Captain Jeff Donahue provides a thorough breakdown of the all new Hatteras GT59. Captain Jeff runs the Hatterascal, hull number one of the GT59 series, on it’s wide ranging tournament schedule. See how the boat is designed, performs and what all goes into making a Hatteras. You won’t want to miss it.
Want to spice up your operation? BAM! You Can Own Emeril Lagasse’s 70-Foot Viking Yacht ‘Aldente’ For Under $4 Million.
While the boat can put you on fish, we can’t promise it will improve your dinner making skills… but who knows.
Destin, Florida (4/4/19): United Yacht Sales, the world’s largest professional yacht brokerage firm with more than 150 yacht brokers worldwide, is pleased to announce that ‘Aldente’ is now listed for sale with United Yacht Sales broker Captain Brad Benton. Aldente is owned by celebrity chef and philanthropist Emeril Lagasse.
Aldente is a beautiful example of a 70’ Viking Enclosed Bridge and has four spacious cabins, all of the fishing amenities you could ask for, high-gloss teak throughout the interior, and of course, an updated kitchen. Aldente is also equipped with a Seakeeper Gyro which stabilizes the yacht while at anchor or while trolling for big game and a Sea Recovery water-maker which turns saltwater into fresh, drinkable water.
Aldente is equipped with the upgraded MTU 16V 2000 M94 2,600 HP engines. She is listed for sale at $3,995,000.
For more questions about United Yacht Sales or this press release, please contact United Marketing Director Rob Bowman at (828) 242-9810.
by Charlie Levine
Captain Ricky Wheeler rose up through the ranks in New Jersey learning how to catch everything from fluke to bigeye tuna to blue marlin. Wheeler credits fishing out of this part of the world with shaping the captain he is today. It was that well-rounded fishing education that helped him become a successful captain and launch his own tackle company.
Wheeler, who just turned 34, grew up in Delaware but spent his summers in Wildwood, New Jersey. When he scored a job at South Jersey Marina, home to the MidAtlantic 500, the door to the offshore fishing world opened. “I grew up fishing for striped bass and bluefish in the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays,” he says. “My dad and granddad had boats and back then the fishing for weakfish was really good, but we didn’t do much offshore fishing. We didn’t have the means. When I started working at the marina, I met the right people and got invited offshore. I learned a lot really fast.”
He spent a summer working as a mate on the Super Crew, a 54 Monterey, and caught his first white marlin. “That kind of catapulted my love for offshore fishing,” he says. His next big break occurred while fishing the MidAtlantic tournament with Frank Pettisani who had a 45 Hatteras. “We caught fish, but didn’t win,” Wheeler says. “Frank offered me a job on the way home and had me running that boat right away. I got my captain’s license that winter.”
Wheeler fished with Pettisani for five years, till the end of 2010. “For me, it was great because Frank demands a lot, but I don’t think realizes it. He wants perfection every day. He pushes me to go beyond good and get better,” Wheeler says. “He understands the fishing part of it.”
Wheeler fished nine months out of the year in New Jersey, fishing for whatever was biting, then spent the winter months with customization projects on the boat. “It went well, and I learned a lot,” he says. “We totally customized that boat and fished a lot.”
Pettisani took the boat from Cape May to Venezuela in 2010 and also fished in Aruba. Those were tough times to fish in Venezuela, with issues sourcing fuel for US boats. It was just dangerous to be there. “It’s a shame,” Wheeler says. “It’s a beautiful country and really good fishing.”
After Venezuela, Wheeler headed back to New Jersey and started freelancing. He fished with IGFA world-record holder Maureen Klause. The pair set nine records together. He also ran larger boats for various clients over the summer. In 2011, he spent his winter in the southern Bahamas, fishing with Capt. Joe Trainor on the Over/Under. He also began fishing in Trinidad and Grenada with Pettisani who had moved the boat there. “It was a busy, year-round schedule for four or five years,” Wheeler says. But the entire time, Wheeler was learning more about fishing in various areas and taking what he learned in New Jersey and applying it to new waters.
“In New Jersey, we have long runs and you learn how to read sea-surface temperature and chlorophyll charts, how water moves and how to adapt every day,” he says. “I use what I learned up there and take it everywhere. Fish do the same basic thing anywhere. It may change a bit depending on what they’re eating, but we’ll still target current edges and look for color breaks.”
