Thinking Outside the (Live) Bait Box for Sailfish

February 4, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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1916104_202726822733_7371996_nBy Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost Staff Writer

scocking@guyharveyoutpost.com

Miami-based charter fishing captain extraordinaire Ray Rosher —  a Guy Harvey Outpost Outfitter–didn’t reach the top of the industry by following the leads of others.  Rosher– whose teams have won top honors in just about every billfish tournament circuit from South Florida to the Bahamas, to the Caribbean and beyond–is an innovator who’s not afraid to try something unorthodox to reign atop the fleet.

“Don’t be afraid to try new techniques,” he advised.  “I’ve had more success doing things a little unconventional.”

With sailfish season hitting its stride along the Florida east coast and Keys, captains and anglers might want to consider changing things up from their usual practices.

For example, Rosher says, many fishermen believe that the only consistent method of catching and releasing sailfish between Miami and Jupiter is to drift waters with a drastic color change– usually 80 to 200 feet deep– using live bait on kites– typically goggle eyes (big-eye scad); threadfin herring; or sardines.

But Rosher said winning tournaments in the Pacific waters of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico taught him a thing or two about the effectiveness of dead-baiting.

Trolling a dead bally hoo on a spinning outfit behind a Mylar dredge, Rosher has enjoyed days of multiple hook-ups amid a fleet of live-baiters off Miami.

“That stuff about ‘they won’t eat dead bait when there’s live bait around’ is baloney,” he said.  “Don’t get pigeonholed thinking you have to catch sailfish in Miami on a live bait.”

Referring to his dredge/dead bait set-up, Rosher said, “I don’t care what [sailfish] think it is when they’re five feet away.  It’s too late; he’s got a bait swimming by him and he eats it.”

The captain points out that live baiting for sailfish generally works well between Jupiter and Miami because of steeper, narrower bottom contours that funnel the fish through predictable corridors as they feed into the northbound Gulf Stream current.  In the Stuart-Fort Pierce area, he said, trolling dead baits is preferable because the gradually-sloping bottom necessitates covering lots of ground to locate fish.

In the Keys where waters tend to be clearer and calmer and currents less consistent, fishermen look for showers of bally hoo being harassed by sailfish near shallow reefs such as Conch Reef and American Shoal.

“Fish that might be out in 100 feet of water come into the reef to feed,” Rosher said.

The 2015-16 sailfish season has been a roller coaster ride so far, ranging from days where it’s difficult to get a bite to double-digit releases.  The onset of cold fronts to the north usually propels pods of sailfish south.

And if this year is anything like past sailfish seasons, Rosher predicts a consistent push of fish into South Florida and the Keys well into May.

BOOK YOUR OWN SAILFISH CHARTERS with Guy Harvey Outpost Outfitter Capt. Ray Rosher by calling GHO Reservations at 800.513.5257, or email sales@guyharveyoutpost.com.

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Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/.  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling, camping, sailing and powerboat racing.  She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit. 

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  Share your photos, videos and experiences with Guy Harvey Outpost by hash tagging #OutpostAttitude to all of your social media posts.

Diving Thrills with Huge Fish at Guy Harvey Outpost in Mexico

September 25, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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makodredge1 (2)By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost Staff Writer

scocking@guyharveyoutpost.com

It looks just like a giant, wide-open front-end loader plowing the surface of the Caribbean Sea, except it’s ALIVE.  A 15-foot long whale shark — one of hundreds that gather annually from June through mid-September in the waters around Isla Mujeres, Mexico–is sucking up its dinner of plankton as a horde of enthralled snorkelers hovers nearby to watch.  The calm, placid giant– broad and brown with white dots– pays them no mind and cruises slowly along, feeding on the spawn of bonitos with its huge dorsal fin sticking up out of the water.  A few feet away, a six-foot- wide manta ray joins the buffet line, and the snorkelers’ heads swivel wildly back and forth.

