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FLORIDA LOBSTER & SCALLOP SEASON GO GET EM

D4H DIVING FOR A CAUSE

FISHING FOR

GROUPER

FLORIDA

BOWFISHING with Capt. Ed

NAPLES, FLORIDA

FREE SUMMER 2014

WWW.BETTEROFFWET.COM


Made in U.S.A.

Introducing D.O.A.’s newest lure the AIRHEAD available in 35 colors. Specially formulated for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. AirHead comes in resealable 6 pack bags or in D.O.A. kits. The incredible action and variety of rigging options of this 5” lure have made it a “go to” bait for many anglers. Whether you are jigging a near shore wreck, wading a grass flat for Trout, Redfish and Snook, or swimming it through thick cover for Bass, you will love the latest creation from the mind of Mark Nichols. Check out the cool rigging instructions on our website under EVENTS

www.doalures.com 2   BETTER OFF WET   JUNE 2014


IT’S NOT SCOTCH. IT’S NOT BOURBON. IT’S JACK.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF  Ben Chewning ben@betteroffwet.com SALES & DISTRIBUTION Andrea Duenas andread@betteroffwet.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Joe Sweat jsweat@betteroffwet.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Jackson Design & Marketing Consultation jdcemail@comcast.net WEB MASTER Jesse Stevens jesse@betteroffwet.com CONTACT Better Off Wet P.O. Box 821 Okeechobee, FL 34973 863.634.7710

www.betteroffwet.com info@betteroffwet.com

F Better Off Wet, all rights reserved. No part of this magazine or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted without the express written consent of the Publisher.

4   BETTER OFF WET   JUNE 2014


CONTENTS FEATURED

20  BOWFISHING Q & A

BUGGIN’ OUT

6

DIVERS 4 HEROES

12

Find out about what gear you will need for Lobstering and the Florida Regulations.

Learn what inspired the founders of D4H to give back to those who gave so much.

Check out the Better Off Wet Crew, fishing for Grouper on Pure Naples’ beautiful 45’ boat, Kudu.

PURE NAPLES

IT’S IN THE BAG

Scallop season is right around the corner and we want you to meet the best captains to take you, from the Homosassa Guides Association.

6 22

RUNNING WITH KUDU

22

26

12 ARTICLES Learn what the experts at Sweetwater Kayaks have to offer you.

10

Learn about the history and the recent surge in popularity of freediving, from the Florida Freedivers.

14

Q & A with Capt. Ed, at Florida Bowfishing Charters.

20

Why it’s best to use a broker when buying or selling a vessel.

34

Working on the Water with Molly’s Marine.

35

BET TEROFFWET.COM   5


BUGGIN’ OUT

+ THE FLORIDA REGULATIONS Summertime is upon us here in South Florida. For many Floridians, they have been planning all year to ensure they are off work and ready to go venture their ocean bottom hidey-holes, reefs, shipwrecks and ledges to find this year’s catch, of lobsters that is. Whether they choose to be the first of thousands of people during the 2-day mini-lobster season or joining the rest, 6 days later when regular season opens, it will be mayhem... guaranteed. It has been recorded that during the 2-day mini season alone, there are up to 80 -90% of legal size lobsters that can be removed from the ocean reefs. Whether you have been an avid lobster adventurer for years or this is your first year, it is always important to know the Florida regulations and make sure you have the proper gear. The most important thing is to be safe and aware of your surroundings during such a populated season.

SPINY LOBSTER SEASON

DATES: July 30th - 31st (Mini Season)* Aug. 6 - March 31

BAG LIMITS: 12 per person per day (Mini Season)* 6 per person per day

POSSESSION LIMIT (on the water): Equal to the daily bag limit

MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT: Carapace larger than 3”, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times

Spiny Lobster: Panulirus argus

MUST BE LARGER THAN 3 - INCHES

*6 per person per day Monroe Co & Biscayne NAT’L Park

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Please visit www.myfwc.com for more info


GEAR CHECK TICKLE STICKS Tickle Sticks come in all shapes and sizes. They can range from $1 to over $40. TIP: mark your tickle stick before you get into the water. So, you will be able to determine the length of the lobster you’re legally able to keep. LOBSTER NETS When catching lobster, a square net is usually recommended. A rounded head net could leave a void for the lobster to escape. TIP: Plan the placement of your net before approaching the lobster. Approach very slowly, your net extended in one hand, and your tickle stick in the other. Lobsters move slow going forward but, if scared can move fast going backwards. LOBSTER GLOVES Thick gloves are often best for catching Spiny Lobster. They are covered with spikes, and without gloves it could hurt to handle them. TIP: Make sure your gloves are going to be able to be used comfortably in the water and fit appropriately. LOBSTER BAGS A lobster bag could be your most important tool. Many folks have lost lots of lobsters due to inappropriate bags. TIP: Get a bag with a tapered tube opening that has a one-way flap, to make it easy to slip your lobster in, and keep all his friends from getting out.

Largest Marine Supply Warehouse on the Treasure Coast!

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Price Includes: Test, book and all the equipment.

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with Coast Guard required. License No testClasses in: Captain’s New Port Richey, Bradenton,

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COAST GUARD APPROVED COURSE & EXAM

BET TEROFFWET.COM   7


REEF.ORG SANCTIONED LIONFISH DERBIES FOR 2014: July 18, 2014 August 15, 2014 June 06, 2014 September 12, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Derby Palm Beach Derby Treasure Coast Lionfish Safari Key Largo Derby

July 11, 2014 July 25, 2014 August 08, 2014 October 03, 2014

For more information go to Reef.org

Reef Builders Lionfish Round-up Gold Coast Lionfish Derby Jacksonville Derby Sarasota Derby


GETTING STUNG by a Lionfish

A lionfish can cause serious symptoms such as excruciating pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fever & difficult breathing. Generally, the reaction is different in people who have been stung. When stung during a dive, REMAIN CALM. • Notify your buddy and call the dive. • Ascend slowly and in a controlled manner. • Perform a Safety Stop. (Decompression Illness is far worse than a lionfish sting.) • Once on the boat or at shore, follow the treatment (what to do). • Always seek professional medical attention in any case of lionfish envenomation!

Lionfish venom is a proteinaceous neurotoxin, and heat will denature the venom quickly. The key to suppressing the sting is to find safe sources of heat, such as those listed here. Remember not to scald! A burn may be worse than the sting itself. Since numbness can be a sting symptom, be sure to test water temperature with an unaffected part of the body to prevent scalding. • Bring a thermos of hot water when collecting lionfish. • Nearby restaurants, marinas, or residences can usually heat water in an emergency. • Vessel exhaust water or engine coolant system may be a source of heat.

A GREAT SOLUTION!

The Zookeeper LCU (lionfish containment unit) is the most spine resistant LCU available. Features a unique cone entryway for inserting the lionfish. Capable of holding up to 60 lionfish, the Zookeeper is a high quality product providing near puncture proof storage of your lionfish while diving. Holds lobsters too! 3 sizes available.

