Learn more about Nite Track here
Learn more about Nite Track here
By Joe Byrum
Like almost every industry, the current sportfishing landscape looks completely different than it did 40 years ago. While time changes everything all of the time, in the last five years alone advances in technology and equipment have inspired the development of outcome-driven techniques, altering the state of the mate in a particularly impactful way. With the widespread adoption of innovation, the individuals involved in our sport have changed as well, be it for better or for worse.
We all know the importance of having a competent crew. The vast majority of sportfishing operations employ a captain and at least one mate to even leave and return to the slip safely, not to mention rig baits and tackle, clean the boat and accommodate the day’s fishing group among many other integral tasks.
To further address the mate profession through anecdotal accounts, I interviewed esteemed captains around the country for a deeper understanding regarding workforce training, leadership development, crew longevity and how things have changed over the years.
When it comes to the dependence on technology, work ethic and perseverance of millennials, everyone loves to speculate…
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1st Place—Cotton Picker with 1,000 points
1st Place Release—Sea Wolf, Capt. Donnie White
Heaviest Blue Marlin—Seacurity, Capt. Tim Hyde
1st Place—Krazy Salt’s, Capt. Keith Greenberg
1st Place—Breath Easy, Capt. Patrick Ivie
1st Place—Smooth Move, Capt. Brian Phillips
Top Prize—Canyon Blues, Capt. David Grossman
1st Place—Walk West, Capt. Raleigh Morrison
1st Place—Grand Slam 2, Capt. Dave Grubbs
1st Place—Chachalacos, Capt. Carlos Almanza
1st Place—Draggin’ Up, Capt. Kevin Deerman
Heaviest Marlin—Miss Mojo, Capt. James Bach
1st Place—Desperado, Capt. Rob Barker
ElectroSea — Barnacles don’t just live on a boat’s hull, they make their way into the raw-water system where they clog pipes and wreak havoc on air conditioners, refrigeration and other equipment that depend on this water for cooling.
AN AGE-OLD PROBLEM
“CLEARLINE by ElectroSea sovles an age-old problem for boaters,” said Daniel L. Cosentino, ElectroSea CEO and President. Typically, owners and captains frequently have to remove barnacles and marine growth from the boat’s raw-water circuit to ensure that air-conditioners, chillers and hydraulics are running efficiently.
These systems require continuous seawater flow, and if marine growth clogs the pipes that feed this equipment, they will shut down. Blockages caused by barnacles and mussels can result in air conditioner overheating, high-pressure alarms, and system failure at the worst possible time.
This is something that is often overlooked, until it’s too late. Who do you think your customer will call when the air conditioner “breaks” on their boat? That’s right…it’s probably you…the broker.
THE DOWNSIDE TO DESCALING AND OTHER TREATMENT METHODS
“Before CLEARLINE, treatment methods for marine growth in raw-water pipes were reactionary instead of preventive,” said Cosentino. Without CLEARLINE, once crew receives a high-pressure alert or system failure, they’ll need to descale the boat’s raw-water plumbing by flushing the conduits, usually with an acid. Just like your health…it’s best to take preventative action instead of being reactive.
Another disadvantage to reactive descaling is that it allows marine growth to manifest in the plumbing. Without disassembling manifolds and fittings, there is no way to tell how much growth has accumulated in the pipes. So, most of the time crew won’t descale until they’ve received a high-pressure alert or experience a system failure. Even then, when the systems are disassembled and the marine growth breaks apart, it has to go somewhere…and you can only hope it makes its way to a bucket or tank and does not get stuck somewhere in the cooling system causing an even worse problem.
Old salts and early adopters report positive results using this new technology.
66′ VIKING YACHTS, SEA WOLF – Capt. Harry Schaffer
“Like clockwork, I would clean my A/C strainer every Tuesday for years until we installed the ElectroSea CLEARLINE system,” says Captain Harry Schaffer. “Based in Jupiter, FL the water around our dock can get really warm, especially in summer, and the barnacles, sludge and sea critters would thrive in our A/C system. After installing the [CLEARLINE] System, I only check on my A/C Strainer about every five weeks. When I do check it, I hardly clean anything, no barnacles or gunk. I’ve had the system installed for six months now and can honestly say this will change how the industry thinks about descaling saltwater systems. I haven’t had to call for air-conditioning service since we installed it [CLEARLINE]. In my opinion, this is one of the best improvements to boating in recent years.”
