In Case You Missed It - January 30, 2015 News

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

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Hydrasports Custom Announces the 53’ Sueños

HydraSports Custom is unveiling 53’ Sueños, the world’s largest, outboard powered, center console at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2015. The most common question has been, “Why such a large boat?” The answer is simple according to Elias De La Torre III, CEO of HydraSports Custom boats, “We’ve sold 140 of the 42’ center consoles and our boat owners have requested a larger boat to move into.” After extensive market research and input from current HydraSports boat owners it seemed the market was finally ready. As with all HydraSports Custom boats, 53’ Sueños, will have very limited production. The plan is to build no more than 12 of these boats per year for world-wide distribution via a network of factory direct test centers. This boat features Advanced Combat Craft Construction leveraging two million dollars of US Navy funded research for their Advanced Combatant Craft. Developed by Structural Composites this technology has won numerous awards including three Congressional Medals of Merit. The official unveiling of the boat will be held on Thursday, February 12, at noon, during preview day at the Miami International Boat Show, Convention Center D48. The boat will remain on display for the duration of the show.
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Mercury to Launch New Engines at Miami Boat Show

At the Miami International Boat Show, Mercury Marine will launch multiple new engines. Watch the teaser video here.
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Minn Kota Offers Mail-In Reward on Talon Shallow Water Anchor Purchase

Minn Kota® wants to keep anglers locked on their most productive fishing spots in 2015 by offering a $100 mail-in reward with the purchase of any Talon shallow water anchor between January 1 and June 1, 2015. The reward offer includes all 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-foot Talons,** including 10- and 12-foot models with the new **Realtree® MAX-5® waterfowl camo design. Visit minnkotamotors.com/promotions for complete details and to download the mail-in redemption form. Talon is the quietest and strongest shallow water anchor on the water. To see how Talon holds up to rigorous testing against flamethrowers, shotguns, cage fighters and more, visit the Talon Torture Chamber at talontorturechamber.com. For more information, visit minnkotamotors.com, contact Minn Kota, P.O. Box 8129, Mankato, MN 56002, or call 800-227-6433. Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Outdoors and consists of the Minn Kota®, Cannon® and Humminbird® brands. Minn Kota® is the world's leading manufacturer of electric trolling motors, as well as offers a complete line of shallow water anchors, battery chargers and marine accessories. Cannon® is the leader in controlled-depth fishing and includes a full line of downrigger products and accessories. Humminbird® is a leading global innovator and manufacturer of marine electronics products including fishfinders, multifunction displays, autopilots, ice flashers and premium cartography products.
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Johnson Outdoors launches www.EscapeToTheWater.com

To give canoeists and kayakers an online place to call home, Johnson Outdoors has launched a new website dedicated to paddlesports. According to Luke LaBree, Marketing Manager for Johnson Outdoors Paddlesports, “EscapeToTheWater.com is like a ‘watering hole’ of sorts that pulls together content from contributors who represent all our paddling brands, which are Old Town, Necky, Ocean Kayak, Carlisle Paddles and Extrasport. As more and more blog entries, videos and photos pour into the site, it will become a favorite online destination for paddlers.” EscapeToTheWater.com contains information about equipment, new products, excursion stories, fishing adventures, paddling tips and techniques, news & reviews and much more. Whether entries are in written form or posted as videos, there’s entertainment and information for everyone – from novice canoeists and kayakers to professional paddlers and kayak anglers. Johnson Outdoors invites anyone interested in watersports to visit www.EscapeToTheWater.com for the latest content and entertainment. Visitors can get involved in the community by posting comments and connecting directly to contributors to expand their own experiences and expertise on the water. JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that turns ideas into adventure with innovative, top-quality products. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft, Marine Electronics, Diving and Outdoor Gear. Johnson Outdoors' familiar brands include, among others: Old Town® Canoes and Kayaks; Ocean Kayak™ and Necky® Kayaks; Carlisle® Paddles; Extrasport® Personal Flotation Devices; Minn Kota® Motors; Cannon® Downriggers; Humminbird® Marine Electronics; LakeMaster® Electronic Charts; SCUBAPRO® and SUBGEAR® Dive Equipment; Silva® Compasses; Jetboil® Outdoor Cooking Systems; and Eureka!® Camping and Hiking Equipment. Visit Johnson Outdoors atwww.johnsonoutdoors.com
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Fishing University for Women