Visit us at zkstore.com (941) 587-7206

• Lay a wet shirt or towel over an engine block for heating, then wrap. • Heat packs do not normally reach high enough temperatures to be effective, however, the reusable packs may provide relief for short periods (5–10 min). Urine is body temperature & is not effective.

Source: Invasive Lionfish: A Guide to Control and Management; James A. Morris, Jr.

BET TEROFFWET.COM   9


Live, Love & Paddle

Sweetwater Kayak’s self-guided kayak tours give seafarers a quiet look at the ecosystems of Weedon Island without the clamor and commotion of a motorboat. Wind along the 4-mile marked trail, across the crystal clear lagoons and through mangrove tunnels in which you will likely see a resident bird, dolphin, or manatee. Each trip lasts up to four hours and provides a panorama of pristine environments and a glimpse into the life of a pirate or native floridian. Sweetwater Kayaks will provide the necessary vessels, paddles, life vests, and trail maps. They also sell kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards for the novice paddler, the expedition minded paddler, and everyone in-between. They have put hundreds of paddlers on the water over the last 20 years, and are skilled at matching your size, physical capabilities, and paddling skills with the right kayak, making this experience a fun, and educational adventure. They have the most experienced and certified staff in Florida and they have paddled some of the most challenging coastlines on the

planet. Their experience in fitting and training comes from the thousands of miles they have paddled on the sea over two decades with thousands of paddles. Everyone on staff is a coach and possesses certification from the American Canoe Association (ACA), British Canoe Union (BCU), or both. Paddling is their lifestyle. Since 1992, the dedicated staff of Sweetwater Kayaks has been sharing its expertise with those who are interested in the world of kayaking: majestic places, unforgettable experiences and lasting friendships. They live to paddle! Let them help you love it too!

10000 Gandy Blvd. St Petersburg, FL 33702

SweetWaterKayaks.com


TI

E LD

CUBA CEN N’S S T

ER

SPINES & SPINYS TO

URNAMENT

Tilden’s Scuba Center Has Spiced up our Mini Season Lobster Tournament. This year we want participants to bring a lionfish to accompany their bugs for weigh in. Lionfish are a non indigenous species that threaten the fragile eco system of our beautiful reefs. What many don’t know is, THEY ARE GOOD TO EAT!!! The Tournament is to promote the health of the reef while having a fabulous time.

DIVE TODAY ages 8+ WITHOUT EXPERIENCE OR CERTIFICATION

Enjoy breathing underwater without time consuming pool training or the need for heavy equipment in the water. Our instructors will give you a thorough orientation before you arrive at one of our beautiful reefs and they will accompany you while you are in the water. Whether you live here in the Keys or you have friends/family visiting, SNUBA® is great for the whole family, ages 8 and up. We also train all levels of scuba certifications, starting with Open Water at age 10. Combination trips of SNUBA®, Scuba, Freedivers and Riders are run twice daily at both of your locations.

We are also trying to help out a local who is suffering from stage IV bone cancer. Cathy McKoy, is the wife of one of our dear friends who runs another dive /fishing operation here in Marathon. We are donating 50% of all proceeds for the tournament to them to help in their very costly treatments and travel.

Winners for a variety of categories will be rewarded with AWESOME PRIZES such as :

Scuba Regulators ~ Spear Guns ~ Cameras ~ Dive Accessories ~ Scuba Gear ~ Local Restaurant Certificates and more… National:

Our Sponsors: Local:

INNOVATIVE

Call today for your reservation. 2 Training Facilities • 4 Boats • 2 Retail/Repair Centers

D A I LY R E E F T R I P S 8a.m. 12 p.m. & 1 p.m. 5 p.m.

All dive trips go to 2 sites

Dive from Long Key to West of Sombrero - over 60 sites!

SNUBA® SCUBA SNORKEL RENTALS SPEARFISH LOBSTER

AIR FILLS NITROX HYDROS REPAIR RETAIL

Entry Fee is $30 per person (Each participant gets a cool hat!) • Last entry taken at 8am Wednesday, July 30th. • Final Weigh In at 6pm Thursday, July 31st. • All contestants will be asked to sign a waiver and lionfish collection understanding sheet. • We will have both lobster and lionfish gear for sale at the shop. • Our hours are extended for Mini Season.

2 GREAT LOCATIONS NEAR YOU! Tilden’s Scuba Center

Dive Duck Key

4650 Overseas Hwy 49.5mm Next to Hurricane Bar & Grill

61 Hawks Cay Blvd. 61mm Hawks Cay Resort & Marina

(305) 743-7255

(305) 743-9633

Tilden’s Scuba Center

4650 Overseas Hwy Marathon, FL 33050 (305) 743-7255

BET TEROFFWET.COM   11


DIVERS

4 HEROES How do you feel when you see a wounded warrior? The sight provokes many emotions, but for some they feel called to action. Which is exactly what inspired the founders of Divers 4 Heroes (D4H).

While on vacation in the Keys, the founders of the organization did such a thing. Debbie Rivera -Twillman saw these young men and women and decided to take action… “Let’s teach them how to SCUBA Dive”! Now 7 years later, D4H is still serving wounded veterans with SCUBA Discovers every month, quarterly Open Water Certification, continuing monthly education, fun dives and 2 international trips annually to Bonaire, and the Bahamas.We have wonderful volunteers with collaborative partners that allow us to serve the Wounded Warrior Project Alumni and other veterans who have served and been injured prior to 9/11 from all branches of our military. “I want you to know that being involved has become an important part of my life, and recovery. The different levels and certificates for diving achievement have allowed me to set attainable goals, and successfully achieve them despite my injuries. I always look forward to the knowledge, laughter, experience and the comradery that I share with the other Veterans whenever I participate in any D4H’s events,” says Wounded Warrior Damon Zeigler.

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I want you to know that being involved has become an important part of my life, and recovery.

SCUBA is an opportunity to be free. Many injuries are visible, however, so many are not. Our goal is freedom, free from crutches, prosthetics, wheel chairs, and all the cares that life brings, not leaving anyone behind. Water is truly the great equalizer. Join us in “giving back to those who gave so much of themselves.”

There are many ways to help Divers 4 Heroes 501c3. Please contact us:

www.Divers4Heroes.org photo copyright Debbie Twillman

VETERAN OWNED AND OPERATED

Creating Divers & Changing Lives

• Fantastic Dive Trips • Quality Instruction • Honest Sales Staff • Full Equipment Service Captain Scott Crawford - Advanced Open Water Instructor 2109-A Main St. Dunedin • 727-733-1919 • 727-637-8463 ROCKBOTTOMDIVESHOP.COM

info@rockbottomdiveshop.com

BET TEROFFWET.COM   13


DIVING:

FREEDIVING

A View of Freediving History Chad Carney

Freediving’s surge in popularity over the last decade and a half is as clear as the azure waters where the activity flourishes, and no state in the country outnumbers Florida in active freedivers! Breath -hold diving is said to date back about 4500 years, but ironically the development and organization of freediving as a sport and business lags nearly 50 years behind scuba diving, which didn’t appear until the middle 1940’s. Perhaps it is the natural human ability to adapt to being underwater and the simplicity of diving with minimal gear that has left the sport virtually unchanged for so long. Originally called gogglers or skin divers, this small tribe of divers were so scattered and obscure that even their “skin diver” moniker was hijacked for many years by the media that catered to the much more profitable SCUBA industry.

