Builder Ritchie Howell provides a guided walk through of the “Galatea”— a 60′ vessel he built seven years ago. Listed with Michael Rafferty of IYC, the Galatea is a beautiful boat whose story is told by the man who built her.
Builder Ritchie Howell provides a guided walk through of the “Galatea”— a 60′ vessel he built seven years ago. Listed with Michael Rafferty of IYC, the Galatea is a beautiful boat whose story is told by the man who built her.
Panama’s Tropic Star Lodge has been a staple of the sportfishing landscape since 1963. The present is a very interesting time at Tropic Star.
This all access pass provides a look at one of the most unique and historic fishing operations in the world:
Read Tradition and Trajectory at Tropic Star in our latest issue of InTheBite
Meet your next fishing machine! The 2010 Donnie Caison 49’ Custom Carolina Express, “SPARHAWK”, is a true cold-molded Custom Carolina built sportfish. She is a proven fish raiser and tournament champion with a ride and fuel efficiency that are unparalleled for a vessel of her size. “SPARHAWK” is the recipient of meticulous maintenance, continuous custom upgrades, and an electrical refit in 2018 in excess of $300,000. If you are in the market for a beautiful, head turning, hard core custom express boat, your search should start and end with “SPARHAWK”.
Below please find a summary of highlights onboard The “SPARKHAWK”:
Owner Bill Wallace shows us the latest model of the Willy Vac— a system that vacuums up standing water in the trouble areas that every boat has.
Garmin® adds high-resolution relief shading to its premium BlueChart® g3 Vision and LakeVü g3 Ultra cartography
New charts and maps offer unrivaled detail and enhancements
OLATHE, Kan./Feb. 13, 2019/Business Wire – Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN), today announced that it has added high-resolution relief shading to its exclusive BlueChart g3 Vision and LakeVü g3 Ultra cartography products for coastal and inland fishing and boating. High-resolution relief shading brings an entirely new level of detail to the ocean floor and lake bottom, making it easier than ever to find structure, artificial reefs, underwater shelves and more – the kind of detail anglers and divers depend on.
With industry-leading coverage, clarity and detail, Garmin’s new g3 cartography blends the best of both Garmin and Navionics content together, and offers enhancements like built-in Auto Guidance1 technology that searches through relevant charts to create a suggested route based upon the user’s desired depth and overheard clearance. For mariners who want the most feature-rich data available, the premium BlueChart g3 Vision and LakeVü g3 Ultra accessory cards and downloads include everything available with g3, and now for the first time, add high-resolution relief shading that combines color and shadow to give mariners an easy-to-interpret, clearer view of bottom structure than contour lines alone. Garmin’s high-resolution relief shading is available with coverage for U.S. coastal waters – east coast, west coast and Gulf of Mexico – along with more than 150 Garmin-surveyed lakes.
“The recent upgrades we’ve made to our g3 cartography products – more detail, dimension and routing sophistication – is a true testament to our long-standing commitment to continually improving our cartography to give our customers the highest quality and most detailed, accurate charts and maps on the water today,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin worldwide vice president of consumer sales. “We’re excited to offer high-resolution relief shading to our premium BlueChart g3 Vision charts and LakeVü g3 Ultra maps and look forward to continuing to bring even more detail to our customers.”
The new Garmin g3 cartography products brings unrivaled detail and convenience to users with navigational aids, spot soundings, depth contours, tides and currents, and detailed harbors and marinas. The data offers seamless chart presentation with up to 1-foot fishing contours that provide a more accurate depiction of bottom structure for improved fishing charts and enhanced detail in canals, marinas and port plans. Raster cartography that gives the chartplotter paper-chart like views of NOAA nautical charts, has also been added to the new g3 cartography product line and is available as a free downloadable feature via the Garmin ActiveCaptain® app.
In addition to high-resolution relief shading, BlueChart g3 Vision also includes high-resolution satellite imagery that provides the user with a realistic view of their surroundings. Unique 3-D views, including MarinerEye and FishEye, provide additional perspective both above and below the water line, and aerial photography shows exceptional detail of many ports, harbors and marinas, which is especially useful when entering unfamiliar ports. For inland customers, LakeVü g3 Ultra includes maps of more than 17,000 lakes with up to 1-foot contours. Of those, over 150 are Garmin Elite surveyed lakes with high-resolution satellite imagery, multi-beam sonar views shore-to-shore, side scan photos and photos of notable spots above the water too.
