Hitting the docks now— The December issue wraps up 2018 in style! Grab your copy today, available in both print and digital.
An interesting man in many contexts – Captain Bouncer Smith catches quality fish of many species (from swordfish to tarpon to sailfish and snapper). Here’s the full Old Salt interview with Capt. Bouncer at his slip in Miami Beach Marina.
For more on Bouncer’s story, check out the December Issue hitting the docks this week!
2-for-1 Christmas Special!
ALICE TOWN, BIMINI – (November 26, 2018) — Wahoo Smackdown X, hosted by the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina on November 8-12, 2018, saw 23 boats competing for more than $25,000 in cash and prizes. Out of the 23 competing boats, 22 teams landed fish, bringing 152 wahoo to the scales in the process.
The team from Who’s Your Daddy took top team honors with 16 fish weighing a total of 231.5 pounds, taking home $15,000 in cash winnings.
Second place was the Blitzsea Team earning $7,500 in cash winnings, an 84.7 pound monster. They weighed 21 fish for a total catch weight of 206.4 pounds.
Team Murderize, out of Freeport, Grand Bahama, finished third, taking home $2,500 in cash winnings, with a total catch of 11 fish with a total catch weight of 193.6 pounds.
The team from Little Giant caught the largest wahoo of the tournament at 50.7 lbs.
Tournament festivities included live local entertainment nightly, a cocktail reception poolside for the Captains Meeting, a cookout on day one of the tournament, and a closing awards party on the great lawn, featuring a buffet, live entertainment and a full open bar.
Sponsors for this year’s tournament include American Beverage Marketers www.masterofmixes.com as the Title Sponsor, Bahamian Brewery and Beverage (Sands), artist David Dunleavy. Tropic Ocean Airways, Caza Offshore, Live Wire Tackle, Flanigan’s, CS Custom Lures and Bimini Big Game Club.
The Florida Panhandle to Receive Support from the IGFA’s Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund
DANIA BEACH, Fla. November 15, 2018 – The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) today announced the first grant to the recreational angling community in the Florida Panhandle from its Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF). Working with our partners at the National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO), the IGFA has recently arranged the transfer of $10,000 from the WARF to aid in the recovery efforts of the extensive charter fishing operations throughout Florida’s Panhandle.
Leveraging NACO’s extensive network of members and a thorough application process, the funds from the WARF will be disbursed to those captains, guides and mates that are in the most need. “We are excited to partner with a longstanding organization like the IGFA to help our guiding community in the wake of Hurricane Michael,” said NACO President Bob Zales.
The IGFA and its partner Costa created the WARF in September 2017. “Recreational anglers, professional captains, guides and mates form the backbone of many coastal communities like the Florida Panhandle,” said Costa Marketing Manager of Core Markets, Amanda Sabin. “Costa is proud to be a part of this rebuilding process and helping to get people back on the water.”
With this recent distribution of $10,000 to NACO for relief efforts in the Florida Panhandle, the WARF has disbursed a total of $56,000 dollars to recreational angling associations in the Florida Keys, Texas, Puerto Rico and the Florida Panhandle to help local captains and guides recover from Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Maria and Michael, respectively.
“The Florida Panhandle supports an incredible fishery and thousands of captains, guides and mates base their livelihoods on the flow of recreational anglers to this region,” said IGFA President Nehl Horton. “While we are saddened by the devastation of this recent storm, we are excited to help the recreational angling community rebuild even stronger through our partnership with NACO.”
To make a direct, tax deductible contribution to the WARF, consumers can go to https://igfa.org/warf, or purchase a Costa t-shirt in support of recovery efforts at onecoast.net. The IGFA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
by Capt. Jen Copeland
In many ways social media is defining the world around us. While skillfully maneuvering the Instagrams and Facebooks of the world can raise the professional profile of your career, posting things inappropriately can ruin your reputation, change the way people look at you, and even get you fired. Captain Jen Copeland provides a thoughtful, insightful breakdown of how sportfishing mates should approach the use of social media. It’s a good read for anyone, if you plan to make your career in sportfishing it is a must read. – ITB
Social media provides a unique look inside the world of sportfishing and the many interesting men and women who make up the sportfishing industry. Social media post
s show us what is biting where and allow us to preview new products. Social media—and the information it provides—has dramatically shortened the time necessary to make decisions.
