Ritchie Howell is perhaps one of the most interesting builders in sportfishing. While Ritchie is a pleasure to talk to, his boats speak for themselves. In this Dock Talk, Howell breaks down his boat building philosophy and describes all that goes in to making a Ritchie boat.
The InTheBite Boat Bundle is the perfect deal for the captain, the owner, the mates and the guy that missed the teaser bite! The bundle includes (5) print and digital, one-year subscriptions for $100.
Sirius XM has been making waves in the offshore space for years, but the service is about to get a whole lot better: Fish Mapping. What is it and how does it get you dialed in faster? Check out siriusxm.com/fishmapping to see how it works and when it hits the docks.
Hilton’s just launched a new Major/Minor Feeding Times feature! You can place the Nav Tool (oval with white box) anywhere in each region, and it will give you the major feeding times as well as minor feeding time for that lat/long position on the earth! Kinda cool to look at different areas of the Gulf (or wherever you are fishing) and see how the feeding times are affected by location.
You can look forward in time (or backward) to see when is the best time to make sure you are on the spot to fish!
by Charlie Levine
One of Capt. Alex Tallman’s core values is to always be friendly and respectful to clients and other fishermen. This mantra has served him well as the young captain, who just turned 31, recently scored his dream job, on his dream boat. For the past year, the Florida-raised Tallman has been running the 63 Ricky Scarborough, Big Smooth, owned by Steve Johnson. Tallman met Johnson through a mutual acquaintance after Johnson purchased some property at Baker’s Bay in the Bahamas and stationed a 39-foot Nor-Tech center console there.
“Steve showed me the properties and the center console,” Tallman says. “I had spent ten years in that area, so I knew it very well. I told him that I liked the setup, but I wanted to fish on a sportfish boat. He said, ‘OK, why don’t you go find one?’ So, that’s what I did.” They purchased the Waterman a 2015 Ricky Scarborough and took to updating her to meet the needs of Bahamas/East Coast operation. “This is one of my favorite boats that I’ve ever been on,” Tallman says. “She’s quick, not too big, and easy to maintain.”
Growing up in Florida, Tallman always had an affinity for fishing. As a young boy he targeted bass and would hit the local lakes whenever he could. He eventually graduated to salt water fishing and would ride his bike down to Juno Pier to fish for snook. He’d save any money he got his hands on to go out on the Blue Heron drift boat out of Jupiter.
He inherited a desire to work on the water from his family which had many ties to the maritime world. His uncle, mother and grandfather all carved out careers on boats. “I always wanted to pursue a job on the water,” Tallman says. “I worked at Jonathan’s Landing Marina through high school, managing the marina’s fleet of boats. It was maybe 40 boats that I would kind of take care of and show people how to use, everything from center consoles to 50-foot cabin cruisers.”
After high school, Tallman attended the Chapman School of Seamanship, his mom’s alma mater, and graduated with a 100 Ton Master Captain’s License. With his license in hand, Tallman hopped on a 75-foot Hatteras motoryacht and spent a year in the Bahamas. “That was a great experience,” he says. “They had a center console as well. We’d fish and spearfish and that kept me interested. I learned how to deal with higher-end owners and keep a really tight boat. The captain was a real stickler and taught me everything from how to turn down beds to cleaning the interior and exterior. It gave me a good basis on the importance of paying attention to detail.” Tallman, just 19 at the time, also ran the boat on short trips.
From there, Tallman moved into the offshore fishing world when he scored a job on the El Lobo, a 90-foot sportfisher run by Frank Gibbs. “Frank saw me grinding away on the motoryacht in the Bahamas, walked up and said he’d been watching how hard I work, and he’d love to get me on board as a mate.”
With a crew of just two people to run the 90-footer, Tallman took advantage of the opportunity to learn from the experienced captain. “Frank is a super mechanical guy and taught me a lot in the engine room. We spent three months in the yard with multiple systems that had to get redone. We worked together for close to a year before that program changed and I jumped ship.”