The new BlueChart g3 Vision and LakeVü g3 Ultra accessory cards and downloads vary in price from $249.99 to $349.99 and will be available with high-resolution relief shading in Q2 2019. At this time, high-resolution relief shading and raster charts are only available for the U.S. Availability for other regions is expected in Q4 2019. To learn more, visit garmin.com/maps.
Garmin is the world’s leading marine electronics manufacturer2 and was recently named Manufacturer of the Year for the fourth consecutive year by the NMEA, an honor given to the most recognized marine electronics company for support of products in the field. Garmin’s portfolio includes some of the industry’s most sophisticated chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar technology, high-definition radar, autopilots, high-resolution mapping, sailing instrumentation, audio, entertainment and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability, and ease-of-use. Other Garmin marine brands include FUSION Entertainment, Navionics, a premier supplier of electronic charts, and EmpirBus.
For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary markets, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at garmin.com/newsroom, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at facebook.com/garmin, twitter.com/garmin, instagram.com/garmin or youtube.com/garmin.
Lightspeed, 47-foot Cabo
Homeport: Honokohau Harbor, Kona
1,250 points include: Kona Throw Down, 1st Place; Firecracker Open, Heaviest Marlin, 667.5-pounds; Hawaiian Tournament Series, 1st Place.
Congratulations to Captain Rob Ellyn for winning the 2018 Hawaiian Division Captain of the Year award. Ellyn, running the 47-foot Cabo Lightspeed out of Honokohau Harbor in Kona, is no stranger to the Captain of the Year (COTY) award or the winner’s circle. In the five-year history of the COTY in Hawaii, the captain has won the award twice, winning it in 2014 and 2108. The two-time COTY champion fished against a field of renowned Hawaiian captains. Winning the accolade twice, when fishing against notable captains such as Kerwin Masunaga, Marlin Parker, McGrew Rice, Stymie Epstein, Kevin Nakamaru, Carlton Taniyama, Gene Vanderhoek, Shane O’Brien, Teddy Hoogs and Jeff Kahl just to name a few, is quite an accomplishment.
In 2018, InTheBite sanctioned 11 major tournaments in the calm, marlin-rich waters of Kona, Hawaii. Using the COTY scoring system, Ellyn won the honor by earning 1,250 total points. He racked up 500-points with the heaviest blue marlin, a 667.5-pounder, in the two-day Firecracker Open. He then won 500 first-place points by winning the Kona Throw Down, a three-day event that coincides with the World and Kona Cups, when his angler Rick Shedore tagged and released eight blue marlin.
The day the tournament season ended, Ellyn had 1,000 COTY points and was tied with two other excellent Kona captains. Veteran Capt. Carlton Taniyama, on the Five Star, who won first-place in the Rock and Reel and the Lure Maker Challenge. Shane O’Brien on the Strong Persuader, a young captain who has been on fire in both Kona and Cabo the past couple of years. O’Brien won first-place points in Hawaii by winning the Skins Marlin Derby and the Big Island Marlin Tournament.
When the points were tallied for Jody Bright’s Hawaiian Tournament Series, a total of seven major tournaments, Ellyn won the Series top boat award, and Lightspeed angler Rick Shedore won the Series top angler. The 250-points for winning a tournament series put Ellyn over the top to win the COTY with 1,250 points. It is worth noting that Rick Shedore was the defending 2017 Series Champion angler as well.
Congratulations to both Capt. Carlton Taniyama, on the Five Star and Shane O’Brien on the Strong Persuader. I would consider them in a second-place tie. Capt. Teddy Hoogs on the Bwana takes the third-place position with 900-points.
