Pemba tied up to the Shimoni fishery jetty yesterday and discharged lots of big yellowfin tuna. Not many boats are going out of Shimoni so hard to know exactly what is going on out there. Reports from further south at Dar es Salaam are that a boat out night fishing had 25 strikes only catching 3 broadies but still that's a lot of strikes. I remember the last big el nino the broadbill fishing was really good.

We still have lots of availability in November and December and still some in early January so if you are interested please drop us a line.

Tight lines,


Pat, Maia, Simon, Tina, Lyndsay, Chris and all our wonderful staff Sea Adventures Ltd, website Simon Hemphill email
Tel: +254 (0)722 796 198 (Simon) or (0)722 479 864 (Maia)

10/28/09 - Juan Carlos Torruella - Puerto Rico Fishing Report

Hey Jimmy,

Really good fishing here on the north coast of PR. Today 10/28 the 33ft Bertram "KIMI" was 1/5 on blues, 1/1 on whites and 1/1 on sails for the first grand slam of the season here. The "FISHING HOOKER" was out also and was 1/2 on sails.

I'll be out friday, saturday and sunday so I'll let u know what's up...

Tight lines,


10/28/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

Latest News - Oct 29 2009

Jewell Reef

Wow, what a difference a few days and some wind can make!!! The day of the last report, yeah I have been slack, was an awesome day on the Reef, we started our first of 3 days with Jason from the US, and while the wind was up to 25 knots, the fish were here in vengeance. we started on number 7 Ribbon and fished up to the top of No: 8. We had 2 bites and tagged one about 150 lb. Meanwhile up on No: 10, there were 6 fish over 1000 lb released!!! Next day on 10 we saw 5, had 3 bites and tagged 2 of 400 and 150 lb, and again 3 more fish around or over 1000 lbs were released. Friday the 23rd was Jason's last day fishing and in good wind we saw 6 fish, including a pod of 3, where the big girl was about 800, but no bites from any of them, I guess they were busy doing their own thing.

Saturday we just snorkeled the clam gardens and relaxed while waiting for the charter flight.

Sunday we started up again and headed up to the top end, fishing Day and Hicks Reefs, saw 5 , had 3 bites and got 2 small ones. Monday we fished Hicks and tagged one about 550 lb after a morning spearing coral trout!!! Tuesday was just an awesome day, got to sleep in, caught a few fresh baits, went for an incredible spear at the top corner of Jewel Reef, where we speared 15 trout. Started fishing about 2 pm, and headed north from Jewel Reef about 10 miles, and then back again. We raised 7 fish, had 4 bites and some of the most incredible towcam footage ever!!! At one point we had 2 marlin up, one after the scad, the other small one on the pitch bait. We were feeding the pitch, while the bigger marlin came in on the scad, and we had a double hookup!!! But the problem was that on the camera, the marlin on the scad got beaten to the punch by a giant dogtooth Tuna, and our double header marlin became a 120 lb doggie and a tagged 150 lb black on the pitch rod.

It was getting late and we were heading down Jewel when I saw 2 fish on the camera, one about 400, the other about 700 or so, got the bite, but pulled the hook on the bigger one. The boys put the baits back out, and just before dark we had a bite on the big tuna, I looked at the screen and again there was another fish on the scad. I waited for the double but no go and we got squared away and the fish had not jumped or really done anything. Well that generally means a nice one, and after about 10 minutes she started to come up, Tradition shot back and Brett grabbed the leader on a real nice one about 900+ lbs.

A great finish to a great day!!! In the last 6 days of fishing we have seen 27 fish, had 13 bites and caught 10 black marlin !!!!!

Have the following openings available if you want to experience the GBR with Tradition:

Nov 1 - 6 inclusive - Heavy tackle with choice of motherships or liveaboard

Nov 29 - Dec 4 Cairns Heavy tackle with choice of motherships or liveaboard

Dec 7 - Dec 12 Cairns to Mackay heavy tackle via Myrmidon reef with choice of motherships or liveaboard

Dec 14 - Dec 23 Mackay to Gold Coast - head to Swains for a night, then out to Suamarez Reef for a night or two, then out to Wreck Reef and Cato Reefs if the weather is good, 10 day trip, fishing for big blues and blacks, jigging and poppers for GT's, Wahoo, Coral Trout etc.limited to 4 places, arrive Gold Coast night of Dec 23 at GCCM. Awesome exploration trip


email Tim
visit website

10/28/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Fiji

Greetings Crew!

This is just a quick note to tell you that once again I have very limited internet access (like almost zero right now). I've currently got the boat hauled out here in Fiji at Vuda Point Marina and am painting the bottom with antifouling paint. I also have some other work that needs being done to the good ship "Deev". Fear not, though, all is going well!

I'll try to write more later if I can get a f#@%ing decent internet connection. Cheers

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in Fiji. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

10/26/09 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers: See Dolphin Report

2009 represents the eighth year that this program has been studying the movements of dolphinfish. This year has set a new marked in operation efficiency. The research program’s main goal is for tagged fish to be recaptured and reported. Already, this year has had the second highest number of tagged fish reported recovered in a single year. The recovery rate is virtually double that for previous years. I believe this increase in the recovery rate is due to an increase in angler awareness to the importance of reporting the capture of tagged dolphin and their desire to help the research program. This goes hand-in-hand with the growing popularity of the program among U.S. offshore anglers as more fishermen signup to tag for the study. This year has also seen a growing interest in Puerto Rico and the establishment of the program in Spain.

The national and international interest in this research effort by fishery researchers as well as by fishermen indicates the importance placed on the species throughout the Central North Atlantic. We can only hope that this will lead to increased scientific studies needed on dolphinfish.

Thanks to all of the fishermen and sponsors for making the program the big success that it is. Two sponsors of particular importance in motivating anglers to tag fish are Shimano Tackle through the Don Coffee Company and Star Rods through the Sea Striker Fishing Tackle Company. Each year these companies generously donate the standup trolling rods and TLD 50 reels that are given to the year’s top taggers. Please let these companies know that you appreciate their support of this important program.

Good fishing,


Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524

10/23/09 - Capt. Mike Lemon - Revenge - North Drop Fish

Capt. Mike and crew noticed this hook and leader trailing while they were releasing a small blue on the N. Drop during the Sept. Moon. Stainless 7732 8/0 hook with copper wire. Leader was a short wind on around 200 lb. test. Anyone recognize this rig? We'll pass your info. on to Capt. Lemon. Email us: loveto@islands.vi
click on image to enlarge.

10/23/09 - Jerry Perez - MB Fishing Tackle - Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico Report

"Hi jimmy this jerry perez that sesome a sailfish and wahoo star from puerto rico, in the west side off the island the fishing sailfish and wahoo last week a boat have 6 sailfish in 2 hours and realeas 3 sail and i went for wahoo in my boat cono azul 33 bertram and i fish a 55 lb 47 wahoo and i lost a doudle heather sailfish and lost 2 mahi this is my report from this week. The november month is sail and wahoo to december and mahi star to coming."

10/22/09 - Dave Lear - Bisbee Tournament - Cabo San Lucas Report

B&B Day 1 Fire - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: Fiery Start to Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Jackpot Tournament.

The yacht The Bottom Line is resting on the bottom on the Sea of Cortez. Minutes after the flare starting the 29th Annual Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament doused in the ocean, one of the participating sportfishing boats already miles away caught fire and sank. All seven crew members aboard were rescued by Sneak Attack, another tournament contestant. Mexican rescue boats and tournament officials were also quickly on the scene.

“It was miraculous no one was seriously injured,” said tournament director Wayne Bisbee, as he and the rescued anglers watched the burning vessel slowly dip below the surface aboard the tournament committee boat, Team Baja Cantina. “It was a tragic and a very humbling experience.”

A total of 94 boats are competing in the world’s richest sportfishing event. Anglers are vying for nearly $2 million in prize money. The Bottom Line, a 50-foot Hatteras convertible, homeported in Cabo and was coming off a 2nd place win in the Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore Tournament that took place on Oct. 16-18.

Fishing will continue through Saturday, after a one-day delay due to Hurricane Rick.

10/22/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

Latest News

The run of incredible weather is about to end, and although it has been nice, it might make the fish want to eat properly and not just stuff around with the baits. The fishing for us has been really consistant, with 2-4 fish seen a day, whilst our catching has not been as good. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet is experiencing the same sort of thing, with a couple of boats catching one, and the others waiting their turn.

Down on Linden Bank the Reel Chase tagged the second GRANDER of the season for John Faulkner from TOWCAM website which I use EVERY day of the season, if the baits are in the water, the camera is too, and we have seen fish we otherwsie wouldnt have and have got some great footage. I have a screen in the tower to watch the swim bait on, and can see the fish pop up behind the bait , which gives us advanced warning over seeing them from the tower itself. And the guests can watch it all live on the salon tv as well - pretty exciting to see.

The day you got the last report, was a great day for Dan, who is joining Ken again this year, but also his 60th birthday is this week, we had a late bite on the fresh scad and tagged a nice 550-600 lb fish for Dan, his first good one!!! The next couple of days we fished up on Day and Hicks Reefs, and saw free feeding marlin, lots of bait and although marking the fish, could not get a bite from a good one. Missed a few smaller ones and that was about it, other than getting Ken his first good GT, about 30 lb with a great bite right next to the boat!!. Taking advantage of the calm conditions we also enjoyed some great swims.

On Friday I wandered out wide of No:10 for the morning and the conditions looked awesome, schools of skipjack, and marked a few schools of tunas down really deep. On the way back to Heartbreak I marked a fish, up she came and Dan got his birthday fish, a nice one about 300 that gave him a good pull. Baits back out and an hour later marked a fish down 160 feet, and not even 10 seconds and there she is on the camera, racing up from the deep and all over the queeny, but no bite. The next few days the wind came up, and peaked yesterday (monday) with a solid 20-30 knots, and the fish were making themselves known, nad we were seeing 4-6 fish a day and getting bites and managing to stay tight to a couple. Saw a few good ones the last few days but couldnt keep the hooks in them. Bait fishing continued to be great for GT's on the Laser Pros, with Dan - now GT Dan catching a bunch up to 50 lbs, giant cudas and all sorts of things.

The fish are all up and down the reef now, with big ones being seen each day, so hopefully our run of fishing and not catching will turn around. The wind is set to keep up 20 knots plus for the next week, so fishing will be great, but a bit rough.

Still have Oct 24-Nov 6 open, jump on a plane and come fish, our turn with the BIG girls is coming.


email Tim
visit website

10/19/09 - John Tierney fwd - John Graves Tracking Information - Virgin Islands

From: John Graves
Subject: Tags up
To: "Bob DeGabrielle, "JOHN TIERNEY", "Robert Cox"
Date: Monday, October 19, 2009, 8:10 AM

Bob, John and Butch:

The last tag popped up on Saturday, right on schedule. enlarge map

i've attached a map showing the location of the last two tags you put out. the map shows the location of the tags over the past five days. the red point is the current location, and you can follow the points back to the pop-up location. the first fish went west, the second went east (the majority of fish tagged off st. thomas went to the east). see where the fish traveled I won't have the temperature and depth profiles for these fish for six weeks, as the tags will be transmitting the stored data. However, I've got lots of plots for previous fish. Most blue marlin show a big day/night difference in their diving behavior, making lots of deep dives during the day and staying up near the surface at night. This is very different from most white marlin, which seem to dive throughout the night and day. If you'd like some representative plots, just let me know and I'll send them out.

Bob: I got the data sheet from your fish -- thanks!

I'd really like to thank all of you for your help with this study. There's no way I could have put out 62 tags on blue marlin without your assistance. In all, we had 59 full tracks 29 on Ilanders or Chuggers and J hooks, and 30 on circle hooks. Only two known mortalities, and both of those were on J hooks. The J hook mortality is much lower than what we found for white marlin, and agrees with the observation of a lot fewer deep hookings in blue marlin versus white marlin. I've already presented the data to NMFS and it is likely that they will amend the circle hook requirement for billfish tournaments. Of the three tags that we aren't using, one was the fish that was injured during the tagging process and then consumed by sharks (we did get a good 10 day track for the shark!), and two that were premature releases (both fell off during the first day and floated at the surface for four days before the constant depth feature triggered the release and data transmission process). The premature releases could have been fish that were consumed by sharks, but we have no way of knowing that for sure. If a shark consumes the tag, it's pretty obvious (it is dark all the time in the stomach). But if sharks eat the fish and the tag floats away, one can't tell the difference between that and the tag simply pulling out. In either case, the mortality wasn't associated with the hook type so it doesn't impact the study.

I'll get a paper out shortly with the hook type and mortality information, and I have a masters student analyzing the depth and temperature plots (habitat utilization) for the fish, comparing locations and seasons, as well as blue marlin from this study with lots of white marlin from previous studies. In the meantime, I've got to get ready for the two week ICCAT meeting in Brazil in November. With the possibility of a CITES listing for bluefin tuna (preventing international trade), ICCAT has one last chance to do something meaningful. Also, swordfish were assessed this year (they have been completely rebuilt), and the U.S. has only been catching about half of its quota for the past several years. Needless to say, there are lots of countries that want our quota. Unfortunately, most of those countries have big bycatch problems.

And if ICCAT weren't enough to deal with, VIMS has to take another 15% budget cut over the next two years (we just had a 15.6% reduction over the past 15 months). The department chairs have until the end of this month to figure out how it's going to go down. Obviously, there's nothing left to cut but salaries, and our governor has indicated that we can't use furloughs or salary reductions, so that means layoffs. Most of the staff in my department have 20 or more years of service. This sucks!

Again, many thanks for all of your help.

Good fishing!



John Graves
Chair, Department of Fisheries Science
Professor of Marine Science
Virginia Institute of Marine Science College of William and Mary
P.O. Box 1346 (mail);
Route 1208 Greate Road (FedEx, UPS)
Gloucester Point, VA 23062
804 684-7352 (office); -7258 (lab); -7157 (fax)

10/14/09 - John Tierney fwd - Andrew Thorpy w/Peter B Wright - GBR, Australia

Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 6:03 PM

Im back fishing in Australia aboard Sea Baby IV with Capt. Peter B Wright. We just finished up our first 5 day charter of the season Oct. 9-13th. On the first day we caught a 400lb Black Marlin and saw two other tailers. The next day was one that I will never forget. We started off catching a 300lber, then hooked a real nice one. After a 15-20 min fight I got on the leader with a 900lb+ Black that made 7 huge jumps on the leader. We got the tags in her and cracked her off the leader. Not more than 15 min later we hooked another nice one. Peter B called this one 950lb+ but said she was real close to the mark and could possibly make it. Again we tagged and released this Black as our clients didn’t want to weight any fish.

What an incredible day to catch two really big ones that put on a great show with only 15-20 min fights. I really thought it couldn’t get any better than that but was proved otherwise when the third day we hooked into a really nice one. After a 30 min fight we got the tags in another marlin Peter B called 1000lb+. That day we saw 10 marlin and pulled another one off. On the fourth day we caught a 450lber, pulled one off and saw another. Last day we caught a 700lb Tiger shark on a live skipjack. Had a great five day trip with 6 fish, 2 over 900lbs and 1000lb+ We are off again today for a 4 day charter, will send another report when I get a chance.



10/05/09 - Bruno Larica - Victoria Brazil Fishing Report

Hi guys,

Just got done fishing the 1st tourney of the Vitoria season. We had awesome weather on the 2 days of fishing.

Overall we released 3 blues (200#, 300# and a 600+#) of 6 bites, and 1 whitey of 2 raised. Ended up placing 2nd.

It has been an awesome start of season!

Going out tomorrow again...

Pura vida!!!!

Bruno Larica
email Bruno

10/05/09 - Rick Alvarez - Inl. Super Slam - Venezuela Tournament Report


Many thanks to those of you who shared the days of the event with us, and to those who didn´t make it, shame you were unable to enjoy all the fun. Enjoy the pics on the Sinflash.com website everyone!

See Photos

10/05/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

Latest News

We are on our 3rd trip of the season now, and after getting the marlin bites but not converting for the first week, we are back in the Groove.

We had the boys from Melbourne up, who enjoyed some great light tackle fishing, and we had some bites on the big rods but didnt stay on. A great few days and the boys are excited about the trip to WA in 2011.

Last few days we had some of my Gold Coast club members who used their free day on Tradition from the Club tournament auction (proceeds to Camp Quality) and fished with us for 4 days in full. Jack fought a decent fish for about 20 minutes before the hook pulled, and we raised fish each day and had some bites but couldnt get the job done!!!

On the other hand the light tackle fishing continued to be good and the spearing was exceptional.

Saturday we started with Peter and Lydie, their 5th trip on TRADITION with flat seas and light winds. We ran to the top of No:7 Ribbon Reef and myself , Chris and Brett proceeded to put a hurting on the trout!!!! We each got one or two really good ones and off we wnet for the next big challenge. After Lydies exceptional effort in last years Lizard Island comp, she is back again , but this time we are fishing 50lb line for the womens record, a big challenge, but possible- needing 880 or better.

First day we had 2 bites and broke line after an hour on one about 500 lbs, got her about 50 feet from the boat a couple of times, but then she just dumped us straight down and popped the line after an hour.

Yesterday we had 5 bites or might have been 6, cant remember, and pulled a couple off, but managed after a feisty fight to tag a nice 400 lb fish on 50. A great effort and all the time learing more about the limits of what we can do.

Fishing up and down the Reef has been inporoving each day, and many big fish from 650 to 900 have been seen and tagged the last few days.

I have Oct 24-Nov 6 open, including the Lizard Island comp Oct 24-31 inclusive , 7 days of fishing- email me if you are interested.

Nov 11 - Nov 18 inclusive - Heavy tackle with choice of motherships or liveaboard

Nov 29 - Dec 4 Cairns Heavy tackle with choice of motherships or liveaboard

Dec 7 - Dec 12 Cairns to Mackay heavy tackle via Myrmidon reef with choice of motherships or liveaboard

Dec 14 - Dec 23 Mackay to Gold Coast - head to Swains for a night, then out to Suamarez Reef for a night or two, then out to Wreck Reef and Cato Reefs if the weather is good, 10 day trip, fishing for big blues and blacks, jigging and poppers for GT's, Wahoo, Coral Trout etc.limited to 4 places, AU$5500 each for 10 days, arrive Gold Coast night of Dec 23 at GCCM.


email Tim
visit website

10/03/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Jost Van Dyke, BVI

Boatbuilding on Jost Van Dyke - Or How I Spent My Summer Vacation…

Ahoy Crew!

Well shipmates, I’ve been away from the good ship “Deviant” going on three months now but I have not been far from the sea or from boats. I am still on the beautiful little island of Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands and preparing to head back to St. Thomas then to San Francisco and then back to the boat in Fiji around October 20th. The weather and natural phenomena have been quite active in the western Pacific of late, what with earthquakes, tsunamis and violent storms. Fortunately all is calm in Fiji where I have my boat hauled out. I will be very glad to get back aboard!

Before I get into the full narrative of “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” let me welcome aboard a couple of new crew members and remind all of you that you can opt out of receiving these emails by simply asking. I remind you that my blog and some photo albums are posted on the Orcas Island Yacht Club website at See Site so feel free to go there if you wish. It’s a really good website. Jimmy Loveland also publishes my ramblings on his website, USVI Open Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament (ABMT), ABMT For the purposes of this writing I call attention to the website for the Island Sloop Project, Sloop News and for the Jost van Dykes Preservation Society at Website two more excellent sites. (You can click on the links.)

The JVDPS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to preserving the environmental, cultural and historical aspects of Jost van Dyke. It was the dreamchild of Philiciano (Foxy) Callwood many years ago and he generated the support and assistance of many dedicated and hardworking individuals to bring this organization to full flower. The board of directors brought in Ms. Susan Zaluski as Projects Director who oversees the many educational, environmental and cultural programs. She has successfully applied for grants from the British Government and from the UN. The organization relies on this funding and on monies donated from the public to carry on its programs. Contributions are tax deductible.

I have been involved with the building of a 32 foot replica Island Sloop over the past several years. I have come down on 3 separate occasions to participate in the construction of this vessel, “Endeavour II”. The boatbuilding project is another dreamchild of Foxy and he is the driving force behind it. He envisions it as a boat for the youth of the BVI, particularly for the youth of Jost van Dyke. It will be a reminder of days gone by when these sloops were the primary means of transportation in the islands. They were all locally built by native boatbuilders. He sees it as a way to reacquaint the youth with their maritime heritage and to teach sail training and navigation. The sloop will be the flagship of the JVDPS and participate in local regattas throughout the Caribbean.

The first time I came down at the request of Capt. Kevin Gray who was the original Project Manager for the Sloop Project. He led the design, organized the local youth to help with the building and generated funding through contributions. That the boat has gotten as far as it has is the direct result of his participation. When I first came down here to help with the project the boat was framed up and the hull construction had begun. In that 6 week period I worked closely with Kevin and his crew of local high school kids and we just about finished laying up the hull. The first three photos are from that time.

The second time I came down was about a year later and we rolled the boat over to right side up and framed in the deck. I was here for just 4 weeks that time. The day we rolled the boat over was a very big day and it had all the trappings of a celebration. Newspaper people and video documentary professionals were in attendance. It made the front page of the local paper! The next three photo attachments are from that time.

This time I have been down here on the project for 7 weeks. We put down plywood for the decks and glassed it with biaxial cloth impregnated with epoxy resin (by the way, everything on the boat is heavily constructed using epoxy glues and saturation techniques). We put the rubbing strake on and got a good start on the bulwarks and cap rail. Photos 7-9 are from this time. The 10th photo is of me and Foxy.

So crew, that’s how I spent my summer vacation! Get in touch with me and tell me how you spent yours.

