In Case You Missed It - September 18, 2015 News

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

Bimini’s Wahoo Smackdown VII Introducing an Exciting, Expanded Format

Chasing wahoo in November has become an annual ritual in Bimini with anglers competing for bragging rights and thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. The Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina, which for several seasons has hosted the popular Wahoo Smackdown Tournament series, is adding new species categories, youth and women’s divisions and an open bounty of $1,000 for anyone breaking the current IGFA all tackle Bahamas record for a wahoo. Wahoo Smackdown VII, scheduled for November 12-14, will be a “must fish” weekend for anglers with a chance to make fishing history and earn a cash bonus, according to Tournament Director Misty Wells. In addition to cash prize for a record wahoo catch, Wells said women are being encouraged to participate, and she will waive the entry fee for the first all-women team to register—a tournament first. Last November, the Wahoo Smackdown tournament attracted a record 29 boats. Team “Cash Out” took heaviest fish honors with 47.6 pounds. Heaviest five fish over two days trophy went to team “Fishin A Loan”, and Heaviest Fish (First Day) winners were team “Snow Cone’s Revenge.” Wells, a longtime angler who has competed successfully in numerous Florida and national tournaments, said early bird entries through the end of September for Smackdown VII are $1,350.00 per boat (a 10 percent discount). Sponsor FishBrain, which is offering the $1,000 bonus for breaking the Bahamas wahoo record, will also provide teams with a free upload of its fishing app, the world’s largest social network for anglers. To register go here or call 970-708-7997 Misty Wells Tournament Director. Currently, $10,000 cash prizes are guaranteed, however, that number, according to Wells, will increase with an increase in boat entries. Tournament sponsors include FishBrain, Bost Lures, Sands Beer, Tito’s Vodka, Bucket Innovations and Don Ray Gear, Don Ray Marine Artist and JVC Broadcasting-- 900 AM The Talk, 95.9 The Palm and 93.5 The Bar. Bimini, just under 50 miles due east of South Florida, is home to more than 50 world fishing records and has hosted many world class fishing tournaments over the seasons. The International Annual Bicardi Rum Billfish Tournament originally had its roots in Bimini. Over the years Bimini was a Mecca for big game anglers and was host site to numerous fishing competitions including the Frankie Brown, The Hemingway, and the famous Cat Cay tuna tournaments. Grand Central Station for tournament hosting was the Big Game Club, opened for business in 1947. Owner Neville Stewart saw the promise and allure of fishing and personally developed and encouraged tournaments. He sold his interest to Bacardi, which over 30 years grew the tradition with many memorable tournaments helping to build Bimini’s title as “Sportfishing Capital of the World.” Today the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina is owned by the Southern California-based Hankey Group and is managed by Horizon Hotel Group.

BTT Announces New Corporate Sponsor: YETI Coolers

Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is pleased to announce YETI Coolers as its newest Corporate Sponsor. YETI Coolers will support Bonefish & Tarpon Trust for the remainder of 2015 and 2016 as a Gold Partner and title sponsor of BTT's Bonefish and Tarpon Genetics Program. YETI Coolers was founded by sportsmen who used their experience in the field to create a product that exudes simplicity, durability, and quality. Constructed with the same materials used to make whitewater kayaks, the coolers are rotational-molded and have a dramatic durability advantage. YETI coolers keep ice longer, with over twice the insulation compared to most ordinary coolers. David Bullock, CFO of YETI, "YETI Coolers is excited to partner with Bonefish and Tarpon Trust on their continued efforts to conserve and protect flats habitat and fish species. In addition to the genetics program, BTT is on the leading edge of these types of initiatives and it is with great pleasure that we are able to support them and ensure these fisheries and habitats are protected for future generations of anglers." "We're thrilled that a vibrant and growing company like YETI Coolers recognizes the value of BTT's work and has such a strong desire to partner, contribute, and help us make a difference," said BTT Director of Operations, Dr. Aaron Adams. "Collaborations like these give the flats fishery a brighter future." The goal of BTT's Bonefish and Tarpon Genetics Program is to analyze the population structure of bonefish and tarpon in Florida and throughout the Caribbean to determine the extent that bonefish and tarpon populations in these different locations are related. Genetic samples are easily collected by anglers and guides - a single scale from a tarpon and a single fin clip from a bonefish provide all the information necessary. To learn more about BTT, become a member, or make a donation, please visit us at on the web at If you would like to request a genetics sampling kit for bonefish or tarpon, please send us an email at

Boston Whaler Honored with 12th Consecutive NMMA Customer Satisfaction Index Award

Boston Whaler has been recognized for excellence in customer service for the 12th year in a row, earning a 2015 Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). One of only 45 recipients nationwide to receive this honor, Boston Whaler earned its award in the Fiberglass Outboard Boats category during the recent 2015 International BoatBuilders Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in Louisville, Kentucky. Read more here.