Many participants in the sportfishing industry – top teams, small lure makers, tournaments, and brokerages – capitalize on the “perceived free advertising” Instagram and Facebook provide. Top teams use it for a real-time fishing reports and to track the success of their competitors. What once took captains hours, or even days to hear via the coconut telegraph, now takes only minutes. Most everyone is connected by social media one way or another and it has proven to be a real asset.
“Staying in touch with family and friends while you’re travelling enables more people to be involved in the sport, and everyone gets excited to see fish being caught,” says Captain Jimmy Werling of the Plane Simple. Werling, whose team is a regular on tournament leaderboards, keeps a watchful eye on his competition through social media. “Although I may not be competing with so-and-so this week, I may be the next week. I’m able to track the teams I need to watch out for.”
Of all the professionals surveyed about the subject, not one of them said social media was “bad” for the fishing business itself. In fact, they all agreed it provides a wealth of knowledge and information that is both informative and instantly accessible. But, there must be a down side, right?
While there is no doubt the sportfishing industry has become “instafamous” in the past few years, let’s not forget the possible repercussions from your “professional” posts. What you post can impact your immediate situation and even follow you into the future. Just as social media had made information available at the touch of app, it can also wreak havoc on your career should it not be used responsibly.
Kona Captain Bryan Toney of Marlin Magic says he has only used social media on a professional level for the last year. “I don’t post anything personal, I’ve strayed from that,” Toney says. “It (SM) is a great way to get yourself out there. But if you’re looking to further your career, my advice is to keep it completely professional.” Solid advice from a man who says, “I learned it the hard way.”
Anytime you post, comment or like something, it is a direct reflection on you and your character. Though you may not realize it, this can affect the way people think about you. Six degrees of separation? Possibly. According to Captain Doug Covin of Hatteras team Copper Leader, “I have used several different mates over the last few years, so I’ve used social media many times to do a ’background check’ to see what type of fishing a mate is doing or to see who his friends are.” Covin continues by saying “if a mate posts a lot of pictures of himself at the sandbar, or drinking with his buddies, then that’s very telling.” Very telling, but not in a good, professional way.
“It’s your resume you’re putting out there,” another captain points out. “Everyday out on the dock is a real-time interview to see how you carry yourself, how your boat looks. With social media, you don’t know who is watching you. It could be your captain, your owner, a future employer – one screw up could ruin your job, or your future – and that’s worth remembering.”
Living in the moment is one thing that makes the charm of sportfishing so alluring. If sportfishing is your chosen career, however, it’s wise to think of your future. In ten years, how do you want to be seen? Impressions do matter and no one is irreplaceable. As Captain Bryan Toney says, “Good mates don’t stay mates, they turn into responsible, respectable captains. And well, good mates with bad habits stay mates – if he’s lucky.”
The Bottom Line: “Could a mate’s indiscretions in social media content affect his career?”
Both Covin and Toney think it could, at least in the short term. Captain Jimmy Werling answered with a definitive, “100% yes.” He explains, “Once it’s out there, it’s always out there. To me, this means when you go to apply for another job, inappropriate posts will come back to haunt you,” he goes on to say. “If your social media profile makes you look like an idiot, then you are an idiot. It can define you, so be aware of what you put out there – it’s there to stay and for all to see.” Werling went on to tell me that his boss’ company has a very strict social media policy for the boat. If he goes to hire a new mate, the company will search the new hire’s social media profile(s) to help determine what type of person they are.
According to another top, competitive tournament captain (who prefers to remain anonymous), “Any future employer has the right to judge you on your social media habits. Most have been usually right when it comes to determining a personality based on your posts. It’s just another network. You must use common sense, and in this business, if you don’t have that, find another career.”
This estimation may sound harsh, but it is a harsh reality. The fact that others may make judgments on your skills or character by what you post on social media should not be a surprise. When it comes to your social media accounts, you put it there, so it’s an open invitation for anyone to “check you out” – private or public.
To Post or Not to Post?