The waters around this small island just off Mexico’s northern Yucatan peninsula are one of very few places in the world where just about anyone can get close-up and personal with the largest fish in the ocean in its natural environment.  And captain Anthony Mendillo of Keen M Blue Water Charters is your best choice for tour guide.

One of the region’s pioneering whale shark tour operators, Mendillo zealously protects these charismatic creatures and delights in introducing them to visitors.

“The whale shark dive is so cool because the whole family can enjoy it,” he said.  “Children can go.  You don’t have to be a professional diver or a professional naturalist to appreciate the magnitude of the experience.”

Indeed, the Mexican government prohibits scuba diving with the whale shark aggregation; only mask, snorkel and fins are allowed.  Visitors are not permitted to touch the animals or use flash photography.

Although the 2015 whale shark season has wound down, Isla Mujeres and Keen M offer other unique topwater and underwater opportunities:  snorkeling with sailfish and cage-diving with mako sharks.

From January through early March, Keen M boats escort their customers to the catch-and release of up to 50 sailfish per day on rod-and-reel  by homing in on seabirds diving on schools of sardines that form tight bait balls.  After everyone’s arms are worn out from reeling in sails and letting them go, it’s time to jump in and check out the spindlebeaks’ living room.

“I have people who catch a double and now they’re down there in their underwear ready to jump in,” Mendillo said.  “It’s a very happy medium when a guest can say, ‘I saw a sailfish eat a sardine; now I know how to hook them.'”

The occasional wahoo has been known to join the sails in crashing the bait balls, adding to the excitement.

For the extremely adventurous, Keen M offers cage-diving with mako sharks that cruise the region in March and April.  If you go, you just may spot a mako sporting hardware on its dorsal fin.  That’s because Guy Harvey and colleagues from Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center have implanted several with tags to track their movements.

Your headquarters for diving and fishing in Isla Mujeres is the Hotel Playa Media Luna, a Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition Lodge.  There are plenty of openings for 2016.

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Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/.  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling, camping, sailing and powerboat racing.  She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit.

Guy Harvey Outpost Offers New Luxury Expedition to Panama!

July 21, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Cherin III ImageHaving never before caught and released either a blue or black marlin, I really should be heading to Panama pretty soon.  But I can’t, so you should go in my place.

In August and September, the Pacific waters from the Archipelago de Las Perlas south to Pinas Bay in the Gulf of Panama will provide your best shot at battling multiple blues and blacks in a single day. You will be able to chase them pretty much wherever they roam in the region, then hook and fight them in comfort–except, of course, for your sore arms.

Your host is South African adventurer Hennie Marais, operator of Panama Yacht and Fishing Charters– an exclusive Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition.  And he offers a big-game fishing experience like no other.

Your party of up to 12 will eat and sleep in the air-conditioned comfort of a 98-foot luxury Knight & Carver yacht, then head out to the billfish grounds aboard a 66-foot Buddy Davis sportfisher or a 37-foot Strike –or both.

“You go out at 6:00 to 6:30 in the morning.  You fish for live bait.  When you get to the bait grounds, it’s just acres of bonitos and skipjacks,” Marais said.  “Often before you get all your live baits out, you have a black marlin.  And you’re not getting beat up by the sea conditions.  You fish till you’re out of live bait, then troll lures or dead baits for sailfish and blue marlin.  There’s a good opportunity for a grand slam.”

For the non-anglers in your party who want to explore remote island jungles or those who prefer to fish close to shore for roosterfish or Cubera snapper, there’s an 18-foot Mitzi skiff, kayaks, personal watercraft, stand-up paddleboards and a fully-equipped scuba diving center.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime expedition you have to do,” Marais said.  “It’s not just the fishing–it’s the whole destination.”

Ms B Haven IMG_8126

If you can’t make it to Panama for the black-and-blue bite, make plans to charter the mothership in another part of Panama later in the year.  Marais steers the fleet to wherever the fishing is most bountiful or wherever you desire to explore.