Bertram Yacht Announces the Retaining Services of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding

Fort Lauderdale-based Bertram Yacht today announced it has retained the services of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Thomaston, Maine, to build prototypes of its initial designs. According to Bertram, tooling is underway on its first new model, which will be announced at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show in November. The new model is expected to launch in late spring of 2016. “We have partnered with Lyman-Morse to build our first two prototypes,” says Susan Davids, Bertram General Manager. “Asanxious as we are to reintroduce our new products to the market, we’re equally focused on locating and organizing our own production to meet the highest of standards. Lyman-Morse’s excellent reputation and long history of boatbuilding, along with their willingness to prototype in full partnership with Bertram production personnel, gives us the opportunity to introduce our first product with confidence.” Bertram Yacht is working with Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding to produce initial versions of the highly tooled boats with a design that is focused on an efficient Michael Peters designed ride, and has a projected speed topping 40 knots. “The most impressive part of what’s going on with Bertram is the team that has been assembled around the resurrection of the brand,” says Drew Lyman, president of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding. “They are tapping into the existing customer base and are listening to captains and Bertram owners, and getting a lot of feedback. I think we can lend a lot of ideas, and it’s going to be a really fantastic partnership for us to be able to support them and work with a great team.” As Bertram and Lyman-Morse build the first prototypes in Maine, Bertram will simultaneously continue work toward setting up a state-of-the-art production facility in the Southeastern U.S. to build American boats from the designs of American firm Michael Peters Yacht Design with Caterpillar propulsion.

New Children's Book Explains Striped Bass Migration, Educates Next Generation of Fishermen

Written specifically for young children, "Fish On the Move" outlines the migratory habits of Atlantic striped bass. Our next generation of fishermen can follow this iconic fish up the east coast and back again, learning about the fish's origins, diet, and migratory habits along the way. Author Jeremy Pallai wrote and conceptualized the book while on sabbatical from a Boston-based technology company. An avid fisherman and outdoor enthusiast, Jeremy was looking for a way to share his excitement about the spring and fall "blitzes" with his three young children. Jeremy enlisted his mother and talented artist, Jean Leary Pallai, to illustrate the book. Inspired by her idyllic New England hometown of Duxbury, MA, Jean painted a series of beautiful acrylic spreads with ocean wildlife, migratory maps, and classic coastal scenery. "If you are a fisherman on the east coast, you'll know that last season was an awful one for the striped bass fishery. It was a scary reminder of the importance of preservation and another primary motivation for writing this book," said the author. It is Jeremy's hope that the publication of "Fish on the Move" will provide parents and teachers with a simple way to educate young children about striped bass, while supporting fishery preservation. Whether you're an avid fisherman, nature lover, or simply a parent looking for a rhythmic bedtime story, "Fish on the Move" is sure to delight. To learn more, please visit

Fwc Approves Barracuda Conservation Measures for South Florida

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its Sept. 3 meeting in Fort Lauderdale approved new recreational and commercial bag limits for barracuda for waters off south Florida. The changes will apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties only, and will include a: Recreational and commercial daily bag limit of two fish per person and Recreational and commercial daily vessel limit of six fish per vessel. These new limits will be effective Nov. 1, 2015. Stakeholders in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys have voiced concerns about declining barracuda numbers observed when fishing and diving. FWC staff gathered public input from concerned stakeholders at workshops conducted earlier this year. The FWC is responding to these concerns by creating bag limits to prevent further declines and conserve barracuda in the region. The original proposal also included barracuda size limits, however the FWC wants to gather more input from stakeholders before creating additional limits. FWC staff will conduct another series of workshops in south Florida to gather more public input before considering any additional management measures.Doug Olander