Carry On!

Chuck Handy

Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
N18.50, S64.75 (more or less)

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

09/30/09 - Juan Carlos Torruella - Puerto Rico Fishing Report

Hey Jimmy, Another little report from PR.

The Club Deportivo del Oeste held its 21st Light Tackle Blue Marlin tournament Sept. 24-27.

78 boats released 150 blue marlin on 30 pound line in 3 days of fishing.>br>
Top boat INESMAR with 6 tagged blue marlin. Aboard WHEEZING we went 2/5 the last day after going 0/1 the first two days combined. There were a lot of fish in the Mona Passage but the fish were very spread out. Fish were caught in Mona Island, Desecheo Island, at the Pichincho bank, Los Placeres Bank, etc...

In San Juan they have also been bitting... I was 0/2 yesterday and will be on the water tomorow and friday. Let you know how it goes. Here's a nice pic of one we tagged in the tournament on the WHEEZING.

Tight lines, Juan.

09/23/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Cairins, Australia Report

Only a couple of days and TRADITION will be kicking off our 2009 heavy tackle season on Friday morning.

There have been a few boats fishing the last week or so and the reports are great, 1-4 bites a day, mostly from the smaller males up to 400 lbs , and a big girl or two seen each day by the boats.

Yesterday a couple of big fish were encountered but did not go through with it long enough to stay on. The signs of a great season are all there, and after a couple of slower seasons we are all excited about the upcoming fishing.

The water temp has picked up, the current is running to the south, not like previous years where it was even running to the north!!! And the longliners are already encountering good numbers of yellowfin and bigeyes out wide, which is much more like the conditions we had 10 years ago.

The TRADITION is all set and ready to go, Brett gets here tomorrow and a bit more food and we are off.

With the good start so far the rest of the season looks promising , and as always the grandure of the Great Barrier Reef is there for us to experience each day.

Open dates this season are:

Oct 24 - 31 Lizard Island Comp or just fishing
Nov 1 - 6 and Nov 11 - Nov 18 inclusive
Nov 29 - Dec 4 Cairns to Cairns
Dec 7 - Dec 12 Cairns to Mackay heavy tackle via Myrmidon reef
Dec 14 - Dec 23 Mackay to Gold Coast - head to Swains for a night, then out to Suamarez Reef for a night or two, then out to Wreck Reef and Cato Reefs if the weather is good, 10 day trip, fishing for big blues and blacks, jigging and poppers for GT's, Wahoo, Coral Trout etc.limited to 4 places, AU$5500 each for 10 days, arrive Gold Coast night of Dec 23 at GCCM.

Mothershipping is available for all dates with choices of the Bali Hai, Atlantic Princess, Emerald Lady and Mustique.


email Tim
visit website

09/18/09 - Received from Capt. Fess@aol.com - Fish Story from the Gulf

Read Fish Story

09/16/09 - John and Jessica Kimberley - New Zealand - Fishing Report

Hi Jimmy:

NZ Newsletter September 2009

Our very short winter season for giant Bluefin Tuna is ending and, although, numbers were slightly down on previous years (though one boat still managed 25+ fish), there was still plenty of excitement & some notable captures.

Most fish are now tagged & released but extra large fish & record claims are being taken. Fish as large as 700lb were released and one nearer 800lb was also let go, as a second angler took over the battle to relieve his exhausted mate!

To date, there are claims in for a junior world record, ladies world record & a line class record.

We are trying to protect this amazing fishery but, with the unpredictability of such things, the advice has to be… try it sooner than later.

Our Marlin season seems to be extending over recent seasons and this winter has yielded some extraordinary news. Mid January to May has been the recognised period for as long as anyone can remember. More recently Stripeys have been taken into June, when anglers stop trying. A reliable sighting of a fish on the surface in July and offshore commercial boats taking Stripeys along with Big Eye Tuna, as I write, begs the question that a few eyebrows would be raised if greater angling effort were made in these unseasonable months.

With water temperatures already up for the time of year & Snapper in roe already, we are hoping for some early inshore action from the pelagics.

Tight lines,

John Kimberley.

John & Jessica Kimberley
Pacific Promotions NZ
20 Nelsons Road, RD2, Hikurangi
Northland 0182, New Zealand

Tel: +64 9 433 9981
Mobile: 021 430 717
email John

09/16/09 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Hello everyone,

I'm sorry that there has not been any updates sent out for a while but there have been very few days fished thus far but on those days that we do go out we hit a marlin almost every time. The website has been updated a little more frequently if you have been checking that out.

Talking of the website, we are giving it a complete face-lift and the new site hopefully will be going live shortly. It will still contain lots of information but just be a different layout to conform with the most recent internet developments. As soon as it is live I'll send you a message to let you know.

Kamara II was out for a short day in June and we had a double header from shortbill spearfish. Unfortunately one of them jumped off immediately but the other one we got, one of the biggest that I have seen. I estimated it as about 25-kg but it may well have gone more than that. Jasiri got one also in July along with a mako so perhaps this is the season for them? I have been very lucky with spearfish having caught a few on both Kamara and Kamara II but my poor father who has been fishing longer than any of us has never even seen one! They are pretty rare as you can see; Kamara II's first billfish was a spearfish so how lucky can that be?

There was no fishing in July but in August we did a few days and marlin were seen on most days out. Jasiri got a striped marlin on the 7th and then took a double header a few days later. My brother, Mike was over from Australia the first time that he had been back for 15 years and it was also a long time since last he went out on the ocean. On the 8th we went out on Broadbill and on the way home he had a small black marlin on briefly but it threw the hook and then on 14th fishing on Kamara II he was unlucky again, missing a stripey this time. Kamara II did get a striped marlin on 17th for Guido Van de Steen from Belgium. We have only fished a couple of days this month, firstly on 8th Broadbill had a strike from another stripey and on 13th Christoph Happe from Belgium released a nice striped marlin from Kamara II.

Unfortunately there has been no sign of the big yellowfin tuna in the channel as yet but hard to be certain if they are really there or not when the boats are swinging on the mooring. There must be something to keep the marlin there, certainly we saw quite a lot of skipjack tuna the last trip so perhaps the tuna are passing through much deeper. Some big fish are appearing on the North Kenya Banks so perhaps they will move on down here soon. September always used to be high season back in the 1980's to mid-1990's and I'm sure it will turn around again but when? Also I should add that even in those years they did not always start well early and sometimes October was by far the best month.

Latham Open - this tournament will take place this month on 25/26 and anybody interested in making a booking should contact me as soon as possible.

Tanga Open - this is a tournament hosted by the Tanga Yacht Club just across the border in Tanzania and this year it will be on 17/18 October. Again if you are interested please get in touch. Malindi International Fishing Festival - this is a wonderful, fun competition with some very serious fishing hosted by the Malindi Sea Fishing Club. The first day, Friday 16th October is the light tackle tournament where only 20-lb and under may be used. The next two days of 17/18 are standard fishing but billfish are always the main target species.

November - as with 2008 I am interested in basing Kamara II up in Malindi during the last half of November. Last year the fishing was outstanding and hopefully it will be similar again this year. If you interested please get in touch.

December - March: February especially but also January are filling up rapidly so if you are interested in fishing the marlin season please drop us a line soonest. I have often been asked when is the best time to fish for marlin in the Pemba Channel and when I was reviewing the statistics for the new website I decided to plot a graph of "success rates". Particularly when we look at billfish catch rates there is no difference between around 7 December to end February taking the most recent 17 years. Some periods show a slight slump mid-graph but I suspect that this is more to do with angler preference rather than the marlin going on a short holiday mid season. Sometimes the first half January is hard to fill presumably because of the proximity to the Christmas - New Year season but the fishing is often excellent. My best catches on Kamara II were first week January with 18 marlin in 6 days, not too bad! Very often the monsoon starts late November with quite some intensity and with it come the marlin and that week to ten days can be phenomenal.

Over the past 17 years, which has been the most successful week for marlin? The best week has been that of 3- 9 January followed closely by January 31 - February 6, then 17-23 January and the 4th best week has been December 13-19. If we are looking at billfish other than broadbill then the best week over the last 17 has been 21-27 February, followed by 6-12 December jointly with 17-23 January, then close behind is December 20 to January 2 and January 31 to February 6. So, as you can see there is not a lot of difference and it is impossible to tell when the actual peak in a given season will be. Perhaps finally I can just add that from 6th December to 13th March more than 50% of the 17 most recent seasons yielded better than 1 billfish every 2 days respective of each week.

Friends of Kenya Tournament: this year this will be held on Tuesday 9th - Wednesday 10th March out of Hemingways Resort, Watamu. This is basically an "extended combo" tournament with 2 days and a night non- stop fishing. In the recent past it has produced some incredible catches that include a fantasy slam and super slams. Kamara II is currently booked for a North Kenya Safari returning to Watamu on Sat 6 March and will be available in Watamu the following week. If you are interested please contact me.

Kenya Angling Trophies: This past weekend an award dinner was hosted by the Kenya Association of Sea Anglers (KASA) at the La Marina Restaurant in Mtwapa Creek. It was well attended and it was a wonderful evening in a superb setting and with great food. Trophies were awarded to many categories for both angler and boat/skipper. Although the 2008/09 season was not the easiest for Sea Adventures we did collect the trophy for the biggest fish caught by an under 10 angler. This was won by 10-yr old Mark Carr-Hartley from Botswana for his 59-kg striped marlin caught from Broadbill in February 2009 - well done Mark and I know his Dad, John will be very proud. There is also a photographic contest so if you take any really good pictures this season perhaps you would like to put them in. The trophies have to the remain secure but are available for public viewing at Capt. Andy's Fishing Supply in Nyali - there are some wonderful and very valuable trophies, many of them bronzes. The award dinner will be repeated annually.

Tight lines!

Best wishes,

Pat, Maia, Simon, Tina, Lyndsay, Chris and all our wonderful staff Sea Adventures Ltd, website Simon Hemphill email
Tel: +254 (0)722 796 198 (Simon) or (0)722 479 864 (Maia)

09/15/09 - Juan Carlos Torruella - Puerto Rico Fishing Report

Hey Jimmy,

Just a couple of lines to let you know what's happened around here. The IBT in San Juan drew 46 boats and they released 99 blues in 4 days of fishing. It was the best fishing for San Juan in the past seasons. RUM BUM top boat with 6, followed by BIMBA and REEL AFFAIR with 5 apiece. The backside of the moon produced some more good fishing. I went on a tuna hunt on 9/09 and left the dock at 3:00 pm., put the lines out at 3:20 and hooked up a double blue marlin at 4:15 pm. With just a two man crew we managed to release both just before 5:00 pm. We went bottom fishing on 9/11 and after jigging up some amberjacks and blackfin tuna on our way back to the marina we put them out and managed to release a nice 275 lb. blue and was back at the dock at noon.

Fished the Boqueron marlin tournament on 9/12 & 9/13. Bite was a little slow saturday and we were 0/1 but it was better on sunday and we went 2/3 with a 150 and a 200 pounder released on 30 pound test. That won us the daily for sunday.

The Boqueron tournament had 20 boats release 11 blues in two days, and the Caribbean American Challenge (which ran the same dates) saw 8 boats release 8 blues in two days.

Club Deportivo del Oeste is running their annual gig Sept. 24-27 and with a rising moon the bite should be good.

Thanks for keeping us up to date with the amamzing St. Thomas bite, we are all pulling our hairs out just reading the reports...

Tight lines,


09/14/09 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers: See Dolphin Report

Judging by the reports of fishermen from Alabama to New York, dolphin fishing has followed the same pattern as the previous six years. What I mean by that is that no two years have been similar. Distributions of dolphin along the U.S. East Coast appear to be highly variable year-to-year in temporal and spatial occurrence as-well-as abundance. While anglers in the South Atlantic Bight lament a good but abbreviated season this year, fishermen in the Mid-Atlantic Bight are reveling in one of their better dolphin years in a decade. To a large degree, dolphin distribution is a product of their environment. As the Florida and Gulf Stream currents under go changes along with the entire North Atlantic Ocean, dolphin movements and distribution will be directly effected.

Knowing this has not changed the fact that summer tagging activity remains low. This year however, it appears that the program is benefiting from a significant increase in angler cooperation. As of September 1, five more tagged fish have been reported recovered since the July newsletter, bringing the total tags reported to 46. Subsequently the research program is achieving one of its primary objectives, large number of tag recoveries, more efficiently.

Thanks to all of the fishermen and financial supporters who are making this year’s study a big success.

Good fishing,


Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524

09/09/09 - Olaf Grimkowski - Azores Fishing Report

09.09.2009 - We went to Condor were it was still fairly uncomfortable but full of blue marlin too !We caught 3 out of 7 bites and a bite from a mako of 250pounds. We first caught a 350 pounder on the Bonze Tracker

After that we had the Mako on the DS - Followed by a doubleheader on Grimmel and Tracker both pulled off. (Medium size) 3 minutes later we had a strike on the Tracker and then finally we caught two again on the Mongrel Dog (250 pounds) and at least a decent one over 500 on the Tracker again. Doubleheader with Captain Zack caught 2 for four , Habitat 1/2 plus a Mako and Xacara caught a 700 pounder and a white marlin !

08.09.2009 - Too windy !

07.09.2009 - We raised one white in the north the only "fishable"(rideable) place with 25 kn of southerly wind. Not one of my favorite fishingdays !

06.09.2009 - We raised a 600 pounder that didn´t switch before it got too rough for what we do on condor bank. We went to the north and saw nothing else. Habitat caught 3 out of four bites on the Condor ! (950, 800,...)

05.09.2009 - We raised three blues again all on the Bonze Grimmel , hooked one and had the 700 on for 1,5 hours before she broke off. The other two were a double wich didn´t switch.

04.09.2009 - As we are world record fishing with Michel and Dedee Delaunay we had our first hookup s today . We raised three blue marlin on the Bonze Grimmel today , hooked two on 16 pound line of wich we lost the first one imidiately and the second one after 2 hours fight being tailwrapped. We also raised two white marlin. Habitat raised a 500 pound blue as well.

03.09.2009 - We raised a 500 pound blue that spit our squid out and like a rotten apple and left. We also raised two whites.

02.09.2009 - Nada again but Habitat raised two blues for Daniel their underwaterfotografer.

01.09.2009 - Nothing for us but Xacara caught a 550 pounder.

My website was updatet with fishingreports from Horta/Acores www.marlin-web.com



Check www.marlin-web.com for pictures and history

09/09/09 - Rick Alvarez - La Guaira, Venezuela International Super Slam Tournament

Dear fellow billfish enthusiast,

Plans continue to move forward for the upcoming Venezuelan International Super Slam billfish tournament scheduled for September 25th thu the 28th to benefit the Friends of Children with Cancer Foundation and good participation is expected by both visiting and local teams.

In addition, according to this year’s Observer Coordinator, Chris Whitely, to ensure strict adherence to tournament rules and continue to promote conservation of the species a very nice group of observers are signed up and are eager to be of service.

Latest fishing reports indicate that whitey has started to show up in significant numbers with boats reporting up to 12 white marlin bites in a day. Of course, the usual number of sails and occasional blues are also coming up on the baits. Also, the fuel situation for visiting boats that existed in the earlier part of the year has not been an issue for many months now.

As is customary at all our events, great parties with fabulous food with lots of spirits provided by our sponsors Diplomatico Rum and Solera Beer are scheduled at the host hotel, Marriott Playa Grande.

We hope to see all of you there. If you haven’t finalized your plans yet do so because we anticipate a great event. See Information

Thanks and good fishing,

Rick Alvarez

Director VISS

09/09/09 - Capt. Ross "Flash" Clark - SF Loaner - St. Thomas, VI

Morning and greetings from St. Thomas and "Loaner" Sportfishing

The last moon, the September moon, was to say the least beyond compare. We began our moon fishing for one day with Art Godoy and his family which included wife and daughter, Alisha and Sherry, and a friend Elisa. And it was a good day as his daughter caught and released her first blue marlin! A great time was had by all, it's always a special day when someone catches their first marlin.

But from there the bite built up to something that has not happened in the memory of many St. Thomas veterans. Frank Branch, captain of the Sandra-T, and his boss Serena arrived to fish one day with us and 3 days on another boat and they saw an incredible bite. We were fortunate to raise 8 blues and release 6. 2 fish were over 400lbs and all with the exception of 1 were over 300lbs. They went on to have a strong run for the next 3 days releasing over 12 fish in 4 days of fishing!

Stan"the man"Strickland and his Captain "Buck" were next to fish with us and once again the bite was on. Over the course of the next 5 days of fishing we released, between Stan and our next group, 7 blue marlin and raised quite a few more. All in all an incredible moon.

We are booking for the October full moon, which is on the 4th of October, and we have great dates available still. Historically the October moon has always been good and usually better than the September moon which if this proves to be the case should exceed all expectations. Anyone with any interest should get in touch and let me know how I may be of service. So until later....

Tight lines

Captain Ross"Flash"Clark

We are represented by South Fishing 800.882.4665.

09/08/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Jost Van Dyke, BVI

Ahoy Crew! Bula! Yokwe!

This note finds me sitting on a white sand beach in the British Virgin Islands at a little waterfront eating and drinking establishment called Foxy’s Tamarind Bar. It’s early in the morning and very quiet. Some of the local ladies are out for their morning walk and some fishermen are readying their gear for fishing. It’s low season here and Hurricane Season as well. The harbor, Great Harbor, normally full of charter bareboats, is empty. Last week we had a close pass from Tropical Storm Ericka. Fortunately for us she dissipated and brought only much needed rain and little or no wind.

I wrote and sent pictures to some of you a couple of weeks ago when I first arrived in the States from Fiji. Let cover some of that ground again…

Arriving from Fiji I was picked up by my friend Tony in Marin County, CA. He and his wife, Laurel, put me up at their place for 5 or 6 days. Tony and Laurel became friends of mine over the last couple years as Tony and I worked together on the Cangarda Project in Point Richmond. Tony is one of the finest shipwrights that I have ever had the pleasure to work with and he and his wife have become very special people for me. (They also supply me with extremely high grade reading material!)

I had left my very red, 1988 Jeep Cherokee at Bill and Grace Bodle’s Sugardock Marina in Pt. Richmond and after letting her sit idle for 18 months she fired up and we were ready to hit the road again. At Tony’s suggestion I decided to make the trip from the Bay Area to the Canadian border by avoiding all interstate highways, motels and restaurants. I loaded all my camping gear in the back of the Jeep and got on the two lane roads heading north. It took me over a week of traveling to get to the San Juan Islands and I went through some of the prettiest landscapes that can be imagined. Most of the trip was through the High Desert Region in between the coastal mountain range and the Rockies. Some days I would drive for hours on dirt roads seeing no other vehicles except farm and ranch equipment.

After arriving on Orcas Island I grabbed up my favorite traveling companion, my dog, MarleyDog, had morning coffee with the always interesting coffee gang who join together each AM at the Orcas Hotel and headed west into northern Idaho for another week of camping on the Pack River. I crossed the state of Washington on Route 20 through the Northern Cascade Range. A group of us journeyed together. There was myself, a van and three big Harley’s. We made a two day trip out of it, stopping to camp just south of the Canadian border in Eastern Washington.

The reason for the jaunt to Idaho was to attend the wedding of one of my old shipmates, Joby Joyner. Joby married his girlfriend of several years, Harmony, on his Dad’s land right on the banks of the Pack River. Joby and Harmony have been living there in a teepee. The wedding, a barefoot celebration, was a rousing success with a band, a pig roast, several kinds of wild game and lots of salads and veggies. There were tents and teepees, music and dancing, horseshoes and river tubing, all going on for a week. Even though I think very little of the institution of marriage I must admit that it made for a wonderful excuse for a teriffic get together!

Now then… You are all my witnesses to this and I make this a public pronouncement. Joby is the best shipmate I’ve ever sailed with and I’ve offered him my boat, the “Deev” should anything happen to me while I remain single and childless. Remember the stipulations; no significant other or children. A partner or a child of my blood would necessarily have first shot at the boat but other than that, should I drop dead in some foreign, faraway port or any place else, Joby, the boat is yours.

Returning to the present, here I sit on a beautiful, coconut fringed white sand beach in the Caribbean. I am here at the request of the Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society to put in a few weeks of work on the building of their flagship, a “JVD 32”, the “Endeavor II”. This is the third time I’ve been here to work on the project over the last couple of years. The first time we were primarily involved in planking the boat, the second time we rolled it over to right side up (that made the papers and internet!) and framed out the deck and this time my old pal and Captain, Pete, are putting down the decks, glassing them and hope to get the rub rail and perhaps the bulwarks started. We are limited by immigration to a months stay here in the BVI so we can only get so much done in one go.

The website for this project is sloopnews.org. The organization is a non-profit NGO that is concerned with the ecological and historical preservation of this unique little niche called Jost Van Dyke. Check it out… Foxy Callwood is the inspiration of the JVDPS and the Godfather. He has recently received the OBE (Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for his lifelong work on the island of Jost Van Dyke. Susan Zaluski is the Projects Director for the JVDPS and does an incredible job under very difficult conditions. Captain Kevin Gray was inspirational in the design and lofting of the sloop and as Project Director of the Island Sloop Project got the local High School kids involved in the project, got a lot of community involvement and raised a lot of funding for it. Under his supervision the hull itself was completed and the boat rolled over one morning by manpower alone. Kevin has since moved on to other things but remains available to the team for advice and information.

I’ll be here for a couple more weeks then it will be back to Fiji in October and back to the Marshall Islands in November or December, I think…

I’ll attach a couple of photos with this entry.

1) The very red Jeep with a very redHarley.
2) A road less traveled.
3) Music on the Pack River.
4) The decs of the island Sloop.
5) Foxy at work on the t iller for the Island Sloop.
Cheers and Carry On!


Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

09/04/09 - Rick Alvarez/Capt. Bubba Carter Tijereta - La Guaira, Venezuela Report

Capt Bubba Carter reports that a group of anglers from Hawaii fishing with him aboard Tijereta on Wednesday SEP 2nd released a Grand Slam (blue, white, sail), plus two additional whites on the billfish. Additionally they brought home a 200 lb yellow fin tuna and a half a dozen hefty dorados.

On Thursday SEP 3rd, they had a dozen white marlin bites and released six of them. They also brought home a handful of hefty size dorados.

09/03/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

Latest News

Made it to Cairns !!!!

Well the weather could not have been any better for our trip from Mackay to Cairns via the outer Great Barrier Reef. Light winds and calm seas were the call for our 8 days out on the TRADITION. We left Mackay and ran up to Nara Inlet in the Whitsundays, one of my favourite anchorages on the way up the coast . I try to make sure I stay there for a night each year. Glassy calm and a couple of porpoises greeted us at Nara just after dark.

The next week was spent fishing, snorkeling and spearing, along with some good scad fishing on the way to Cairns. Most days were only about a 4 hour troll, but a couple were big days for the kids. Luckily they didn't have too much trouble working out how to make the DVD player and IPod work, so they were pretty happy!!!

Fished Cape Bowling Green off Townsville for little blacks, but other than seeing a couple of free jumpers, couldn't find one behind the boat. But we did manage to release plague proportions of bonitos and spanish mackeral , as well as having quite a few chased and munched by the sharks who were in fine form !!!!! Next day we managed to let a little black about 50 lb find us, and after a zip on the teaser, ate the laser pro!!! 10 minutes of waiting for him to throw the treble and we tagged him and the hook pulled, perfect release.

The rest of the week was, troll for an hour, drop the anchor and snorkel and swim for a couple of hours and then troll a few hours to the next anchorage. A great week and a wonderful time with good friends.

In Cairns now and doing some chores before we get going in a couple of weeks. Still got some time last week of Sept and some other open dates during the season on the Contact and Available dates page.

Cant wait for the season to start !!!!


email Tim
visit website

08/25/09 - Dr. David Conkle - Miss Babbie - Pensacola, Florida

Just to let you and Eddie's (Capt. Eddie Winds) friends know that his ashes were scattered in the Destin Pass. Home is where your heart is. Hope all is well. The tourament sounded like a great success thanks to you and your crew. Dave

08/24/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

Mackay, Queensland

Hi everyone, welcome to the start of another Black Marlin Season on the Great Barrier Reef !!!!!.

TRADITION has spent the last 10 days fishing from the Gold Coast, to Lady Musgrave Island and out into the Swains Reefs on the way to Mackay. Bait fishing was not as good as last year,due to the tides being really big, up to 12 foot range!!! Saw a few sails freejumping and about 30 humpback whales on their annual migration. Yesterday we were treated to a mother and calf swimming and slashing around the boat for about 5 minutes before they headed south on their way back to Antarctica.

Have a couple of days here to get the boat squared away and then off for our first charter of the season, light tackle fishing up to Cairns via Cape Bowling Green off Townsville, hopefully the little blacks make an appearance in the next few days.

Our heavy tackle season kicks off mid September thru to mid December and there are still some places available for heavy tackle charters during prime moon and tide phases. Please call or email me if you are interested in some days. Chris and Brett are finishing some tournaments in the mid Atlantic area, and cant wait to get back to the big reef.

Lastly a not so good note, my great friend and old captain from the Everest days, Captain Danny Ford had a horrible fall while washing a boat in Florida a few days ago, and is recovering in St Mary's in Palm Beach Florida, our thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery Danny !!!! Get better soon, bud, and see you early next year.

Thats all for now, more updates coming now that fishing is beginning.


email Tim
visit website

08/13/09 - Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report

Wednesday August 12

Quick report before I head off for a few weeks to a land so far away that the sea is grey/brown and very cold !

In the past few weeks most visiting boats returned South or West and it's now time to keep an eye on developing systems in the tropics. It must be August ! The fishing has been so-so. It could have been better, but an unbelievable amount of Sargasso seaweed has swamped us. In many areas, including around the banks, trolling has been near impossible and it's simply no fun shaking seaweed all day. This type of heavy sea weed influx is quite common here in the fall and early winter, but nobody - not even the old salts - can remember it coming like this in July or August. The whites have predictably pretty much gone, but the increase in the blue marlin bite has not been great. Capt. Alan Card and team on "Challenger" have perhaps had the best run - they were 3-6 on blue marlin on July 31, and then they released a 700 pounder on August 4, and also scored a 2-4 blue marlin day on August 8.

Since my last report (July 18), the yellowfin tuna bite has been interesting. Around July 20-ish the bite was not bad, with decent numbers of 50-70 pounders being taken on live robins or on chunks. Since then the numbers reduced and it's been hard to catch more than two or three per day (or less), but some bigger fish have been taken also. Capt. James Robinson's "Wound Up" boated a 95 pounder one day in late July and then went out the next day and scored with a 126 pounder. My only trip offshore was on August 3 aboard "Reel Addiction" with Hawaii-Blake Watkins. We went on the bank to get baits and caught some tasty almaco jack and rainbow runner while doing that; then we tried for tuna for a few hours and Blake cranked in a 62 lb yellowfin and a 15 lb blackfin. After that we spent the afternoon marlin fishing in an ocean of sea weed.

The wahoo bite has been slow, but that is not unusual for July and we often see a significant uptick through August. There have been recent indications that the uptick is starting.

Capt Brooks Rans and team aboard "Mattanza" scored a brilliant day yesterday. They caught three wahoo and a big fat 195 lb yellowfin tuna, and they also released a blue marlin and had shots at two other blues, one of which was very big. Take a look at Brook's pictures attached. NICE GOING MATTANZA !!

07/27/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

Hi Everyone!

Here is what is currently open, great openings on the small moon phases. The blue ocean water has already moved into the Cairns reefs, along with numbers of sails and little blacks, better than seen for a few years, heading north Aug 10. Tim

Sept 5 - Sept 15 Cairns Light tackle fishing Outer reef trips as well - Holmes Flora Osprey etc
Sept 15/20 - 28 Cairns Heavy Tackle liveaboard or mothership
Oct 24 - 31 Lizard Island Comp 8 days fishing with choice of motherships or liveaboard
Nov 1-6 inclusive -NEW WEEK OPEN Heavy tackle with choice of motherships or liveaboard
Nov 12 - Nov 18 inclusive - Heavy tackle with choice of motherships or liveaboard
Dec 7 - Dec 15 Cairns Heavy tackle with choice of motherships
Dec 15 ish Mackay/Bundaberg to Gold Coast - head to Lady Musgrave and then out to Wreck Reef and possibly Cato if the weather is good, Probably a 7 -10 day trip, fishing for big blues and blacks, jigging and poppers for GT's, Wahoo, Coral Trout etc.
Mothershipping is available for all dates with choices of the Bali Hai, Atlantic Princess, Emerald Lady and Mustique.
www.AtlanticPrincess.com www.EmeraldLady.com.au www.Mustique.com.au
Dec 15 onwards Cairns and/or outer reef trips fishing back to Townsville, Mackay or Bundaberg
Dec 09 - Feb 2010 Gold Coast /Brisbane light and heavy tackle
Light tackle sport fishing, day trips, corporate cruises, extended outer reef trips, jigging and popper fishing.

Capt Tim Richardson
email: tim@traditioncharters.com

07/21/09 - Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report

See Bermuda Report by Jonathan Reiss

07/17/09 - Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report


Day Two saw a pretty good bite in the Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament. The 23 boat fleet scored with 11 blue marlin releases and 5 white releases. However, two boats outclassed everyone else - first "Tease Em" added to their Day One catch of 700 points by securing two more blue marlin releases and another white release to reach an impressive total of 1,900 points. This keeps "Tease Em" in first place with a 700 point cushion. "Anita Jean" also gained two blue marlin releases and a white release on Day Two to reach 1,200 points and this is good for 2nd place and also won them the Day Two Release Jackpot worth $12,667. Capt. Allen Desilva and team on "Mako" released a nice blue marlin (450 lb+) and a white. Also on Day Two, blue marlin were released by "Wound Up", "Queen of Hearts", "Profit Margin", "Triple Play", "Reel Lax" and "Treasure Isle", while whites were also released by "Never Enough" and "Fish On". "Over Budget" brought in a 55 lb wahoo that currently leads the Gamefish division. Brooks Rans' "Mattanza" was not entered in the tournament, but he had a good day weaving amongst the fleet and released two blue marlin from three bites.

There still has not been a blue marlin brought into the scales and so the daily blue marlin jackpots roll entirely into the third and final day. The biggest eligible (500 lb+) blue marlin on the dock on the final day is potentially worth at least $78,000. The standings at the end of Day Two are as follows:

1. Tease Em - 3 blue releases; 2 white releases - 1,900 points
2. Anita Jean - 2 blue releases; 1 white release - 1,200 points and cash winnings of $12,667
3. Queen of Hearts - 2 blue releases - 1,000 points
4. Never Enough - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700
5. Triple Play - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700
6. Mako - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700
7. Reel Addiction - 1 blue release - 500 points and cash winnings of $12,667
8. Mama Who - 1 blue release - 500
9. Wound Up - 1 blue release
10. Profit Margin - 1 blue release
11. Reel Lax - 1 blue release
12. Treasure Isle - 1 blue release 13. Fish On - 2 white releases - 400
14. Smooth Operator - 1 white release - 200
15. Bree - 1 white release
16. Over Budget - 1 white release
With the eighth and final day to go in the 2009 Triple Crown, things are still quite interesting. Capt. Bryce Garvey and team on "Bree" will be desperate to keep the trend going of the Classic winner always also winning the overall Triple Crown, but there are a handful of boats that could easily upend them. The top six boats in the standings are as follows:
1. Bree - 2,958
2. Anita Jean - 2,400
3. Wound Up - 2,365
4. Off Piste - 2,300
5. Mama Who - 2,300
6. Queen of Hearts - 2,000

07/16/09 - Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report

A fleet of 23 boats headed out in Bermudaful sunny weather and light winds this morning to fish the 36th Annual Seahorse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament. Capt. Cragin Curtis' "Reel Addiction" hooked-up with a decent blue marlin at 9:25 am and eventually scored the release at 10:21 am - it was a 450 lb+ fish that put on a good battle, but it was not close enough to risk taking so early in the tournament and therefore the release decision was relatively easy. While they were doing that, the first points were scored by "Fish On" with a white release at 10:04 am. Visiting boat "Tease Em" then scored a blue marlin release at 10:33 am and immediately hooked-up again with a white and scored that release at 10:44 am to jump in front with 700 points. Later in the morning, "Smooth Operator" released a white. In the afternoon, "Never Enough", "Queen of Hearts" and "Mama Who" scored blue marlin releases. The blue released by "Queen of Hearts" was estimated to be right around the 500 lb mark. Afternoon white releases were registered by "Bree", "Over Budget" and "Triple Play". So "Tease Em" has the tournament lead but they are not entered in either of the release jackpots, and therefore the Day One Release Jackpot worth $12,667 has been won by "Reel Addiction". There was no blue weighed-in today and so the Day Two Blue Marlin Jackpot doubles to $28,000.

The bite was clearly very slow, but as bad as the results would indicate because there was a high number of hooks-up up called in that were subsequently lost and a decent number of fish missed were very big.

Subject to photo verifications, the Day One tally is 5 blue marlin releases and 6 white releases and the standings are as follows:

1. Tease Em - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700 points
2. Reel Addiction - 1 blue release - 500 points and cash winnings of $12,667
3. Never Enough - 1 blue release - 500
4. Queen of Hearts - 1 blue release
5. Mama Who - 1 blue release
6. Fish On - 1 white release - 200
7. Smooth Operator - 1 white release
8. Bree - 1 white release
9. Triple Play - 1 white release
14 boats are still looking to score
July 14/15 action - The marlin bite during the early part of the week immediately prior to the Sea Horse was decent. I previously reported on that huge (1,000+ lb) blue marlin released by "Reel Lax" on Monday. On Tuesday, Capt. Allan Card's "Challenger" released a good blue marlin estimated at 600 lb, and on Wednesday Capt. Cragin's "Reel Addiction" scored with a 700 lb blue marlin release. Capt. James Robinson's "Wound Up" had blue marlin releases on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The whites are still around also - "Sea Toy" released six whites over the course of two trips and scored with a blue marlin release on Wednesday.

07/13/09 - Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report

See Bermuda Report by Jonathan Reiss

07/10/09 - Chris Whitley - Turks and Caicos Fishing Report

Just got to Provo, and fishing was good here today. Little Mac was 3 for 8, First Strike was 2 for 2 and another boat was 3 for ?. We heard fishing was fantastic in Rum Cay for the past moon. Heading to Long Island tomorrow. congratulations to Billy Borer and the Gulf Rascal for winning the July Open in St. Thomas.

Chris Whitley

07/09/09 - Editor - The Fishing Reports are Stacked Up!

To our readers: We've been in Bermuda for a week and the reports stacked up. So... there is a lot of reading below this note. We'll catch you up in the order that the emails were last received. JL

07/09/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

Hi everyone,

Well it has been an incredible month or so since I last updated !!! No fishing reports for me, but the southern bluefin showed up on the south coast of NSW with a lot of fish over 200 lbs, and the World Cup was won in Bermuda by the Wound Up with an 865 lb blue to take the money.

I spent 10 days in China with some of my fabulous clients who showed me the most incredible food, culture and long stone wall in the world !!!! If you every have a chance to go to China, take it, or make it a point to go, it country is so diverse and the Great Wall at Simitai where we went is just the most amazing thing in the world!!!! Thanks so much to my hosts !!!!!! Look forward to paying you back with a nice one on 50 lb in Oct for you both !!!!

TRADITION has just gone back in the water this morning after her annual hauling, and is ready to head north early August for another big season in Cairns. Chris and Brett are returning for the season, and both have been very busy fishing all over the world since Christmas.

Our heavy tackle season is almost full, but I do have a few nice slots in each month to fill, including the Lizard Island comp Oct 24-31inclusive - let me know if you are interested. Also looking for someone to fish form the Gold Coast up to Mackay for about 7-10 days, leaving early August fomr the Gold Coast and planing ono going out wide to fish for blues up to the Swains and then fish thru the Swains to Mackay.

September will see us in Cairns and Townsville for the light tackle small black marlin season, day and liveaboard trips available from Sept 1 onwards. Thats about all my news, so till next time, enjoy life!!!!


email Tim
visit website

07/08/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Fiji

Circumnavigation of Viti Levu…

Fiji is made up of hundreds of islands but only two of them contain 85% of the land mass of this island nation. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the two major islands and it is on Viti Levu that the capital of Suva is located and also where Vuda Point Marina is located. VP Marina is where I am currently keeping the “Deev” and where I intend to drydock her for a couple of months when I travel to the States and to the West Indies.

Many of us in the cruising community get hung up near our most precious asset (our boat) and neglect to see much further than the local hardware store and grocer. It has been that way for me over the past couple of weeks as I whittle away at my list of things to do on the boat. The other day I made up my mind to take a couple of days and tour Viti Levu. I circumnavigated the island by bus!

Traveling in a counterclockwise direction I spent 4 hours the first day on an express bus to Suva and about 5 hours the second day completing the loop. It cost a total of 15 bucks (US$) for the bus fare, I spent another $25 on a very nice room in a hostel and a little more on food and beverages (I highly recommend Fiji Bitter, a fine beer!).

Fiji is a beautiful tropical island, mountainous with beaches and with many outlying reefs and islands. Like many tropical islands Viti Levu has a rainy side (the windward side) and a dry side (the leeward side). The dry side has the majority of the tourist resorts that Fiji is known for. Inland from the sea there is a large flat plain before the mountains raise their heads and this flat plain is planted extensively in sugar cane, Fiji’s primary agricultural crop. The rainy side is lush rainforest and on this side most of the food and fruit products are grown. I spent the night just outside Suva and that is right on the border between the dry and rainy sides.

While in the bustling city of Suva I stopped in the Fiji National Museum and picked up some interesting information that I will now pass on to you….

In the late 1700’s the crew of the Bounty mutinied against Captain Bligh just to the east of here near Tonga. Bligh undertook a 3,000 mile open boat passage to Timor in Indonesia. Notice that he did not try to land either in Tonga or in Fiji, two places much closer. Instead he chose to take the 20 or so members of his loyal crew with little or no food or water 3,000 miles. Why? He was afraid that he and his crew would have been the main course for a very nice native dinner! As late as 1870 these guys were still eating each other and missionaries! I quote from a newspaper, The Fiji Times, from July 23, 1870:

“We have just heard the frightful news from Ba, on the North-West coast of Viti Levu. For some time past the Ba people have been at war with the mountaineers and a few have been killed on both sides, but a letter just in from the native minister informs us of a fearful massacre.

The mountaineers from Navosa came down from Nalotu… They put up a war fence and then Wawabalavu, the Navosa chief, called out and said: “You people, I am Wawabalavu. I it was who eat Mr. Baker and the Ba men. You offer peace offerings or make submission that you live.”

The people were filled with fear and presented peace offerings…..”

Well, the peace offerings didn’t really work and the newspaper article went on to say that the massacre of 370 people occurred and that doesn’t include those that were still missing (dinner, perhaps?) or taken away as slaves.

In the local markets many interesting wooden implements are sold that are reproductions of war clubs and other neat stuff. One implement in particular caught my eye. It was a 4 pronged fork that resembled a fish spear (which in my innocence I thought it must be). Upon inquiring I was told that it was indeed an eating utensil used in the old days for eating human brains! Yum!

As in other colonial areas, the Europeans with their missionaries eventually subdued the local population. Their strongest weapon once again was the deadly European diseases of TB, syphilis and the common cold against which the local population had no natural protection. The locals died by the thousands thereby reducing the native opposition forces substantially.

Big business followed and here it was sugar cane. However the few native Fijians who were left didn’t fancy the idea of working in the agricultural sector so the Europeans brought in peoples from other islands giving birth to the Pacific Oceans own slave trade, the Blackbirders. However the Blackbirders could not provide enough labor so the Colonials, who were mostly British, started bringing in Indians as “indentured servants”, really just another form of slavery. They used Aussies as overseers who had been shipped from England to Australia as convicts! It was a very clever way to solve their labor problems.

The people from India had a choice. They could work for 5 years and then be set free in Fiji or they could work for 10 years and get a “free” ride back to India. Needless to say, most decided to stay in Fiji.

Today Fiji has a population of about 800,000 people almost evenly divided between native Fijian and Indian with a few Caucasians and Asians thrown into the mix. The Fijians retain ownership of most of the land and the Indians run most of the shops and businesses. The two groups don’t mix together much. They each have their own schools and churches and villages. The Fijians speak Fijian, the Indians speak Hindi but they both are schooled in and speak English.

The ethnic diversity makes Fiji a very special place. Interesting and exotic. However it has also led to the recent political problems that culminated with a military coup by the Fijians. It seems that the native Fijian people were worried that the Indians (some of whom have been here for 5 generations!) were getting too powerful and that the rules should be changed. That is how it stands today.

While traveling around this country there is no sign of racism or strife. In fact I am told that the current regime is actively fighting corruption and graft which was prevalent not so long ago. The current regime has also come out strongly against racism. However it is still a military regime and censorship of the news is in full effect.

But all in all? Fiji is very nice and all the people are very friendly and are always inviting me to their homes and villages. I have not been cooked yet!

Cheers from the edge of the world,


Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

07/08/09 - Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report

I will be providing coverage of the Bermuda Big Game Classic - fishing starts at 8:00 am tomorrow morning. I plan to fish aboard "Reel Addiction" on Friday and Saturday and so my reports will be slower on those days than coverage of Day One tomorrow. However, you can follow all the action live on www.bermudabiggameclassic.com. The bad news is that the weather is sure to be a negative factor in terms of having some of the smaller amateur boats in play. The unusually windy summer continues here - yesterday we had mostly 20-25 knot winds, today we have about 20 knot winds increasing with the forecast for 25-35 knot winds later this afternoon with gusts to 50 knots in showers. Fortunately, the forecast for tomorrow is a significant improvement, but it seems likely that most of the first two days of the Classic will be fished in 15-25 knot winds and heavy seas. Historically, the marlin bite in Bermuda has been much better in calm conditions - but we will see.

The most interesting development offshore is the abundance of yellowfin tuna. Those boats braving the weather have been rewarded with excellent hauls of decent size yellowfin - many in the 50-70 lb class. Most of the action has been on the Northern side of Challenger, but I expect Argus is productive also. On Sunday, "Playmate" filled the boat with tuna and headed home with the boxes completely full. This is clearly the best tuna bite that we have had in several years. Yesterday, "Paradise One" had a great day and their catch included a whopper 174 lb yellowfin, reported to have been taken on a kite rig (see pic attached). There are plenty of other species being taken also - chum slicks are being invaded by schools of rainbow runner, many of which are large (6-12 pounders or bigger) - they are getting in the way of the tuna fishing. "Reel Addiction" caught two 35-40 lb dolphin in the chum on Monday along with a few nice 70 lb class yellowfin and that was from a brief effort of drifting on a day that was spent mostly trolling for marlin. No doubt, if anyone went trolling for wahoo they would enjoy success also. So, it's a very happy state of affairs offshore in Bermuda. Ironically, it's the blue marlin bite that is slow, and just about the whole fleet is about to spend the next three days focused entirely on them. Happy days for anyone not entered in the Classic to crush the meat fish.