A New York City kid, Lizzette Romero recalls sunning on tar beaches on building rooftops and leaving fishing to the professionals for family meals. “No we didn’t fish, ever,” recalled Romero, a Hollywood, Florida mom who works in Employee Benefits at a Broward County private school. A few years back, while attending the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Romero decided it was time to learn how to fish, as her family began spending weekends in the Florida Keys. She signed up for a workshop offered by “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing” (LLGF), a non-profit created to introduce women to the sport. The experience has blossomed into a true family affair. “I fish with my girls and husband now,” she said. “We’re out on the boat, experiment with different lures and sometimes just snorkel together.” Romero’s girls became so interested in marine wildlife and sportfishing they attend sea camp in The Keys and have become “marine biology fanatics.” “Now everything is about ocean and the preservation of it,” she said. “We also do beach cleanups together.” Another "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing" alumni with multiple on-the-water educational sessions to her credit, is Brooklyn, New York native Debbie Keneipp. Unlike Romero, Keneipp learned to fish on lakes in New Jersey with her Uncles and later with her ex-husband near the Verrazano Bridge, catching fluke and porgies. Fishing wasn’t a passion then but it is now. Keneipp, who has been fishing with her husband for 15 years, admits she initially wasn’t committed to the sport. “I would sunbathe and he would fish,” she said. “Since taking workshops and attending LLGF meetings, a whole new world of understanding and appreciation has opened and my husband has benefited from my confidence. In the past year, Keneipp and her husband, Craig, from Fort Lauderdale have fished at Crocodile Bay in Costa Rica, Key Largo and Flamingo in Everglades National Park. “We are having a blast and at the same time we both have a better understanding of our environment,” she said. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), whose core mission is to fund marine science research, conservation and bolster educational programs for children and young adults, awarded the LLGF a grant for 2015 to provide more family-oriented learning opportunities for women members that will include men and children. “Marine science is our paramount mission, but we know we need to reach children and teens and their parents with our ocean conservation message, too,” said Steve Stock, president of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. “Organizations like LLGF are especially important because they bring women into the sport of fishing and in turn those women encourage the entire family to participate and learn about our vital marine environments.” According to LLGF founder Betty Bauman: “while the focus remains on women, we are opening several events in 2015 to families so they can share fishing together.” For Keneipp, conservation is a key lesson learned in the LLGF University sessions she has attended. “A perfect example presented itself while we were in Costa Rica recently, “ she recalled. “My husband chartered a boat (and Captain) to take me to catch a Pacific Sailfish. As we are heading out in the distance we see some gallon jugs floating around something. As we get closer and to our horror, there a large sea turtle wrapped up to a long liners line and makeshift floats. They were tightly wrapped around its neck. It took my husband, the captain and his mate to free and ultimately save this lovely creature's life. That moment felt so amazing to all of us. Never caught that sailfish but that is fishing.” Founded in 1997 by Bauman, LLGF has over 8,000 graduates and is the largest organization in the world whose objective is to introduce women to fishing. The latest Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation data indicates that women represent more than 47% of those interested in fishing. Part of the GHOF grant will be used to help kick-off LLGF’s 2015 schedule, which begins with the return to the Fort Myers, Florida area on March 14-15 at Matlacha Community Park. The “No-Yelling School of Fishing “ program series also includes events on April 17-19 in South Florida at the I.T. Parker Community Center in Dania Beach, May 29-31 in the Florida Treasure Coast at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Stuart and in the Florida Keys on November 13-15 in Tavernier. Bauman said typical events include instruction, use of equipment, hands-on training, networking parties, meals at certain venues, and more. Charter fishing is additional. In the works are expansion of local chapters and international fishing adventures. Some events offer social fishing memberships
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Buyer Beware of Ethanol Fuel in North Carolina: 60 Sheetz Stations to Offer E15 in 2015