What is inappropriate? That is a personal decision and one a responsible, mature mate should be able to easily make. Off the high of a stellar fishing day, you may be tempted to post the highlights ASAP. But there are a few factors you may want to consider prior to clicking the share button:
- Respect the boss’s wishes and privacy: Having worked for the same family for over 13 years, I can tell you that on more than one occasion the boss has called me to express his annoyance with how my mate had posted our day’s activities. He simply does not want to the general public (i.e. his company employees) knowing his personal business, how he spends his off-time, and more importantly, his toy collection. This is understandable—many private owners want to be private, off the social media grid or incognito. Part of your job is to respect his privacy. Respect himand he will respect you. When in doubt, the man with the gold rules, so it’s best to ask first. Either way you look at it, it’s wise to get your owner’s take on the matter.
- Put yourself in your captain’s shoes: It’s hard enough to keep his secrets “secret.” Having his hard work plastered all over your page enlightening your 2,000 followers that all your blue marlin came up on the purple dredge or green squid chain isn’t helping and is hardly acceptable. While many captains have their own social media agendas, they may prefer to make that decision on their own. Is it your place to make that decision for him? How do you want your mates sharing boat business when it’s time for you to make all the decisions? I thought so.
- The future of your career: Choose your posts wisely, with as much common sense as you can muster. Even a private account can easily be shared, so be advised. Posting your Saturday afternoon of dunk-a-roos or pre-tournament rounds of Fireball shots at 6:00am isn’t exactly making you look professional. Broadcasting such activities out there for the world to see certainly isn’t good for your resume. Remember, what happens on the boat, stays on the boat. Anything posted on the interwebs is there forever, and rest assured your next boss is going to have a look at your social media footprint and habits – he’d be a fool not to. Having any individual responsible for his multi-million-dollar operation, not to mention his friends and family, deserves a little past-delving…don’t you agree?
The bottom line is this, and top captains agree: thinking twice always makes you see things differently the second time. If you are committed to this fishing career of yours, regardless whether or not you are part of a private or charter program, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. The days of using social media to make yourself known and speak your mind are over. This “thing” has morphed into a permanent, real life window to your world, so be sure you are ready to have your current, or future employer peering into it.
We had such a good time the first go around, that we’re hosting our second Sportfishing Social one week from today!
SAVE THE DATE. Nov. 15th, join InTheBite for a chance to rub elbows and talk fishing with our industry of crews, captains, owners, & fishermen.. We hope to see you there!
Location: Blue Pointe Bar and Grill – 18701 SE Federal Hwy, Tequesta, FL 33469
1st – Caramba
2nd – Mi Lujo
3rd – Demencia
The 65th edition of International Billfish Tournament of Club Náutico de San Juan (CNSJ) ended
up with 89 releases, including 22 releases among the top four boats and winning teams from
CNSJ, Palm Beach Florida and South Africa, among others, said Salvador Egea, Jr., chairman.
Top boat, Caramba, released five blue marlin and one sailfish with Capt. Victor González, whose
name is now included in the “Mike Benitez Best Captain Perpetual Trophy”. Egea highlighted
Gonzalez’s work as outstanding and committed to sportsfishing.
Second best boat, Mi Lujo, release four blue marlin and two white marlin with Capt. Jose Colon
on the helm, while the third best boat, Demencia, released five blue marlin with Capt. Javier
Rivera. All three captains received a check from CNSJ.
Hitting the docks now! Grab the latest Oct/Nov Issue of InTheBite, available in both print and digital.
Exile Charters a.k.a. Big Fish Grenada is a charter program based out of Grenada where the offshore fishing has the potential to be super slamming! In as little as a 5-10 mile run you can have sailfish balling bait, big Alison Tunas skying out on flying fish, Blue Marlin chasing the tunas and skipjacks, and White Marlin and spearfish roaming around at the same time. Grenada is a must fish location that offers year round fishing with it’s prime being December through May where you can expect multiple shots at sailfish, and the potential for a Grand Slam is very real any day as well as the opportunity to get strapped into the harness on a big Alison Tuna which are typically 100-200 pounders. Grenada also offers great wahoo fishing on it’s steep drops around the island year round as well as some good mahi action at random.