Anyway, good luck to all in the Big Game Classic. "Wound Up" will be looking to stay RED HOT - no boat has ever won two Triple Crown tournaments in the same year and so that would be terrific to achieve, and Capt. James and his team will be eager to maintain their healthy cushion in the Triple Crown standings. "Que Mas" and "Rum Bum", the 2008 and 2006 Classic and Triple Crown winners, respectively, along with Capt. Alan Card's "Challenger" (the 2001 Classic winner) will be aiming to become the first teams to repeat as winners of the Classic.

Stayed tuned..........

07/08/09 - Shawn Wallace - Royal Charlotte Bank - Brazil Report

Hello friends and fisherman. Update from one of the Blue marlin hot spots.

I’m am no longer working with Adrenalina Fishing. I have moved on and will be starting a new operation here in Canavieiras with a 39 ft Boat. Lea Wallace and I will be providing you with the best service possible from the closest departure point to one of the greatest fishing grounds in the world, the Royal Charlotte Bank.

With eight seasons here fishing on the Royal Charlotte Bank and 27 years experience catching big marlin, I will show you the fish! The program is going to be the same, 07:00 departure, unless the tides say otherwise and return after sunset.

The season can start towards the end of September/October with white marlin showing up, raising 5 to 10 a day. With good conditions blue marlin are here as well. The bottom fishing is also good large amberjack, red snappers, dorado, wahoo, trevally and tuna, all good fun with electric reels or spinning rods.

By November the marlin are usually here in big numbers raising 12 and my best 26 in a day. Lots of small males with 150 lb to 350 lb and they are always accompanied by those big females that get over 1000 lbs. With this activity you regularly have 2 to 5 marlin attacking the lures and teasers at once, this carries on to December. January to March is calmer weather and up to 5 marlin raises a day with 75% over 500 lbs. After a great day fishing enjoy a cocktail or two on the pier and talk about the great catch of the day or the one that got away.

Light tackle and bottom fishing is another option, troll between jigging spots for white marlin, wahoo, dorado and mackerel. Once on the jigging spot use electric or spinning reels to catch large amberjack, red snapper, grouper, yellow tail, trevally and the list goes on. There is no discount for light tackle trips in November and December.

Casa La Ma, for most of you that know the house, there is not much I can say. With renovations to Casa La Ma recently, she is looking good. Expect that same private service that you are use too. Rose will be making those great breakfasts that she does so well and cocktails when you get home.

Léa and myself know what the fisherman want and will provide you with a great fishing experience here in Canavieiras, Brazil. We are in the process of setting up the web site.

Tight Lines to all,

Capt Shawn Wallace
Shawn Wallace email
Phone: 55-73-3284-2947 - Shawn cell: 55-73-9972-0006 - Léa cell: 55-73-9978-3259

07/08/09 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Sea Adventures Ltd 2009 newsletter


Although I send out news updates during the season I thought it might be fun to put together a review of the whole season. We are now getting the boats ready for the new season servicing engines, repainting, servicing tackle and rectifying any problems that might have occurred during the season. I am happy to report that Kamara II engine troubles of 2008 were not repeated and hopefully now that we know what caused the problems we can prevent any reoccurrence. Although the problems resulted from a manufacturing defect Caterpillar has refused to accept any responsibility. I have since heard of at least five other boats powered by the same CAT model that experienced the same problems in some cases with terminal consequences.

Fishing was slow in the early part of the season with few days fished in August and September. Ari Steyn from South Africa tagged a striped marlin from Broadbill on 8th September but with so few days fished its difficult to be sure what was out there. September always used to be high season back in the 1970’s and 80’s when anglers would come in search of big yellowfin tunas and blue marlin. Incidentally our biggest black marlin was taken on 1st September 1984 so it wasn’t only the blues plus it was prime time for mako sharks. Although there has been a serious increase in commercial fishing activity in the Indian Ocean since 1984 I don’t think that the lack of big tuna can be blamed entirely on the purse seiners but very likely there was a shift in the currents. But, having said that if you are not out there how will you ever know whether the fish are there or not? I am convinced that they will be back, both the big tuna and the big marlin and wouldn’t it be great if it was to be this year.

One thing that we must remember is that there will always be good years and bad years. The old guys are always regaling us with tales of the good old days but when you study the statistics you note that there were peaks and troughs even then. These are natural cycles that may be caused by a number of different factors that may include movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, el Ni ñ o, la Ni ñ a, current movements, Indian Ocean Dipole activity etc. For example the early to mid 1970s were horrendous, Broadbill in her first season in 1972 was the top marlin boat with just 18 marlin and in Malindi there were virtually no sailfish!

These days October – November has become a time for safaris away from the Pemba Channel especially now that Pemba Island is a no go area. That is really sad but the Zanzibar-Pemba authorise have made it unaffordable. They have increased the annual fishing licence fee from $500 to US$3,000 per boat, and added a $10 per person daily park fee plus $50 anchoring fee plus a tax that amounts to 25% of your turn-over per day. Very sad because those trips were great fun but now we go to northern Kenya, which is perhaps even more beautiful. Anchorages like Kiwayu are stunning, still totally undeveloped and wild plus the fishing is usually pretty good. For those that would rather stay on shore there are some great options.

The Latham Open Tournament run by the Dar es Salaam Yacht Club in Tanzania was held on 10th / 11th October 2008 and Kamara II was chartered to fish it by a team from Rohlig-Grindrog Tanzania. It’s a long trip taking two days there and back, (about 160nm south) and usually ends up being a full week away. Sadly the fishing was very poor again this year with very few big yellowfin or dog-tooth tuna but there were a couple of black marlin released by Kamara II and White Otter. This year the Latham Open will be on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th September 2010 and both boats are presently available.

Soon after returning to Shimoni it was a quick turnaround then off again to Malindi, 100nm north. There we picked up Gary and Darren Baynton from the UK for their annual safari to northern Kenya. We started off by night fishing for swordfish on the North Kenya Banks, which turned out to be very successful. We had quite a few strikes throughout the night successfully releasing four with the last strike at 5.30am. There were a couple of rain storms moving in signalling a change in the weather and fishing in the morning was not too hot with just one 24.5-kg yellowfin. We dropped anchor off the Peponi Hotel and had a bit of a rest and a nice meal before carrying on north the following morning.

We spent a night in Manda Bay followed by four nights in the north of Kiwayu Island then back to Manda Bay, Peponi and finally back to Malindi after 9 days. The fishing was not as good as it had been the past couple of years, the water was rather dirty and the sailfish pretty shy. There were however quite a few yellowfin offering good sport with the poppers.

It was in November that the fishing really picked up momentum with sailfish appearing all along the coast in larger numbers than ever seen before. There were also a few striped marlin around in the Pemba Channel plus a few reasonable yellowfin and wahoo. Kamara II moved back north to Malindi mid-November to fish the final half of the month there. During the first week we fished Victor Loppies and John Vlak from the Netherlands, Vic having last fished with us back in the 1980’s during the years when my family owned and ran the Pemba Channel Fishing Club. Vic was particularly keen to try his luck at popping for GTs on the Malindi Banks, which I had had good success with in November 2006. But, it depends on the presence of frigate mackerel schools boiling on the surface drawing the GTs up to the top so that almost every time a popper was cast over the school and worked back through it a violent strike from big GTs would result. Unfortunately this time around there was very little action on the banks at all and we couldn’t get any success with the poppers. We also tried drifting for tiger sharks in the canyon the following week but seemingly the tigers didn’t come this year as nobody was getting more than the very occasional strike.

But, the sailfish action was absolutely outstanding, really world class with some boats scoring 25 or more fairly frequently. Fishing is such a wonderful sport but sometimes when the fishing is really, really good we sacrifice quality for numbers. Sailfish can be very difficult to hook, much harder than a marlin but once on are usually fairly easy to land. It’s the hook-up that requires the skill and once on so long as you keep your line tight chance of losing the fish fairly remote. I told all my guys not to try and compete with the other boats in terms of numbers just enjoy the experience. If you want to catch a billfish with me then you are going to have to hook it yourself and we’ll do our best to teach you how. When a fish is hooked by the crew and handed over to you that’s what we call a “Committee fish”.

Vic and John managed 43 sailfish in their 7 days, which included a day popping on the banks. We were experiencing some problems in raising the sails after the initial successful days and it was not until we speeded up following advice from a fellow skipper, Peter Darnborough of “Alley Cat”; thanks Pete. Normally one has to fish much slower for sail but this year we needed to go at marlin speeds in order to raise them. Bartjan Kerklaan and his son Nick also from the Netherlands fished the second week taking 42 sails in 6 days, which included a day drifting for tiger sharks in the canyon.

The sailfish were not restricted to Malindi however and the Shimoni boats were experiencing some good days whilst we were away. Two of the club boats made a couple of trips to the sea mountain, not a lot of action but they did get broadbill most trips. Broadbill fished by Robert Moroni and colleagues took four sails on 22nd November and White Otter had five on 24th and six on 26th. Kamara II got back to Shimoni 1st December to begin charters from Shimoni the following day.

The fishing in December was very good for sailfish and marlin as well as dorado. The sail were mostly in close by Funzi and Msambweni with the marlin further offshore so one was able to target the sail first thing then move out to look for marlin. Ken Dodgson, who first fished with us together with the late Harry Dutfield was fishing with John Levick. Old Harry was a wonderful man who fished with us for many years until he was 90 years old actually catching a marlin on his 90th birthday. He was a very good angler and all of his fish were caught by the rules and always outfished his much younger fishing buddies. Ken and John had a couple of very good days including on 9th fishing from Broadbill two striped marlin and a sailfish, and on their last day on Kamara II two striped marlin and four sailfish. Fishing at the same time were Stuart and his son Zach Bowen-Davies who on 9th did a day/night trip aboard Kamara II with Zach catching the biggest yellowfin tuna of the season that weighed in at 58.1- kg. This fish took a Pakula lumo sprocket on the short rigger just as it was getting dark. We had four broadbill strikes in the night with none of them hooking up and during the day lost a stripey with a couple other strikes from both sail and marlin. That night there was a full moon so it was interesting that we still had strikes but then broadbill can hardly afford to wait until the dark nights. I believe the problem may be more that on a bright night the cyalume light sticks don’t show up as well to draw attention to the lures.

The good fishing continued in December to the end of the year with lots of sailfish, some striped marlin and even a few nice black marlin around. John Papagrigorakis from Greece staying at the Funzi Keys caught one of these estimated at about 250-lb on one of Pat’s own lures; they also had four sails that day. Summary December: 1 black marlin; 10 striped marlin; and 34 sailfish in 26 fishing trips.

In January, the blue marlin started to make an appearance with Eirik Trondsen tagging one estimated at 280-lb and Ole Ambur both from Norway one of 180-lb on 4th January from Kamara II along with two sailfish. Rafael Akhmadullin from Russia then caught one of 150-lb two days later from Broadbill on 30 and on 12th Yvgeny Karyakin also from Russia caught a 180-lb blue from Kamara II. The Pemba Channel has historically been the best area in Africa for striped marlin but this season for whatever reason, most likely food related they stayed in the north producing the most outstanding fishing that part of the country has ever experienced.

Summary for January: 1 black marlin; 6 blue marlin; 13 striped marlin; and 47 sailfish in 38 boat days.

February produced much of the same but the marlin were hard work to find although there were still some great days. R é ne Baand from Denmark fishing on Kamara II caught three striped marlin and a sailfish on 2nd February. During the middle of the month a large number of decent sized yellowfin tuna appeared in the area we affectionately refer to as the “Tunny area” off the north-west of Pemba Island. It was a spectacular sight to see these fish leaping clear of the water as they chased squids and flying fish. This was what we used to see in September – October, and I’m sure will do again. As soon as the tuna appeared so we began to see some nice blues and blacks and even better catching a few. On 8th February Jan Juel Baand caught a nice 250-lb black marlin on 30-lb line from Broadbill. The following day regular, John Carr-Hartley and 10-yr old son, Mark fishing together with Gary Keevil from Botswana scored a grand slam of a blue marlin, striped marlin, sailfish along with a 25-kg yellowfin on Broadbill.

John, who has been fishing with us for many years and never caught a blue marlin now caught two in as many days. The first as part of the grand slam was a beautiful 350-lb fish on 50 and the stripey he caught that day was also a 5:1 on 30 so a special grand slam. The following day on Kamara II John landed a 365-lb blue on 50 that sadly could not be revived and had to be boated. In Africa no fish is wasted so that everything landed is eaten and over a season only about 1 or 2% of all billfish are boated. That second blue destroyed the fighting chair and fortunately John is not a big guy as I had to hold the chair in place throughout the fight. The pedestal was aluminium and had been welded a few times but was now beyond it. You will be pleased to note that we have a new stainless steel pedestal that will take some breaking! I was contemplating removing the chair altogether and fitting a rocket launcher instead for stand-up fishing but John persuaded me otherwise.

Young Mark deserves special mention because for a 10-yr old he did amazingly well and its always such a pleasure to take youngsters out especially when they are as keen as Mark. He never complained, and never gave up and made us all very proud as he subdued striped marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna and big dorado, well done mate.

Fishing at the same time were other regulars Jonina Fourie and Leon du Toit from South Africa. Jonina caught her first blue marlin, about 150-lb on Kamara II on 9th and Leon lost a big fish estimated at 350- 400 lb the following day on 50 after about 20 mins. Pat says that he thinks this fish was wrapped in the leader and very likely dead and trying to haul a dead fish up from the depths, especially sideways is a very hard ask. As a skipper it is always very rewarding to see someone develop their skills each time they fish with us and both Jonina and Leon have come a long way since they first fished with us. As you develop the techniques the fights become easier, less straining on the body and you enjoy the experience that much more.

The third week of February was very disappointing as the sea became calm and the winds variable and it looked as though the monsoon was changing. Deon Franken picked up a 180-lb black marlin on 30 aboard Kamara II on 21st but that was the only highlight that week. In previous years this week has often been the pick of the season so one can never tell in advance how its going to be. Later in the month and in to early March we were to do some night fishing with some success. On 25th Kamara II set off on an extended combo with Charlie McCrow and Lindsay Brown from the UK and we got two broadbill and three sailfish. We had about a half dozen strikes in the night but unfortunately no marlin in the day time.

Summary for February: 2 broadbill; 2 black marlin; 3 blue marlin; 13 striped marlin; and 38 sailfish in 51 days fished.

In March there were only charters in the first week with one broadbill on the night of 2nd for Leonard Wood and another on night 5th caught by Albertus van Brakel both from South Africa. On that second trip, an extended combo we also had a sail, a 22-kg yellowfin quite a few dorado, big eye trevally and smaller tuna. In between the two night trips they had a day on Broadbill catching three sails one for each of them, Albertus, Conrad Durand and Leonard.

Season statistics:

Total Total Total BKM BLM MLS SWO SAI Marlin Billfish Days Broadbill 3 4 20 0 69 27 96 83 Kamara II 2 5 18 8 159 25 192 96 Jasiri 0 4 11 6 64 15 85 88 Shuwari 2 0 2 0 30 4 35* 48 White Otter 1 1 3 0 26 5 31 50 Pandora 0 0 0 0 5 0 5 11 {BKM – black marlin; BLM – blue marlin; MLS – striped marlin; SWO – swordfish; SAI – sailfish} * Shuwari also released a shortbill spearfish As you will see from the table it was Pat and Broadbill who came out top on marlin this time around. We’ll see what happens this coming season!

Prices: We are pleased to advise you that we plan to make no changes to our fishing rates for this season and Betty’s Camp will also be maintaining their rates as have Avenue Motors for the transfers. Hence fishing rates will remain as follows:

1st August – 30th November 1st December – 15th March Full day fishing (9hr) $630 $700 6-hr fishing $450 $500 Night fishing (ave. 17hr) $1,200 $1,400 Combo (day + night) $1,500 $1,625 Extended combo (day-night-day) $1,975 $2,300 Please contact us for a quote regarding fishing away from Shimoni such as Latham, Malindi and for North Kenya safaris.

African Billfish Foundation (ABF) – I should like to thank all of you that have joined the ABF as members. Your support is very much appreciated and without it the very necessary tagging programme would not be sustainable. The ABF now has a new website, the URL of which is www.africanbillfish.org where you can find all the information you may need about tagging plus there is a forum where you can ask questions, make suggestions or simply contribute to a debate.

Kenya Association of Sea Anglers (KASA) – this is the governing body for saltwater sport fishing in Kenya and for my sins I am the chairman. We published the “Rainbow Runner” magazine in 2008 and should have the next edition out in August. If you are fishing with us we’ll give you a complimentary copy or you can purchase a copy at many of the book stores, Captain Andy’s Fishing Supply and others but ask your skipper. In the magazine you will find the updated Kenya fishing records, the ABF tagging report, interesting articles and the KASA code-of-ethics. We are also developing a new website that should be available very soon at www.sportfishingkenya.or.ke

We hope to see as many of you as possible during the 2008/09 fishing season in Shimoni or on a North Kenya fishing safari. Bookings are already coming in at a rapid pace so if you are interested in making a booking please don’t leave it too late. We wish you all the best for the coming season whatever you do or wherever you go and please stay in touch. Tight lines!

Best wishes,

Pat, Maia, Simon, Tina, Lyndsay, Chris and all our wonderful staff Sea Adventures Ltd, website Simon Hemphill email
Tel: +254 (0)722 796 198 (Simon) or (0)722 479 864 (Maia)

07/06/09 - Carol Bareuther - VIGFC Tournament News Release


The third day proved a charm for Gulf Rascal. Though anglers aboard the Florida-based 54-foot Hatteras went fishless this third and last day of fishing in the 46th Annual July Open Billfish Tournament (JOBT), the collective catch of five blue marlin first earned Gulf Rascal the Top Boat award.

Photo right: Team Gulf Rascal, Top Boat in the July Open Billfish Tournament. L to R (front row): Rick Steiner (angler), Glen Helton (mate), Gerald McKinney (angler) L to R (back row): Lee Steiner (angler), Joel Finley (angler), Chris Marshall (mate), Billy Borer (captain) Photo Credit: Dean Barnes - Photo Beauties: Hooter Girls

"We had one fish up on the teaser this afternoon, but it didn't bite," says Gulf Rascal's captain, Billy Borer. "We bit our nails instead, especially that last hour of the day."

It was just after 3 p.m. when Florida angler, Rudy Polselli, Jr., aboard his 55-foot Viking, Rude Awakening, released his vessel's fifth blue marlin, a feat that tied Gulf Rascal on count.

"We either hoped we'd catch another or they (Rude Awakening) wouldn't," says Gulf Rascal's Borer, who got his wish.

Rude Awakening finished second best boat.

"I've got a great captain," says Rude Awakening's Polselli, crediting Capt. Alan Fields. "We really worked hard to get that last fish."

Polselli, catching and releasing all five of his team's blue marlin, earned the prestigious Captain Johnny Harms 'Give 'Em Line' trophy, awarded to the angler who catches and releases the most blue marlin first.

Steve Swindal's 60-foot Bertram, Blue Heaven, rounded out the top three in the boat prizes with three blue marlin releases.

The 19-boat fleet released a total of 34 blue marlin and 1 white marlin over the three-day tournament.

Interestingly, big fish created a real buzz on the docks this year - something that happened back in the 1968 JOBT when angler, Elliott Fishman, caught an 845-pound blue marlin, a fish that set a world record for its weight at the time. The Reel Escape, not fishing in the tournament, hooked up, fought for 8 1/2-hours, and ultimately released a grander-plus blue marlin on July 5. The next day, tournament and Texas angler, Don Schmidt, fishing aboard his 64-foot Viking, Omi Gosh, hooked up another grander-plus blue marlin at mid-day.

"It was easily over 1200 pounds," says Schmidt.

Schmidt's nephew, James, offered a more graphic description: "It looked like a big truck barreling down at us."

A certified IGFA observer was on board Omi Gosh, as there were all the boats in this all-release tournament.

"The bad thing about letting the fish go was that we thought no one would believe us," says Schmidt. "The good thing was having the observer onboard who verified the catch and the marlin's size."

This year, the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club (VIGFC) brought back the tradition of hosting an onshore fishing tournament for kids. Forty kids came out to try their luck. Sebastian Silva earned Most Fish and Biggest Fish in the 3- to 6-year old category, with the catch of 7 fish, one being 9-ounces. In the 7- to 12-age group, Lerrent Erdem caught the biggest fish, 15-ounce, while Nathan Gatcliffe won the Most Fish award with the catch of 20 fish. Finally, in the 13- to 15-age group, Catherine Phelan caught the Most Fish, 16, and Biggest Fish, 1 pound 3-ounce.

This year's tournament was dedicated to well-known Puerto Rican sports fishermen, Ralph Christiansen, who was killed in a plane crash in February. Christiansen was one of only two anglers in the history of the JOBT to win the Captain Johnny Harms 'Give 'Em Line' Trophy.

Sue Boland, president of the VIGFC, said at the Awards Ceremony, "Ralph was a member of the club since 1969. He was one of the most able and ardent blue marlin fishermen in the world and we miss him a lot. This is his tournament."

Proceeds from the JOBT benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands.

For more information visit the VIGFC website:see website

07/05/09 - Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report


What a brilliant day for sports enthusiasts. That was an incredible Wimbledon final over in England - Roddick gave everything he had but eventually succumbed to the mighty Roger Federer in a mind-boggling 16-14 fifth set. In the other major sporting event over in Bermuda - there was no such tension as the mighty Capt. James Robinson and his "Wound Up" team released a blue marlin at 11:34 am to take a commanding lead with 1,865 points. It must have been a very jovial and deeply satisfying afternoon on the bridge of the "Wound Up" !! This is the largest points tally ever accumulated in the five-year history of the Blast and it was easily enough to lock-up first place overall, worth an additional $28,700 on top of all the big winnings from yesterday. I was very recently informed that there had been a huge blue marlin taken in Hawaii in the World Cup yesterday, but it was 828 lb and so fell narrowly short of Bermuda's winner. "Wound Up" becomes the second consecutive local boat to win the Blast after "Reel Addiction" had done so last year. "Wound Up" also becomes the first boat to ever win the Blast and World Cup together. However, no local boat has yet won the overall Triple Crown series and so many of us Bermudians will be rooting hard for Capt. James. In the four year history of the Triple Crown Series the winner of the Big Game Classic has always ended up winning the overall Series, so perhaps everybody still has a good chance !