“ Their passion for freediving has lead them to follow a different drummer by keeping the business strictly freediving...

Unquestionably, it was the blooming awareness of freediving world record seekers in films and on TV in the late eighties and nineties that lead the sport in exposure, following with web videos depicting dare-devil divers descending multiple hundreds of feet on a single breath of air and bursting to the surface as heros, or blacking out and drowning. Dangerous? No doubt! Fittingly, these record holders became the driving force to bring about solutions to the risks of freediving, and began organizing international training agencies by 2000. I met Martin Stepanek, a few years later, at a four day advanced freediving course. Martin was breaking world records, while teaching us on the side, and he would go on to set 13 world

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records in the various freediving disciplines. The most meaningful to average humans, like me was called “constant weight”, which meant you kicked to depth and back to the surface with only your mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit, watch and weight belt... real freediving! Martin was the first constant weight freediver to break 400 feet with his 402 feet / 102 meters World Record! Stepanek went on to found Freediving Instructors International (FII), which soon became the world leader in modern freediving education. www.freedivinginstructors.com

WEST PALM BEACH FREEDIVING Nowhere does the Gulf Stream touch closer to Florida than West Palm Beach! It’s blue waters and abundant life tempt spearfishering freedivers on coral reefs and wrecks very close to shore, in depths of 15 feet to over 100 feet. Divers ply these waters from boats, kayaks, paddle boards or just towing flag floats off the beaches in search of fish, lobsters, photos, videos and adventures. Florida Freedivers was possibly the country’s first “freediving only” dive store back in 1999 when Mike and Cherryl Damms started it in their garage in Clewiston, Florida. In the next 13 years they moved the store to West Palm Beach and expanded it largely. In 2012, they chose to pass the shop to continue the growth, and sold it to Jonathan and Kelsey Dickinson. The Dickinsons were scuba divers and previously owned a scuba dive shop in Jupiter, but fell in love with freediving! Jonathan had taken 2 FII courses with Martin Stepanek in 2009 and soon became a Level 1 Freediving Instructor and Kelsey is a Level 2 Freediver. Their passion for freediving has lead them to follow a different drummer by keeping the business strictly freediving. Florida Freedivers usually taught one freediving class about once a quarter before Jonathan took over in June of 2012. As the only instructor, he taught 4 classes in his first month. Over the next year, Florida Freedivers instructors averaged 1 to 2


classes a month, and since spring of 2014 the team of 4 instructors has doubled their classes! Freediving & spearfishing equipment carried includes Omer, DiveR, Mares, Cressi, Sporasub, Riffe, Koah, Rob Allen, Biller, JBL, Head Hunter, Sea Stinger and more. Florida Freedivers sponsors 3 spearfishing clubs in Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach Freedivers www.palmbeachfreedivers.com, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Freediving and Spearfishing Club, and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Spearfishing Club. Today Florida Freedivers is one of 3 active FII Facilities in the world, and in just two years Jonathan and Kelsey have taken the store to new levels, becoming the largest freediving and spearfishing store in the USA!

PHOTO: Kelsey Dickinson

FLORIDA FREEDIVERS

905 US 1, STE A LAKE PARK,FL 33403 561-848-0678 WWW.FLORIDAFREEDIVERS.COM BET TEROFFWET.COM   15


FISHING:

HOG SNAPPER

Florida’s SECRET TREASURE

Craig Brunstein

Almost 1400 miles of the Florida coastline, lies an underwater mystery. A secret that is only known by very few anglers. Many fisherman have feasted on a filet of the mild white fish, but very few, possibly less than 5% of us, have reeled one in on hook and line. Growing up, I was told the only way to catch one was to spear it; however, turns out this is just a myth. The old adage, “patience pays” is definitely true when targeting the elusive Hog Snapper. With a little time investment and sorting through the grunts, the reward will be worth it! Every seasoned fisher has his own hints and tricks on how to snag Hogs. Amongst these recommendations, the one common thread is shrimp. You better bring shrimp, lots of shrimp: dead shrimp, live shrimp, extra shrimp for chumming, frozen shrimp, old smelly shrimp. In order to attract the hog fish, first chum the water just enough to peak interest without allowing over feeding. Effective chumming includes small broken off pieces or even frozen shrimp left over from your last fishing trip.

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Rigging up for Hogfish is dependent upon angler preference, including small pink jigheads or the typical sliding knocker rig. No matter the technique, keep the tackle light, with about a 30lb fluorocarbon leader, for more bites. If you decide on the jig setup, use a ¼ - ½ oz. jig lead and hook the shrimp through the tail. According to Jack Vasileros, a Clearwater angler, he prefers a knocker rig with a 1-3 oz sinker and small circle hook and suggests trying fiddler crabs as bait. Hogfish are bottom feeders and they root around to dig up shrimp, crabs and other crustaceans as their primary food supply. These fish can be found on or near the same structures and holes where grouper gather, yet are significantly more timid. Therefore, being successful in hooking a Hogfish requires the cast and bait to be target specific; due to the grouper’s aggressive nature, the Hogfish will retreat and allow the grouper to feed. Be sure to keep any grouper bait in the boat, anchor just off the hard bottom, ledge or patch reef, as fishing seems to be best off the edges.

You better bring “ shrimp, lots of shrimp:

dead shrimp, live shrimp...

Now, get the chum going and get those baits down. Grunts, Porgies and other bottom feeders like shrimp as well, so be patient as you pull up many other species. Do not worry, once you get past them if the Hogs are there they will start biting. Keeping Florida’s waters fishable depends on fisherman to limit the amount of fish, approximately 2-3 per fishing hole. Repopulating takes years, varying locations throughout fishing trips prevents depleting the area. If you would like to do a guided trip contact Capt. Jack at hookedforlifecharters.com. He is an avid angler and sportsman. He will definitely put you on the fish.

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Email Steve@lakeshoremarineinc.com BET TEROFFWET.COM   19


BOWFISHING:

FLORIDA BOWFISHING

BOWFISHING Q&A with Capt. Ed

Q&A

WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE EXPECT WHEN COMING ON A BOWFISHING CHARTER?

When coming on a bowfishing charter, clients can expect to shoot anywhere from 50 - 100 times in one night, which is a bit different than your average fishing charter. The great thing about bowfishing charters is that we do not have to wait for the fish to eat. We have action EVERY night, regardless of whether the fish are biting or not. How many fish a client shoots is up to their own personal skill level and experience, but most shooters who have never even shot a fish before can still expect to land a few fish. The non-stop action really makes it possible for everyone to have a good time no matter how many fish we pull in the boat.

WHAT ARE THE TARGETED FISH WHEN

Q&A OUT BOWFISHING?

