In Case You Missed It - April 3, 2015 News

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Potential Virginia Record Bluefin Tuna

VSWFT Committee member, Craig Paige began the certification process for a potential record bluefin tuna that was brought into Rudee Inlet the evening of April 2. The fish had a fork length of 102-inches and weighed in at 576.5-pounds. The current record is 573-pounds. The angler was Robert Smith. Page said that so far, everything looks good with the catch. The record application will now go to VSWFT Director, Lewis Gillingham's office to continue the state record verification process.
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States on Target with Red Snapper Management Plan

CCA writes: They say you know you are over the target when you start taking flak. If the ****hysterical reaction**** from the commercial fishing sector is any indication, it appears that the five Gulf state fisheries directors are on target with regard to their plan to assume management of Gulf red snapper. Federal management of red snapper has been a three-decade disaster of confusion and misguided regulations, and it defies belief that there are still those who see fit to defend that system to the bitter end. Of course, the most strident are the ones who have directly benefited from the federal management system and received ownership of public wildlife resources for their own use and profit, so perhaps their views should be taken with a grain of salt. On the other side of the spectrum, the state fisheries directors for the five Gulf states are professional stewards of the resource, with extensive training in wildlife management in general and marine science in particular. They know what they are doing. Their ****state-based management plan**** for red snapper is based on concepts they have used so successfully on species like red drum and speckled trout in the Gulf. Neither of those fisheries were subjected to privatization schemes and the states still managed to provide an unprecedented level of access for their citizens. All have been cited as tremendous conservation success stories. In contrast, the Gulf Council is on a completely different, twisted track and has resorted to a privatization scheme to limit the public's access to red snapper in the name of proper management. When it created the red snapper catch share program in 2006 and literally gave away shares of the red snapper fishery for free to commercial operators, the Gulf Council truly lost its way. All the criteria used by the state managers to create robust fisheries and maximum access for their citizens were replaced by pure, simple greed. Today less than 400 commercial operators own 51 percent of the entire red snapper fishery. Plans are in the works for some in the charter/for-hire fishery to own roughly another 20 percent. The hundreds of thousands of anglers not in these elite categories will be left with crumbs and 9-day seasons. Since the states unveiled their ideas for an alternative management solution for red snapper, the commercial fishing industry and some in the charter/for-hire industry have beaten down the doors of Congress to insist that the states' solution be burned down before it is even fully fleshed out. They are desperately trying to protect the incredible windfall that has been given to them in the federal system and have even resorted to calling recreational anglers "greedy." The irony that the beneficiaries of an egregious wildlife privatization scheme would label the only stakeholders not benefiting financially from that scheme as "greedy" appears lost on them. One might wonder why the state directors would volunteer for the monumental responsibility of rebooting one of the most mismanaged fisheries in the entire country and setting it on a sensible course, but the answer is simple. They know that it does not have to be so convoluted and difficult. They know giving away pubic wildlife resources to a few stakeholders who are easier to manage is betraying the public trust. They know there is a better way because they do it every day in their states. The answer to complicated fishery problems cannot be to funnel access through fewer and fewer lucky, wealthy entities and leave everyone else tied to the dock. As much as some people would like to distort it, the ends cannot be allowed to justify these means. If you agree, contact your Congressmen and let them hear the other side of this story. The state directors have acted with courage in offering an alternative to a shady federal management system and their ideas should be held up, not trampled by greed. Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/coastal/J5EWRJFbN.aspx Photo by Doug Olander
Doug Olander
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Beacon Awareness Day

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New Yeti Limited Edition Seafoam Coolers

Proudly proclaim your YETI pride with the new Limited Edition Seafoam Coolers. Whether it’s the boat, beach, or backyard barbecue, there’s no doubt you’ll stand out. These coolers are made with the same, damn-near indestructible, rotomolded, and UV-resistant polyethylene our hard coolers are known for. Available in four of our most popular sizes, the Roadie 20, Tundra 35, 45, and 65, while supply lasts.
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Guy Harvey Outpost Enrolls Captain Billy Black to Launch Sportfishing Charters at Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour

Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts announced today that legendary sportfishing Captain Billy Black has joined the company’s Expedition Outfitter program, and will operate sportfishing charters out of Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour on West End, a member of the company’s Expedition Collection portfolio, starting April 15th. Black, who has spent the last 40 years as a charter captain and operated a premier charter service out of Walker’s Cay from 1977 to 2004, has held, at one time or another, many of the Bahamian record catches for Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Dolphin, Wahoo and Sailfish. The Duchess, his 50-foot Hatteras has just come out of the yard, having been fully updated and re-powered to offer exceptional comfort and safety. “There’s 110 miles of water between Walkers and Bimini, and Old Bahama Bay is almost dead center”, commented Mark Ellert, President of Guy Harvey Outpost. “Few know these fishing grounds as well as Billy and The Duchess, and we intend to make the Outpost at Old Bahama Bay the go-to fishing destination in the northern Bahamas.” Sixty miles east of Palm Beach, Old Bahama Bay has 70 luxury guestrooms, a 70 slip deep water marina with fuel and on-site customs, and a full array of resort amenities. “I’ve been ‘Dancing with the Duchess’ for forty years”, said Captain Black. “These waters are our stage, and we know every square inch of it. Customers of Old Bahama Bay now have an exceptional opportunity to join us on stage and catch all the action first hand.” This June, Guy Harvey Outpost brings its signature Bonfire Tournament Series back to Old Bahama Bay for the summertime marlin and dolphin fishing action. Each Bonfire event is a multi-day celebration featuring art shows, cooking competition and extreme sport demonstrations with nightly beach bonfires of monument sized metal fish sculptures by artist Bobby Little. Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, with properties in Florida and the Caribbean, offers customers carefully selected top-of-class fishing and dive Expedition Outfitters, who deliver a great experience and actively support Guy Harvey’s conservation initiatives. Black is part of an elite group of Expedition Fishing Outfitters including Miami Captain Ray Rosher, Islamorada Captain Randy Tow and Captain Anthony Mendillo with his Keen M Sportfishing Charters in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. The Guy Harvey Outposts’ “GHOFish” program promotes scientific angling expedition, sportfishing charters and tournaments.
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The Chevy Florida Insider Fishing Report Premieres This Week on Fox SunSports

The Chevy Florida Insider Fishing Report premieres this week on Fox SunSports.** **They are launching the 2015 season with one of their favorites, redfish. Join Rick, Brie and Dave in the studio as Captain Rick reveals professional tournament secrets, hot new products along with rigs and techniques! Join in on the talk with all nine regional captains, our experts to help plan your fishing this weekend. **Friday, April 3 @ 11:30 am & 4:30 pm ** Saturday, April 4 @ 9:30 am