The following results are all still subject to photo verification. The Day Two bite was very slow. There were 6 blue marlin released and 11 whites released. This equates to 127 points per boat, which equates to the slowest day of the 10 days of fishing since inception of the Blast. It also ranks 31st out of 34 days since inception of the Triple Crown Series (2005), which is when I started tracking this statistic. I attribute this to the poor weather in recent weeks which has kept the water temperature below normal and also kept conditions rather "mixed-up" offshore. The abundance of whites is a good sign to me because the best blue marlin bite usually happens after the whites clear out. I expect this means that the bite will improve nicely for the Big Game Classic next week and perhaps be even better for the Sea Horse event of the following week. Visiting boat "Lisa" won the Level One and Level Two Release Jackpots worth an aggregate of $53,500 with a white release near midday and a blue marlin release at 3:41 pm. This beat out "Anita Jean" by less than a minute as they had a white release at 2:04 pm and secured a blue marlin release at 3:42 pm. "Mama Who" also scored a white release and then had a blue marlin release at 3:51 pm, and their last fish put them at 900 points which ultimately was good enough for Third Place overall and cash winnings of $8,200. "Off Piste" did not score today, but their 900 point tally from yesterday held-up for Second Place overall and additional cash winnings for them of $16,400. On Day Two, blue marlin releases were also secured by "Last Stall" and "Reel Addiction", and white releases were also made by "Seraphim", "Mattanza", "JACS", "Paradise One", "Waste Knot", "Sea Toy", Won Buy Land" and "Over Budget".

The final tournament standings and cash winnings (subject to Day Two photo verifications) are as follows:

1. Wound Up - 1 blue boated 865 lb; 2 blue releases - 1,865 points and cash winnings of $116,700 plus World Cup winnings ($400,000+ est) and WC local calcutta of $20,000
2. Off Piste - 1 blue release; 2 white releases - 900 points and cash winnings of $35,900
3. Mama Who - 1 blue release; 2 white releases - 900 points and cash winnings of $8,200
4. Mako - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700 points and cash winnings of $34,000,
5. Bree - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700
6. Fish On - 1 blue release; 1 white release
7. Lisa - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700 points and cash winnings of $53,500,
8. Anita Jean - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700
9. Reel Lax - 1 blue release - 500
10. Weez in the Keys - 1 blue release
11. Overproof - 1 blue release
12. Last Stall - 1 blue release 13. Reel Addiction - 1 blue release
14. Sea Toy - 2 white releases - 400
15. Over Budget - 2 white releases - 400
16. Treasure Isle - 1 white release - 200
17. Touchdown - 1 white release
18. Seraphim - 1 white release
19. Mattanza - 1 white release
20. JACS - 1 white release
21. Paradise One - 1 white release
22. Waste Knot - 1 white release
23. Won Buy Land - 1 white release
18 boats did not score and there's a lot of talent and past winners on this list = Attitude, Boogieman, Challenger, Lights Out, Margin Call, Mega Bucks, Never Enough, Profit Margin, Que Mas, Queen of Hearts, Reel Hot, Rum Bum, Sea Scorpion, Smooth Operator, Topless, Triple Play, Unreel, and Wet Pleasure.

07/05/09 - Carol Bareuther - VIGFC Tournament News Release


The rain poured down and the bite picked up during the second day of fishing in the 46th Annual July Open Billfish Tournament, fished out of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The 19-boat fleet caught and released a total of 16 blue marlin, nearly double the first day's release of 9 blue and 1 white marlin.

"The bite turned on, especially in the afternoon," says Capt. Billy Borer, who is helming the 54-foot Hatteras, Gulf Rascal. "We pitched baited three and hooked all three. Really cool."

Photo Credit: Dean Barns

The release of five blue marlin total gives Gulf Rascal the top boat lead for two days in a row.

In second place, Florida angler Rudy Polselli, Jr., aboard his 47-foot Viking, Rude Awakening, released three blue marlin total. This sum all by one angler puts Polselli in the lead for the prestigious Capt. Johnny Harms 'Give Him Line' Trophy, presented to the angler who releases the most billfish first.

Finally, Alican, a 72' Tribute, is third in the top boat standings by being the first to release two blue marlin.

Five boats total released two blue marlin for the tournament so far. One of these was the Cabo 40, Peje, from Puerto Rico. "It would have been three for us, but we lost one after a 30-minute fight," said owner/anger, Carlos Garcia.

Any doubts that dream-catching granders continue to lurk in Virgin Islands waters were dispelled early Sunday morning. That was when Florida angler, J.R. Bergeron, aboard his 47-foot Cabo, Reel Escape, released what Capt. Rusty Watters judged to be a 1000-plus-pounder at 2:30 a.m. after an 8 1/2 hour fight.

"We were just out for a fun day of fishing, me, the captain and our mate, Vince Vanmeerten," says Bergeron. "We saw two 300- to 400-pounders in the morning and pulled the hook on both. It was about 6 p.m. when Watters said lets make one more turn on the Drop. Bam. We knew it was a big one when I hooked up."

Bergeron fought the mega blue marlin and dusk turned to dark and beyond. The fish sounded for a long time before Bergeron finally got it up to the back of the boat where it took all three of them to wire it and make the release.

"Its bill and tail fin extended a foot or two on either side of the transom, so we estimated it was a good 18-foot long and wide," says Bergeron.

Knowing that a blue marlin this big is female made it a no-brainer to release, said a conservation-minded Bergeron.

Reel Escape's no-show at the dock by midnight combined with no way to communicate with the vessel since cell phones and VHF radios don't reach 20-plus miles offshore led Bergeron's frantic family to put a call into the U.S. Coast Guard. A rescue helicopter dispatched from Puerto Rico located the vessel and didn't leave until guardsmen got a thumbs up from the crew that all was well.

Fishing continues tomorrow with lines in at 8:30 a.m. and lines out at 5 p.m.

The JOBT concludes Monday. Up for grabs is not only the Top Boat award, but the prestigious Capt. Johnny Harms 'Give Him Line' Trophy for the angler who releases the most billfish first. The Awards Ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. at the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Clubhouse in Red Hook.

Proceeds from the JOBT benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands.

For more information visit the VIGFC website:see website

07/04/09 - Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report


It gives me great pleasure to write this report as one of my closest friends, Capt. James Robinson, and his "Wound Up" team took ALL THE GLORY today with a beautiful 865 lb whopper. James and his team also released a blue marlin early in the morning and sit in first place in the Bermuda Billfish Blast tournament going into the second and final day with 1,365 points. The big fish was hooked at 1:41 pm and the team immediately knew they were hooked into a contender. The big blue sounded and died relatively quickly, and it was a matter of stopping her descent (no easy feat) and gaining line back inch-by-inch in relatively sloppy seas. At 3:30 pm, Capt. James called in to say that the fish was secure and ten minutes later he announced that she was in the boat with a 132 inch short length and a 68 girth. A FANTASTIC CATCH - HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO CAPT. JAMES ROBINSON AND TEAM ABOARD WOUND UP, and to junior angler, 17 year old Stefan Olsen, who did a terrific job in the chair. For me, Capt. James was always going to be a good bet to put a monster on the dock in a Triple Crown event, and so it was just a matter of when, and there's no better time to do it than during the World Cup !!! Last year, Capt. James caught the only grander weighed in Bermuda - a 1,049 lb blue marlin taken on July 7 (in between the Blast and Classic).

I no longer need to tout Bermuda as the best place in the world to catch a big blue marlin - 5 World Cup wins in the past 7 years takes care of any argument (and last year Bermuda had a 718 pounder that was narrowly beaten). The past four Bermuda victories in the World Cup have all been achieved by local boats (Wound Up, Queen of Hearts, Sea Scorpion and Triple Play). The 865 lb blue marlin ranks as the second biggest blue marlin weighed in any of our Triple Crown tournaments (behind only Southern Exposure's grander), and it is the biggest blue marlin weighed in the five year history of the Bermuda Billfish Blast tournament. It is also the fourth heaviest blue marlin to win in the 25 year history of the World Cup (Bermuda now has three of the four heaviest winners). As the second day of the Blast is a release-only day, team "Wound Up" have already won the Level One and Level Two Blue Marlin Jackpots in the Blast worth $88,000 in aggregate and they also took the local World Cup calcutta pot worth $20,000. So, that's $108,000 banked and the World Cup winnings will be considerably more. I am not sure how much more, but almost certainly an additional $350,000 or more, and, of course, they start Day Two of the Blast in first place and are therefore very much in the running for cash winnings awarded to the top three boats.

In the World Cup, "Hawk Eye" fishing in Madeira boated a 595 lb blue marlin and there was also a 550 lb blue weighed in Madeira. In Bermuda, local boat "Lone Star" was not entered in the Blast but was in the World Cup and they brought a 554 lb blue marlin to the dock. I am not aware of any other blues weighed in the World Cup, but "Mega Bucks" in Bermuda had a good one hooked-up for over an hour - it was reported to be 700 lb or better, but they pulled the hook close to the boat.

41 boats are entered in the 5th Annual Bermuda Billfish Blast and they headed out into a stiff 16 knot southwest breeze and sunny skies. The 41 boat entry field is one more than each of the past two Blasts and so this is a great achievement given the economic downturn.

Visiting boat "Reel Lax" scored the first points with a blue marlin release at 9:01 am following a ten minute tussle. Then "Wound Up" successfully released their first blue marlin at 9:13 am. Capt. Allen Desilva and his "Mako" team then jumped into the lead with a blue marlin release at 9:54 am followed by a white marlin release very shortly after at 10:10 am. The morning action also saw a blue marlin release for "Fish On", two white releases for "Off Piste" and white releases for "Over Budget" and "Treasure Isle".),

At 12:20 pm, "Bree" released a blue marlin to tie "Mako" on 700 points, and then at 12:46 pm, "Off Piste" jumped into the tournament lead with a blue marlin release taking them to 900 points. The afternoon bite was quite slow - there were also blue marlin releases for "Weez in the Keys" and "Overproof" and white releases for "Mama Who", "Fish On", "Sea Toy" and "Touchdown". At the end of the day, "Off Piste" won the Level One Release Jackpot worth $19,500, but they were not entered in the Level Two Release Jackpot and so Capt. Allen Desilva and team aboard "Mako" were delighted to learn that they had won the Level Two Release pot worth $34,000. Who would have guessed that Brian Lines would not be All-In !!

So for Day One of the Blast there was the one blue marlin boated, 8 blue marlin released and 10 whites released. That is 167 points per boat, which translates to a relatively slow bite here (ranks 6th out of the 9 days fished since inception of the Blast). The following are the standings after Day One of the 2009 Blast:

1. Wound Up - 1 blue boated 865 lb; 1 blue release - 1,365 points and cash winnings of $88,000 plus World Cup winnings ($350,000+ est) and WC local calcutta of $20,000
2. Off Piste - 1 blue release; 2 white releases - 900
3. Mako - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700
4. Bree - 1 blue release; 1 white release
5. Fish On - 1 blue release; 1 white release 6. Reel Lax - 1 blue release - 500
7. Weez in the Keys - 1 blue release
8. Overproof - 1 blue release
9. Over Budget - 1 white release - 200
10. Treasure Isle - 1 white release
11. Mama Who - 1 white release
12. Sea Toy - 1 white release
13. Touchdown - 1 white release

28 boats are still looking to score. Good luck to all in Day Two !!!

07/04/09 - Carol Bareuther - VIGFC Tournament News Release


Fishing proved red hot aboard the 54-foot Hatteras, Gulf Rascal, where the St. Thomas father-and-son team of Rick and Lee Steiner released a blue marlin apiece to put the team in the top boat lead during the first day of the 46th Annual July Open Billfish Tournament.

"We had a great day," says Gulf Rascal captain, Billy Borer. "We saw four, had three bites and released two.

Gulf Rascal angler, Rick Steiner, caught and released the first blue marlin of the tournament.

Dean Barns Photo: Dancing on the docks with the fishing fleet in the background at the July Open Billfish Tournament in St. Thomas, USVI.

Meanwhile, Alican, a 72-foot Tribute owned by Florida-based Andres Fanjul, with Capt. Doug Heaton at the helm, finished second for the day with a pair of blue marlin released after those on Gulf Rascal.

Nelson Morales' Prime Time PR, out of Puerto Rico, rounded out the top three boats with Morales release of a blue marlin early in the day.

"I made by release about 11 a.m.," says Morales. "It was a beautiful day. Calm seas."

In total, the 19-boat fleet caught and released nine blue marlin and one white marlin.

A nearly full-moon light up the docks at American Yacht Harbor where the evening's dock party celebrated the Fourth of July as much as a good fishing day.

Fishing continues tomorrow with lines in at 8:30 a.m. and lines out at 5 p.m.

The JOBT concludes Monday. Up for grabs is not only the Top Boat award, but the prestigious Capt. Johnny Harms 'Give Him Line' Trophy for the angler who releases the most billfish first. The Awards Ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. at the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Clubhouse in Red Hook.

Proceeds from the JOBT benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands.

For more information visit the VIGFC website:see website

07/03/09 - Forward: Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report

Just a heads-up that I will be covering the 2009 Bermuda Triple Crown Series that kicks off tomorrow with the Bermuda Billfish Blast tournament and World Cup. Bermuda finished runner-up last year as an impressive 773 lb blue marlin taken in Kona won, but Bermuda had won four of the previous five World Cups. Kona currently has six wins to Bermuda's five, but there are many other locations that have produced winners, including Cape Verde and Madeira that have won on multiple occasions. It will be interesting to see if the global economic crisis will dampen the total amount of entries - I would think so given that many Americans towns are cancelling fireworks, but some of these boats are owned by people who appear to be immune to financial challenge. For many, the bigger concern will be that the blue marlin bite in Bermuda has been slow. I would attribute that to the surprisingly poor weather in recent weeks. We have had plenty of rain and windy conditions (which continue) and a severe lack of flat calm sunny days. These factors I am sure have hurt the blue marlin bite. One person who is unaware of the slow bite is Capt. Bull Tolson aboard "Sea Toy" - he has released two blue marlin on at least three separate occasions in the past week and some of the fish have been very good size = at least one reported to be in the 650 lb class and another over 500. "Paradise One" also released a big 500+ blue last week. We also had the inaugural Bermuda Billfish Release Cup (a new tournament) held here last weekend (fishing June 27 and 28). I am not certain, but I heard that visiting boat "Waste Knot" won with three blue marlin releases.

June was a sad month for the Bermuda fishing community with the passing of James Pearman ("Jamie") on June 16. He had been in very poor health for the past couple of years and I suspect he did not exactly follow doctors' orders, and so it was perhaps not a huge surprise. Nevertheless, he was only about 43 years old and he leaves behind a wife and two young children, a brother, a sister and many friends. In recent years he was the only marketed bonefish guide on the island with his boat "Jump dem Bones". He was also a very active member of the Bermuda Anglers Club and a notable light tackle enthusiast. I'll always remember having him aboard my 27 foot boat "Wild Thing" back about 20 years ago when we hooked up to a double header of blue marlin - Carter Frith was hooked-up on 50 and Jamie had his 12 out and it got bit also. The two blues both greyhounded in opposite directions and Jamie was screaming at me to chase his precious one down - "hooked-up on 12, hooked-up on 12" he was yelling. I was indecisive at the wheel and we ended up losing Jamie's blue when it jumped on the belly of line out, but we successfully released Carter's blue. That same day ended with Jamie determined to release a barracuda unharmed from a double-hook live-bait rig (against the express disapproval of both Cragin and myself) and we had to rush in from Challenger bank after the barracuda shook itself loose and left Jamie with one of the large hooks clean through the middle of his thumb. Given Jamie's many light tackle achievements it was notable that he died during the week of the ILTT. The tournament participants mourned his loss and he will missed by many more.

The 2009 ILTT (June 15-19) was a big success despite having the final day blown out because the yellowfin bite was decent. Anglers were able to get stuck into 40-70 lb yellowfin on 12 lb gear. Needless to say many tuna made their escape on the light gear and there were many long battles. There were also some nice blackfin tuna, almaco jack and wahoo brought to gaff, and there were some really large rainbow runner taken. "Playmate" even released a white marlin, but in the end it was Capt, Cragin with temporary mate Matthew Crumley aboard "Reel Addiction" who won High Boat Honors.

After the ILTT we had some heavy weather. June 21-24 inclusive were blown out completely, and the yellowfin bite diminished, but the tuna are not gone - Capt. Cragin and team aboard "Reel Addiction" had a few tuna bites today, a couple were lost due to angler-error and a couple of 60-70 lb yellowfin were boated. I heard Capt. Brooks Rans' "Matanza" was 1-3 on blue marlin bites today, but with the World Cup tomorrow nobody else is saying much.........

Good Luck to all boats in the Bermuda Billfish Blast tomorrow !!

07/03/09 - Carol Bareuther - VIGFC Tournament News Release


Dean Barns Photo: Tournament observers, who verify the catch before release, line up at the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Clubhouse.

The 46th Annual July Open Billfish Tournament (JOBT) - the longest annually held angling contest in the Virgin Islands - will kick-off tomorrow with a fleet of 18 boats hailing from St. Thomas, St. Croix, Virgin Gorda, St. Martin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland. The economic downturn hasn't dented participation. "I think a lot of people said, 'I have a boat, it's Fourth of July, let's go fishing and have some fun'," said tournament director, Jeffrey Kreiner. Anglers will set their sights on catching and releasing the most blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish. "This is an all-release tournament," says Kreiner. "No fish will be boated or brought to the dock for weigh-in." Lines go in the water at 8:30 a.m. and out at 5 p.m., except on the final day of the three-day tournament when lines out will be at 4 p.m. The public is invited to greet the fleet as the boats come back to the dock around sunset. The number of flags flying on the outriggers indicates how many billfish the boat's anglers caught and released for the day. There will also be dock parties each night at American Yacht Harbor marina. Past winners of the prestigious Capt. Johnny Harms 'Give Him Line' Trophy read like a Who's Who of blue marlin sport fishing. Angler Elliot Fishman's winning 845-pound catch in 1968 set an all-tackle world record. Only two anglers have reeled in this honor two times - the late Howard Crouse in 1965 and 1988, and Puerto Rico's legendary angler Ralph Christiansen in 1973 and 1984. Christiansen, who died in February following a plane crash, will be posthumously honored. "Ralph was the premier sports fishermen in the Caribbean," says Capt. Red Bailey, who fished this tournament for all but its first year, often with Christiansen as competition. "We always had good friendly competition. I respected Ralph a lot. Win, lose or draw, he always had a smile." Proceeds from the JOT benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands.

For more information visit the VIGFC website:see website For more information, visit: www.vigfc.com.

06/29/09 - Art Pickering - Caicos Classic Report

Caicos Classic 2009: Big Fish, Big Fun

With an exceptionally slow start the 14th Annual Caicos Classic Release Tournament delivered another close finish with eight boats and ten Blue Marlin, plus three White Marlin releases, recently near Turtle Cove at Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. Captains and observers reported many pulled hooks and missed fish in the spread during the four day event.

Photo: D.A. Sea Crew: John Conrad, Chris Gonell, Rob Valco, Valerie Dunn, Ed Dunn

Day One proved to be a quiet day for most of the fleet except for D.A. Sea, skippered by Rob Valco who had pulled hook on three Blue Marlin before noon. They finally got their act together and released a blue at 4:12 pm, just minutes before the deadline for lines out. Lady Tamara released a White a few minutes later. The daily went to D.A. Sea.

Day Two picked up a little as No Excuse, skippered by Tony DeMoya released a White Marlin at 9:09 am. Trouble Maker a strong contender in past tournaments released a Blue at 9:34 am. Not to be out done was last year's winner Chucke II, releasing their first Blue at 10 am. Trouble Maker was awarded the daily on time of release.

Day Three heated up as lead boat D.A. Sea released a White early morning and a Blue in the afternoon to further extend their lead. Chucke II and Trouble Maker both released blues, moving Trouble Maker into second place on release time. Long Distance also got on the board with there first Blue. D.A. Sea went on to take the daily.

Day Four was a very quiet day for releases but not on missed fish. Panoply got their first Blue Marlin release after missing a double hitter and another Blue in the spread on the release. As Panoply was not in the daily contest the daily rolled over to D.A. Sea with the most release points.

As always, Classic contestants enjoyed the adventure and excitement of billfishing the Turks And Caicos in mid-summer, the camaraderie of world-class anglers in action and the tropical setting of a little piece of paradise known as Turtle Cove Marina.

In May, 2010, the winning team from D.A. Sea will be representing the Turks and Caicos in the worlds largest offshore tournament, the IGFA Offshore World Championship, competing against more than 65 other countries. The captain and crew of D.A. Sea are John Conrad, Chris Gonell, Rob Valco, Valerie Dunn and Ed Dunn.

Tournament Director Art Pickering passed out trophies to all the winners with congratulations for all tourmanent sponsors while announcing the dates for next year's Caicos Classic tournament which will take place June 19-24, 2010.