In bowfishing, we shoot what are called “rough fish” which is basically a variety of nuisance and trash fish that can sometimes overpopulate certain fisheries. Don’t let the terms trash and rough fish fool you. Many fish like gar and stingray make excellent eating even though most people have been taught not to think so. In freshwater, you can

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expect to shoot spotted gar, longnose gar, tilapia, bowfin, catfish, suckers, etc. In saltwater we are mostly targeting cownose and southern stingrays, sheepshead, mullet and flounder.

Q&A

WHAT ARE THE BEST TIMES OF THE DAY TO GO OUT AND WHY?

We mostly shoot our fish at night under our LED lighting system. Though it is not impossible to shoot fish during the day, we see and shoot many less during the day due to the combination of sun glare and ripples on the water from the daytime winds. At night it is cooler, the chance of thunderstorms decreases, the winds calm down and we eliminate the sun glare. It truly makes a world of difference. As far as fishing the tides, it is always best to shoot the flats on an outgoing tide because the fish are already on the flats and are now being forced off due to the decreased water level. If the flat has been without water for the last 6 hours, it will take some time for fish to work their way back onto it, so you might see some barren flats for a while. P.S. Know your tides well for your particular area or you can end up beaching yourself for quite sometime.


Q&A

IF SOMEONE WERE INTERESTED IN GETTING INVOLVED IN THE SPORT ON THEIR OWN, WHAT WOULD BE A LIST OF GEAR AND EQUIPMENT THEY WOULD NEED TO GET STARTED WITH?

People who are new to bowfishing can start off with an old lightweight bow from Ebay and just add a bowfishing reel from one of the major sporting goods stores. The biggest mistake people make is they buy a bow with a heavy draw weight like they would for hunting. In bowfishing 35-50 pounds is ideal. The heavier your bow is, the more fish you will get “pass throughs” on, requiring you to work the arrow back through the fish to get it off rather than simply flipping the prongs on your point and sliding it off. The other thing that can happen with a heavyweight bow is that you will be consistently getting your arrow stuck too deep into the mud or sand making it very difficult to pull out. Q&A

ANY RESTRICTIONS THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO BE AWARE OF?

The biggest bowfishing restrictions that people need to make themselves aware of is the fish size and bag limits for what they plan to shoot. These can be found in the FWC Fishing Regulations handbook. The overall rule is that we cannot legally shoot any game fish. That would be Bass and Crappie

“As far as fishing the tides, it

is always best to shoot the flats on an outgoing tide

in freshwater and Snook, Trout and Redfish in Saltwater. These fish are off limits, as well as many less commonly seen fish that shooters should make themselves aware of. Unfortunately, there is no catch and release in bowfishing, so you must be extremely careful in your fish identification and size estimation before shooting at a fish. Any borderline sized fish or hard to identify fish should be passed on to avoid shooting something that is considered illegal.

Capt Ed McCormick Florida Bowfishing Charters We Don’t Wait for Fish! www.floridabowfishing.com www.bikinibowfishing.com

BET TEROFFWET.COM   21


BOATING:

CHARTERS | GUIDES

running with KUDU The boat Kudu was named after the owners, Captain’s Harry and Lance Julian. After years of captaining the M/V Kudu Harry’s grandfather acquired the nickname of Kudu; Kudu II was given years later to Harry. In remembrance of his father, Captain Lance and family decided to name their 45’ M/V at Pure Naples as Kudu and their 25’Parker center console as Kudu ll.

Just before shoving off, Captains Neil and Jason provided a personal introduction and explained that we were heading 32 miles offshore. Approaching the first stop, Captain Jason reviewed pertinent guidelines while baiting the hooks. As soon as the lines hit the water the rods stayed bent over. The Captains put us on great spots and the trend continued into the late afternoon, providing us with a great catch. After having loads of fun and putting some keepers on the boat, we headed back in under a beautiful sunset at Kudu’s stern.While heading back to shore, seeing the Grouper filled cooler and all the smiles on deck, it was a clear indication Pure Naples provided a wonderful experience. Just as we docked the owner

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of Pure Naples, Captain Harry, was there to greet us to inspect our successful trip, while Neil and Jason prepped and cleaned the catch. Until the last bags were offloaded, Grouper gathered and final farewell; the crew of the Kudu proved to be first class. From professional and knowledgeable to hospitable and courteous, the staff at Pure Naples covered every detail in making the charter every bit memorable. Pure Naples owns and operates the legendary vessels Double Sunshine and Naples Explorer for sightseeing, dolphin watching and sunset cruises. They also include in their fleet, the Lady Brett, KUDU and KUDU II for private and head boat deep sea, calm bay, back-bay and sunset fishing trips.


The comprehensive offerings of their boat rentals, Jet Ski Rentals and tours are rounded off with their newest addition, the Jet Boat ODIN.Pure Naples is centrally located at the corner of 12th Street S. and 6th Avenue S. in the water adventure center of Naples, at Tin City, in the heart of Downtown Naples, directly off of US 41. For more information on booking your next cruise, fishing trip or water adventure, contact Pure Naples at (888) 995-6752 or info@purenaples.com. www.purenaples.com

BET TEROFFWET.COM   23


met in 2001 while working together at Island Surf & Sail, a board shop on the Jersey Shore. With a shared passion for boardsports, and complimentary duties within the shop, it didn’t take long for the pair to become inseparable. In 2007, the dream of having a shop of their own became a reality, and oTHErside Boardsports was born. With a strong emphasis on customer service and a true passion for what they do, within two years

oTHErside had grown out of their small retail space and needed to upgrade to keep up with their growing customer base and increasing demand. Somewhere amongst those two years, Mike and Shana were contacted by a college student named Matt who had created a Collegiate Kiteboarding League and was planning an event in the area. This was the beginning of many mutually beneficial transactions among the two organizations, and the start of a great friendship. The three shared a visionof a place where people could go and choose from an array of adventure sports, be active and enjoy the outdoors that the TWO LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU: MM 59 Oceanside Marathon MM 82.7 Bayside Islamorada 305-414-8245 305-853-9728 KeysCable.com othersideboardsports.com

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beautiful Florida Key has to offer. This place would be a training ground for riders who were like-minded, and an introduction to these fantastic sports for anyone who would give it a try. Four years and a venture capitalist later, in the creation of, , Mike and Shana have formed a partnership with now professional rider and marketing guru, . Matt’s industry knowledge, connections and worldly experience adds great value to this project. Before becoming and international Team Rider for Slingshot Kiteboarding, Matt worked as a Slingshot wakeboard sales rep and was highly instrumental in the research and development process for cable-specific wakeboards. As operating owner of Keys Cable, his influence continues to bridge the gap between the wakeboarding and kiteboarding disciplines and expose the benefits of each through cable riding. oTHErside Adventure Park, currently consisting of Keys Cable is a rider owned and rider driven park in the very early stages of what may be.