January and February in the Las Perlas and Pinas waters are prime for black marlin, tuna, dorado (mahi), wahoo and roosterfish. April through June usually find the mothership plying the Pacific waters around the remote Isla de Coiba, a World Heritage Site in the Gulf of Chiriqui where yellowfin tuna are abundant.  Other options throughout the year are the Bocas Del Toro and  Gulf of San Blas regions in Panama’s Caribbean Sea for family snorkeling and inshore and reef fishing.

“You can take four different trips to Panama and none will be the same,” Marais said.

Phenomenal fishing, lush unexplored jungles, and gourmet food and a stocked wine cellar on board your safari headquarters.  Pretty tempting.

You can book a weeklong or three-day customized package, with all trips beginning in Panama City– about two hours by air from Miami.

But when you board, be on the alert for a stowaway:  me.

Congratulations Bouncer!

February 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Bahamas, Billfish, Conservation, Fishing, Florida, Guy Harvey, Marlin, Sailfish, Tarpon, Tuna | Leave a comment
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Capt. Bouncer Smith inducted into IGFA Legendary Captains & Crew! 

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Infectious enthusiasm could easily be the catch phrase for fishing on Bouncer’s Dusky.  For a big and energetic guy Bouncer always manages to convey the best of humanity.  He is known for always treating people with kindness and dignity.  On top of that he is a fabulous fisherman.  His clients have caught a long list of World Record fish.  He is just as proud of all the families who fish with him and all the kids who can say they caught their “First ________ (fish in the blank)” fishing with Bouncer.

Congratulations Bouncer on an honor well deserved!  Check out Fishing with Bouncer on the web at: http://www.captbouncer.com/charter.htm

Save the Billfish, Stop Longlining

December 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Keep the Longlines Out of the Current Closed Zones!

The closed areas along Florida’s East Coast (FEC) and the DeSoto Canyons in the Gulf of Mexico were established to reduce the bycatch and discards of juvenile swordfish, billfish and other marine life. The benefits of these longline closed zones have been instrumental for the recreational fishing community with great numbers of billfish and swordfish caught in recent years. NMFS is proposing to allow access for longline vessels into these closed zones and must be stopped! If NMFS allows longline fishing in these areas, it could not only have large ecological impacts but tremendous socio-economic impacts on the sportfishing community.

The Longline Closure Established in 2000 Have Resulted in a Beneficial Reduction of Billfish Bycatch

  • Between 2001 and 2003, the years immediately after the longline closures were established, a 49.7% reduction in blue marlin bycatch, a 47.0% reduction in white marlin bycatch, and a 74.6% reduction in bycatch of sailfish resulted compared to the years preceding the longline closures.
  • Between 2005 and 2011, blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish bycatch reduced by 61.6%, 59.8%, and 66.9%, respectively compared to when longlining was permitted

Stop Longlining, Take Action NOW!

 

Support New Gear Restricted Areas (GRA) in the Gulf of Mexico

NMFS is proposing the use of Gear Restricted Areas (GRAs) in the Gulf of Mexico which would prohibit the use of longlines, but still allow the use of alternative gear like buoy gear or greenstick gear. The most favorable of the proposed alternatives, a 3-month Gulf of Mexico Closure (March-May), would reduce for bluefin harvested by 12% and a reduce the discards of bluefin tuna by 10%. Billfish will also benefit in the Gulf of Mexico with a 3-month GRA and is estimated to reduce bycatch of blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish by 8%, 4%, and 10% respectively. A 3-month Gulf of Mexico GRA would also result in an additional 12% reduction of under-sized swordfish discards.

TBF’s Suggestion for Gulf of Mexico GRAs

To further increase the conservation benefits associated with the Gear Restricted Areas (GRA) in the Gulf of Mexico, TBF suggests a 4-month Gulf of Mexico GRA (March-June). If implemented, a further reduction of reduce the bluefin tuna bycatch and discards as well as double the conservation benefits for blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish.