For more information about the annual Caicos Classic Release Tournament in the Turks And Caicos Islands, visit the web site:website or call Art Pickering 649-231-0278

06/26/09 - Capt. Tony DiGiulian - Saudi Arabia Fishing Trip

Hello all,

I am still safe and in Saudi Arabia. I will be returning on Wednesday the first of July. I do not have much to report on the fishing. I have fished a total of one and a half days since I arrived. Had a sailfish bite on a lure on Friday, but missed. Caught a few Groupers and Snappers on the reef but it was slow. There are several problems that are frustrating here. First there are almost no boats that are adequate to go off shore. No live wells, no outriggers, 2 rod holders, no range etc... The boats here are in worse condition then boats in any third world country and most are just total pieces of you know what. I have never seen anything like it. Some people have plenty of resources but just don't know anything about boats. There are no life rafts or EPIRBS, no safety equipment at all and I will not make an exception and put my life at risk out of ignorance, so I have turned down a few rides. (For all the young guy's out there this is a good lesson to learn. Do not put yourself at risk no matter what. We all know about some of the recent tragedies that have occurred with some of our friends. Always say no if things are not up to the highest safety standards. No fish is worth getting in trouble at sea, for no reason) The few boats that are descent have not been available to me this trip, as their owners are busy with other things.

My clients are also busy with some big projects that pertain to me and I have been advising them and getting things set up for the future. I will be searching for some boats when I return to ship over here and one of the projects I am involved with will be mapping out the fishing areas here on a brand new 48 Cabo that should be arriving here in the next couple of months. I am outfitting that boat with all the tackle, outriggers, rocket launchers etc.. so it won't be long until I will get my chance to fish allot of days. I just have to be patient as I am literally starting at ground zero.

Hopefu lly Capt James Barnes will be joining me in the near future as this whole thing moves ahead. Overall I am still having a great experience and I am being treated very well. The food remains fabulous and I learn more about the Arab culture every day. The people here are friendly and have gone out of their way to make me feel at home. Hope you all are well and I will keep you updated if there is anything else to report. I will be returning here in October for about 25 days and hopefully will get a chance to fish many days in a row. Just remaining patient and doing what I am asked and representing America and the Sport fishing industry to the best of my ability.


Anthony DiGiulian
Saltwater Professional Consulting
(954) 895-6635

06/24/09 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers,

The 2009 dolphin season has been reported as fairly good to great for most anglers in the South Atlantic Bight. Anglers reported that the early run of dolphin was comprised of a very high percentage of 15 to 20 pound fish. Some apologized for not being able to find fish small enough to tag. (Yeah, right!) The only thing that kept it from being a fantastic spring dolphin season was the high winds in May, which kept boats off the South Atlantic Bight waters for most of the month.

The high winds of May had a major impact on dolphin tagging. The number of fish reported tagged so far in May is the lowest since the first year of this study. Thank goodness, fishermen are making up for the low May number during June. see research info

In spite of the low number of fish tagged, tag recovery reports have soared past the number reported during all of 2008. This newsletter focuses on two of the more recent tag recovery reports that demonstrate two of the major theories on dolphin movements that have evolved from this study.

Good fishing,


Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd. Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524

06/23/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Fiji

Windward Voyage

Bula Crew! Greetings to all my old “Crew” and to some new shipmates who have joined the “Crew List” as well.

The trip from the Marshalls to Fiji was entirely to windward. Almost 1800 miles to windward, in fact. The wind was never abaft the beam. North of the equator we enjoyed the Northeast Trades which helped with our “easting”. The equatorial zone provided variable winds and calms through which we motorsailed, still making good easting. Once south of the equator we met up with the Southeast Trades and it was hard on the wind from then on. Fortunately the wind and seas were not too strong and we managed quite well. The new sails that I put on the Deev in the Marshalls made the trip much more pleasant than it would have been with the old sails. No doubt about it, with the old sails the trip could have been miserable indeed!

The fishing was excellent and we caught more fish than we could eat. We seemed to catch Mahi Mahi and Tuna at will.

As I said before, I had two crew aboard the Deev with me. I really believe that the trip would have been as good or better if I had single handed. It seemed that I had a full time job just babysitting and making sure that the crew didn’t mess up too badly. The crew has been discharged from the Deev. As my former shipmate and Captain, Pete, used to say to me “You just can’t get good crew these days”. He would say this while looking me straight in the eye! Anyway, it sure is good to have the Deev back to myself.

So far Fiji seems like a wonderful place. The unsettled political scene doesn’t seem to be a cause of concern to the visiting cruisers. The government seems to realize that the visiting boats provide a good source of income for their economy.

Vuda Point Marina, where I’m currently staying, is one of the nicest marinas that I’ve ever been in. The prices are very reasonable as well.

After the long windward trip I’ve found that I have quite a lot of things to do on the boat…engine problems, some rigging issues, charging system snafu’s… the TO DO LIST is keeping me occupied and out of trouble! Progress is being made.

I’ve found some good prices for flights back to the States and hope to fly back in mid-July for a couple of months Stateside and in the West Indies. I look forward to seeing many of you this summer.

Cheers and Carry On!


Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

06/20/09 - Capt. James Barnes - Bahamas Fishing Report

The fishing was typical Bahamas, slow, slow , slow. The seas were flat and the temp hot, hotter and hottest, making for long days. The overall was 14 blues, 6 whites and 5 sails among 37 boats. The True Grit won (they captured a slam in the 3 days of fishing which gave them a 700 point bonus), Abracadbra was second with 2 blues (both on the first day) and The Edge came third with 2 blues (day 1 and 2). The Double Dog won the overall BBC. Don Norton on the Real McCoy weighed in a 564 blue to take the largest fish prize.

I met up with lots of old friends and had a good time but we are all looking forward to Bermuda! Looks like depature is on Tuesday due to weather.

Take care,


06/19/09 - Capt. Tony DiGiulian - Saudi Arabia Fishing Trip

Hello all,

I am safe and in Jeddha Saudi Arabia. A little jet lagged but safe and being well taken care of. I will have a prep day tmrw and then fish for the next couple of days. My client Mohamed has arranged a huge dinner for me tonite which will consist of a whole lamb roasted on a spit. I am stoked to rip a few big chunks off the lamb and dig in. I will keep you all updated as I go.

The only diff so far is that it is a little warmer here this time, about 97 degrees.

All is well, peace and salam alykem.

Anthony DiGiulian
Saltwater Professional Consulting
(954) 895-6635

06/18/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Fiji

Ahoy Crew,

I write this from an internet cafe in Fiji as I have yet to find a wireless connection for my own computer. I will make this short and sweet...

I arrived yesterday in Fiji safe and sound with the same number of people aboard as I had when I left the Marshall Islands!

I will write more later after I have settled in and found a decent internet connection but essentially the 15 day trip was relatively uneventful with only the normal disasters enroute.

All's well!

I'll be keeping the boat at Vuda Point Marina (check their website) for a little while and leave it there while I fly to the States. I have not yet worked out the logistics of the trip but will fill you in later.

First impressions of Fiji are very favorable! Cheers and Carry On!


Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

06/16/09 - Capt. Tony DiGiulian - Saudi Arabia Fishing Trip

Hello all,

I am leaving Tuesday afternoon for Saudi Arabia. I will contact everyone when I arrive in Jeddah. I am flying from JFK to Amman, Jordan on Jordanian Royal Airlines at 10pm. I will then travel from Jordan to Jeddah. I will return on June 28 unless my trip is extended.

I will send e-mails updating the trip as the days pass. Wish me luck and say a prayer for my safe return. Thanks and Peace.

Anthony DiGiulian
Saltwater Professional Consulting
(954) 895-6635

Editors Note:This will be Capt. Tony's second trip to the Red Sea region. His sponsor successfully caught a swordfish on rod and reel during their last adventure. We'll stay tuned for Tony's fishing reports.

06/15/09 - Forward: Capt. James Barnes/Capt. James Roberts - Madeira Report

Subj: 2009 Season Madeira

12 fish caught this weekend in Madeira.Two over 900lbs.
This is not counting the pulled hooks and window shoppers.
My Madeira cell # is 351-918-702-884


06/15/09 - Forward: Capt. James Barnes/Jonathan Reiss - Bermuda Fishing Report

June 15, 2009

The first report of the year and it will be brief, because now that my second child (Serena) was born three months ago I no longer even have time to write about fishing. However, the nights are getting better and I hope to provide my usual full coverage of the excellent Bermuda Triple Crown tournaments in July. Several of the big visiting boats arrived here in the past few days.

The big news in Bermuda (other than the arrival of four Uighurs from Gitmo) is that we have a yellowfin bite going on - this is something that we did not enjoy at all in 2008 ! For the winter warriors there was also a good yellowfin bite after Christmas that lasted through most of January. "Playmate" probably had the biggest haul with 25 yellowfin on January 11, and Capt. James Robinson on "Wound Up" caught a bunch of wahoo and yellowfin during that same week. The current yellowfin bite started a couple of weeks ago is still happening. The wahoo bite that basically never ended throughout 2008 continued for the first five months of this year, but in the past couple of weeks it has slowed considerably. Capt Peter Rans of the "Overproof" and Cragin went out on Peter's little boat and hauled in a whopper 107 lb wahoo on April 5.

First blue marlin honors in Bermuda this year went to Capt. Nick New and his lady angler Charlotte aboard "Reel Hot" with a 400 lb blue marlin release on May 24. The marlin bite has just started to come to life in the past few days and Capt Nick is staying on top of them with a blue marlin release on Saturday and two more blue marlin releases yesterday. "Sea Scorpion" released a 500 lb+ blue on May 26, and another big 500 lb+ blue was released by Ricky Sousa and team on "Over Budget" on June 2. Capt. Brooks Rans finally has his beautiful boat, "Matanza", here (a new charter boat for Bermuda) and scored his first blue marlin release on June 11. "Reel Addiction" got of the mark with a blue marlin release on June 12 and then caught another blue marlin on June 13.

We don't get too many mako sharks in Bermuda, but Capt. James Robinson on "Wound Up" caught a 150 lb mako on May 8 and then pulled the hook on one that was considerably larger on June 1.

I made my first trip offshore since early October on May 21 aboard "Reel Addiction" with Capt. Cragin and John Davis. I had the wahoo lucky charm (aka Neil Mcconachie) with me as well as John Ringgold and David Lines. It was my kind of May day - good and breezy and we hauled in 20 wahoo, mostly all down on Argus. No whoppers, the biggest was 48 lb, but we had seven over the 40 lb mark and the rest were mostly in the 25-40 lb class. In all we had over 600 lbs of dressed wahoo and we released a barracuda. My second trip offshore was on June 12 and it was just Capt. James and myself aboard "Wound Up" - it was like old times - and James put me on the tuna. In just over four hours of drifting around the NW of Argus we hauled in 10 yellowfin tuna and a bunch of large rainbow runners and an almaco jack. Three of the yellowfin were around the 35 lb mark and the other seven were all in the 45-50 lb class. James made me crank eight of them in. My back was so sore that at 12:45 pm with the fish box looking good we left them biting and I was able to relax on the bridge and watch marlin plugs follow the boat as we made a leisurely troll back to Bermuda. Two GREAT DAYS for me - I wish I could spend more time in the deep blue !!

PS - the New York Times reported that one of our new Uighurs, Khaleel Mamut, went out on a fishing boat on Saturday and caught his first fish. "I was so excited" he said "you just drop your hook in the water and you get a fish" - well that sounds like Bermuda and thank you Khaleel for the endorsement of our productive waters. There's a shortage of good and hard working mates on the island, so perhaps if you come down here and charter a boat you will be able to swap war stories with an Uighur while he baits your hook !!


06/09/09 - Rick Alvarez - Tournament Information

Hello friends,

The pictures of the 2009 15th Anniversary International La Guaira Billfish Shootout are now up on our website See . Just click on the picture of the winning team on the main page, that will take you to another page where the same picture appears in the middle. On the upper right hand side of the picture click on where it says “Photo Gallery” and that will open the Gallery.

Hope you enjoy seeing them. We take this opportunity to thank our sponsors Hook & Tackle, Solera Premium Beer, Mustad Hooks Latin America, Island Lures, Gameface Gear, Prosoft Lures, Baitmasters, Pepsi Venezuela, Eagle Claw, Doplomatico Rum, Grand Slam Fishing Supply, Globalstar Venezuela, Guy Harvey, Altenkirch Rods, Costa del Mar, State of Vargas Institute of Tourism, Decocar Ice Coolers, Shimano, Black Bart Lures, Atlantic Taxidermy, Cayman Arts (Carey Chen) and Arawana Outdoors.

We will be bulletining very soon news about our Venezuelan International Super Slam scheduled for the last weekend of September. Some new ideas will be added to this program to make it even more enjoyable and interesting.

Thanks and good fishing,

Rick Alvarez
Director ILGBS

06/05/09 - Capt. Brad Phillipps - Decisive - Guatemala Report

Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - Fish Report - April and May 2009

It is hard to believe but we have just put another season of Guatemalan Billfishing behind us. Since our last report two months back, we have seen some outstanding sailfishing with some exceptional marlin fishing to keep all our anglers enjoying themselves. The newly repowered 'Decisive' (our 40ft gamefishermen) performed flawlessly, winning every tournament we fished this year by most convincing substantial margin. Anglers enjoyed the extra speed and maneuverability of the boat while she still maintained her incredible fish raising ability and comfortable ride. The 'Circle Hook' with Capt. Eddie Bairez at the helm, our second boat that we book, had another great season also, being top release boat on many a day, keeping clients happy and being a great compliment to our popular operation.

April started off red-hot with Barry Fitzpatrick and John Carbone seeing the bite of their lives, releasing 59 sailfish from 82 bites on the 1st. Things were just as good the following day with 43 releases from 65 bites. On the 3rd we released a feisty 350lb blue together with 17 sailfish. John just couldn't get enough of the action and extended his trip to fish an extra 3/4 day along with Cindy as his backup angler, to go on to release 22 from 40 bites.

We hosted Nehl Horton and Pete Marino of the USA and South African's Paul Verheul and Mark Steinhobel, who fished against each other in their annual Billfishing International. It was a true pleasure having them to stay with us and Eddie Bairez did a fine job aboard the 'Circle Hook' finding them plenty of sailfish on the each of their three days. The 5th of April, their final day, proved a nailbiting finish with over 20 sailfish releases for the day and ending with a triple header released from a quad, with the jubilnet South Africans coming out on top and taking the trophies in fine fashion.

Ricky Le Franc and his son Ignacio, along with friend Luis Córdova all of Puerto Rico, joined us the 5, 6 and 7th of April. 11 year old Ignacio was given the lions share of the bites and did an incredible job on the rod, with the highlight being a 250lb blue he released on 20lb line in only a matter of minutes, along with 15 sailfish on the first day. On the 6th they released 14 sailfish and 22 sailfish on their final day, to see out a wonderful trip.

Our Billfish Inn neighbors, and close friends Drs. Scott and Kristy Lund were with us the 8th through the 10th and kindly invited Cindy out for a day on the water their first day. With the lines in the water only a matter of seconds a marlin showed on the rigger ballyhoo and Cindy expertly hooked the fish on 20lb which turned out to be her first black marlin ever that she released after a dogged 40 minute fight. Scott went on the release a sail on fly and another two on bait. The sailfishing picked up the next day with Scott releasing 3 on fly and 12 on bait followed by 2 on fly and 1 on bait the next.

Our Canadian fly-fishing regular, Rick Lawrence joined us along with his friends Rick Belmare and Dennis Ouellette for four days on the long wand. We found the fish out wide but they proved though to tease into the bite, raising 23 and managing 4 releases their first day. We missed a smaller blue their middle day with 5 fly releases and another 2 on spin. Things were slower their final 2 days with only a few on spin.

Manuel Tavares and sons Juan and Manuel Jr., and Samuel Conde with his son Samuelito and son in law Mario De Ferrari, and Andres Bobadilla, joined us to fish on both the 'Decisive' and the 'Circle Hook' on the 24th through the 27th. The boats released an average of 5 - 8 sails a day with 2 blues also released. Manuel´s wife Maggie, also flew in to join the group for a day at the billfish Inn prior to the two of them enjoying three romantic nights in Antigua.

Our Port Aransas Texas friends Bobby and Carol Richter along with sons Matt and Bryan and girlfriend Lindsey fished with us the 29th April through the 2nd of May. With good water the fishing was a little disappointing the final two days, but the group had a good first two days, missing a 300lb blue, releasing a 250lb blue and each catching one on the fly.

The fishing is never slow for long off Guatemala, and things changed on the 3rd for Joe O'Brien, who was squeezing in a two day trip which turned out to be his trip of a lifetime. Having fished years on the fly in Costa Rica prior to becoming a Guatemalan "local" and one of our most faithfuls over the past 3 years, he was yet to land a blue on the fly rod. But over these two days things changed dramatically as Joe did an outstanding job releasing a blue marlin on the fly on consecutive days. Both fish were in the 250lb range and were the most exciting catches Joe had ever experienced. To say the blue marlin fishing was good would have been the understatement of the year. In magnificent blue water, on the drop-off at only 10 - 18 miles we raised a total of 7 blues in two days, had 4 tease in red-hot for the fly, two bit the fly both of which were released, another faded on the cast and the 4th made countless passes under the fly but no matter what we did we could not tempt the fish into biting the fly. We did get a bite on the mackerel from this fish which we missed. We also missed a 400lb and a 350lb blue on the mackerel pitchbait as some seemed a little tentative with all the bait around, but released a great 400lb'er on the standup Alutecnos 50lb setup to show just how good the blue marlin fishing can get off Guatemala, and send Joe on his way with the biggest grim one could possibly imagine. Nice job Joe!!

'Decisives' owner Steve Cothron invited Austin Texas friends Kristi and Darren Webber for 2 days of fishing and the blue marlin continued to please. The couple released 3 sails and had countless dorado on their first day with 2 blues that would not bite. Darren got his blue the next day with a 300lb that ate, and another 2 that would not play, as well as a sail and lots of dorado for each.

Bill and Theresa Dahl, joined us along with their sons Baylen Dahl, Chris Phillips, Morgan Phillips, Peter Scott, Matt Osteen, Mike Osteen, to fish aboard the 'Decisive' and the 'Circle Hook' from the 5th through till the 7th of May. The wonderful family group had a very enjoyable stay with some good fishing with everyone releasing a few sails each day and loads of dorado, while missing a blue aboard the 'Circle Hook' on day one and Morgan releasing a feisty 200lb, his first blue ever, on their final day to finish the trip off in jubilant style.

After a wonderful round of golf at the new Antigua Golf resort, Scott Lund was back on the water with friend Jeff Case on the 12th. The fishing was excellent with 26 sails up on the first day with 2 released on the fly, 6 on bait, a 200lb blue missed and the wildest 600lb blue I think I have ever seen released by Jeff in classic style on the pitchbait to end a great day. The next day Scott released 2 sails on fly and Jeff the same on bait.

After a wonderful round of golf at the new Antigua Golf resort, Scott Lund was back on the water with friend Jeff Case on the 12th. The fishing was excellent with 26 sails up on the first day with 2 released on the fly, 6 on bait, a 200lb blue missed and the wildest 600lb blue I think I have ever seen released by Jeff in classic style on the pitchbait to end a great day. The next day Scott released 2 sails on fly and Jeff the same on bait.

Peter Geraci along with daughter Lauren and her boyfriend CJ were with us the 14th through until the 18th. Things started off with a good bite, going 10 from 18 on the sailfish on their first day. Things unfortunately slowed the next few days with a couple sails each day, lots of dorado to keep everyone busy and a marlin that was missed on the final day. It was still a very pleasant trip and the group also enjoyed the day of sightseeing in Antigua mid-trip.

The 22nd thought the 25th saw our friends Brad Watkins, Darren Terzi and John Wendkos with us to chase the summer blue marlin they were hoping to encounter. The first day started off incredibly with 7 blue marlin up, but with all the small dorado around they were very picky. John hooked a 200lb'er on 12lb but the hook never stayed put on the light tackle and we had another of 400lb's fade from teaser to teaser and eventually bite the ballyhoo in the rigger where we missed her, while all the others would just not eat the pitchbaits we threw at them. It was however a very exciting day seeing all these blues in the spread while still releasing 11 sailfish from 17 bites while doing so. The following day we had a very big blue of over 600lb's in the spread which we eventually managed to get a bait to and unfortunately missed. Minutes later we raised a big fish, perhaps the same fish as before but it would not play. An hour later our luck turned and Brad released a crazy 350lb blue that came at the boat twice in spectacular fashion prior to us getting the release. A couple sailfish and dorado completed the day. Day three saw us release a couple sails early and back inshore on the drop-off at 10miles our persistence was rewarded late in the afternoon when we found a pocket of blue marlin, raising a 200lb'er that would not eat the pitch. With hopes high it only took minutes and Darren was hooked up to a 300lb fish he did a fine job hooking and releasing. Moments after the release we had another 200lb'er up which would not play and as time ran out we ran for home with tails up. With high hopes of seeing the season out in style we started our final day back where we had left off the afternoon before and it wasn't long before a big fish crashed the right flat and moments latter switched from John's mackerel to eat Darren's pitchbait on the 30lb rod. The big fish didn't know it was in trouble for the first couple minutes after the hookup but with a little more drag she showed her 600 plus pound bulk as we went on to track her down as she came to the surface in a series of jumps to get Darren his biggest fish by far and put us all in great spirits. Adding a couple more sails we finished out the day, and season, in fine style with great friends. With Brad only 400 fish short of releasing his career 20 000th billfishing we can not wait to start up again after our break and see everyone down here to enjoy it all along with us.Cindy Philipps has years of experience in the Guatemala sport fishing, hotel and culinary trades. Cindy brings to the exclusive lodging and booking side of this operation her unparalleled efficiency, personal supervision and unmistakable Guatemalan hospitality. Together with their professional lodging staff and full-time driver, this operation will personally handle every detail of your trip, to ensure that your stay on land is as unforgettable as the time spent offshore.