2014

MAGAZINE CLASSIFIEDS APPAR EL

Wednesday, September 17th

Friday, September 26th

Friday, September 26th

Saturday, September 26th

Sunday, September 28th


DESTINATION:

HOMOSASSA

calloping is underway in Homosassa! Harvesting bay scallops is an exciting recreation for all ages. Many of our Captains offer various scalloping trips with affordable rates. Now is the time to book your trip and let our experienced captains be your guide to some of the best scalloping and fabled fishing grounds in the world. Homosassa, located in the heart of the Florida Nature Coast, an old-fashioned corner of Florida where all the tall fishing tales are true, and your cares slip away like the slack in your line. The beauty and abundant wildlife of this river is stunning. Hire a professional fishing guide to make your visit enjoyable and rewarding! Scalloping season runs from June 28th until September 24th. Visit us at homosassaguidesassociation.com

MEET THE CAPTAINS OF THE HOMOSASSA GUIDES ASSOCIATION

CAPTAIN WILLIAM TONEY Pres. of the Homosassa Guides Association. A 4th generation full time guide from Homosassa. His boat is a custom built Tremblay powered by Mercury Outboards. It has a very shallow draft that can bring you deep into the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge or can handle the chop of Homosassa nearshore reefs and rockpiles. He also offers cooked shorelunches and scallop trips. 352-621-9284 or 352-422-4141 captwilliamtoney@bontheweb.net homosassainshorefishing.com

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CAPTAIN DON CHANCEY VP of the Homosassa Guides Association. Don guides inshore from his restored 24 Carolina skiff to handle inshore trout and redfish parties. A fifth generation Floridian. Whether this is your first experience fishing or you are a seasoned angler, Don is a great guide for you. Available for half day or all day trips. All bait, tackle, fishing licenses and fish cleaning included for a one price trip. 352-303-9399 flatschance.com Facebook “f ” Logo

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CAPTAIN DUANE TIBBETTS A native of Citrus County, and a long standing member of the Homosassa Guides Association. I specialize in Redfish, Trout and Scallop trips, also Site Seeing Manatee Tours are available. 34 years of guiding experience and Captain a 24 Carolina Skiff. You need nothing but food and drinks for a fun day of fishing. 352-628-5878 352-302-5727 captduane@homosassafishing.com homosassafishing.com Facebook “f ” Logo

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CAPTAIN MARK ZORN A wildlife biologist. Capt. “Z” will flatter you with his knowledge of the fishes and birds. A 8th generation native Floridian and has lived and fished in Citrus County for the past 31 years. Guides from a 24-foot Carolina skiff, and has a bow mount trolling motor for stealth approach. Reds and Trout are his specialties. Fishes up to four anglers and will give his clients a day they will remember. 352-489-5168 or 352-400-1925 MZORN1@TAMPABAY.RR.COM captainmarkzorn.com Facebook “f ” Logo

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SCALLOP SEASON JUNE 28 - SEPT 24

ABOUT

CAPTAIN CLAY SHIDLER I am a 20 year native of Crystal River and I specialize in fishing the waters from Crystal River to Cedar Key. I fish out of a custom rigged 24ft Carolina skiff which gives me the ability to fish skinny water yet it still is a very stable platform to fish out of. The tackle I supply for my clients is top quality Shimano gear. My passion in life is being on the water and I enjoy doing what it takes to give my clients an enjoyable day on the water. 352-586-2748 clayshidler@yahoo.com fishingcharterscrystalriver.com Facebook “f ” Logo

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CAPTAIN JIM FARRIOR U.S.C.G. Certified Charter Captain. Fly fishing and light tackle specialist. Fishing charters: tarpon, redfish, grouper, trout, cobia, snook, or anything with fins, great scalloping guide. Home port is Homosassa, FL. Fishes West Coast, from Crystal River to Key West. Captain Jim is also a fish and wildlife artist, check out his photo gallery on facebook. 352-422-1992 captjimfarrior@gmail.com Facebook “f ” Logo

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CAPTAIN DAN CLYMER Secretary and Treasurer of the Homosassa Guides Association. Born and raised on the Crystal River. He fishes the Gulf of Mexico and all of Citrus County’s rivers. Clymer is king of catching big grouper up to 30-pound by either casting plugs, trolling or bottom fishing. His GPS book is full of hot spots. He guides from a custom 22-foot Bay Pro-Line he designed. His engine is sponsored from Mercury with a 225 Optimax. 352-418-2160 or 352-382-1313

CAPTAIN AARON SHIELDS This part of Florida is truly unique, we have spring fed rivers that flow year around toward the gulf, miles of untouched and unseen waterways. Tarpon fishing is famous the world over, world records have been set here. Redfish and trout fishing is also second to none. Grouper fishing here can be done within sight off land. All fishing charters are customized. My custom rigged 22 ft Panga can comfortably fish up to 4 people and all trips are offered on spinning or fly tackle. Scallop captaindan@racinmulletcharters.com excursions are available. 352-302-1831 crystalriver-fishing.com Facebook “f ” Logo

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CAPTAIN MIKE BAIZE Capt. Mike’s personality will keep you entertained throughout your fishing adventure. For 15 years he has been fishing the local Gulf flats from Crystal River to Chassahowitzka. He guides from a 21-foot Carolina Skiff that will accommodate up to 4 anglers. His specialty is Redfish, Trout, and Great Times. He also offers sightseeing tours and scallop trips in season. His boat is Coastguard Certified. 352-503-7458 or 352-697-1811 CMYK / .ai

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CAPTAIN ZACH HOFFMAN A Florida Native and has been fishing the Homosassa and Crystal River areas since he was 8 years old. Specializes in Offshore fishing for Groupers and Snappers but is equally as good at finding Inshore species such as Red Fish,Trout, and Snook. A student at the University of Florida as well as guiding full time in Homosassa. He fishes a 33 foot World Cat. 352-220-1184 zhoffman@sunshineac.com homosassaoffshorecharters.com

The Homosassa Guides Association (HGA) has helped visitors and locals alike enjoy the area’s acclaimed angling for over half a century. Some of our members are fourth-generation guides, with a love of this business literally in their blood. All are proven professionals, accomplished angling experts with the know-how to navigate these rock-filled waters to celebrated fishing spots. Each member of the HGA operates independently, enjoying his own specialties and owning his own boat and equipment. Every guide must pass a comprehensive test before becoming one of us, proving a profound knowledge of these waters. All of our captains are also USCG certified and provide saltwater fishing licenses for up to 4 fishers. When you embark on your Homosassa fishing adventure, you’ll enjoy the comfort that our classic skiffs provide-as well as the bait, tackle, ice and use of rods and reels that we provide at no additional charge. One to three anglers are preferred to ensure plenty of room, but some of our guides’ boats can comfortably accommodate four. Beginning or advanced angler, light-tackle buff, fly-fishing fan or deep-sea diehard, half or full day, you’re guaranteed a great time on the water with us. From business trips to family reunions, we can meet your group excursion needs. We can tailor a trip to hook the specific fish of your fancy-trout, redfish, cobia, grouper, giant tarpon or many other saltwater species. Some guides even provide a shore dinner service that features the fresh catch of the day and all the trimmings.

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EQUIPMENT NEEDED Swim mask Swim Fins Snorkel

Small Mesh Bag

Divers-down flag (req. by law)

Boat-Great reason to choose a guide if you don’t own one.