Stop Longlining, Take Action NOW!

 

Changing Seasons

October 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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How do Floridians know the seasons have changed?  No the palm trees do not turn crimson and orange.  I could give you the old line about “The license tags change colors.”  Another sign of change of seasons is a parade of boats chugging down the Intracoastal Waterway.  Lots of shiny new yachts are headed for the 54th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Sailfish comin at you

If you have lived south of Palm Beach for a long time, you notice the subtle drop in humidity on early October mornings.  The sky is a brighter blue.  The October moon brings higher tides.   If you get out early, you will see the falcons and hawks migrating south.  Fishermen have been watching for the bait to show up on the beaches.   The mullet run brings tarpon, snook, jacks, kingfish and spinner sharks within easy reach of anglers a hundred yards or less from shore.  

<Kingfish on the line

All of this means great near shore fishing.  The wahoo are starting to show at Old Bahama Bay and Green Turtle.   The big wahoo will be in residence before Thanksgiving.  The sailfish will start showing up in good numbers any day now.

I know Fall is here: just this week I saw three falcons and a line at the tackle shop.  – Capt. Ned Stone

Photos Courtesy of David Cartee.

Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Posted in Art, Guy Harvey, Guy Harvey Outpost Ltd., Marine Art, Sailfish | 2 Comments
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New GUY HARVEY® Florida Lottery Scratch-Off Game Debuts Today

April 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Posted in Art, Conservation, Guy Harvey, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Marine Art, St. Pete Beach, Tarpon | Leave a comment
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Proceeds benefit education and marine conservation in the State of Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL—APRIL 3, 2012— For fans of marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey there’s a new collector’s series of lottery tickets that will be available starting today—priced at just $2.

Dr. Harvey and the Florida Lottery today are officially launching the GUY HARVEY® Scratch-Off game, featuring a series of six colorful wildlife illustrations designed by the world renowned marine artist.

During a March 23rd press conference, Dr. Harvey announced that his licensing proceeds from the sale of the tickets will benefit the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, a marine conservation organization that funds educational programs aimed at informing children and young adults about their role in conserving Florida’s marine ecosystem.

Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell anticipates sales of the GUY HARVEY® Scratch-Off Game to generate about $3.5 million for Florida’s education system.

“This partnership with the Florida Lottery is unique and I am happy to launch a product that will help Florida’s schools as well as the state’s precious marine resources,” said Dr. Guy Harvey. “I am especially looking forward to fishing with the winner of the Grand Cayman trip. We will have a great time!”

Dr. Harvey was referring to a Second Chance Promotion that offers players the chance to win the fishing trip of a lifetime.

The $2 GUY HARVEY® Scratch-Off game offers cash prizes of up to $30,000 and overall odds to win of one-in-4.37. Additionally, non-winning GUY HARVEY® tickets may be entered in the Guy Harvey® Sportsman’s Paradise Second Chance Promotion on the Lottery’s website.

Four drawings will be held between April 25 and June 27 with 12 winners selected in each drawing.

Grand prize winners will receive a Sportsman’s Paradise fishing trip for two to one of several fantastic fishing destinations including St. Petersburg Beach, Hawks Cay, Rum Cay in the Bahamas, or Grand Cayman Island, where one lucky winner and a guest will get the opportunity of a lifetime – to go fishing with Guy Harvey himself!

Second prize winners in the drawing will receive an original Guy Harvey® framed watercolor painting and the third prize winners will receive a $200 gift certificate to GuyHarveySportswear.com.

Guy Harvey and Florida Lottery Announce New Guy Harvey Scratch-Off Game and Second Chance Promo

March 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Posted in Bahamas, Guy Harvey, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Marine Art, Marine Science, St. Pete Beach | Leave a comment
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Second chance promotion offers players the chance to win the fishing trip of a lifetime!