During this economical downturn we have to thank our loyal following of anglers that continue to make their regular trips to enjoy this incredible fishery and everything we have to offer at Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures. While the bookings of others in the industry are down between 25 - 60% we are happy to report that we were only off some 10% and is a fine reflection of the demand we have for the quality billfishing experience we offer. We also have to thank our committed sponsors, Alutecnos Tackle, Pelagic High Performance Offshore Gear, Eagle Claw Hooks, Legend Lures and Big-T Lures, for their continued support. A special mention also to 'Decisive's' dedicated owner Steve Cothron without whom our successful operation would not be possible. We fished a total of 152 days from October thought until May and released a total of 1613 sailfish, 25 blue marlin and 1 black marlin to again be the top release boat in Guatemala, if not the world over this time period. Brad is only some 400 fish short of a carrer 20,000 billfish releases.

Bookings are rolling in for next season and although we are off to Africa for a few months to enjoy it's adventures, we will be staying on top of things via email. So until we start up again in October, tight lines, circle hooks and healthy releases.

Capt. Brad Philipps
Email Cindy and Brad Philipps: email

Comment of the month!
Just when I thought I could not enjoy the Billfish Inn or fishing with Brad any more I get a marlin on the fly after ten years of trying. Then, to do it again the next day ( with a 400 lb. conventional fish as well) is like a fantasy. Unbelievable two days - best fishing trip of my life"!!!!!!!

Joe O´Brien

05/31/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Marshall Islands

Bula Crew!

Bula is the word of greeting in Fiji. The Deev is Fiji bound in two days. 1,600 miles southeast should take 2-3 weeks depending on weather and sea conditions. I have 2 crew members onboard the Deev with me, Heather, a 43 year old professional women’s basketball player and coach and Taylor, a 23 year old World Teach teacher who spent the last year working in outer island schools. Taylor wants a ride to Fiji so she can fly to Western Samoa and visit her boyfriend who is Peace Corps there and Heather is on walkabout. Small world… Taylor’s Dad sailed the Caribbean back in the 80’s and it seems that he and I have several friends in common.

The new sails for the boat arrived 2 weeks ahead of schedule from Lee Sails in Hong Kong. They are damn near perfect. Of course I should have put them on 10,000 miles ago but I was reluctant to spend the loot. They turned out to be much less expensive than I expected and the quality is excellent.

In Fiji I plan to haul the boat out for bottom painting and other routine maintenance. It’s been 2 years since the last haul out. While there I hope to get a chance to fly back to the States for a visit and perhaps down to the Caribbean for a month or so. We’ll see…

This past year in the Marshall’s has been very satisfying and pleasant. Hanging out with my old pal Neal Skinner was a plus as was reacquainting myself with old friends that I had met here when I passed through with Pete Washburn in the 80’s onboard his boat “Buxom II”.

Fishing has been excellent here in the Marshall Islands as summer approaches. Fishing is good here year around but can get exceptional in the summer when the Yellowfin get thick. Sea conditions get more pleasant in the summer as well. Several 500+ Blue Marlin have been caught recently and quite a few smaller fish in the 300 pound range have been caught as well.

I have mentioned before that the fishing boats here are not top of the line. We have no real boats out here. Most are just small boats with outboards. Fishing techniques are not advanced either. It’s “Jungle Rules” with everyone on board helping to pull in the fish. And nobody backs down or chases the fish.

This place is hot and really should be intelligently developed as a premier fishing destination. Any takers??? Get in touch!

That’s all for now, Crew. Cheers and Carry On!

Chuck Handy, from the edge of the world.

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

05/24/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

May 17 2009

Hobe Sound Florida !!!!

Only a few more days till I head back to Australia, after a great month in the US. Caught up with a bunch of friends all up and down the coast, went up to Charleston and Savannah, saw the space shuttle take off from the beach in Melbourne, and then went down to the Keys to fish with Brandon for a couple of days.

Went out Tuesday with Brandon, his dad and Erin. flat calm, we headed out to the secret swordfish hole, about 30 miles from their house. Putting out the first bait we got a bite from a big mahi mahi, but fell off , so I put out a ballyhoo and proceeded to catch 6 nice gaffers while we drifted around swording!!! First fish was about 250, and pretty much came straight to the boat, and did a few jumps about 50 feet from the boat, what an awesome fish!!! Put him in the boat and rest.

I pugged the fish after a quick photo, and was amazed at how cold the core temp is of these daytime fish over the night time ones. Even after about 10 minutes on the deck, when I pulled out the stomach cavity, it was cold, but then it cant be too warm down 1700 feet where we are fishing!!! Next drop had a few bites but no hookup, so moved off and set for a drift. did a little longer than normal drift and ended up finding some new ground, good changes in elevation, and the all important green fuzz on the sounder and then a few bites and we were on.

This one fought a bit better, and even after putting the dart in his head, pulled off 100 feet of line from the electric and the harpoon rod. This one was about 150 lbs, and was just dogged at the boat. Swords are the coolest fish on earth!!!! And is on the grill tonight !!

Headed home and got cleaned up. The same day RJ Boyle fished up in Pompano Beach and got a couple as well. One boat near RJ got one about 550 lbs that jumped all over the ocean right next to RJ's boat !!!! Just an incredible sight. If you are interested in fishing in Florida for these fish let me know and I will put you in touch with these two guys who have led the daytime deep drop fishery.

On the Cairns front, I have booked a few weeks of work while over here, and the season is looking great. I still have some time open in each month, from mid Sept, Lizard Island Comp the last week of Oct, and Nov and Dce time as well. There is only a week available in each month so get in quick.

Will be home next weekend to finish getting the TRADITION ready for Cairns , then off to China to see long time clients on their home turf!!


email Tim
visit website

05/22/09 - Donald L. Hammond - Dolphin Research Project Report

Marine Anglers,

The importance of dolphinfish to the U.S. offshore recreational fishery is demonstrated by most of the top saltwater sports fishing magazines having a major article about this great game fish in their current issue. Articles in two magazines stand out though. In the June issue of Sport Fishing magazine, the editor chose to include an article about the findings of the Dolphin Tagging Study in their feature about fishing for dolphin. Sport Fishing wanted to show what amazing travelers these fish are and how fishermen can help science to gain important information about the species. Florida Sport Fishing magazine published a poignant article in their May/June issue questioning the health of the dolphin stock and whether fisheries management is taking the needed action to gather the data to properly manage the species before it goes into decline. These are article that you should definitely read.

Offshore sports fishermen and the sports fishing media both recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy population of dolphin for all fishermen to enjoy. Now, we only need to convince management to move dolphinfish issues up their list of priorities.

This issue of the newsletter begins an examination of the 2008 U.S. dolphin fishing year using the data from the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey. It looks at variations in the recreational harvest of dolphin among the regions and states. Some regions and states saw increases in the dolphin harvest, while most experienced varying degrees of decline. How did your region and state fare?

Yes, it may not be the most exciting reading, but offshore anglers who enjoy dolphin fishing should read this information. report

Good fishing,


Donald L. Hammond
Marine Fisheries Biologist
Cooperative Sciences Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412-4902
(843) 795-7524

05/11/09 - John Tierney/Bjoern Wiegelmann - Cape Verde Fishing Report

Hi John,

I came back on friday and today is my first day back at work. I had fantastic fishing days on Cape Verde. The first two days after you left were slow, we only caught one. But then it picked up again and we were seeing 6-10 blues every day catching up to 5 of them per day. also the size of the fish was pretty good. We were catching several fish between 400 and 500 and the last fish i caught was a 650+. Bonze caught one he called at least 900.

It was great to meat You and Bob and I really hope to fish with you again in the future on Cape Verde or somewhere else. Next weekend i am going to upload all the pictures i took. I will make You and Bob CD s and send them over to the US. So hopefully you will recieve them soon. Regards,


05/07/09 - Simon Hemphill - Sea Adventures - Pemba Channel, Kenya - Indian Ocean

Hello everyone,

We hope that you are not being too badly affected by the credit crunch and that the world will soon come out of it that much stronger. At this time of the year our crews go on leave and the boats and tackle are given a thorough going over. There is always a lot of work to do with servicing the engines, re-painting the boats and stripping down and overhauling the reels. Pat and Maia are planning a trip to the Serengeti when my brother, Mike and his wife come over from Australia in July but I can't see myself getting away this year.
Traditionally the period of May to July was considered to be bad for fishing not that anyone used to go out to see if it was true. The weather is often poor with heavy rains in May and strong winds in June but its not always bad. From my PhD studies I learnt that the commercial tuna long liners typically record their best catches of tuna off East Africa during May and June so there should be fish there. Since bringing Kamara II up from South Africa in April 2002 I have done quite a few recce trips out in to the channel to see what was there with some good success. There were usually a lot of small yellowfin tunas out there but we didn't encounter any big ones then. Last year I was tied up trying to fix my engines and Pat & Maia went over to Australia to see the family so didn't get out at all. It was very frustrating with news of so many black marlin around in the Watamu area in June and I wonder if they might not have been here too.

A few days ago Hamisi (from Kamara II) who is on leave had gone out fishing in a small fibreglass dinghy with a single 15-hp motor right out in to the channel. Quite crazy I think but all the same they did encounter a lot of tuna including some big ones. He caught one of 32-kg on a handline but saw a lot of fish up to 50-kg plus. However most of the time the smaller fish, which were very plentiful usually took the lure before the big ones could get a look in. They also saw a marlin free jump, a very reasonable size fish he said but too far off to know whether it was a black or a blue.

On the strength of this information Pat & I took Broadbill out yesterday afternoon to see if we couldn't find a few besides Pat has been getting withdrawl symptoms from a lack of sashimi so definitely had to replenish the stocks in the freezer. There were a lot of fish out there although we didn'tr actually see any of the big ones. We ended up with 25 small yellowfin, 3 skipjack tuna, 3 dorado a small wahoo and a very nice 40-kg sailfish that I got on a 30. Having seen all of the those smaller yellowfin I am not at all surprised that there should be marlin there too. The weather was mostly overcast with occasional rain showers and reasonably calm so a good day was had by all. The fish were taking best late in the afternoon so we didn't get back in until after dark.

We have decided to maintain our rates at the same as last season and hope that we shall have the pleasure of fishing with many of you in the forthcoming season.

Best wishes,


Simon Hemphill email

05/05/09 - Rick Alvarez - Art Marina - Galopagos Fishing Report


See Video

Email Rick for Galopagos Info

05/04/09 - John Tierney - Cape Verde Fishing Report

Bob and I fished 4 days, April 23-26th with Capt Matthias Henningsen and mate Steve Hall from Oregon Inlet. We fished 50 lb stand up rods and pitch baiting.

Day 1... 4 good bites but pulled hook twice and I had a 400 lb fish get tangled up in the fishing gear of a panga resulting in broken line.

Day 2... Raised 11, had 8 bites and released 4. Capt Zak Conde raised 18, 15 bites and released 7.All boats saw between 7-18 marlin that day!

Day 3... Raised 8, 7 bites and released 4 before 12:00! Wind started howling and we only saw 1 more for the afternoon. Shut off for the other boats also.

Day 4... We tried to fish but blowing close to 30 with higher gusts. Had 1 bite on a real nice one and went home early.

A great group of ecletic fishermen there. Matthias from Germany, Canary Islands. Zak Conde from Cape Verde. "Kiwi's" Marty Bates and Bonze. Others like Simon, Berno and Wolfgang.

The Hooker with Capt Trevor and Ronnie Fields and Randy Baker released 19 in a day there years ago and it was not a fluke. Zak released 15 in a day in 2008. The numbers are incredible. A 31 bertram in April 2008 released 28 from 60 in 2 days.Same boat released 240 for the season.

Lots of big fish also. Record there is over 1200. While we were there one over 800 released and Gary Carter fought one about 750 on 12 lb.on Amelia with Capy Marty Bates.

Our Hotel Porto Grande was very good, food so so, and the flight schedules are tough but one hell of a blue marlin fishery. If your passion is blue marlins you must try Cape Verde.


04/27/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Marshall Islands

Maloelap, WOW!
Google and Google Earth it…
N 8 Degrees 42 ‘
E 171 Degrees 18’

Jimmy Loveland, who publishes some of my stuff on his website, www.abmt.vi/ (go to the bottom of the page and click on Global Reports), may find this entry a bit boring because his interest is primarily in Billfishing. My apologies, Jimmy, there are no fish reports in this entry. Maloelap is of historical interest to WWII buffs and I carried an amateur historian/professional diver here in search of WWII artifacts and the remains of missing American airmen. But I’ll tell you what; I would give my left arm to have a small sportfishing rig here to fish these waters…

A Brief History…

The Marshall Islands remained pretty much one their own until the mid-1800’s. They were slightly off the track of the major whale migratory routes. Various traders (usually of the unscrupulous sort) and blackbirders looking for slaves passed through giving outsiders a bad reputation. Hence the Marshallese found it better to kill all strangers first and ask questions later.

In the mid-1800’s the Europeans gained a foothold and the missionary invasion began. At this point in time the Germans decided that they owned the place. They remained in control (no one else wanted it) until the end of WWI, which they lost. The Japanese were awarded a mandate to govern the Marshalls until the end of WWII, which they lost. Then it was the Yanks turn and they ran the Marshall Islands as part of the huge Pacific Trust Territory until about 1976 when the islands became “independent in free association with the US”. And that is how it stands today.

Focus Maloelap…

Maloelap is a very large atoll with a huge lagoon and plus or minus 70 very small islands. Five of these islands have people living on them, the largest being the island of Taroa (N 8 degrees, 42’; E 171 degrees, 18’). A couple of hundred people live here now and are primarily engaged in subsistence fishing and copra production.

When the Japanese were doing their military thing in the 1930’s and 40’s they created a huge airbase here and had over 4,000 personnel stationed here. During this time all Marshallese cultural history was erased and all Marshallese people were moved elsewhere. The island was simply one big airbase. It was protected by a large fleet of fighter aircraft and artillery. The structures on the island were massive concrete fortifications built to withstand air and sea bombardment. Well, sort of…

Having been seriously bloodied in several invasions of Japanese held islands the Yanks decided that it was wiser to use their superior air and naval power to “neutralize” the Japanese strongholds. They bombed the crap out of them destroying all the Japanese aircraft and ships and let the suckers starve. They dropped over 4,000 tons of bombs on Taroa. Almost 70% of the Japanese forces died from wounds and malnutrition before surrendering.

My friend Matt Holly is a professional diver and a very competent amateur historian with a passion for WWII history in the Pacific and I agreed to sail him here to Maloelap aboard the “Deev” so that he could do some on site research. This is like his third or fourth trip here and we’re spending a little more than a week here this time.

I first met Matt back in the 1980’s when I first passed through these islands. An American expat, he arrived here around 1980 or so, roughly the same time my old pal Neal Skinner got here. Both of these guys have made the Marshalls their home. Matt has a handful of half-caste kids from several Marshallese women. For some reason when American, European or Australian men come to these islands they seem to forget all that they have learned about birth control and breed like rabbits with the native women. I’ve never figured it out… It must be a cultural thing. Have I mentioned before that more than half the Marshallese population is under 15 years old? WTF?

Matt is a good guy, though, and takes very good care of his family while maintaining his diving interests and his historical research. His knowledge of WWII history in these islands is enormous. Let me tell you one of the many stories that he passed on to me…

Early in the war the US launched an attack on Maloelap, mostly for morale purposes after getting a black eye and bloody nose at Pearl Harbor. In the very first engagement between Japanese and American fighter planes the two pilots came at each other head-on firing their machine guns. Ever play chicken? Well neither of these guys chickened out and they ran right into each other knocking themselves out of the sky. Both pilots survived!

There is a ship in the harbor here (two masts are still exposed above the water) that is perhaps the best wreck dive I’ve ever done. There are still live depth charges on board! Terushima Maru is 300 feet long and over 3000 tons. If you Google Earth the anchorage of Taroa you can see it very clearly.

Diving here is by permission only. Matt is on the board of the Historical Preservation Office and has a permit to dive here for research purposes.

We’ll have spent a little more than a week here, a fascinating time with a very interesting person. I seem to collect them….

As I am writing this Matt is gearing up to run another underwater search grid for a couple of lost airplanes.

From the edge of the world,


PS: We’re departing Maloelap this morning. It should be a 24 hour trip back to Majuro where I’ll send this off. No, we did not find the planes underwater but Matt is convinced that now that he knows where they are not, he will find them next time. On another note, Matt did photograph some human remains on shore and he got a GPS fix on their position so that he can inform the authorities. Cheers!

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

04/25/09 - John Tierney - Cape Verde Islands - Fish Report

John Tierney copied us his note to Scott Kerrigan: FISHING IMPROVED SINCE YOU WERE HERE. FRIDAY RAISED 11, 8 BITES, RELEASED 4. TODAY RAISED 8, 7 BITES, RELEASES 4. Zak released 5 Friday from 11 bites. Today 7 from 15 bites. Rough...very, very rough! More reports when we get home.

04/25/09 - Adam Reeve - St. Thomas Fishing off the Beach Report


So I know that there are a lot of fish stories out there. Many of them you can not tell wether it is an epic tale of man VS fish or just some old fairly tale that has been passed from fisherman to fisherman.

I have recently just experienced a fishing story that I myself would not believe if I had not been the one to actually catch this fish as well as have photos to prove it.

This past weekend I was down on Morningstar Beach next to the Marriott Hotel in St. Thomas playing volleyball with some friends. All of a sudden I heard someone yell shark so we all got up and walked down the beach to check it out. As I got closer I saw a large dark shadow circling in the shallows at the corner of the beach. As I got within 30 yards I saw a large silver flash come from the belly of the fish and quickly realized it was not a shark. I thought suddenly it looked like a Tuna, but quickly dismissed the idea as there was no way a tuna would be in that close. Next thought that came to mind was a Tarpon. However, this fish had a dark back and as many of you know a tarpon is all silver. Not knowing exactly what kind of fish it was but certainly sure it wasn't a shark I waded out into the water to get a better look. I got right up to the fish as it was swimming around and realized in fact it was a large tuna. It was so close I decided to try and grab it. I got a hold of its tail for a second but couldn't hold on. Rather then swimming away it circled back around and i grabbed it again, but this time with an even firmer grip. I tried to lift it out of the water but it was too heavy. I then decided to drag it ashore by the tail where once close to the beach we managed to hold it there despite the fish's attempt to get away. The Tuna, we later found out, was a 50 lb albacore or white tuna. I wouldn't believe it myself if I wasn't there.

The best part was that this guy was there with a camera and took pics of the whole thing. go to www.thomaslayer.com to check out the pics.

By the way just so you all know, I don't care what kind of fish stories you have because where I'm from,




04/17/09 - Capt. George Sawley - New Chittum Desgn

New advanced composite 18' skiff by Hal Chittum. First Hull, Weight 400 pounds, draft 6" Construction-- Core Cell Foam, E-Glass, S-Glass, kevlar and Carbon Fiber Vacuum Consolidated Post Cured.

04/16/09 - John and Jessica Kimberley - New Zealand - Fishing Report

‘Icing on the cake’ in NZ

It has been a truly memorable game fishing season in New Zealand. Our ban on commercial fishing for Marlin, seems to be paying real dividends.

As previously reported, the numbers of Striped Marlin on the coast have been the best for years, with repeated stories of pack attacks and some very big specimens amongst them.

I have received two reliable reports of Striped Marlin seen or hooked in only 30 metres of water and two further reliable reports of huge schools of Stripeys, both around fifty in number (but in different locations) herding up baitfish.

In the last instance, the intensity of feeding on Saury made the fish completely disinterested in lures or live Skipjack Tuna. These were the visions of the Three Kings at its peak and the Wanganellas…not to be expected close to the coast.

The Three Kings has returned to the best fishing in over 15 years, with one boat releasing no less then 18 Marlin in one afternoon! Green water has come in over the King Bank at the moment but we can expect a return to some spectacular fishing before the season ends…which could well go into June, this far north.

Rumours of sightings of a large Black Marlin close to the rocks at the Bay of Islands led to a local angler loading his heaviest tackle (50lb class stand-up) into his tiny 14ft dinghy when venturing out for a day, targeting the local Yellowtail Kingfish population. When the live bait was taken, the suspected likely culprit of a Mako or large Kingfish was soon dismissed when the head & shoulders of a large Black emerged, thrashing its head from side to side & showering the tiny boat & lone occupant with spray. What follows is the similar story of what seems to happen every year. Assistance arrived, boat is towed for miles, five hours of extreme grunt & the fish of a lifetime is eventually lost. Estimated at over 650lbs, this isn’t as massive as some of the few Blacks encountered each season but each time it seems to be small boats, inexperienced crew & tackle too light to give a fighting chance of success.

But the ‘icing on the cake’ for this truly memorable season has been three exceptional captures and pending NZ and/or world record claims.

Two remarkable light tackle captures have been made & are current world record claims. A superb Striped Marlin of nearly 370lbs was taken on 6kg line and, maybe even more remarkably, a 300lbs Broadbill was eventually pulled through the transom doors after a tremendous battle on 8kg line!

A very large Broadbill taken on 15kg line, would have resulted in another world record claim if a sneaky Mako hadn’t taken a big bite out of the sword’s tail, right at the end of the fight.

Signs look very promising for some very good Broadbill fishing, if the changeable weather allows the pursuit of these truly awesome billfish.

We’ve had a few sightings/losses of XL Blue Marlin this season and all this promise finally came to fruition yesterday when a pending NZ record fish thumped the scales down at Houhoura weigh-station to a massive 1,062.6lbs!