If you really want to experience Grenada’s fishery and get a real shot at seeing everything its waters have to offer, we recommend coming to fish 3-5 full days. Big Fish Grenada offers Full Day (8+ hours) and Half Day (5 hour) fishing trips on Exile 65 with Captain Ricky Wheeler and crew. Trips available on Exile with Dr. Frank Pettisani and others are Full Day (8+ hours) and Half Day (4 hour) fishing trips. Full Day Fishing Trips are highly recommended as it gives the crew the opportunity to get you on the fish and stay on them. At Big Fish Grenada, we want to get you on the fish and stay on them to increase the odds of catching you a fish that will forever remain engraved in your memory. Who wouldn’t want more time fishing on the beautiful blue waters of Grenada?
Not only is Grenada a must fish location, but it is becoming a must visit destination as well! Grenada is a very fun and safe island with plenty of flight options from the United States. It boasts various levels of accommodations from modest beachfront hotels to lavish villas and resorts. Grand Anse Beach has been labeled as one of the top ten beaches in the world! Accommodations are a close drive from the airport including the Big Fish Grenada Boats (20 minutes from the airport). If you’re a foodie, look no further as Grenada is known as the Spice Island and shows why at the many restaurants around the island that offer various choices of cuisines. Not everyone in your group looking to go fishing? There are plenty of activities to do aside from fishing such as snorkeling, diving, dune buggy tours, visiting Grenada’s rainforest and hiking to the exotic waterfalls, and so much more.
Boats available for charter with Big Fish Grenada are Exile 65, a 65’ Paul Mann Custom Sportfishing Boat, and Exile, a 45’ Hatteras Sportfishing Boat that we have customized to be a sportfishing machine. Both boats are incredible fishing platforms and offer the comfort and extra amenities to make your day on the water very enjoyable. You can be sure to have a trip to remember with Big Fish Grenada when you couple these boats with Crews that have so much fishing experience that shines through in top tournament finishes in numerous locations, a pure love for fishing, and the willingness to share their knowledge and the amazing experience of being on the water with others everyday.
Exile Charters has a lot of experience in the charter industry starting with Dr. Frank Pettisani and his boat Exile that spent the 90s running trips in Venezuela with Captain Luis Suarez. In the 2000s, Exile came back to New Jersey where Dr. Pettisani found Captain Ricky Wheeler. These two fished together for quite some time in New Jersey placing in many tournaments together and running charters until Ricky took the boat back to the Southern Caribbean again in 2010. Frank fished in Grenada almost every Winter since then with Exile and has placed 3 out of the last 4 times he has fished in the Spice Island Billfish Tournament in Grenada winning once with Captain Jimmy Grant at the helm, once with Captain Ricky Wheeler at the helm, and last year he placed 3rd with himself at the helm. Whether he is the Captain, the Mate, or the Angler, he is a major asset to the crew. Dr. Pettisani is also a great teacher for those looking to sharpen their skills as an angler and does whatever possible to help his guests have an amazing time on the water.
In the Summer of 2016 Dr. Pettisani acquired the 65’ Paul Mann Sportfishing Boat he named Exile 65, and Captain Ricky Wheeler has been fishing it nonstop ever since running trips in New Jersey, Mexico, the Bahamas, and now in Grenada’s incredible offshore fishery. Captain Ricky Wheeler is no stranger to the offshore fishing scene. Ricky has set 10 IGFA Line Class Records (8 of which are still holding) and 5 IGFA All Tackle Length Records as a Captain. He also has plenty of tournament wins and placements to his credit as both a Captain and a Mate, and continues to be highly competitive year in and year out. His passion and high level of enthusiasm for sportfishing shines through on every trip which makes him an absolute pleasure to fish with. He loves to teach and help people get on the fish of a lifetime every opportunity he gets. Fishing is all about having fun on the water, and Captain Ricky Wheeler wants to be sure everyone is having as much fun as him on every trip.
Grenada is sure to offer something fun for everyone, so come down with the family, with your friends, or even a couples trip and enjoy what this amazing island has to offer. From fishing with Big Fish Grenada to all of the extracurricular activities, Grenada will not disappoint!