The Altoona, Pennsylvania based convenience store chain Sheetz announced on January 21 that it would offer E15 fuel – gas containing up to 15% ethanol – at 60 of their North Carolina locations beginning in early 2015. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) believes that could be a problem for recreational boaters, motorists and many other users of gasoline-powered equipment and vehicles. There are no marine engines warrantied to run on E15 and according to AAA, most automobile manufacturers say any damage due to the use of this higher ethanol blend fuel will void the warranty. In the US, nine out of every ten boaters own a trailerable boat that is most often filled up at a roadside gas station – not at a marina gas dock. While any gasoline with greater than 10% ethanol (E10) is prohibited for use with recreational boat engines, it’s a common practice among trailer boaters to fill the tow vehicle first, then simply pull the boat up to the pump and insert the same gas pump nozzle into to boat’s fuel fill. A small, inadequate warning label on the pump pointing to the prohibited uses of E15 may contribute to a situation ripe for misfueling. “This isn’t just about boats,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Program Manager Nicole Palya-Wood. “If you own an older car, truck, or any small engine such as a lawnmower or leaf blower that uses gas, you will need to be very aware -- and take an extra moment to ensure -- you’re not putting higher ethanol E15 in the tank. At stations that offer multiple fuel selections these corn-based ethanol fuels are often the lowest price, which is an attraction for frugal boaters. Ironically, owners of small, affordable boats could get hit the hardest when the expensive repair bill comes,” added Wood. BoatUS, which has nearly 20,000 members in North Carolina, will continue to lobby Congress to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – a law which forces these higher blends and less compatible fuels onto the public. For more on the Renewable Fuel Standard go to www.BoatUS.com/gov. Sheetz operates 437 locations in six states, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.
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Roast of Stu Apte

Join the fun for a humorous new feature at the NMMA Miami International Boat Show on Feb. 12-16, 2015, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14, free audience seating for 150 is available on a first-come, first-served basis for the one-hour Roast of Stu Apte. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Hall B, Rooms 118-119. Styled like the Friar's Club and old Dean Martin roasts, six well-known personalities will hurl playful zingers and one-liners at legendary IGFA Hall-of-Famer Stu Apte before Apte gets his turn at the mic. Emceed by veteran journalist Doug Kelly, the event is sponsored by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Doug Kelly. The honorable roasters: Dr. Guy Harvey, renowned artist and conservationist; Blair Wiggins, Addictive Fishing TV host; Susan Cocking, Miami Herald Outdoors Writer; Ray Van Horn, Gypsy Angler TV host; Chris Peterson, President of Hell's Bay Boatworks; and last but not least, Capt. Rick Murphy, Sportsman's Adventures TV host.
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Dolphinfish Research Program Wrap Up of 2014 from Director Don Hammond

See the current newsletter here. 2014 turned out to be an exceptional year in our study of the dolphin life history. We had the second-best year in our tagging of dolphin, with more than 2,000 fish tagged and released. Fishermen reported recovering 51 tags in 2014. It was especially exciting to see increased interest in tagging in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and tropical western north Atlantic. These have been areas that have been hard to get anglers interested in tagging, primarily because they lack a minimum size restriction. On top of this, we achieved our most challenging objective yet, tracking a dolphin on its journey from the U.S. East Coast to the Caribbean. Lots more on that later. While the science side of this research program was exceptionally strong in 2014, the donations did not keep up with the expenses. If you are a participant in this important research program or one who enjoys reading about the amazing discoveries this program has revealed about dolphinfish, then you should consider making a donation in support of this program. Your name or business should appear in our list of sponsors to show that you care about the future of this fishery. This study has always prided itself on the fact that it is a research program by the fishermen for the fishermen, but it takes dollars to keep the lights on. Thanks to the Hilton Head Reef Foundation, a 501 ( c) (3) organization, your contribution is fully tax deductible. This issue of the newsletter announces the winners of the year-end awards. Learn who gets the great rod and reel outfits and who receives the fantastic Costa gift pack. The DRP is very fortunate to have the support of Haddrell's Point Tackle of Mt. Pleasant and Charleston, South Carolina, Star Rods, a division of Big Rock Sports of Graham, North Carolina, and Costa Del Mar of Daytona Beach, Florida, make it possible to offer these year-end awards. Please thank these fine businesses for their support of this important research. This issue also has an article that attempts to define the 2014 dolphin season, at least as experienced by boats at one South Carolina marina.