Yamaha Recognized Again for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction

Yamaha Marine Group announced today that the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA®) has again recognized Yamaha with a CSI Award for excellence in customer satisfaction in the Outboard Engine category. This year’s award is the fourteenth consecutive, an achievement no other outboard manufacturer can claim. In addition, Yamaha’s boat companies Skeeter® and G3® Boats received awards. Skeeter was recognized in the Fiberglass Outboard Boat category. G3 Boats was recognized in two categories: Aluminum Outboard Boats and Pontoon Boats. “At Yamaha, we consider the CSI Award one of the top honors we can earn in our industry,” said Ben Speciale, President, Yamaha Marine Group. “This award recognition is not achieved alone, but rather in cooperation with our boat builders and dealers. We are, as always, grateful for their continued efforts to increase customer satisfaction and we share this award with them.” NMMA® launched its Marine Industry CSI Award Program in 2001 to provide boat and engine manufacturers with an independently measured, cost-effective tool to help improve customer satisfaction in the boating industry. The program allows participating manufacturer companies to monitor customer satisfaction on an ongoing basis and to create benchmarks in the industry. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA®) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA® member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters in the United States. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product quality assurance and marketing communications. Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine Group, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,000 U.S. dealers and boat builders with marketing, training and parts for Yamaha’s full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA’s C.S.I. Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception. Visit This document contains many of Yamaha's valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement. NMMA is a registered trademark of National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, Inc.
Mercury Outboards

Mercury and MotorGuide earn IBEX Innovation Awards

Mercury Marine was awarded the IBEX Innovation Award for Propulsion Parts/Propellers for its Flo-Torq SSR-HD here Tuesday, the first day of the 2015 International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference. MotorGuide, a Mercury company, also took top honors in the Outboard category for its new MotorGuide X5 trolling motor with VRS. Also during the Innovation Awards event, Mercury was the only marine engine company to receive Consumer Service Index Awards in three categories: Outboards, Sterndrives and Inboards. Mercury launched the Flo-Torq SSR HD – a propeller hub system designed to improve shift noise and vibration on high-horsepower outboards that use a heavy-duty 1.25-inch propeller shaft in late July. The new hub system is the first of its kind to employ Mercury’s new SSR technology. SSR stands for Soft Shift Rubber, which delivers a 25 percent improvement in shift noise and vibration during shifting events. The SSR hub delivers these benefits without sacrificing the strength and durability of a solid hub designed for high-performance marine engines. The SSR is founded on a traditional solid steel hub, but adds a bonded rubber sleeve to one end of the hub that provides cushioning to the system. The bonded rubber sleeve cushions the propeller during shifting events, absorbing shock and vibration. As soon as the propeller is under load, the stainless steel end of the hub engages the core of the propeller, creating a solid hub that can reliably transfer the significant power generated by today’s FourStroke outboards. “Propeller hubs are an integral part of the full marine propulsion system,” said Jared Reichenberger, brand manager for Mercury Propellers. “This product provides the strength of a durable solid hub with the cushioning of a rubber hub for quiet operation. It is a win-win for boaters – particularly those with high-horsepower Verado engines like our 350 and 400R.” The Flo-Torq SSR HD hub can be purchased at all Mercury dealers.

Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks Season Finale, September 20 at 9/8c

National Geographic Channel's series Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks will air its second season finale on Sunday, September 20 at 9/8c. On the heels of its fourth and highest-rated season of flagship hit series Wicked Tuna, National Geographic Channel once again pitted Gloucester’s finest against the best Southern fishermen in the second season of the exciting spinoff series Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks. When it comes to commercial fishing, there’s no such thing as Southern hospitality, and the captains from Gloucester, Massachusetts, were in for a rough ride as they raced to catch fish before the government catch quota runs out. But Mother Nature had her own agenda, as the second season featured dangerous waters, stormy conditions, and multiple collisions with the infamous Bonner Bridge. It's the final two days of the season, and three Southern boats – the Fishin' Frenzy, the Reels of Fortune, and the Doghouse – are all within striking distance of the top spot. As the clock ticks down, the captains are desperate to put meat on deck. The stakes have never been higher; one pulled hook means disaster, but one last catch can mean going home a champion. Watch the trailer here.