From Trainor, Wheeler also learned how to keep a boat running in remote settings. There simply aren’t many facilities in the southern Bahamas. If something breaks, you better be able to fix it, and you better have spare parts. “There was no body coming to help us,” Wheeler says. “You’ve got to learn to fix things. I don’t love turning wrenches, I actually dislike it, but I love that I know how to do it. Anything that is broken can be fixed.”
Wheeler started spending time in Grenada in the winter of 2013 with Pettisani and fished the spring months with Joe Trainor in the Bahamas. A self-described computer geek, Wheeler also uses his electronics to the full extent possible. He says that freelancing on different boats really helped him master marine electronics. “Every boat I fished on had different electronics, from the newest to the oldest, so I had to learn all that. It was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me. The same could be said for engines and gensets, they were all different. When you only work on one boat you only learn one system.”
After fishing Grenada for a few seasons, Pettisani decided to go all in. He didn’t want anyone but Wheeler to run the operation. Pettisani stationed the 45 Hatteras on the Spice Island and brought over the Exile (formerly Phat Mann and Soul Candy), a 65 Paul Mann that’s going to fish year-round in Grenada. The operation, Exile Charters (www.exilecharters.com), is ready to make the most of a bite that Wheeler says is quietly home to one of the best fisheries in the Caribbean.
“Nobody there really understands how good the fishing is,” Wheeler says. “It’s just far enough that most American boats don’t go, but you can get direct flights from New York and Miami. Our clientele can be there in a few hours.” According to Wheeler, prime time in Grenada runs from December through April with February standing out as the peak of the action. “We’ll see sails balling bait and you can get 25-plus shots a day. The first three days of February we fished five-hour days and had 15 shots with blues in the mix.” The yellowfin bite is also strong, offering some variety and the action is just five miles offshore.
When fishing remote locations, you sometimes need to get a little creative with the spread. Wheeler had been using what he calls a Party Hat, which added some flash to an O-ring circle hook ballyhoo rig. “I wanted to be able to add some color to the ballyhoo, especially for tuna,” he says. His Party Hat accomplished that goal and didn’t impede the circle hook hookup ratio on the drop back.
He met his future business partner on a liveaboard charter and they started Fish Downsea (www.fishdownsea.com), offering a line of Party Hats, Dredge Shads, Mojo rigs and more. “I would make my own tackle as a hobby,” Wheeler says. “We kept expanding on it and we’re about to start a line of trolling lures. This season I’m going to try a good array of shapes I like. We made some molds, and we’re going to try them. If I’m going to pull something, why not make it mine? If I can pull it, I can promote it.”
Charlie Levine is the publisher of FishTrack.com and the author of the fishing book, “Sucked Dry: The Struggle is Reel,” available on Amazon.
Have you ever wanted to know the most popular lures used around the Bahamas, the Gulf of Mexico and the Mid-Atlantic? Take a minute and listen in to Grand Slam Sportfishing Supply owner Jim McGrath as he showcases the best lures for 2019. Lures include the recent World Cup and the Mid-Atlantic winner. Don’t wait and order yours today!
The 4th annual White Marlin Roundup, was again based out of the beautiful Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour Marina, was held April 10-13, 2019. There were 25 registered boats and the weather forecast was perfect, light winds and calm seas.
The first day of fishing was beautiful and the 77’ Bayliss, Wave Paver was off to a great start as they released 6 white marlin, for 1950 points. Plane Simple a 70’ Spencer finished the day in second place with 3 whites for 975 points. In third, was the Lo Que Sea with a 2 whites and 1 blue marlin for 800 points.
The real catch of the day was caught on The Chaser as they boated a white marlin to weigh in! As the crowd gathered around the weigh station, The Chaser backed in with an extra large white marlin in the cockpit. Angler Nick Locuv stood close by as he marlin was hoisted and the scales showed “129” pounds For the day there was 18 whites, 4 blue marlin and 8 sailfish released, along with the one big marlin that was weighed!
On day two with the same calm conditions, Wave Paver maintained their lead on the fleet by releasing 5 white marlin increasing their lead on the fleet. The Lo Que Sea added to their total by catching 4 whites to get them into second place overall and the Plane Simple dropped down to 3rd place. There was a total of 22 whites, 2 sailfish and 2 blue marlin caught on day two.
On day three, the final day of fishing, the Plane Simple got red hot and put the pressure on the Wave Paver by catching 4 white before noon. Wave Paver fought back by catching 4 that afternoon while Plane Simple caught 3 more that afternoon too. The 7 white marlin that the Plane Simple caught, put them well into second place, and Lo Que Sea ended up in third place. At lines out it was the Wave Paver winning this event for the second time in three years.
