I just returned from a great trip to the island of Bimini in the Bahamas, where I met a group of writers from other magazines and websites on a press junket set up by the folks at Pure Fishing. We were there specifically at the invitation of Penn Reels to test some brand-new reels and their new monofilament fishing line, all to be released in the near future.
A bill has been filed to increase protection for beleaguered billfish stocks (marlin, sailfish and spearfish) in the Pacific ocean. Decades of commercial overfishing, primarily by foreign countries, has caused the stocks of these great animals to become greatly depleted in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is currently illegal to harvest or import billfish caught in the Atlantic into the U.S., but Pacific-caught billfish can still be landed commercially, and are, in substantial numbers.
Each summer, I take a vacation out west to do some trout fishing. This is, of course, an extreme departure from the saltwater fishing we cover in SWS, and it’s a great break from the routine.
There’s a lot of cynicism these days about politics and politicians, much of it justified, and I won’t try to tackle that thorny issue in this blog. Instead, I want to tell you about a positive experience I had recently in Washington, D.C.I got invited to attend the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation fundraising dinner in Washington a few weeks back, and was pleased to meet a group of senators and congressmen who share a love of the outdoors and are working had to preserve our American heritage of hunting, fishing, trapping and shooting.
Fishing the Bahamas flats out of the North Riding Point Club
Few things in life make a lasting impression on us like the first truly memorable fish we caught. That can be the very first fish ever, or the first of a highly sought-after species. For instance, I remember all of the minute details of catching my first tarpon like it was yesterday, and I caught it over 40 years ago. I can’t tell you what I had for dinner night before last, but I remember that tarpon vividly.
SWS publisher Dave Morel lands his first swordfish
The old saying goes, “If you’re gonna be dumb, you’ve gotta be tough.” Even though I know most of these old sayings have some basis in truth, I tend to either forget or ignore them from time to time, and do things I should know better than doing. I put the above theory to the test this past weekend.
At this years Ft Lauderdale boat show, there's a lot of stuff to gawk at; everything from exciting new boats, to tackle, clothing and accessories. But when I walked into the Ft Lauderdale Convention Center, I saw something I've not seen before; a 34 Yellowfin rigged with multiple automatic weapons, destined for the Texas Highway Patrol. This boat will reportedly be used to patrol the waters along the Texas/Mexico border, a notoriously deadly area. This is one serious machine and will give US law enforcement a leg up on the bad guys.
In previous blogs, the SWS staff gave you a taste of what went on last week at this year’s Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. Everything from great new tackle and electronics, to a boat rigged with multiple machine guns. The show seemed more compact than in previous years, but those that were there displaying their products reported good traffic and relatively healthy sales, a very good sign. The Lauderdale show kicks off the boat show season each year and is often viewed as a bellwether of future shows and the state of the industry in general.