The Lightspeed is armed with two great anglers, owner/angler Rob McCarthy and Rick Shedore. McCarthy and Shedore have only been fishing in Kona together for the past two years, but they have great chemistry. Ellyn has known Shedore for a long time. The two were good friends when Ellyn used to fish in Mexico. Ellyn says, “Communication is the key,” for the good juju onboard the Lightspeed. Congratulations also goes to the 2018 Lightspeed crew members, Travis Ota, Scott “Scooter” Fuller, and Chris Storrs.
I asked the humble, salty captain – who immediately went elk hunting in Idaho after the tournament season was over – about his thoughts on winning the COTY for the second time. He said, “I would like to thank Rick and Rob for the opportunity to fish the tournaments. Without them it wouldn’t be possible. Again, a big thanks to Rob McCarthy for giving us the opportunity to fish in such an awesome fishery. If you haven’t fished Kona, you should.”
Like I always say whenever anyone asks, “When is the best time to fish Kona?” The answer is simple – “Anytime you can.” Nice going Rob! – by Mark Johnston
The first of the 2019 Captain of the Year sanctioned tournaments in the Contender Florida Division kick off next week:
Good luck to all the captains and crews fishing these tournaments.
We’re rigged and ready to see who comes out on top!
The latest in trouble-free radio solutions for any vessel
WILSONVILLE, ORE. (November 27, 2018) – FLIR is excited to announce the launch of its next-generation. The compact Ray53, full-sized Ray63 and the multifunction Ray73 with AIS are all full-function VHF marine radios with Class D Digital Selective Calling (DSC).
Each new VHF model is equipped with a built-in GPS receiver and connection point for an optional GPS/GNSS antenna, which improves the GPS reception when the radio is mounted below deck or in an enclosed pilothouse. Designed to complement the modern style of Raymarine Axiom multifunction displays, these new VHF radios look great trunnion or surface mounted on any helm.
Additionally, Ray63 and Ray73 can connect to Raymarine’s new wireless VHF hub and can support up to two wireless handset stations for wireless communication anywhere onboard.
Ray53 Compact VHF Radio with GPS
Raymarine’s Ray53 radio is small in size but big on features and performance. Ray53 is a full-function VHF marine radio with Class D Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and a built-in GPS receiver. Simply program your boat’s MMSI number into the Ray53 and immediately benefit from the enhanced calling and safety features of DSC. The Ray53 supports both NMEA2000 and legacy NMEA0183 networking, which enables it to connect with other onboard electronics. Ray53 also supports the connection of an optional remote speaker to provide audio at a second location.
MSRP: $499.99 (US)
Ray63 Multi-Station VHF Radio with GPS
Raymarine’s Ray63 is a full-function VHF marine radio with Class D Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and a built-in GPS receiver. Built on a full-sized radio chassis, the Ray63 features oversized controls and a larger LCD for easy operation offshore. The Ray63 also supports multi-station expansion and intercom capability via a single wired RayMiccontroller or two wireless RayMic controllers.
The wired RayMic 2nd station kit allows full operation of the Ray63 from another location onboard. Ray63 also works with Raymarine’s new wireless RayMic wireless hub and handset system, which adds control at up to two additional locations onboard the boat with wireless convenience.
MSRP: $599.99 (US)
Ray73 Multifunction VHF Radio with GPS, AIS and Loudhailer Output
Raymarine’s new Ray73 multifunction VHF is communications central for your boat. In addition to the features of the Ray63, Ray73 adds a built-in Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver and a powerful loudhailer output. Ray73’s AIS provides collision avoidance and identification details for nearby AIS-equipped vessels to a networked multifunction display, chartplotter, radar and instruments. When combined with an optional hailing horn, the Ray73’s loudhailer output allows communication with crewmembers on deck, those on other vessels, or people on the dock. In addition to Ray73’s powerful public-address capability, it can also generate manual or automatic fog signals when moored or underway.
MSRP: $899.99 (US)
The new Raymarine VHF line is available now through FLIR’s network of Raymarine dealers. and retailers.
Captain Brett Alty’s 50’ custom charter boat Mistress is at it again. Upon arrival back at Fraser Island at the end of September Mistress tagged 32 marlin within just 7 days and 3hrs of fishing! As Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees catcher was as famous for his baseball skills as for mixing metaphors, once said “ This is déjà vu all over again.”