With 33 whites, 5 sailfish and 3 blue marlin caught on day three, it brought the three day total to 71 whites, 15 sailfish and 9 blue marlin!
All competitors gathered to honor the winners during the awards presentation at the beautiful Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour Marina! The Ken Ullberg trophy for the Top Boat award went to Wave Paver and her owner Jr Davis! They also claimed many awards, including two top dailies, , the jackpot for the overall winner, Top Captain & Crew and even the largest Mahi of 39.5 pounds as they took home a big check of $149,740. The Top Captain & Crew went to Captain Russell Sinclair, and crew members Cody, Garrett, Ryan and Doug.
Plane Simple took second place, earning them a prize of $55,080. Third place went to the Lo Que Sea awarding them $20,880.
Angler Nick Locuv and The Chaser took home a check for $40,400 for the largest white marlin.
The top angler was Scott Glasscock on the Wave Paver. Scott caught 9 white marlin. The Top Lady Angler was Laura Russell on the Hit n Run! The largest tuna and wahoo was caught by Steven Staclings on the Jichi and they took home a check for $19,500.
We look forward to seeing everyone again at next year’s tournament, to be held again at the Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour Marina. The dates will be April 15-18, 2020. See you all there!
InTheBite’s got another good one coming your way,
April/ May Issue– HITTING THE DOCKS NOW.
Sure, tying up the boat might seem like an afterthought. To the experienced captain with 30-years’ experience, that is exactly what it is – especially when you’re coming and going out of your home slip and have your lines marked and set, just the way you like them. There are however many nuances to tying up the boat and much to learn for a new mate or boat guest. When travelling to a new, unfamiliar marina there are an added set of variables. The following provides some real-life perspective from professionals on tying up your ride in various scenarios.
Theory and Practice
While the variables involved in getting safely into the slip vary widely, there are a few universals. Captain Harry Schafer runs the 66-foot enclosed bridge Viking, Sea Wolf, based in Jupiter, Florida. He has been working on boats since 1974. “Every time you dock, especially in a different area, you have to deal with wind, current, other boats and obstructions – you have to consider that,” Schafer says. “Exactly how you’ll dock is slip-dependent. It is different for pilings, floating or stationary docks. When you’re approaching the dock, ask the dock master what side you’ll approach so you can prepare and put out the fenders, if you’re using them.”
In the days before bow thrusters were as common on sportfishers as salon sofas, lines were central to controlling the bow when coming into or leaving the dock. “Coming up as a mate, spring lines were always beat into my head,” says Capt. Jon Brooks. Brooks runs the Palm Beach-based Ditch Digger, a 72-foot Viking. Early in his career Brooks worked for Capt. Timmy Hyde on the Good Grief. “The Good Grief was 53’ long. We had a 70’ spring line. Without bow thrusters, we used the spring lines to pivot coming into and going out of the marina. Our slip was right against the bulkhead. We could spring to the starboard bow pole, run it to the box cleat – moving it to the spring cleat as we pivoted.”
On commercial docks, where ships are measured in hundreds of tons, the dock line is still king. “The first vessel I worked on was a 130’ salvage boat with a single engine called the Hickory. It was built in Bath, Maine in 1932,” says Capt. Harry Schafer. “When coming in, we would approach the dock with lines attached. We would run lines out of the hawsers with monkey fists tied to the end of them. We’d throw the ropes to guys on the dock and ratchet the boat into place. There were winches fore and aft that would lock the boat into place. Big ships still do this.”
Finer Points from a Carolina Charterman
Captain Brynner Parks runs the Smoker, a 58-foot Custom Carolina out of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. “I am 59 now. I’ve been fishing since I was 13,” says Parks. Parks provided his list of basic do’s and don’ts. “When you have teak in the cockpit or on the covering boards, you want to keep the ropes off of the teak. You can tie the ropes high enough to pylon to keep the ropes from burning the teak or rubbing the oil out of it.”
“When you get your spring lines on, you want them both to be pulling evenly. You want the lines to come tight at the same time so that they halve the load,” says Parks. “When it comes to hurricanes, it is a matter of personal preference. Some loop on the pylon, some loop on the cleat. I like to loop on the cleat – my cleats are on the covering board, not through the hawser hole. Whichever way you choose, you try to make everything even and in unison. You want to either deal with the boat or the dock, not one rope tied to the boat and one tied to the dock.”