THE FLORIDA BAY SCALLOP

is a bivalve mollusk that lives in seagrass beds in relatively shallow water, usually 4 to 10 feet deep. At one time scallops were reported from as far east as West Palm Beach and as far west as Pensacola. Today, healthy populations can only be found in selected locations along Florida’s west coast—principally St. Joseph Bay, the Steinhatchee area of the Big Bend, and the areas near the Crystal and Homosassa rivers.

Scallops live about one year before either dying off naturally or being eaten by humans, crabs, octopuses, or a variety of shellcrushing fish. They spawn primarily in the fall. After about a two-week period as plankton, larvae develop a small shell and settle onto seagrass blades. They continue to grow while attached to the grass blades by a mass of silk-like filaments called a byssus. They later fall from the grass blades and become free swimmers. Unlike oysters and clams, scallops are active swimmers. They click their shells together, forcing expelled water to propel the rapidly. Scallops are simultaneous hermaphrodites, able to spawn as either males or females, and are very fertile. A single scallop can produce more than one million eggs per spawn. For more information about scallops, research and recreational harvesting visit flseagrant.org.

CAPTAIN CHRIS WILKINS Capt Chris Wilkins has 35 years of fishing experience from the Atlantic to the Gulf. He was born in Key West to a fishing family so it’s safe to say it’s in his blood. Capt Chris has multiple boats including an 18’ flats boat, a 23’ near shore/offshore boat and a 36’ . You can set up a charter to catch a wide variety of fish including trout, redfish, sheepshead, grouper, cobia and kingfish to name a few. 352-302-0715 cwilkins1@tampabay.rr.com

CAPTAIN JODY JOHNSON Jody was born and raised in Old Homosassa and has been around fishing since he was big enough to hold a rod. The last several years he has spent an enormous amount of time fishing for huge trophy snook. He also enjoys fishing for reds and trout. Jody fishes from a 21-foot Carolina skiff powered by a 115 H.P. Mercury Outboard. 352-247-0475

CAPTAIN JOHN BAZO A Native Florida guide who specializes in fly fishing & light spin tackle, “Big John” knows what his clients want–To catch the BIG ONE! John fishes in shallow water for grouper, redfish, and tarpon on the fly. Also, he ties his own flies and is an instructor for fly fishing beginners. He can accommodate 2 people in his Key West Stealth or up to four anglers in his Classic 81 Pro-Line Boat. captjohn@hightidecharters.com hightidecharters.com 352-503-3813 or 352-895-7811

CAPTAIN ERIC TONEY Is a life long native of Old Homosassa. He guides from a 20-foot Tremblay skiff powered by a 90 H.P. Mercury Outboard. This spacious skiff will accommodate up to 4 people and has a bimini top for the warm summer months. His experience includes all local waters and likes to tell his clients about the history of Homosassa. He also offers cooked shore lunches and scallop trips. 352-628-4405 or 352-302-8627

CAPTAIN CEPHAS CHRISTIAN Owner of Seven C’s Fishing Co., has been fishing the waters of the Gulf of Mexico for 35+ years. Specializing in offshore species such as grouper, snapper, kingfish, cobia, amberjacks, and more. Since a child growing up in St.Pete Beach, Cephas learned to fish with his father and many commercial fisherman. His boat is a 35ft Hydrofoil TwinVee Catamaran on the Homosassa River. 352-601-0626 c4phus83@yahoo.com

CAPTAIN RICK SPRATT A 4th generation native to the Gulf waters off Citrus County, specializes in slow trolling for grouper, drifting the flats for trout, or chumming on a rock pile for species such as cobia and mackerel and good times! Fishes from a 24-foot Ken Kraft Bay Rider powered by a 150 HP 4-stroke Yamaha with plenty of room and power to safely and comfortably fish up to 4 anglers or 6 scallop divers. 352-302-1606 captainrickspratt@yahoo.com captainrickspratt.com

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COLLECTING

CAPTAIN JIM LONG Is a 3rd generation guide from Homosassa and is a full time guide. He is on Mercury Outboards Pro Team and is a Orvis endorsed guide He guides out of a classic 24-foot Pro Line Boat and a 16-foot Silver King flats skiff, both fully and custom rigged with 2009 Mercury Opti-Max Outboards, modern GPS electronics and depth finders. Jim specializes in all inshore species along the Nature Coast. 352-422-1303 or 352-628-0383 cjl@homosassaoutfitters.com homosassaoutfitters.com

CAPTAIN JONATHAN HAMILTON USCG Licensed and insured in-shore fishing guide. I’ve had the privilege of growing up fishing the Nature Coast. Even before I had a drivers license I was running a custom aluminum boat in the back country of Ozello and Chassahowitzka chasing Red Fish and Trout. I have a strong passion for the outdoors and sharing it with others. 813-997-0126 captainjhamilton.com

•IN MEMORY OF • CAPTAIN MARVIN WILLIAMS Second generation old-timer, one of four brothers who guided like their father, he limited out on trout more than not on most days. He guided from a custom rigged 24’ Bay Rider boat with a newly fitted 4 stroke outboard motor, you rode out in comfort with one of the most skilled trout fisherman ever. One of Homossasa’s Greatest Guides ever. He will be greatly missed.

CAPTAIN GARY G.T. COX Loves guiding from his 24-foot Carolina skiff that will accommodate up to 4 anglers. The skiff is equipped with a 36 volt bow mount trolling motor, a bimini top for hot summer weather and comfortable deck chairs. Like all HGA guides his boat is equipped with a cell phone or VHF radio. Sponsored by Nature Coast Marine. 352-634-3679 or 352-628-5419 captjroc@tampabay.rr.com slapstikcharters.com

CAPTAIN FRED LYLES A native fisherman who has fished most of his life on the Homosassa River. This second generation guide is equipped with a spacious 24 ft. Carolina skiff with a 90 H.P. Yamaha that will accommodate up to 4 anglers very easy. Fred is a fun guy to fish with and knows the back country like the back of his hand. Fred likes to do shore dinners with the fresh catch of the day. 352-464-1487 Capt.FredLyles@netzero.com

CAPTAIN TONY MATTHEWS A native Floridian, he’s fished the gulf coast his entire life, and citrus county since his early teens. A career Mariner by trade. Favorite tactics are sightcasting trout, reds and snook from a 17’ Go Devil, and a 22’ Sundance Skiff fully rigged with 115 mercury for up to 4 people including bimini for scalloping, also fishes the shallow rocks and reefs for grouper, snapper, sheeps head and black drum. Does boat rigging at Skiff Works of Homosassa. 727-224-8140

Scallops may be spotted on or near the bottom of seagrass beds, usually lying on their ventral shells. Often, they are easiest to find in borderline areas where the sand/mud bottom meets the edge of the grasses. Scallops have many neon-blue eyes and may try to swim away when they see you, but they do not swim fast or far. Keep collecting scallops in a mesh bag, rather than in a pocket or in your swimsuit. They can pinch!