As was reported earlier in In The Bite E-News Mistress enjoyed outstanding success at Fraser last year as well, tagging 104 in just 42 days during the period late August to late Nov. Mistress fished through early December before returning to the Gold Coast for some much needed maintenance. All told from August through December 2017, the Mistress tagged 128 marlin in 48 days of fishing. An astounding average of 2.7 fish per boat day!
We were on our lonesome for the entire period from August to October, but in November we were joined by three motherships and 10 gameboats all sharing the most commonly used anchorage at Rooneys Point. Among them the Gold Coast boats Caboom, Special K, and French Look 111, plus the charter boat Kekoa. Word of the outstanding fishing had spread quickly.
In late February, Mistress returned to Fraser and fished another 44 days. During this period currents weren’t ideal and weather patterns dictated that most fishing was done around the New Moon. We generally don’t find the best Moon Phase optimal; rather the week before and after the Full seems preferable.
Nevertheless Mistress managed another 71 tags to bring the total for the year ended 30 June to 199. As we were hoping for a nice round and memorable number –like 200—the 199 was a bit disappointing. How close were we to the magic 200? On the last day of the fishing year we developed the dreaded “Rubber Hook “ syndrome, going one for five for the day. Damn. The 199 marlin tagged were comprised of 150 blue marlin, 30 little blacks and 19 assorted heavy tackle blacks and stripes. That’s world class fishing by any measure. During this period we were frequently accompanied by Dave McMaster a light tackle specialist on Poledancer and we had some memorable social nights.
Then, just to cap it all off, Mistress won the Hervey Bay Gamefish Club tournament fishing against a fleet of 40 odd boats. This time fishing heavy tackle with 9 blues in the 2 ½ days of fishing. We also won this tournament in 2015 catching 15 little blacks on light tackle, and were second on a countback in 2016 to the well performed Sunshine Coast Privateer Kamikaze.
Frazer Island Background
There are some interesting aspects to the fishery at Fraser. The blues and stripes strike very aggressively. With the stripes there was none of the usual Tap—Tap— Tap. The majority just climbed on like a Blue. All the fish were in excellent condition. They were all fat. Much more so than the ones we see on the Gold Coast only a couple of hundred miles south.
There were also yellowfin tuna present ranging from a few kilos to up to 75kg out on the shelf. On one occasion there were so many yellowfin around that they were beating the Blues to the lures. Captain Brett could see blues coming up in the lure pattern, but they were being consistently beaten to the lures by frenzied yellowfin.
A new Giant Black Marlin Fishery on the Horizon?
In June/July we also tagged, and quite predictably lost quite a few, tiny little Blacks. Some vainly trying, but failing to hook themselves on lures were as small as 2kg (5 pounds)! We reported this to Dr. Julian Pepperell (Australia’s preeminent billfish scientists—and one of the world’s foremost experts) who was intrigued because he thought that fish of this size would be probably only two to three months old. If this is the case it means that they were most likely spawned about February or March. This has quite serious ramifications as it means that there is a black marlin spawning period outside the traditional September to November Cairns breeding period. Julian requested that we keep a couple of the Heads off these tiny Blacks so that he can inspect the oeliths and more precisely determine their age.
If Julian’s initial prognosis is correct it may well lead to another Giant black marlin season, most likely somewhere near Fraser Island. No doubt when we get confirmation of Julian`s estimate we and other long range liveaboard boats will be out in the wild blue yonder doing some exploratory fishing trying to find this new breeding ground.
The 2018 Season
Mistress started its latest session at Fraser with a three day, three hour fishing trip that initially targeted little blacks. After tagging eight, in the morning of the 3rd day the crew decided to go heavy tackle seeking a Slam. Well the Lady angler, one of the three on board, caught her first blue and then was unlucky to pull the hooks out of a stripe.
On his second trip, Captain Brett decided to fish Heavy Tackle for four days. The Mistress wound up with an absolutely outstanding 23 tags deployed from 32 strikes. All blues! That’s 5.75 blues per day. Fingers crossed this keeps up!!