Quite late in the season for Blues and, with the continued presence of Mahimahi, we hope for another 6 weeks or so of action from the Stripeys & more surprises to come!

John Kimberley

email John

04/16/09 - Rich Scheffer - Tribute Performance Boats - Stuart Florida

Just a note to all of our friends to let you know Tribute is alive and well.

The 72' has an owner and is coming along well. It has a pair of 1825hp C-32 Acert CAT engines 2500 gallons of fuel and a pair of 27kw ONAN generators w/sound shields. Her name is "True Grit".

Rich Scheffer
Tribute Performance Boats

email Rich
visit Tribute's website

04/10/09 - Capt. Tim Richardson - Tradition Charters - Australia Fishing Report

Easter 2009

Happy Easter to everyone around the world !!! Hope your weather is better than we have had here lately, it has been raining and blowing for almost a month, with no days fishing, but lots of surf.

The surf has been extremely consistent the last month, with days on end of double overhead surf, and a few days even bigger. Have had some of the best surf in northern NSW and the Gold Coast for nearly a decade.

On the fishing front, not much has been happening at all, just finished all the interior varnish and waxing, and getting ready for next weekends Gold Coast Game Fish Club heavy tackle tournament. Fishing is Friday and Saturday, and the forecast is for nice calm winds, so hopefully that will eventuate.

After that I am heading to Florida on the 22nd of April for a month, so let me know if you want to talk at length about coming to fish in Cairns this season.

Have the trip north booked for Mackay to Cairns, and can do the trip from the Gold Coast out wide thru the outer southern reefs up to Mackay late July early August if you are interested.

Cairns dates are coming along well, with a few people to see when I am over in Florida to confirm dates. If you are interested in fishing on TRADITION this year, please email me.

Have a great Easter with your families, and talk soon.

Capt Tim Richardson

email Tim
visit website

04/10/09 - Capt. James Barnes on Horizons/Tyson's Pride delivery return from Brazil

Hi Everyone;

Just to update you on the progress, it has been a busy week. We crossed the Equator on Monday, passed the halfway point on Tuesday, celebrated a crew member's birthday on Wednesday and passed the 2000 mile mark on the trip this morning. Somewhere in between we have caught a small blue marlin and 2 spearfish. The weather has been most pleasant and we are keeping our fingers crossed that it stays the same for the remainder. We are currently about 240 miles to the Southeast of the Islands of Trinidad and Tobago and are planning on going by, straight on to St.T. If all holds well we should be arriving in St.T sometime on Monday, April 13. With this being said, I should be back in Ft. Lauderdale around the end of next week.

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter weekend!!



04/10/09 - Chuck Handy - SV Deviant - World Tour - Marshall Islands

Paradise Found

I was invited to visit the atoll of Likiep by Joe and Orlando de Brum who I met in Majuro at Shoreline. Shoreline is a little open air waterfront establishment that sells hot coffee in the morning and cold beer in the afternoon. It also sells gas to the small boats that ply the Majuro Lagoon. I frequently stop at Shoreline in the morning or in the afternoon and it was there that I was introduced to these guys. It turns out that Orlando is the father of Chris de Brum, past president of the Marshalls Billfish Club (billfishclub.com) and my friend.

“Chuck, you must come to visit us on our island of Likiep” they said. “It is very beautiful and the fishing is really good!” Chris agreed with his dad and uncle and said “I have not been back for 10 years. I’ll be taking my small daughter there on her first visit in March. You should come and visit us then. The strong winter winds will have calmed down some…”

So I did just that….

I sailed to Likiep from Majuro, 200 miles due north, in a little less than two days. I’ve been here two and a half weeks now and would like to stay here forever. I must leave in a few days but… I Will Return!

Of all the Marshall Islands Likiep is the only one that is “privately” owned. Oh, it still has a council and a mayor but the land is jointly owned by the de Brum and Capelle families having been bought by Jose de Brum, in partnership with Adolph Capelle, back in 1877. It was bought from the local Chief and turned into a coconut plantation which it still is to this day. The proceeds from the copra are divided between the workers and the two families. The copra workers get 50% right off the top. The two families split the other half equally after taking out expenses from their half.

Jose de Brum negotiated the purchase of Likiep from the iroijlaplap Jurrtoka in 1877. The traditional chiefs in the Marshall Islands are called “Iroij”. Usually an iroij is chief of one island. An “Iroijlaplap” is a “paramount chief” or chief of many islands. Jurrtoka was Iroijlaplap of the Ratak or “Sunrise” chain of islands which spans hundreds of miles. It is the eastern group of the Marshalls and includes Mili, Majuro, Maloelap, Erikub and Wotje, among others. The negotiations took place on the atoll of Aur and were duly signed and sealed and a deed was issued for the island to Jose de Brum. (I know because I read a copy of the deed!) The monetary value was figured at $1250 and the exchange was made in trade goods including cloth, beads, muskets, cannon, ammunition and tobacco. If you think about it, that is a lot more than the Dutch paid for the island of Manhattan! IMHO it is also much prettier than Manhattan but is lacking in the advantage of New York Style pizza parlors…perhaps its only drawback.

Jurrtoka felt that the cannon and muskets would enable him to conquer the other half of the Marshalls, the Ralik or “Sunset” chain. Interestingly enough Jurrtoka never did succeed in his dreams of empire because the iroijlaplap of the Ralik chain also acquired similar weaponry. In the only battle involving these weapons it is reported that no one was killed or injured. When the two armies met on the field of battle the weapons were fired before they were even in range and the sheer noise of the musket and cannon fire was enough to make all the warriors run away and hide. Now that’s the way to fight a war! Shock and awe!

Orlando and Joe de Brum are the direct descendents of both Jose de Brum and Adolph Capelle. Jose de Brum took a native wife who gave birth to their dad, Emmanuel. Emmanuel married Almira Capelle, granddaughter of Adolph and also of mixed Marshallese and European blood. Almira had five sons with Emmanuel. Joe, 78 years old and Orlando, 73 years old are the surviving sons. It is a pleasure and an honor to have met these guys and to have been welcomed into their houses and their families.

And the fishing is excellent! We have been throwing nets, trolling, bottomfishing, you name it! We have eaten fish raw, grilled, boiled, broiled, fried and smoked. Although Joe told me that he was a little disappointed in the recent fishing it seemed to me that the fish were practically jumping into the boat.

There are no sportfishing rigs here and there is very little pressure on the fish. We’ve been going out in 14’ skiffs with 15hp outboards and fishing both inside the lagoon and outside in the open ocean, weather permitting.

Chris is currently putting together “Expedition Likiep” where he will organize to bring a half dozen boats here from the Marshalls Billfish Club on a landing craft. For a week we will have tournaments and a very good time. I hope to assist him in this undertaking and to insist that the fishing be on a total “Billfish Release” agenda.

There is so much more to write about. For example, at one point there were three shipyards operating here on Likiep building schooners! If you want to you can Google ‘de Brum’ or ‘de Brum library’ and I think you will access photos and more info. But I’m done for now. More to follow…

From the edge of the world….


Likiep Atoll- 9 degrees, 50 minutes North; 169 degrees, 18 minutes East.

Editor's Note: Chuck Handy is a fisherman-sailor-shipright friend who is on a voyage around the world. He departed from the San Juan Islands (Pacific NW coast) and is currently in the Marshall Islands. At one time Chuck lived in St. Thomas and crewed on many boats including with Capt. Ronnie Hamlin and with Capt. Rick Defeo on Tyson's Pride. He has many friends in the fishing industry and we'll post his reports for everyone to read.

04/08/09 - Capt. Ron Hamlin - Casa Vieja Lodge - Guatemala Report

When i finished my last Fish report for the end of March I stated that I expected the fishing to go off big time. I love it when they make me look good!!!

April 1 st.

Fishing bait, We raised 65 had 61 bites and released 44 and I wasn't high boat!!!

April 2nd thru 5th.

We were Fly fishing and the balls of bait were everywhere. That make a great day for the boats fishing bait but it make the Fly fish very finicky. I tried to stay out of the bait to find more agressive fish. We still raised 104 had 37 bites from sails and 2 bites from blues on the fly. We released 11 on fly broke off 1 blue and pulled the hook on the other and 2 sails on bait the last day to show the anglers the feeding difference on bait.

The boats on Bait all had excellent days catching 15 to 30 per boat. If you can get away after Easter come on down there's still great time avalible. You can book me or one of the other Casa Vieja Boats thru South Fishing or Casa Veija Lodge.

Have a Happy Easter and I hope to see you after the holidays

Good Fishing

Finest Kind email Ron

See website.

04/05/09 - Capt. Tony DiGiulian - Saudi Arabia - Red Sea Fishing Report

Hello everyone,

As most of you know, I am back from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It has been hectic and I have finally found the time to do an update. I arrived back in Miami on Sunday, March 29, after a brutal 10 hour flight from Frankfurt, Germany. Thank god for the people at Lufthansa. For any of you flying over seas, Lufthansa is a tremendous airline. The service was incredible and the fight crews I had both ways were just the best you will find. Even the food was good and I was well fed from start to finish. I can't stress enough how comfortable and enjoyable Lufthansa made my entire trip.

Overall this was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. I learned so much about a culture that we here in the states really have no idea about. Everyone I met was friendly and went out of their way to make me feel at home. I was treated with respect and very much got the feeling that the people of Saudi Arabia are our friends here in America.

Fishing didn't go exactly as we had planned. We fished the first two nights, for Sword Fish. Mohamed Zoheir became the first angler to catch a Sword Fish on rod and reel, in the Red Sea. I took a tremendous amount of pride in helping with this endeavor and my clients were extremely happy. Catching this fish was one of our main goals, as we wanted to prove that there are sword fish in the Red sea. My clients and I feel that this is the beginning of a Sport fishing industry on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast. We ended up 3 for 3 that first night fishing with an American, an Egyptian, a Saudi Arabian, and a Palestinian, proving that people from all cultures can come together in peace to achieve success. That's one of the best things about the fishing community. We all can get along because we have the love of the water and fishing in common. We also tagged a small sword with a TBF tag and released it in excellent condition. The second night we got no bites, but saw a 100LB swordy follow a lead up to the boat but couldn't get him to eat anything.

After a day off we headed out in search of a Marlin. I fished on an Australian built boat called a Blackwell. Seas were 6 to 8 feet all day and this 45 foot boat proved to be a very good sea boat and impressed me with its stability. We picked out some offshore canyons and set up a grid to pound all day. Winds were NNW 25 knots, with gusts in the low 30's. Water temps were 85.5 to 88.2, but I am not sure how reliable the temperature gage was. One of the disadvantages of fishing there is the lack of good high tech electronics. Only a few boats are rigged properly and this is something I intend to change in future trips. I saw very little bait and we managed to snag a 2 pound Barracuda out in the middle of nowhere. After a good 9 hours of trolling we called it a day.

From there fishing kind of fell apart for us. The wind never stopped and the coast guard closed the inlet for several days. With a war zone to the north and the Suez Canal ship traffic, the coast guard does not have the time or resources to run around saving inexperienced boaters from themselves. So we got down to other business. I planned and put on 18 hours worth of seminars for some of the fishing enthusiasts in Jeddah. I did a combination of two 6 hour class room sessions and two different 3 hour, on the water seminars. This included a boat ride in the harbor to show how to correctly deploy the proper artificial spread. The students ate it up and everyone was fired up about the future of Sport Fishing in Jeddah. We set the groundwork for the first sport fishing club in Jeddah and are close to making that a reality. We also planned a future IGFA School of Sport Fishing to be held in Jeddah some time in Late June or the beginning of November which would consist of five full days of class room and on the water seminars.

I met with the head of fisheries management and interviewed many local commercial fishermen about everything from water temperatures to what species are abundant at certain times of the year. The information I obtained from conducting interviews and seeing pictures and video, left me with the impression that Sport fishing has unlimited potential in the Red Sea. Sailfish, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Giant Trevally, King Fish, and now Sword Fish are all abundant at different times of the year. The bottom fishing is some of the best in the world and the Snapper and Grouper are huge. I know there has to be Marlin somewhere and I will find them. I will be going back several times over the next two years and will be involved with some very exciting projects.

I would like to thank the owners of Marine Supplies Center, Mohamed Zoheir and Ahmed Shaker for hosting me and opening up their homes to me. We had some incredible meals together and I enjoyed meeting their families. I feel I have made lasting friendships in Saudi Arabia and am very much looking forward to returning. Thanks for reading and remember that what we see on the news and read in the paper is mainly propaganda. Before you make a judgement on a culture, religion or people, you must go and meet those people for yourselves. You may be surprised at what the truth is. peace.

Anthony DiGiulian
Saltwater Professional Consulting
(954) 895-6635

04/05/09 - Capt. Brad Phillipps - Decisive - Guatemala Report

Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - Fish Report - March 2009

The fishing off the Pacific Coast of Guatemala aboard the 'Decisive' with Capt. Brad Philipps has been extremely good this past March. We have seen blue water with many big release days on the sailfish as well as some good blue marlin action to keep our anglers extremely happy and finished the month off on a huge body of sailfish giving us high hopes for the rest of our season.

We started the month with our loyal friend Brad Watkins and his partner Lori Hazel going 16 from 23 on the sailfish with a 500lb blue that looked like eating but never really did it's thing. The next day they went 13 from 19 with Lori really getting into the swing of things hooking her own fish and a great double header for the couple. On the 3rd we had an exciting day with Brad catching a very lively sailfish on 2lb test, as well as another 4 on our standard 20lb Alutecnos gear. We also missed a nice blue on the rigger and late in the day released a 300lb blue to finish it off in style. The 4th saw us release 4 sails before returning early for a little tour of the surrounding sights. Running a little wider, Brad went 20 from 26 on the sailfish, with an awesome 500lb blue released on the 50# standup on the last day while Lori and Cindy enjoyed a relaxing day at the Antigua Golf and Country Resort, to finish off another wonderful trip to Guatemala.

Things started slow for Frankie Mirandes, Mike Cromwell, Chuck Matheny , and Jim Gill on the 7th with only a handful of releases but every new day starts with hightenend optimism in Guatemala with the promise of a big day. This is exactly what we found on the 8th with 34 releases from 45 bites for an outstanding day on the water with a great bunch of guys. The 9th saw us release 10 sailfish on bait, 2 on the fly and a 250# blue for Frankie to see them off on a triumphant note.

The 10th saw our long time friend Gary Hughes along with Rob Geldenhuys, Chris Phillips and Gary O´Neill start their trip with a busy 13 releases from 18 bites. The sailfish bite slowed a little on their second day and after finding some huge schools of marauding bonito we switched gears and live baited for blue marlin. Only minutes after soaking the first bonny, we had a large blue crash the bait but unfortunately came unstuck. With expectations raised after this quick bite we plugged away and before the afternoon was over Gary was hooked up to a solid fish of around 400lb's which put on a great display. After releasing 4 sails the following day we found some floatsome with an unbelievable amount of bait and life around it and couldn't resist the temptation to live bait the area. We pulled the hooks on a small blue and had some sail and dorado action but unfortunately could not find the big girl we hoped would play but had a great day never the less.

Taylor Glover and his sons Frank and Chris, all of Atlanta Georgia graced us with a visit the 14th through the 16th. We found fish out on the western edge and missed a nice 400lb blue early in the day, finishing the day with 10 sailfish releases. Things had slowed in the same area the following morning and we made a move over to the east and were rewarded with a spectacular 500lb blue for Chris, along with 5 sails. We finished the Glover's trip on a high note with 15 releases from 25 bites on a shortened day so the guys could make it up to fly out early.

We raised 16 fish for our champion fly angler Scott Lund on the 18th but only managed a single bite which Scott converted.. Finding new water things picked right up the next day with 8 on spin and 3 fly releases, for another enjoyable monthly trip for Scott.

Joe O'Brien was on the fly the 20th through the 22nd. There were still quite a number of sailfish around but getting them all to tease and bite was not easy. We converted for 3 releases the first day and another 3 the second and also added a sturdy 350lb blue that second day. Joe's final day saw him release 5 sails on fly and with another perfect dropback of the mackerel he again added another similar size blue to give him two blues in two days to add to the sails on fly. Nice work Joe!!

It'd been years since we'd fished with Duke Gallagher, S. E. Ellender, Tad Blevins and Vic Tedesco and what a pleasure to have them with us again. They fished the 'Circle Hook' on the 22nd releasing 10 sails with Capt. Eddie Bariez. On the 23rd aboard the 'Decisive' they released 7 sails and a couple dorado. Mixing it up the following day we released 15 sails on bait and Duke released his first sail on the fly. With the boys revved up after having a taste of the previous days fly action we got both SE and Tad each their first sails on fly to make for a memorable trip for the close angling friends out of Homer, Louisiana.

Our long-time Guatemalan friend Philip Klose and Manuel Torres had invited Ecuadorian friends James brown, Ricardo Yarad and Robert Suber to taste Guatemalan's finest resource. The guys had a wonderful day fighting the sailfish from a dead boat, the "Ecuadorian way", releasing 13 sailfish from 23 bites, along with 3 dorado for sushimi. The following day we were joined by Christian and Peter Klose, Mikey Fernandez, and friends, splitting the group between the 'Circle Hook' and 'Decisive'. Eddie found the fish inshore on the 'Circle Hook' and released 13 sailfish while the 'Decisive' went looking out wide and didn't get on them.

John, Rick and Eric Bailey fished with us the 28, 29 and 30th for some excellent family action. In our usual flat blue seas they went 25 from 35, 22 from 33 and running out wide finished it off with a really hot afternoon their final day releasing 44 sails from 66 bites for an unreal trip.

Returning to the same offshore bite the following day with Barry Fitzpatrick and John Carbone of Ocean City Light tackle Club, we saw the month out in true Guatemalan form with 33 releases from 50 bites on a huge group on fish that spread for miles. We also had a 400lb blue up on the teaser while we idled up to a hooked sail and had an exceptional bite from the fish only feet off the transom but in all the excitement unfortunately pulled the hook, but what a spectacle. With such a finish to the month and seeing probably the biggest body of sailfish we have seen here in years, cutting and feeding on the surface we are in for an unbelievable April that is going to see some big release days.

For anybody that wants to plan a last minute trip to get in on this action, we have the 13, 14, 15th and the 20, 21, 22 and 23rd of April available on the 'Decisive' as well as the 16-24th and the 28-30th of April available on the 'Circle Hook'.

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

Capt. Brad Philipps
Email Cindy and Brad Phillipps: email

Comment of the month!

We would like to express our gratitude and apreciation to you and your crew for providing us with a very memorable fishing experience during our first trip to Guatemala. Our three day trip aboard /Circle Hook/ was without a doubt the most enjoyable sport-fishing we have had to date. You and mates Jose and Armando could not have worked any harder or have been any more professional than all the crews we’ve had the pleasure fishing with. Your vast knowledge of the area and fishing skills were apparent as was your great personality. The snacks and local fare lunches Armando prepared daily were outstanding and show your team’s commitment to providing an outstanding fishing experience.

With a (3) day total of (14) Sails, (5) Blue Marlin, (1) Dorado, and memories to share forever; what more could one ask for. Fishing with you aboard /Circle Hook/ should be on everyone’s itinerary when visiting Guatemala; I know it will be for us!

Danny and Karen
Huntington Beach, CA

04/04/09 - Capt. Tony DiGiulian - Miami Florida Report


Thanks so much for such an informative class. Thanks for answering all my questions too! I wanted to let you know how much you helped me, and my friends that I fish with out of Crandon Park Marina.

Post–Class Trip #1. We had previously fished this channel dozens of times, never hooking a bonefish. “Ok Greg, we’ll try your idea…” Set up on an edge and started chumming mid way through an incoming tide, using shrimp cut up with scissors. Our boat hooked 5 bonefish, landing 2, including a 7+ lber. I had and lost a MONSTER bonefish after it wrapped me around something on the bottom.

Post–Class Trip #2. No luck with the chum, but drifted shrimp back to the shadow line at Bear Cut that night, and got crushed by 2 Tarpon. They broke off both of us, and I almost lost the tip of my finger as the 20lb braid wrapped around it and snapped as I tried to close the bail after a ferocious hit.

Post–Class Trip #3. Back to chum trick and drifting in the channel, I hooked and landed a 19” bonefish! (shrimp with tail pinched off, 1/0 circle hook, split shot, Yo Zuri pink flouro 20lb leader, 10lb suffix braid, bimini twist). Everyone was excited. Then I hooked up with a much larger fish. It wrapped me around something beneath the surface, but I learned from my previous trip, and backed off the tension. We motored to the spot as my line came free and went slack. My initial disappointment ‘It got me again” turned into a screaming drag – the fish was still on! I have attached a picture of the 26” 7.5 lb bonefish. A guide and his client idled up to us to check out the fish and offered to take our picture.

I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am of the techniques you shared with the class. I have applied your teachings with great success. My friends and I are a testament – we had landed 3 bonefish in 12+ outings before the class, and have landed 4 in 3 trips since your class!

I look forward to the Biscayne Bay class you mentioned may happen next session.

Thanks for providing me with the tools I need for a lifetime of better flats angling! That class was the best thing I have done for myself in a while.


Greg Shaughnessy

Editors Note: Tony DiGiulian works with IGFA giving fishing seminars. The above note came from one of his students.

Contact Tony
E-mail: bluedigiul@aol.com
(954) 895-6635

04/02/09 - Warsaw Grouper 333 lbs. - Venice, Louisiana Report

HUGE fish caught by some buddies Butch Hall, Clay Blalock, Pogey Rettig. Fish was third largest Grouper EVER caught off Louisiana! It was the second fish they caught that day and had to return as there was no cooler large enough to hold the fish! I've run out of bait, beer, patience, and time, but NEVER out of boat!