His next gig was on the ThomCat, a 68-foot enclosed-bridge Hatteras, run by Capt. Bill Davis. The boat spent six months in Palm Beach fishing live bait for sails and trolling for pelagics and six months targeting billfish and bottomfish in the Abacos. “We did it all,” Tallman says. “Anything that had eyes we caught. Bill Davis is one of best fishermen I’ve worked for. He would wake up thinking about fish and go to bed thinking about fish. I had never seen someone that wanted to fish more, and he really got my drive going. All we talked about and thought about was fishing.”
Tallman spent five years on ThomCat, but the program wasn’t changing, and he was getting an itch to travel and experience more fishing spots. When the opportunity to jump on the 90-foot John Bayliss Singularis came about, Tallman made the move.
“I jumped on Singularis right after it was built,” he says. “That was definitely the most traveling I did on a boat. We went everywhere. As soon as the boat was christened, we left to fish the Big Rock, the White Marlin Open and went as far north as Nantucket.” From there they fished throughout the Caribbean and motored through the Panama Canal to Costa Rica.
Again, Tallman got to learn from an experienced captain. “The captain of Singularis, Jerry Lanzerotti, is a super mechanical guy who can fix anything. I would listen and watch how he did things. Every program I worked on, I’d watch and see what I like and add that to my tool box. I wanted to take everything I learned and bring it to my own program.”
From Costa Rica, Tallman fished with the Fanjul family who own Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic on their 74 Viking. That program ended in the Abacos and that’s when Tallman met Steve Jonson and decided to take the gig. But there was one more adventure the aspiring captain wanted to put on his resume – heavy tackle black marlin fishing on the Great Barrier Reef.
“I met Tim Richardson in the D.R. and I knew his mate Garrett Penley from Costa Rica. I fished with them on Tim’s G&S the Chaser in the D.R. and told him that I’d love to go to Australia and got hired on as a second mate to fish on the Tradition.” Richardson, an Aussie, has fished the Great Barrier Reef since the late 1980s. For the past few years, Richardson has also fished the Caribbean part of the year on the Chaser.
“Australia was a difficult job but it’s by far one of my biggest accomplishments. Garrett’s a complete animal in the cockpit and Tim is so experienced and well known. Every time we backed down on a fish, I was comfortable because I knew Tim would keep up with the fish and I could hang on for dear life. I’d seen a few big ones in the Bahamas, but nothing compares to Australia.” The crew would catch nearly 70 marlin that season and win top tagging mate and boat honors from The Billfish Foundation for Pacific black marlin.
After Australia, Tallman went right to work for Johnson on Big Smooth. The boat’s owner is a commercial real estate developer whose company is based in Tennessee. Johnson actually played pro football for the Patriots and the name “Big Smooth” comes from a nickname he earned during his playing days. “Steve’s a 100-percent team player. He’s very open-minded and truly a great guy to work for,” Tallman says. “He lets me run the program on the fishing aspect, and never questions my motives.”
This past season they spent seven months in the Abacos and ended up going to Ocean City to fish the White Marlin Open. “That was definitely an eye opener for me. That was the first time I’ve run a boat up there and you’re fishing against best crews in the world.” They didn’t land in the money, but for Tallman, experiencing a new fishing area is his favorite part of the job. “I love the travel program, going to new places and fishing new water,” he says. “You see different techniques, different types of baits, and I love that aspect.” He admits that he misses the action in the cockpit but he’s not about to give up his seat at the helm.
“Driving the boat is the easy part, knowing the ins and outs of your boat as well as learning from your mistakes is key,” he says. “At some point in time, something will go wrong. How you approach and overcome those obstacles will truly define you as a pro. Doing your maintenance, looking around, and trusting your intuition could prevent a serious mechanical failure. My mate, Anthony Delgreco, is a huge help in this aspect.” And if he can’t fix it, Tallman’s not afraid to reach out for help and advice. Having a network of other captains that you can bounce things off of has been an invaluable resource to him.
