In Case You Missed It - June 12, 2015 News

Our weekly coverage of the latest industry news, conservation notices and more.

BBGC Resort & Marina Completes Phase I Renovation and Hires Tournament Director

The Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina features a new family-sized pool, two completely re-built docks at the 75-slip marina, and several improvements to the boutique resorts' 51-rooms. Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina is looking forward to a very busy summer season. Phase I of the renovation program entailed demolition of the existing pool and rebuilding a brand new, larger pool (44' by 60'), updating for the 75-slip marina (docks A and B), and several other capital improvements to the property, including landscaping for the entire resort, painting interiors and exteriors, and new windows, sliding glass doors and ceiling tiles. "We appreciated the patience of those who have stayed with us in recent weeks and those who have booked guests for the next few months in anticipation of the pool completion and upgrades being added," said General Manager Dafna Ronis. The Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina has long been a Bimini destination favorite, drawing heavily from South Florida (just 50 miles away) as well as being a regional, national and international draw for those looking to experience Bimini's True Island Feel that has appealed to thousands of visitors, including author Ernest Hemingway. Resort owner Southern California-based Hankey Group of Companies said a second phase of work will be completed in the fall, including a C Dock re-build. Misty Wells Named Tournament Director A Florida native, Wells is a lifelong angler having participated as a member of a women¹s team competing in numerous Florida tournaments, including Key West Marlin, Key West Kingfish, King of the Beach, Islamorada Sea Hunter Owners and Suncoast Kingfish Classic & Bill Curry Ford Ladies Tournament. Wells, a pro staff angler, is also the first female selected to fish in the Offshore Fishing League (OFL), which is launching its debut on NBC Sports to premiere in the fall of 2016. First up on the agenda for Wells is the Wahoo Smackdown VII, scheduled for November 12-14 2015. Last November, a record 29 boats participated in the tournament with heaviest fish honors (47.6-pounds) going to team Cash Out. Heaviest five fish over two days trophy went to team Fishin a Loan.

Potential $75,000 in Cash and Prizes on the Line at Bonfire Beach Bash & Tournament at Old Bahama Bay in West End

The June 25-28 Fun Fish Tournament hosted by Old Bahama Bay, the prize pool potential moves higher. "With 30 boats entering every category we do have a potential for $75,000 in cash and prizes," said Tournament Director Cliff Jensen. "The guarantee is $15,000 but with more involvement we will see that figure climb. We're also offering anglers a 10 percent discount on rooms and are increasing sponsor gifts." Jensen said The Fun Fish Tournament, featuring categories for wahoo, tuna, dolphin and kingfish with a special category for billfish, will be part of a three-day Beach Bash celebration co-hosted by Loggerhead® Marina, the major tournament and awards dinner sponsor. Tournament categories include Overall Funfish Winner, Heaviest Single Funfish, Billfish Winner, Female Angler, Junior Angler, and Winner Take All, and Overall Heaviest. Registration is $350 per angler (minimum of four anglers per boat). To register online, please go here.
Global electronic chart provider Jeppesen has announced the release of C-MAP MAX-N+ 2015 cartography, delivering an improved navigation experience and enhanced fishing content for users of Lowrance HDS Gen2, Gen2 Touch, and Gen3 MFDs. This cartography release has been timed to coordinate with the recent release of upgraded software from Lowrance, available at no cost to owners of these popular MFDs. The release of C-MAP MAX-N+ 2015 cartography is a major update that brings the majority of the C-MAP 4D content and many of its features and functions to the C-MAP MAX-N+ 2015 product line, combining accurate, up-to-date global chart data with specific features and content developed for serious fishing enthusiasts. This includes Jeppesen’s library of High-Resolution Bathymetric (HRB) bottom contour data, now included with Local and Wide charts. These detailed contour charts help fishermen effectively target underwater pinnacles, ledges, depressions and other “structure” widely known to concentrate baitfish and predatory gamefish. In addition, Jeppesen’s exclusive Sport Fishing Data provides anglers with a wealth of useful information on wrecks and reefs, including composition, depth/orientation and other details, helping fishermen fine tune their presentation of baits and lures on the anchor, drift or troll. The Sport Fishing Data in MAX-N+ 2015 also features color Fish ID photos, localized sport fishing rules and regulations, and state angling records, putting important, regional knowledge at every angler’s fingertips. For more information, go here.2015 Cartography/Free Software Updates Available for Popular Lowrance Navigation Systems