CARE AND HANDLING

When brought to the boat, scallops should be immediately placed on ice in a cooler for the trip to shore unless you decided to clean the scallops while on the water. Scallops are quite sensitive to temperature and will quickly die if they are not kept cold. Even if kept cold, scallops will usually die shortly after being placed on ice, especially if fresh water gets into their shells. Placing them on ice, however, makes them easier to open, because the muscle holding the shells together relaxes. A scallop, clam or oyster knife, or even a teaspoon, can be used to open the shells and cut the white muscle free, discarding the shells and unwanted soft parts.

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

In Florida, commercial harvest of bay scallops is banned. Recreational scallopers between the ages of 16 and 65 must have a current Florida saltwater fishing license to collect scallops. All non-residents over the age of 16 are required to buy a license unless they are fishing (scalloping) from a for-hire vessel (guide, charter, party boat) that has a valid license. Harvesting is allowed from the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal (in Bay County) to the PascoHernando County line (near Aripeka). The bag limit is 2 gal. of whole scallops (in the shell), or 1 pt. of a scallop meat per person per day. Maximum 10 gal. of whole scallops per boat, per day. For more details go to myfwc.com. A SPECIAL THANK YOU to the Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau, visitcitrus.com for permission to reprint information about Florida Bay Scallops. visitcitrus.com info@visitcitrus.com 1-800-587-6667


MacRae’s, a hidden paradise, located 5 ½ miles from the Gulf of Mexico and 1½

miles from the fresh water springs. Homosassa is one of the greatest fishing areas in the world. We offer the best fishing guides anywhere. Let one of them take you on a unforgettable journey that will keep you coming back time after time. At the end of the day you can relax at our Riverfront Tiki Bar “The Shed” and enjoy a cold beverage, great appetizers and food baskets while listening to live music! Our efficiencies offer a separate bedroom with two double beds, full kitchen, dining area, and a futon in living area. Cable TV & central heat and air. We also offer standard rooms which have two full beds, coffee maker, and cable TV. All rooms have NordicRest memory foam mattresses. Call us today 352-628-2602!

★ BAIT & TACKLE SHOP ★ ★ MOTEL ★ ★ GIFT SHOP ★ ★ TIKI BAR★ ★ FUEL ★ ★ BOAT RENTALS ★ ★ RIVER TOURS ★ ★ FISHING GUIDES ★

MacRaesOfHomosassa.com ★ 5300 S. Cherokee Way, Homosassa, Fl ★ 352-628-2602

30   BETTER OFF WET   JUNE 2014


KEEPIN’ UP

TEAM HIGH-WATER COMPANIES

FROM THE TOURNAMENT TRAIL It has been a busy Spring for Team High-Water Companies. We signed a full team sponsorship with High-Water Companies to become the title sponsor of our team. In addition, we would like to welcome Physicians Casualty as a supporting sponsor. Finally, we would like to welcome Sperry Top-Sider as our footwear sponsor of Team High-Water Companies. Our Spring schedule changed quite a bit from our first report, as we did not participate in the Wild West Kingfish Series. We changed our schedule and fished in a number of other kingfish events including the 22nd Annual Rotary Club of Clearwater as well as the Hennessy Construction Services Kingfish Tournament. We look forward to participating in the Wild West Kingfish Series in 2015. Team High-Water Companies had a great Spring fishing season with 3 top 5 finishes. In addition, we would like to congratulate Jack Vasilaros on his individual win in the Rotary Kingfish event in Clearwater, FL winning $5000. Our focus has now switched to the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series in Boca Grande, FL. We would like to send a huge thank you to Deluge Products for their additional support in making this year’s PTTS possible for Team High-Water Companies. The PTTS is a 4-week series with a Ladies only event on Saturday and Open event on Sunday. Although each tournament is individual, each tournament day carries points for an accumulative overall ending score, resulting in one winning team at seasons end. Team High-Water Companies will be fishing in both the Ladies and Open Tournament. Follow us at www.facebook.com/teamhighwatercompanies or on Instagram at TeamHWC as we will be posting live updates. We will also be sending our progress and photos to the Better Off Wet Facebook page. The competition is incredibly tough with teams coming from all over the state to fish the series. Unfortunately, our first week was delayed due to high winds and the tournaments’ were postponed. As I write this article, we have

just completed Week 2 of the PTTS and the weather is fantastic and the fish are here. We’ve been catching 2 – 4 fish and hooking another 3 – 4 on each of our trips. All are ranging in size between 85 – 160 pounds. The tarpon are great fighters putting us through long battles. Some of the complications we’ve run into are normal for most anglers including the tide, the wind, and worst of all – sharks. These are all factors that we cannot control but we do our best to overcome. There were no fish weighed during any of the tournaments this weekend. Only a few teams even hooked up, even though the fish are here, the bite was just not happening. Below are the current standings for the tournament.

Open Tournament: 1. Hookers Fishing Gear (2 release) 2. Pro Marine (1 release) 3. Floridadefense.com (1 release) 4.. Fish It LGM Lawgroup.com (1 release) Ladies Tournament: 1. Muddy Hammock (1 release) BET TEROFFWET.COM   31


If you’re an avid fisherman (or fisherwoman) and have never had the opportunity to fish in the Boca Grande Pass, it is definitely something to add to your bucket list. There are hundreds of Tarpon all over the area swimming in pods. You’re surrounded by dozens of the best anglers in the state of Florida crossing your fingers they pick your bait for their lunch. The fight to bring the fish to the boat is tougher than any other fish we have ever caught. However, to experience hooking a tarpon and seeing the fish jump nearly the length of the boat in the air is an indescribable feeling. This is certainly a feeling we all will never forget which is one of the many reasons we continue coming back to the Pass year after year. We would like to thank everyone for their support and following the team. Remember you can send us questions via Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamhighwatercompanies or on Instagram at TeamHWC. Thank you to our great sponsors! High-Water Companies, Better Off Wet, Dockside Fuel, Physicians Casualty, Deluge Products, Hooked for Life Charters, Sperry Top-Sider and Mercury Marine.

Mote Marine Lab boat tagging a 13 ft

Tight Lines! Team High-Water Companies www.highwatercompanies.com

Hammerhead in the pass.