On the fourth day Captain Brett actually moved away from his spot and called a couple of his friends in. His sole charterer was worn out from fighting so many fish and his two deckies were worn out from constant work rerigging/ resetting lures and leadering fish. How’s that for a problem?
Now Mistress has done a total of 11 days and 3 hrs at Fraser since the end of September and has tagged 42 marlin comprising 33 blues, eight blacks, and one striped. That’s an astonishing average of 3.72 per day of fishing.
At the moment there are around six boats fishing at Fraser, among them Brad Dobinson’s Special K and Captain Simon Carossi driving Assegai. Simon also has his Mothership there.
I imagine that once again there will be a fleet descend on Fraser in November. Some of the Cairns charter boats have announced their intention to come down. There will also be boats from both north and south making an extended visit around their Hervey Bay Gamefish Club Tournament attendance (Tourny 16th to 19th Nov).
There are plenty of fish for everyone and I expect that as we fish the area more we will all learn more and enjoy an even greater level of success. As if it’s not outstanding already.
For more on the Mistress operation, or to book a trip, check out their website: http://www.fishingmistress.com/
by Jan Fogt
We ran a story on “Tipping While Traveling” and interviewed four well traveled captains to provide their insight on tipping. In response to the article we had several dock attendants and dockmasters comment on the subject and think its fitting to follow up with some of their responses on the subject.
Barbara Roderick, American Yacht Harbor Marina, St Thomas USVI
Dockmaster Barbara Roderick has done it all at the famed American Yacht Harbor marina on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, from working the fuel docks to running the store. One of the busiest marinas in the Caribbean, she was happy to express her own ideas on tips and tipping.
Tom Farlow, Pirate’s Cove Marina Manteo, NC
Tom Farlow oversees one of the most professional marinas in North America – if not the world. The 195-slip Pirate’s Cove Marina is one of the few marinas with an on site, 24-hour a day dockmaster. In addition, guests are offered personal business cards with cell numbers from anyone and everyone who takes care of them, from the guy who delivers ice to the attendant helping them fuel. The marina also offers a concierge service for off site needs and has an offsite marine repair facility to take care of pretty much anything that can befall a boat. “Our goal is to try and provide anything and everything our guests might need,” says Farlow.
Yvonne Shults, Orange Beach Marina, AL
With 165 slips for boats to 100 or more feet, the Orange Beach (AL) Marina is one of the largest on the Gulf Coast. Store manager Yvonne Shults however has a way of making boaters and fishermen feel welcome, like they are special guests, which might explain why she too often receives tips.
Q: Under what circumstances is a tip expected from a captain and or owner? What sorts of tips are customary?
Roderick: Sometimes I feel like we’re the red-headed stepchild here at Red Hook. I don’t know what it is but for whatever reason, some guys think tipping is not necessary when they come here. Where do I think it is appropriate? The fuel dock for sure because those guys are always having to do a lot of running back and forth, delivering carts so the guys can unload their gear, or passing them water and fuel hoses. In the office, the girls that work really hard for our guests, arranging for rental cars, helping them get reservations, checking on flights and a hundred other tasks and hardly ever get a thank you much less a tip, which would be very nice to see because they always provide good service with a friendly smile. I’m not saying it has to be a big tip, just something to say we appreciate what you do for us. As for amounts, for the guys at the fuel dock I’d say something like $5 to $20 is a nice tip for helping with the lines and getting people on and off the boat, or delivering a cart and helping them fuel. It kind of depends how much they do. And for the guys who deliver heavy batteries and help during oil changes, I don’t think $20 is too much because those are services that are not part of their job description, yet are things they cheerfully do for our guests.
Farlow: I would estimate the average tip for helping a boat tie up and refuel and to guide them through the paperwork we require – for the first time – is about $20. Every time an attendant assists a guest it is not usual for them to receive a $5 to $10 tip. For the week, our attendants might receive about $100 in tips. During tournaments, however, the tips would be more because the level of service increases. For instance, it is not unusual for our guys to be delivering ice, newspapers, coffee and biscuit sandwiches at 4 a.m. And when the boats get in, they are there to wash the boats and tackle and help refuel and do whatever it takes to make sure that boat is on the water fishing the next day. So normally the tips are bigger, usually in the range of a $100 a day per boat during tournaments.