Parks also outlines a couple things to avoid. The first applies to the angle of the rope to the cleat. You want to keep a 30 or 45-degree angle to the cleat. Don’t tie off to the pylon so high that you get a 90-degree angle,” Brynner advises. “You also want to match the size of the rope to the size of the boat. You don’t want a ½” or 3/8” rope for a 60’ boat.”
Hurricanes put as much strain on those responsible for keeping a boat safely tied as anything in the world. The Outer Banks of North Carolina, with marinas situated on sounds, add their own special set of hurricane-related variables. Captain Joey Belton runs the 61-foot Billy Holton, Haphazard, out of Pirates Cove.
“When it comes to tying up the boat, you need to determine the direction of the wind and favor that side. That’s the problem with hurricanes, the wind comes up from one direction and switches to the other. When the winds change with the hurricane, it shifts the water. Coming from one direction the wind pushes water up the Sound, when the wind shifts it can draw the water out of the sound,” Belton explains.
As the water level rises or falls, a vessel’s position relative to the dock can change. “On the one hand, you worry about boats getting higher than the flairs on the bow pylons. If that happens, when the water level drops the boat can fall the pylon, sending it through the flair. At yards like Spencer’s, their pylons are so high that this could never happen,” Joey says. “On the other hand, you also worry about the stern getting stuck under the dock when the water level drops. If the water drops and the boat shifts under the dock, it can get stuck when the water rises again.”
To avoid either of these scenarios, Belton offers the following, “You want to keep the boat as centered in the slip as possible. Sometimes we’ll babysit the boat through a storm.” As the conditions shift within the course of the storm, you will need to make adjustments to the lines. “You want to wrap the line around the cleat before you make a hitch. Otherwise, the lines will cinch down so tight that you can’t remove them.”
If you’ve ever spent time around guys that run cows or make a living in the rodeo, you may have wondered why some of them are missing fingers. The reason: ropes can be dangerous. Like a rope thrown around livestock, a dock line snapped tight by a lurching wave or current can eat a finger in a hurry.
“We have a lot of guests on the boat, I tell them all to step away from the cleat. I’ve seen more injuries trying to help with docking than anywhere else,” says Captain Jon Brooks. “One injury example is trying to put the line on the cleat. When your docking, just loop the line over the cleat – run it through later (once the boat is stationary and situated). People put the loop through the cleat and get their hand caught in the bight.”
When asked for his most important considerations when docking, Brooks’ concern for safety is clear. He advises mates to be aware of their situations and to be sure to coordinate their efforts with what the captain is doing. “Make sure that I know what you are doing before you start moving lines out the cleat,” he says. A lack of coordination between mates and captain can result in injury. If the captain moves the boat in one direction to loosen one line as it is untied from the dock, another may snap taught. A mate, or guest, who gets a hand caught between a loop and cleat by a sudden movement is a surefire trip to the ER.
Captain Harry Schafer adds, “Mates have to learn to be careful running up the side of the boat.” Whether its being caught between the side of the boat and the dock or getting a hand caught between the transom and the dock, there are plenty of ways to get hurt while docking.
“Be prepared. Have your spring line ready, your bow and stern lines ready. Generally, you’ll put your aft spring on first, then your forward spring. Then the bow or the stern, depending on your situation,” Schafer continues. “Be alert to the situation – there may be wind and current. Ask the captain what he wants to put on first, this can change according to the situation. Generally speaking spring lines are important to keep you from moving forward or aft. You’ll put your stern lines first if the wind is from the back.”
Brooks offers a couple of additional points of reference that are useful. “When untying the boat, untie the slack lines first – the windward side last. This will save time in the morning… When you are pulling out, make sure the line makes it onto the dock or the marina. The captain can get wrapped up in the marina if lines stay in the water.”
Lines at the Marina
Most of the captains who contributed to this article carry two sets of lines. Their travel lines are stowed on the boat and used in transient slips and on trips. A boat’s dock lines will stay in their home slip.
“Basically, you have the bow, stern and spring lines. Lines set at the marina remain constant. You can use the bight end on the cleat or vice versa,” Schafer says. Marking lines is a common practice that makes life easier on everyone involved. Captain Brynner Parks describes his approach when working with a new mate. “Get the boat tied up where you want it. Put electric tape to mark the rope where it fits correctly, this gives you a good guideline of where to start.”