90′ JARRETT BAY, JARUCO – Capt. James Brown
“Although I was skeptical at first, I have been thoroughly impressed with the performance of the ElectroSea [CLEARLINE] system. Our systems are now constantly running at maximum efficiency and require far less maintenance.”
50′ MARITIMO – Owner
“I have 6 air conditioners on my Maritimo M50 and what seems like miles of tubing. Descaling was required much too often, to say nothing of the ongoing costs. Had CLEARLINE installed several months ago and have not experience any growth issues since. Thank you ElectroSea!”
HOW CLEARLINE WORKS
The engineers at ElectroSea harnessed the proven power of chlorine (sodium hypochlorite). It is a well-tested, safe technology with a long history of worldwide industrial application as a disinfectant in drinking water, cooling towers, and desalination plants.
CLEARLINE uses the sodium from saltwater and electricity to produce a consistent, precise amount of chlorine based on a vessel’s flow rate. This chlorine circulates through raw-water plumbing making it an uninhabitable environment for marine growth. The continuous, low-level of chlorine is a proven anti-fouling treatment that controls the growth of a range of marine organisms including barnacles and biofilms.
The patent pending CLEARLINE system includes two key components: the CLEARLINE Control Unit, which is the brain, and ClearCell electrochlorinator, which is the heart of the system.
The CLEARLINE Control Unit works in concert with the ClearCell to deliver a precise, low-level of chlorine. The System provides real-time monitoring, dynamic chlorine adjustment based on seawater and cell conditions, and automatic pump switching if necessary. The Control Unit is intuitive and easy to use with a full LED display, status indicator lights, and audible alarm.
The ClearCell is a specialized seawater electrochlorinator made from a unique formula of rare earth metal oxides for long life. The ClearCell is installed directly in the seawater intake circuit. Chlorinated water flows through the air conditioner, refrigeration, and other systems; and a secondary line runs back through the strainers. CLEARLINE’s low level of chlorine is compatible with titanium, copper nickel and other marine alloys. Further, this anti-fouling agent produces no heavy metal pollution (i.e. copper or
lead). The ClearCell is easy to maintain, long-lasting and designed for the marine environment.
CUSTOMIZED TO EACH VESSEL
The CLEARLINE system is customized to each vessel’s seawater intake demand and is recommended for vessels ranging 25 ft. – 200 ft.
CLEARLINE can be installed on new builds or retrofitted into existing vessels. Retrofitting a boat with the CLEARLINE System is a simple process that involves an ElectroSea field technician or certified dealer inspecting the boat’s raw-water system to determine the best location to plumb in the ClearCell and mount the Control Unit.
“Every boat is a little different,” said Cabe Regnerus, ElectroSea Senior Field Technician. “The first thing we’ll do is determine the optimal location for the ClearCell. We want to maintain the original flow characteristics of the vessel and have ClearCell as close to the raw-water pump as possible.”
After plumbing the ClearCell into the raw-water system, the technician will mount the Control Unit and wire it to 12 or 24 volt DC power.
ElectroSea offers five CLEARLINE models based on seawater pump flow rate. The CLEARLINE CL-410 fits 1/4 to 1/2-inch pipe and up to 7 gpm (gallons per minute) and runs on 12 or 24 volts. The CLEARLINE CL-430 fits 5/8 to 1-inch pipe, up to 26 gpm and runs on 12 or 24 volts. The CLEARLINE CL-990 fits 1¼ to 1½-inch pipe and up to 50 gpm. The CLEARLINE CL-1000 also fits 1¼ to 1½-inch pipe and up to 50 gpm and includes dual pump control and an inhibit feature that forces CLEARLINE into standby when running a reverse-osmosis water maker or live well. The CL-990 and 1000 models run on 24 volts. The CLEARLINE CL-2000 fits 2” pipe, and up to 75 gpm for larger vessels. The entire installation of the CLEARLINE System takes about a day and can be done with the boat in the water or out.
GLOBAL SUPPORT NETWORK
ElectroSea continues to expand its CLEARLINE OEM and refit dealer network and has been installed on over 35 boat brands globally.
“We are proud to be working with esteemed OEM brands and have been included in new builds with Catman Cats, F&S Yachts, Garlington, Hargrave Custom Yachts, Jarrett Bay, Jim Smith Sportfish, Marlow Yachts, Paul Mann Custom Boats, Princess Yachts Americas, Ricky Scarborough, Riviera Yachts, Viking Yachts, and Winter Custom Yachts” said Cosentino.