Shults: I like to think our guests always tip the dock attendants and employees whenever they go the extra mile like running bags of ice across the marina or staying late to weigh a fish or to fuel a boat. Those are things we’re always doing. Even so, tips are not what I would call expected. It’s always up to the discretion of the customer to do what they think is appropriate. As to various amounts, I’d say a $1 is a nice gesture if the guys deliver ice.
Q: Do these circumstances vary between a very large boat of say 70-90 feet and a smaller vessel of 40-55 feet? Would it be different for someone who had permanent dockage versus a transient?
Roderick: Not really, although I have to say, we sometimes do get transients in who have no idea how to dock a boat, so the guys end up with hooks and lines maneuvering the boat into the slip because the guy doesn’t know how to. And while permanent guys usually don’t tip on a day-to-day basis, most of them do try to offer something around Christmas time like a bottle of wine for me, money for the girls in the office or money for the dock guys.
Farlow: The circumstances don’t vary at our marina between overnight boats and permanent boats, however most of the charter boats at our docks do not routinely tip for services by our staff. I think they probably should, but they don’t as a rule.
Shults: Size doesn’t really matter. However transients do seem to tip more easily than our permanent guys, I guess because tipping is part of travel. My experience as store manager is that I don’t really get many tips. However, sometimes at the end of the year or maybe once or twice a year permanent guests will give a very generous tip for some special service. For instance, just the other day I stayed late to weigh a 180-pound tuna for one of our fishermen and he gave me a $50 tip for staying an extra hour. It was a surprise and much appreciated. Our regulars don’t tip all the time but every now and then they’ll do something totally unexpected like that.
Q: If a captain or owner fails to offer a tip for extraordinary service, is that something that might come back to haunt them?
Roderick: Not really. Our guys work really hard and take a lot of pride in offering the people in our marina good service.
Farlow: Our employees are well trained. They understand that tips are something that’s a bonus, which is discretionary. They understand service is what is important. And, that if anyone were to see them acting like they are owed a tip for some service they performed for a customer, they would be disciplined.
Shults: Not to the extent anyone would ever say anything to a customer. But I suspect people being human; they might be a little less joyful about providing services you normally would receive a tip for.
Q: What would you think if someone gave you a T-shirt and hat?
Roderick: T-shirts and hats are a real good one. Some of our guys even collect them.
Farlow: T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and sometimes fish are always well received by our staff.
Shults: The guys absolutely love it when an owner or captain gives them a logo shirt, hat or jacket.
Q: Does your staff appreciate fresh fish as a gratuity?
Roderick: We do get a lot of fish and appreciate it. But a lot of us don’t have freezers and it spoils.
Farlow: Yes and no. Fish are plentiful here. Most of our dock attendants fish on their own boats, and consequently, catch fish to eat.
Shults: Fresh fish is nice.
Q: What is the best advice you can give someone about making a good impression with your staff at your marina in terms of behavior, treatment, etc.?
Roderick: We try our darnedest to treat our boaters and fishermen like good friends and valued customers. So whenever I see my guys going the extra mile, hauling heavy marine batteries, helping captains with maintenance issues or rolling 5-gallon drums of used oil down the dock, I just think they should be compensated with a nice tip without me having to mention it because the captain didn’t think of it first.
Farlow: We hand out business cards and welcome packets to everyone who ties up at our marina. In those packets we try to instill one idea—don’t be shy about asking the dock crew questions or telling them what you need. Basically we are here to serve and to make our customers feel like welcome guests.
Shults: More than anything, being courteous is important. Of course tipping is gratefully appreciated if the customer feels they have received exceptional service. At the same time, when the service is bad, as a manager that’s something I appreciate knowing so we can improve.
So, what have we learned from these interviews? That no matter what the culture is, tipping is always appreciated and it is of course, always a discretionary act. So if you do not think a tip is necessary for certain services, don’t tip. But if you feel like people have taken good care of you, it’s okay to be generous. It might just come back to haunt you – in a very good way.