Capt. Jon Brooks describes his approach to docking at a fixed pier. “I like to mark our lines. We spend a lot of time in Isla (Mujeres). There is a terrible surge there and you have to put the tag end on the boat. We take two or three colors of electrical tape – one for each level: normal, slack or surge. The marks allow one guy to make adjustments by himself. This is great, especially when it’s 3 am and you are rubbing on the dock.”
“At a floating dock with surge, we are tied hard to one side of the pier. As it moves, the tide moves the boat, pier and everything. All the ropes are on the starboard side – nothing on the port. In this case we use Mega-Fend yacht style fenders with covers. They are mega light and make all the difference.”
Confusion at the Dock? Knot Ever Again
In terms of common sense, not-so-exciting topics in boating, tying the boat up might rank up there with bilge pumps and drawer pulls. With any luck, and a bit of coordination, may all of your docking experiences be run of the mill. Because while it’s low on the excitement meter, tying up the boat ranks pretty high on the list of things that are better off not screwed up.
Miami Beach, Fla. (April 7, 2019) – The stakes were high, and the pressure was on for the 37 teams competing off Miami Beach in Final Sail, the grand finale of the 2019 Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. The tournament opened with a kickoff party at the DoubleTree Grand by Hilton that included a casino fundraiser to benefit the tournament’s charity, Fishing for Muscular Dystrophy (FFMD). The combined efforts of the teams and the casino night enabled Bluewater Movements to present FFMD with a check for $5,000 to help them on their mission to cured MD. [Read more…]
Seakeeper 2 Earns Gold Designation in Transportation Technology Category
CALIFORNIA, Md. (April 5, 2019) – Seakeeper, Inc., the leader in marine stabilization, received an Edison Award at last night’s Awards Gala for the Seakeeper 2.
The Edison Awards honor excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design and innovation. The Seakeeper 2 was chosen as a finalist in the Transportation Technology category earlier in the year and last night received a gold award, the highest available. Products were judged on their concept, value, delivery and impact and finalists were chosen by a steering committee and small group of industry experts where necessary. The finalists were then submitted to a panel of more than 3,000 judges comprised of senior business executives and academics who then cast ballots for gold, silver and bronze winners.
“We’ve been relentless at working to change a fundamental human experience by making boating more accessible and enjoyable for everyone, and the introduction of our smallest product, the Seakeeper 2, is a huge step in realizing that mission,” said Seakeeper President & CEO Andrew Semprevivo. “We’ve been pushing ourselves every day for 11 years to bring our best innovations to market, and we’re honored to be recognized as a leader and proud to stand next to the other incredible Edison Awards winners this year.”
The award was presented at the Edison Awards’ annual black-tie event at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York, NY. Events earlier in the day included a Meet the Innovators Forum and an Innovators’ Showcase where participating companies had the opportunity to connect with other finalists and innovators and share their product.
Launching of the NEXT GEN
50′ WALK AROUND
Designed to Fish & Travel
We are very excited to announce that Gamefisherman will soon be adding another member to its list of family members. In April, we will be starting the latest in our series of new builds. As we approach the West Palm Beach Boat show we wanted to give you a brief description of what this new model is all about.
The 50’ walk around will be powered by quad outboards. Since delivery will be in 2020, the owner has reserved his right to choose motors further into the build. Early indications say that some of outboard manufacturers will have 500+ HP outboards available by then. The new 50’ walk around will come with a huge cockpit and full mezzanine seating for up to six people. It will be outfitted with a Marlin Tower with a four sided enclosure so the bridge deck will have full temperature control.
The Gamefisherman 50’ walk around is designed to fish and travel. It will have two large insulated in deck fish boxes and a 50 gallon livewell built into the transom. Belowdecks it will have a master stateroom forward with a full walk around queen. The master will have its own private head and shower. The interior will feature a large galley with refrigeration, microwave, and stovetop with fridge and freezer combo below. A separate aft stateroom will feature four separate bunks. In addition, the boat will have a second head and shower that can accommodate the rear stateroom guests. The quad outboard engines are predicted to push her to a cruise speed of 40 MPH, with a top end approaching 52 MPH. This model will be equipped with a Gyro to be located in the cockpit. This new setup will be sure to capture the attention of others in the tournaments circuit in Florida.
50′ Walk Around SPECS
LOA: 50′ | Beam: 15’9″ | Draft: 2’8″
Displacement: 36,000 lb. | Fuel: 800 gal.
Water: 150 gal. | Power: Quad Outboards- HP and model to be determined