ElectroSea’s CLEARLINE System has also been refit on vessels from additional premier boat brands including: Custom Carolina, Dean Johnson, Hatteras, Horizon, Maritimo, Merritt, Navigator, Ocean Alexander, Riva, Sea Ray, Spencer, Symbol, Weaver, and Westport.
“With the new CLEARLINE System, the days of descaling raw-water conduits are over forever. Pumps will run at peak flow rates and the crew will incur less downtime caused by high pressure, and low flow alarms due to clogged pipes,” said Regnerus.
PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMER
CLEARLINE is backed by a global dealer network of refit dealers and OEM partners. To find a refit dealer for your customer or inquire about new build installation, contact ElectroSea at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 384-8881.
Learn more at www.electrosea.com.
Do you have any comments or questions for us? We’d love to hear from you.
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By Elliott Stark
The Galápagos is such an amazing place that describing a trip to these islands is difficult. Whereas recounting the catch statistics in many places provides a pretty good indication of the experience, here it doesn’t scratch the surface. Talking of only the number of giant ass striped marlin you catch in the Galápagos would be kinda like describing a culinary tour of the best restaurants in Italy solely in terms of how many calories you ate.
Just as recounting catch information provides an inaccurate summary of the trip, describing the impact of the experience of visiting the Galápagos perhaps requires a bit of context. These islands are literally in the middle of nowhere. They are 583 miles west of continental Ecuador… from there, next stop China. This remoteness has influenced the region’s fisheries and wildlife and its history.
That the Galápagos is teeming with life is not news. Charles Darwin could have told you that in 1835. He was taken enough with the inhabitants of these islands that his experience here shaped his postulation of the Theory of Evolution. Though Darwin, an English naturalist, is the historical figure most famously associated with the islands, Las Islas Galápagos were discovered by the Spanish ships that were blown offshore when trying to sail to Peru in 1535.
For islands that are so remote, the Galápagos have found themselves strategically positioned for the interests of a number of groups. The period between their discovery until the late 1700s, the islands were a hideout used by English pirate ships who attacked the Spanish treasure fleet. In those days, the waters off of Peru and Ecuador were ground zero for ships loaded with gold from the Incan empire en route to Spain.
In the late 1700s, the Galápagos provided a base of operation for whaling ships in the Pacific Ocean. Sperm whale oil passing through the Galápagos was involved in powering the Industrial Revolution. The Galápagos were annexed by Ecuador in 1832, visited by Darwin in 1835. During World War II, the islands were home to a US naval base for radar operation. By this time, the islands’ importance lie in protecting the Panama Canal.
In 1959, the islands were designated a national park. In the late 2000s, Tim Choate set up his fishing operation—which was largely the first time many outside of Ecuador considered fishing the islands. These days, the Galápagos is largely a tourist economy. In 2018, an estimated 275,000 people visited the islands.
Looking at a map of the Pacific, it’s immediately apparent that the Galápagos are physically isolated. This isolation is central to most everything about the Galápagos. A volcanic archipelago, the islands share a similar origin with many Pacific island chains—Hawaii and the like.
The Galápagos sit at the intersection of three major ocean currents. The Peru Current brings cold, nutrient rich waters northward along the Pacific Coast of South America before spinning westwardly into the path of the Galápagos. The warm Panama Current runs from the north, the result of the Pacific Equatorial Counter Current’s deflection off of the coast of Central America. These currents intermix with waters deflected to the ocean’s surface by upwelling of the deep water Cromwell Current that flows into the Galápagos from the west. Places in the world where deep waters are deflected to the surface are generally among the most productive, the Galápagos is no different.
The combination of isolated islands bathed by a combination of ocean currents from diverse sources contributes to many of the islands’ unique characteristics. It’s tempting to think that it was one of these currents that delivered a land tortoise to the island. A million years later, the tortoises have grown to gigantic proportions (fun fact: did you know that if you place the InTheBite Monkey close to a giant tortoise to take a picture of them, the turtle might hiss at it? When they crane their heads out to hiss, their necks look like giant, thick Slim Jims. It is true.)
The intermixing of currents also contributes to the region’s incredible fisheries. Relative to the normal striped marlin haunts on this side of the world, the striped marlin here are gigantic. The upwelled nutrients support sardine populations that feed them and the throngs of sea lions, frigates, boobies, and all kinds of other birds.
