Conrad Hawkins of Jacksonville, Florida, caught an Atlantic blue marlin that weighed 1,046 pounds while fishing aboard the Lucky 2 during the Bay Point International Billfish Tournament in Panama City, Florida. The catch established new records in the Gulf, the state and the tournament.
Meanwhile, Dino Chouest of Galliano, Louisiana, was fishing aboard his family's boat Time Out when he tagged and released a blue marlin that, by all accounts, broke the 1,000-pound mark.
Bluefin Tuna Cross Oceans and Boundaries at Will
Regulations established by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) limited Western Atlantic tuna fishermen to a catch of 5.5 million pounds of bluefin in 2001. Meanwhile, their fishing counterparts in the eastern Atlantic could take 65 million pounds from the Atlantic Ocean east of the 45th meridian and the Mediterranean Sea. The problem? According to a study that appeared last summer, the fish routinely cross the arbitrary border of the 45th meridian- a line that was set before scientists realized how far these fish migrate. Data from surgically implanted and pop-up tags show that up to 30 percent of the fish pass from one side of the line to the other-sometimes more than once. Data also indicate that there are two spawning locations-the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean-but the study implies that the resulting populations mix freely. For the bluefin population to recover on one side of the Atlantic Ocean, it is thought that the stricter quota must be enforced throughout the range of the species. For more information, check out www.tunaresearch.org.
SWS Seminar Series Gives Away Super Grand Prize Mako
Jim Plath of Holmes Beach, Florida, had plenty of fisherman's luck with him the day the drawing was held for the Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series Super Grand Prize: a 17-foot Mako center console. Craig Rich, marketing director of Mako Marine, and SWS's George Poveromo drew Plath's name from a cooler containing the names of several thousand anglers who had attended the 2001 tour. Plath fishes his home waters for snook, redfish, trout and tarpon, and he attended the seminar in Sarasota, Florida, on January 27. The Seminar Series Edition Mako 171 was outfitted by the Series' sponsors, right down to the FLOAT-ON trailer. "I was shocked and amazed!" said Plath. "I've never won anything of any value before. This was a very pleasant surprise." The National Seminar Series will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2002 and promises to provide valuable fishing information, as well as prizes, including chances to win fishing trips to the Bahamas and another Super Grand Prize Mako 171, powered by a 90-horsepower four-stroke Honda outboard and delivered on a FLOAT-ON trailer. For more information about seminar dates and locations or to order tickets, call (800) 448-7360 or visit www.nationalseminarseries.com.