“Any captain that knows me, knows I’m all in,” he says. “There is not a job you can ask me to do that I will not do. I’m always there to give a hand and I never want to burn any bridges. You never know, there may come a day when you’re out in middle ocean and need to call for help. It’s critical that you can make that call and have someone to count on.”
Charlie Levine is the publisher of FishTrack.com and the author of the fishing book, “Sucked Dry: The Struggle is Reel,” available on Amazon.
The timing couldn’t be any better! As white marlin and blue marlin take up residence at the canyons off the mid-Atlantic coast, the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor is in the final stages of planning the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor Marlin Tournament. Hosted by Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey, this year marks the 53rd installment of this event making it one of the longest running billfish tournaments on the east coast. The Yacht Club of Stone Harbor has a rich history dating back to 1911 and this event is always popular with members, guests and tournament anglers alike each year. Various awards will be up for grabs including 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Boat, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Angler, Top Female Angler, Top Junior Angler (16 and under) as well as 1st and 2nd Heaviest Tuna and 1st and 2nd Heaviest Dolphin. 1st and 2nd Place Team Award will also be presented and teams will consist of up to four boats each that will be picked lottery-style at the Captain’s Meeting. The Warren Buckingham Memorial Trophy will be presented to the angler with the Most Outstanding Catch while the Walt Hendee Captain’s Award will be go to the 1st Place Boat captain.
As noted earlier the beautiful Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May will host the tournament and also serve as the event’s designated weigh station. Those needing dockage for the event should contact Paul Hoffman at 609-884-0199 to reserve a slip. The tournament gets underway on Thursday, July 25 with a Captain’s Meeting and Cocktail Party from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor located at 9001 Sunset Drive in Stone Harbor. Fishing days are Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27. Cocktails, music and dinner will be provided overlooking the infinity edge pool at Canyon Club Resort Marina after each fishing day. The Awards Banquet complete with cocktails, dinner and music is set for Sunday, July 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor.
All boats must sail and return through Cape May Inlet and may not pass the inlet’s sea buoy prior to 4 a.m. on each fishing day. Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and daily catch reports with released billfish information as well as any tuna or dolphin to be weighed must be at Canyon Club Resort Marina by 9 p.m. on each fishing day. There is no limit to size of tackle, number of lines, teasers or anglers. There is no minimum weight for tuna or dolphin and all billfish including white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish and spearfish will earn 100 points per release. All point ties will be broken on time of catch. The 53rd Annual Marlin Tournament is a billfish release competition with all entrants considered good sportsmen and their fishing (catch) reports will be accepted in the sportsmanlike manner and honor in which the tournament is held.
Whether you’re new to big game tournament fishing or a seasoned veteran, the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor 53rd Annual Marlin Tournament is a great opportunity to connect with new friends or renew old ones. With a modest entry fee of $2000 which includes admission to all events for tournament participants, this family-oriented event is a low-keyed fun tournament you’re sure to enjoy. Come join us for a few days of friendly fishing competition, camaraderie, hospitality and fun!
For more information contact Jamie Diller at 609-827-0020 or Aaron Hoffman at 609-412-3778.
OLATHE, Kan./July 16, 2019/Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., today announced that its latest satellite weather & audio receiver, the GXM 54, will support SiriusXM Fish Mapping, the most comprehensive SiriusXM Marine service package designed to help saltwater anglers locate fish faster, saving time and fuel.
In addition to essential weather information provided by SiriusXM, like radar, lightning, marine zone forecasts, wind and wave information, the new Fish Mapping service provides regularly updated, science-based data directly to a compatible Garmin multi-function display1, well beyond cellular range. Offering premium marine features like recommended areas to find specific game fish, weed lines, sea surface temperatures and front strength, sub surface sea temperatures, plankton concentration data, and more, the new Fish MappingTM service is ideal for all salt-water anglers who travel offshore – whether they spend a significant amount of time fishing in tournaments, taking clients on charter trips, or just fishing for fun.