Juan Kayser and his family own and operate Galapwonder charters out of San Cristobal, the easternmost island in the Galápagos. Operating out of a 37’ Bertram, Galapwonder offers a diverse charter regime to clients. Juan was a more than gracious host for our trip in February.
On the trip were Dale Wills, his ten-year-old son Zachary, and myself. Our itinerary included two days of marlin fishing and a day of excursions in the park. The third day of the trip included hiking in lava fields and into caves within them, snorkeling around León Dormido (a rock formation whose silhouette looks like a sleeping lion), and bottom fishing.
While it might sound odd to go snorkeling instead of striped marlin fishing, it was really quite an experience. The rock feature juts out of the ocean to perhaps 300 feet or so. Beneath the waterline is a sheer drop that is covered in coral. Grouper, snapper, all kinds of reef fish cling to the wall. The area is a cleaning station for hammerheads and other sharks. We also swam with a sea lion, a bunch of turtles and some manta rays. The volcano was a wild and interesting experience as well.
Accommodations for the trip were provided at Kayser’s hotel, the Galápagos Planet. A charming, 30 room facility, the place has an in-house restaurant that sits on the pool and features a custom built, wood burning pizza oven. The hotel was in the process of launching a new menu at its restaurant—The
Lobster Shack. Highlighted by great pizza and the fresh seafood for which Ecuador is known, it is a wonderful place to round out a day’s fishing.
The hotel is about three blocks from the marina. Between the boat and the rooms is the town’s boardwalk, complete with bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and beaches piled high with sea lions. Boats are moored in a protected harbor. Getting onto and off of shore involves a short water taxi ride to or from a dock.
The Galápagos’ primary claim to fame in sportfishing circles are the mobs of very big striped marlin. The fishing season here runs from January through June, with February and March being typically the peak. The fishing generally involves running to banks offshore. Once on the grounds, the presence of bait is betrayed by flocks of diving booby birds and frigates. The sight of the birds mobbing a bait ball is one to behold. Even 30 miles offshore, sea lions get in on the action, alternatively lounging around on the water’s surface and attacking bait while porpoising through the water.
When you hit it right, it does not take long for the reports of the great striped marlin fishing to be borne true. There is so much bait in the water that the ocean seems alive. The striped marlin run much larger here than in their other haunts on this side of the world. Kayser estimates the average fish to come in between 150-200 pounds.
Galapwonder’s normal arsenal for targeting the stripes here is pulling lures on Alutecnos 50-wides and a bridge teaser on either side. For those who have spent time fishing in Cabo and wonder if 50-pound gear is overkill for striped marlin, but these fish are a bit different. They run larger than those in Cabo and even those that are caught on the mainland of Ecuador—some 600 miles away. The fish come in fired up and ready for action and fight like they mean it. If they are able to get into the current that runs beneath the surface, it can take some doing to wench them out… especially if you hook a 200-pound striper on a 30.
On the first day our trip, we caught two striped marlin and a hand full of dolphin. While we only got two to the boat, we had 11 bites and saw more than 20. Many of the fish we saw were in groups of two to five, tailing on the surface or lazily swimming about. There was enough food around that they seemed full and content to watch us pass by without committing to eat a lure or a ballyhoo that we packed down from the states.
A couple of the fish that we pitched to switched nicely enough, but dog boned the ballyhoo instead of eating it… swimming along with the boat, rather than cooperating as they could have. The two or three other boats fishing that day experienced the same type deal. The day was a blast. We saw all manner of life and got a good feel for the place. The first marlin we caught was Zachary’s first time tangling with a marlin. The second weighed 200-pounds and could well have eaten your garden variety Cabo striped marlin.
The next day we ran to another bank. We followed the same type of program. Upon arriving at the bank we found the birds who were sitting, diving and raising hell on a bait ball. We trolled around, but didn’t find any willing participants. We saw a pile of striped marlin around the birds, cruising lazily around in small groups. Next thing you know, Zachary yells, “There’s a marlin!” This one looked a bit different than the others—thicker fins that were more purple than blue.
It was a swordfish basking on the surface. It was not giant, maybe 60-pounds. It’s dorsal and tail fins sticking out of the water as it lounged around. We trolled around him a couple of times, hoping for something that was probably not going to happen. Then we thought it might be possible to snag him with a popper on the spinning rod (a redneck approach? Sure, but it sounded like fun). By the time we managed all of this, the fish, of course, faded from view.