WEST PALM BEACH (March 22, 2012)—The Palm Beach International Boat Show got off to a lucky start Thursday with the announcement of a brand new Florida Lottery GUY HARVEY® Scratch-Off game.  Fishing and boating enthusiasts in Florida regularly wear Guy Harvey sportswear and starting on April 3, they can try their luck with this new game.

Capturing the colorful wildlife illustrations created by Dr. Guy Harvey, the $2 Scratch-Off game will feature six scenes of original Guy Harvey® Collector’s Series artwork.

“Today was a fun day to launch this new product that Floridians and visitors can really feel good about purchasing,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell. “Not only do we expect this ticket to generate about $3.5 million for Florida’s education system, Dr. Harvey is also donating his licensing fee to the Guy Harvey Ocean Fund, a non-profit organization that directly benefits Florida’s coastlines.”

The $2 GUY HARVEY® Scratch-Off game offers cash prizes of up to $30,000 and overall odds to win of one-in-4.37. Additionally, non-winning GUY HARVEY® tickets may be entered in the Guy Harvey® Sportsman’s Paradise Second Chance Promotion on the Lottery’s website.

Four drawings will be held between April 25 and June 27 with 12 winners selected in each drawing.

  • Grand prize winners will receive a Sportsman’s Paradise fishing trip for two to one of several fantastic fishing destinations including St. Petersburg BeachDuck Key, the Bahamas, or Grand Cayman Island, where one lucky winner and a guest will get the opportunity of a lifetime – to go fishing with Guy Harvey himself!
  • Second prize winners in the drawing will receive an original Guy Harvey® framed watercolor painting and the third prize winners will receive a $200 gift certificate to GuyHarveySportswear.com.

“This partnership with the Florida Lottery is unique and I am happy to be here in Florida to launch a product that will help Florida’s schools as well as the state’s precious natural resources,” said Dr. Guy Harvey. “I am especially looking forward to fishing with the winner of the Grand Cayman trip. We will have a great time!”

The Florida Lottery is working closely with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to promote the game to Florida’s licensed anglers and to help underscore the importance of conservation to Florida.

“Acknowledged as the ‘Fishing Capital of the World,’ Florida has vast natural resources we are duty-bound to protect,” said Chuck Collins, Regional Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  “Every effort to highlight the beauty of our waters, the abundance of species and our need to respect and conserve them for residents, visitors and our future generations is a worthwhile effort.”

Bimini February Fishing Report from Coastal Angler Magazine

February 7, 2012 at 12:58 am | Posted in Bimini Big Game Club, Guy Harvey Outpost Ltd. | Leave a comment
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Stephanie George shows off her first wahoo catch. Photo by Capt. Skipper Gentry.

The new year got off to a great start in Bimini. In January, we caught a little bit of everything, from a scale bending 101.4 pound wahoo to a bright, beautiful sailfish that was hooked up and later released by a couple of newlyweds. As is customary this time of year, we also landed some big bull dolphins and several nice yellowfin tuna. The one thing all this action had in common – we caught everything right out front between Bimini and Cat Cay.

February is a great month to be in Bimini, with a wide range of target species in good numbers. We should see a few blue marlin showing up in the current edges, somewhere in the range of 600 to 1200 feet of water. Successful anglers targeting blues will be pulling mainly artificial. The blue marlin bite was pretty strong last year and should be the same this year.

For anglers wanting to do some high speed trolling, the wahoo bite will be in full swing this month. Zig zagging between 120 to 450 feet of water from Bimini to Ocean Cay will be the most productive grounds for wahoo. If you’re just looking for table fare, ballyhoo on mono, as well as a few #9 wire rigs, will produce a few wahoo, as well as a few dolphin. And, as always, deep dropping for yelloweye and queen snapper is an awesome way to guarantee a great meal for the entire crew.

FORECAST BY : Capt. Skipper Gentry 

Bimini Big Game Club/ Guy Harvey Outpost Resort 

Phone: (305) 320-3011 or (242) 347-3391 

Email: skipper@carolinagnetleman.net 

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