Viking pioneered the development of the enclosed bridge convertible, and the 68 EB is another version that appeals to both tournament fishermen and long-range cruising yachtsmen. The recently delivered Viking 68 Lisa G is shown here, charging through the inlet in Atlantic City with her bold and beautiful profile on full display.
A secondary salon stands out as one of the many design attributes of our enclosed bridge models, providing a comfortable gathering area with spectacular water views. The climate-controlled space is appointed with an L-shaped lounge (elevated to enhance visibility), walnut cocktail table and entertainment center featuring an HD TV. Cabinetry and furniture feature walnut hardwoods and veneers with a satin finish.
The center helm station houses all necessary switches, lighted instruments, engine and steering controls and a touch-screen systems monitor. A trio of Garmin displays anchors the custom Atlantic Marine Electronics installation. Stidd helm and companion chairs boast custom black upholstery with an orange stitching that jibes with the yacht’s color scheme.
The salon staircase exemplifies Viking‘s ability to balance artistic interior form with space-saving function. Built with polished stainless steel and walnut in a floating spiral design, the finely crafted structure maintains the salon’s open, free-flowing layout.
The enclosed bridge option is offered with our sportfishing boats from 62 to 92 feet and our 75, 82 and 93 motor yachts. For more information about these models or any of our yachts from 38 to 93 feet please contact your authorized Viking dealer.
SmartSeal® Prevents Shaft Seal Damage or Failure from Over-Temperature Conditions
Lake City, South Carolina, July 9, 2019 –
Gemeco is pleased to introduce a unique and innovative solution for early detection and prevention of shaft seal failures on recreational, commercial, and municipal vessels. New from Tides Marine, their SmartSeal® Temperature Sensors monitor the temperature of a boat’s shaft seals and triggers a series of alarms when the water temperature exceeds the normal operating temperature range. “SmartSeal is an inexpensive and easy solution that works with any brand of shaft seal and operates as a standalone system or communicates over an NMEA2000® network, or both,” stated Peter Braffitt, General Manager of Gemeco Marine Accessories. “The sensor’s ability to communicate early warnings of potentially costly or life-threatening failures provide peace of mind to both family and crew,” Braffitt added.
SmartSeal solid-state temperature sensors detect an increase in water temperature within the shaft seal and will cause a warning alarm to sound, providing the crew with advanced notice of a problem. Further temperature increases trigger a critical alert indicating that a seal failure will occur if not corrected. Designed for quick connection to Tides Marine’s SureSeal® products, this system also works with other manufacturers’ dripless shaft seals by simply changing the existing NPT water injection fittings.
The control unit has a built-in engine room air temperature sensor and includes an output for an optional remote siren or for connection to an onboard warning/alarm system. Available for single or dual-engine installations, the SmartSeal kit includes a bulkhead mount control unit and sensor cable(s). Remote units designed for mounting at helm or flybridge positions as well as various NMEA components are also available. SmartSeal main and remote units are IP66+ rated (waterproof for heavy spray and brief submersion) allowing units to be mounted in damp or wet locations. The panel mounted remote units are additionally O-ring sealed allowing use in locations that are exposed to rain or sea water (e.g. mounting on a flybridge). Installation guidelines and diagrams for NMEA and non-NMEA systems are available at www.gemeco.com/tidesmarine.
About Gemeco Marine Accessories
Gemeco Marine Accessories (GEMECO) is a wholesale distributor to thousands of marine electronics dealers throughout the USA and abroad. In addition to being the largest worldwide distributor of AIRMAR transducers, GEMECO offers products from over 150 manufacturers including NMEA 2000® networking components, radar mounts, antenna and GPS mounts, electrical and wiring accessories, hard-to-find and specialty marine connectors, as well as a broad range of installation and diagnostic tools. Located in Lake City, South Carolina, GEMECO has become a clearinghouse of marine products, technology and service. The company’s extensive inventory reflected in an expansive 700+ page catalog is available via same-day shipping, ensuring that GEMECO customers always have access to the products they need, and that orders arrive on time. www.gemeco.com