While standing on the bow, ready to sling a popper at something—dolphins, sea lions and birds were mashing bait all around the boat—it started raining boobies. The things were dive bombing in every direction and we were about in the middle of it. The things crashed close enough to the boat that I had visions of the newspaper headlines, “Florida man impaled by bird while trying to snag swordfish with popper.”
We wound up catching three striped marlin on our second day. We saw a bunch more and quite a few more lazy bites. For lunch it was dorado ceviche, made the way that Juan and company prepare it at the restaurant. We’ve published the recipe in this issue. It was a wonderful day rounded out by a couple beers in the pool and the chef’s run-through of every item on the new menu for dinner.
The Galápagos has a good run of big tuna in some years. Given its dependence on ocean currents, some years the tuna show up in great numbers, others they do not. There is also a bit of variability in the fishing between the different islands. While San Cristobal, where we fished, gets mostly striped marlin, with a few blues mixed in, the Island of Isabela—which is a bit to the west of San Cristobal—gets a consistent run of big blue marlin each April. Fish in the neighborhood of 400-pounds are common, with reports of substantially larger fish being somewhat common.
Isabela also gets a number of black marlin. The fish are not common enough to target, but when they see one it tends to run large. They also get good numbers of tuna, a solid wahoo bite at certain times of the year and encounter swordfish with regularity. The average fish, Kayser reports, is of the 80- to 100-pound variety.
With all of the incredible fishing opportunities in the Galápagos, you’d imagine there to be a fleet of 100 boats and a contingent of those from the mainland traveling in and out each season. This is not the case. There are not many operations fishing in the Galápagos and private boats are not permitted to fish within the Park’s boundaries. If a private boat comes to the area, it may transit between the islands with ranger on board, but may not fish within the reserve.
If you want to fish the area, it must be on a registered boat with a permitted operator—such as Galapwonder. The permit system is an interesting one. Its origin lies in efforts made to conserve the islands’ fisheries. There used to be a very active number of artisanal commercial fishermen operating in the Galápagos. As a way of conserving fisheries resources without displacing livelihoods, the Galápagos set up a permit system whereby the commercial fishermen were given operating permits to run boats in the park. Through time, these permits have come to allow them to operate the sportfishing boats that work within the park.
The permits are tied to the holder. The permit holder can then register his boat and fish in the area. Companies can enter arrangements with permit holders, but each permit holder is entitled to register one boat to operate. Galapwonder is planning to upgrade its boat for the 2021 season, but the avenue by which it happens is much more complicated than simply buying a boat and bringing it to the islands.
The regulations that govern access to fishing are complicated. They effectively limit access to fishing in these waters. In many contexts limiting entry to sportfishing activities is a bad deal, but the fact that there are still areas that don’t get covered up with boats is somehow part of the charm of the Galápagos. As a result, if you want to experience the Galápagos and its striped marlin fishery, you’ll have to do it with a licensed permit holder and fish with a park ranger on board.
Beyond the difficulty in registering boats to fish, there is the setting of the place. The boats in San Cristobal are moored in a protected harbor. Getting to them each morning requires a boat taxi ride that is an easy deal, if you don’t accidentally step on a sleeping sea lion. Returning to the fuel dock is a trip back in time.
The fuel is delivered to the boat in the form of a pickup truck carrying two or three 55 gallon barrels. From there, gravity takes care of the rest, pushing the fuel through the hose (which is tossed to the boat) and into the tank. Similarly, the islands do not have haul out capability. Bottom work is done on certain beaches at low tide.
The Galápagos are a wild and rugged place, endowed with a certain charm that is all their own. The fishing here can be great, but it’s worth the trip even if you don’t fly 15 striped marlin flags per day. There is much to be seen (did you know that sea lions really seem to enjoy barking at and biting one another, even without much apparent provocation?) It is easy to see why Charles Darwin enjoyed them so much.
The first Europeans ever to discover the Galápagos were blown offshore of Peru. Charles Darwin got here on a Beagle… a wind-powered ship by that name. Fortunately, visiting the islands is much easier these days. There are regular flights to and from the islands into and out of Guayaquil, Ecuador—a city that also has a full-service international airport. Kayser explains that some groups fly down to Quito, Ecuador, a city through which the Equator passes. Quito has a good tourism infrastructure with quite a bit to do, but does not offer flights to the Galápagos. After spending a couple days enjoying Quito, these groups fly to Guayaquil to board a plane to the islands.
For more info on traveling to Galapwonder send us a message.
Pair of CAT C-32 Acerts Engines
Pair of CAT C-12 Engines
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