NMMA Encourages Industry to Comment on EPA Ethanol Increase

The EPA has announced its plan to increase the ethanol volume requirements for 2014, 2015 and 2016—this will push the total ethanol volumes to record highs and industry projections estimate that as soon as next year the so-called "blend wall" will break. This means more and more ethanol will be on the market, and ethanol-free fuel will be harder to find. This is a significant danger for marine engines which are not designed or legally allowed to run on higher blends of ethanol, like E15. The government has opened a public comment period until July 27th. To oppose this proposal, please click here and submit your comments to the EPA. It is critical that all industry stakeholders speak up and oppose the government's increasing mandate.

NOAA Wants Your Ideas for Reducing Discard and release Mortality

Please share your thoughts and suggestions by emailing: nmfs.bycatch@noaa.gov through July 10, 2015. NOAA Fisheries is taking a fresh look at our approaches to addressing bycatch with a view toward revising NOAA Fisheries Bycatch Strategy. With your help, NOAA will build off past successes to develop new, innovative approaches that empower anglers as resource stewards and support sustainable management of our saltwater fisheries. Questions to Consider We are interested in all your perspectives; particularly those related to the following questions: What do we do well? What can we do better? How can we improve our effectiveness? Are there specific science and management approaches we should emphasize? How should we prioritize our activities? How can we incentivize the wide-spread use of gear and techniques that improve the survival of released fish? How can we use partnerships to be more effective? Your feedback will help NOAA create the initial framework for a new Bycatch Strategy and support more robust partner and stakeholder discussions in the coming months.

Center for Coastal Conservation Praises on Scott, Graves

The Center for Coastal Conservation praised the work of U.S. Representatives Austin Scott (R-Ga.) and Garret Graves (R-La.) in securing passage of a provision in H.R. 2578, the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice Science Appropriations Act, that Center President Jeff Angers called “a real victory for recreational fishing -- and the jobs recreational fishing creates.” The amendment secured yesterday by Reps. Scott and Graves prohibits funds from being used to enact Gulf of Mexico red snapper management measures that result in a commercial fishing season that lasts longer than five times the number of days allowed for a recreational fishing season. Despite rebounding red snapper populations in the Gulf, recreational anglers have been confined to shorter seasons than ever before: recreational anglers have been restricted to just nine or 10 days of red snapper fishing over the last two years, while commercial fishing is permitted year round. “The recreational red snapper fishery is an economic driver for coastal communities all along the Gulf of Mexico, and restricting fishing to just one weekend a year is like throwing a wet blanket on the economy of the entire region,” Angers charged. Angers noted that Scott and Graves also succeeded in prohibiting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from funding its plan, “Amendment 40, Sector Separation,” which divides the recreational red snapper fishing sector into private boat anglers and charter/for hire, effectively creating three distinct sectors: commercial, charter/for-hire and private angler. “NOAA’s misguided plan reflects a cynical strategy of ‘divide-and-conquer’ that pits the fishing community against itself,” Angers charged. “The House of Representatives was wise to scuttle it.” Yesterday’s action came only two days after Graves secured assurances from House leadership to take action on his legislation to transfer red snapper management to the five Gulf States. “Reps. Scott and Graves continue to prove themselves true friends of recreational anglers, and all of us thank them for their leadership on our behalf,” Angers said.Courtesy of Center for Coastal Conservation

Garmin® Certified as Official Supplier To IBBI

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced that it has been approved as a certified supplier of marine electronics for Independent Boat Builders Incorporated (IBBI), a purchasing cooperative of 20 highly-respected member/owners that manufacture more than 40 boat brands. “We are thrilled to be working with IBBI. Its members are known for building high quality, dependable boats – two traits that Garmin prides itself in as well,” said David Dunn, Garmin’s senior manager of marine sales. “We look forward to establishing close ties with these manufacturers and providing them with excellent products and technical expertise for many years to come.”