YOUR RIGHT DECISION FOR HURRICANE SEASON

Enables anyone to prepare for flooding. Patent #5637106 32   BETTER OFF WET   JUNE 2014

sales@gcicorporate.com 1-800-905-0903 http://www.gcicorporate.com 18097 US HWY 441; Ste C Mount Dora, FL 32757 GCI Global Consumer Innovations, LLC


Is Your Boat U.S. Coast Guard Compliant? HANK CUSHARD - United States Coast Guard Auxiliary - Flotilla 59

STUART, Fla. |  The most cautious boaters can sometimes experience unexpected problems on the water. That is why the U.S. Coast Guard “recommends that all recreational boaters, including personal watercraft and paddle sport users, take advantage of the FREE Vessel Safety Check provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.” WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME? Boats that pass the examination are awarded a distinctive Vessel Safety Check (VSC) Decal that alerts the Coast Guard, Harbor Patrol, Sheriff and Police, FWC, and other law-enforcement agencies that your boat was found to be in full compliance with all Federal and State boating laws. Frequently, such agencies will not detain or board boats displaying a current-year decal that are otherwise boating safely. WHAT IF I DON’T PASS? If your boat does not pass, no report is filed. Instead, you are provided a written report that aids you in correcting any discrepancies noted. Often, a quick trip to your local marine store is all that is necessary to obtain missing safety items and easily pass a re-inspection. Some companies give you a discount on the safety equipment you purchase. WHY DO THIS? In a word-safety. You are left with the peace of mind that your boat meets minimum safety standards and that in an emergency; you will have the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help. Additionally, you will avoid substantial fines should you ever be boarded by law-enforcement and found to be in violation. Finally, your insurance rates may be lowered-check with your agent. WHAT CAN I DO? Log on to www.CGAUX.org to locate the closest U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel examiner. And it is FREE! These vessel examiners are trained specialist and are there to make recommendations and discuss safety issues that will enhance your boating experience. BELOW ARE SOME ITEMS THAT ARE CHECKED: Life Jackets Registration and numbering Navigation lights Fire Extinguishers Distress Signals One aspect of this safety check is that the Coast Guard requires that all boats over 16 feet carry visual distress signals, a minimum of 3 approved signals. Flares have an expiration date and must be replaced. Failure to have such devices or expired flares could result in fines and put you in danger if they are too old. The majority of boaters that do not pass this inspection are because their flares have expired. And did I say the inspection is free? Even experienced boaters need a Vessel Safety Check!

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If[youits not brokered’ will have to fix it] Charley Bodley, Shirley Nelle and Chris Pilini of NIO Yacht Group

W

e all have the fears and nightmares of buying “used” and the boat itself you can tell a lot from your first impression, but unless getting someone else’s problems. In reality a used boat can you are very knowledgeable mechanically and otherwise you need to be a very good deal if you know what to look for and what to trust your broker to help you narrow down your choices to the best avoid! A pre-owned boat can give you and your family many years of one for you, Then when you have made a “choice” your broker will enjoyment out on the water. The right boat can ski, tube, cruise, fish help you order a pre-purchase Survey from a Professional Marine and do anything else you’d like almost as good as Surveyor. After the vessel passes a sura new boat. Plus, it will cost you less money, makA good broker realizes that vey and you know how it “rated” and ing it a better investment. The market place has are satisfied with the results you helping you make a good choice you many used boats available at good prices and they should arrange to have a sea trial. You is the best way to build their still have high value. There are used boats in the don’t want to be told it “runs good.” newspapers, magazines, Internet, bulletin boards You want an actual test ride on the wabusiness for the future. even listings at the grocery store, You could even ter, fast, slow, turns, and feel how the just drive around and come across a few of them. But most of us don¹t boat rides. A sea trial is the only way to know what the boat will do have the patience or the time. Buying a boat from a “stranger” can and it is a necessary step before you buy. Be sure your test ride is takoften lead to problems. You think you are getting a great price and you en with “normal” boat load aboard. Does the engine start easily? At hope you are getting what you paid for. But what happens if you have idle speed is it quiet enough to hold a pleasant conversation? Does it a problem or need help with something. Are there any guarantees? turn easily at all speeds? Even high speed hard turns should feel solid Will the stranger be available later on ? Do you have any recourse if and always have you in control, never hopping or sliding. When you you are unhappy? A used boat from a stranger is always a gamble with accelerate from slow to fast does the boat respond quickly and get to odds that aren’t very good. level plane? How does the boat feel, sound and respond to top speed? Your “Best” choice will be to seek the help of a reputable brokerage, Drive over the waves (even if they are your own) and feel if the boat the NIO Group has been here years and we’ve seen what can happen. “pounds” through them or smoothly cuts through the waves. Any anIt will always be difficult to make a good deal with a stranger unless noying vibrations or rattles in the boat? If you lift your hands slightly you are very knowledgeable and experienced with boats and can avoid off the wheel does the boat continue straight ahead or does it pull to the mistakes. (We have years of experience and factory trained meone direction indicating a problem? When you throttle down from chanics‹ and mistakes still happen on occasion regarding used boats.) fast to idle does the boat gracefully glide forward or does it “sink” A reputable boat broker will give you a wide selection to choose from, in it’s own wake indicating a hull that is sluggish and insufficient? you can compare the boats and easily decide what you like and don’t When docking does it shift smoothly and handle easily? If the boat like. If you seek out a salesperson with experience you will be able to has a trim and tilt, are they operating properly? Did everybody have have all of your questions answered. How big should you go in length? a good time and stay dry! Hopefully by now, you are very familiar How much engine do you need? Will this model work for your family? with the boat. The boat passed survey , the sea-trial went well. Now A good salesperson will be the knowledgeable advisor you need when just pay for the boat, call your insurance man and have fun! If you looking over all the possible pre-owned boats. The salesperson and need assistance in finding a bank or loaning institution, Ms. Nelle brokerage have the responsibility to live with the choice you make. is a broker of record. You can be assured she will look out for your If the boat you decide on isn’t right, the dealer knows you will be unbest interest. Ms. Nelle has been a License Escrow Agent since 1991. happy. If you are unhappy, the broker knows that they not only have You’ll always find friendly, knowledgeable service at NI’O Yacht a problem to fix with you, but that you will be telling all your friends Group, making one of the most important decisions in your life about it. A good broker realizes that helping you make a good choice is a real pleasure. Over 80% of our business comes from repeat custhe best way to build their business for the future. At some point, you tomers or referrals. Shirley Nelle and associates have more than 34 will find a boat that seems like the best choice. It looks like it will do years of experience and are ready to help when you buy or sell your everything that you want, at a price you can afford. But how can you boat. There is no substitute for the joys of being on the water! Call or know if it really is a good value what should you look for? Just like cars email the NIO Yacht Group and allow us to help Find your Dream! there are a few different agencies that produce books that list the value Shirley Nelle 727.397.7070 niogroup@aol.com and niogroupinc.com of all used boats. They aren¹t exact but they will give you an indication This article edited and reprinted courtesy tampabaysky.com, that the price is competitive, a good broker will share that. Regarding Leonard Smith.

34   BETTER OFF WET   JUNE 2014


WORKING ON THE WATER:

MOLLY’S MARINE

Molly’s Marine Service was started in 2009, a direct spin off to what was previously Allied Marine. They are proud to say that May of 2014 marks 5 years of serving the Southwest Florida clientele. Molly’s Marine Service is located in the heart of Old Naples, on the west side of the Naples Bay at the Naples Boat Club, the former property of Turner Marine. Molly’s Marine Service offers a select team of highly qualified Marine Service Technicians, a full service yard and parts department, and a 70 -Ton Marine Travelift, catering to boats up to 75 feet. Their mission is to provide specialized professional services for all of your vessel’s needs, both in and out of the water

BET TEROFFWET.COM   35


Molly’s Marine offers the “best service provided by the best technicians ”

Molly’s provides a vast list of services that can be hard to come by in the Southwest Florida region: Systems and Safety Inspections Boat Systems and Rigging Mechanical Services and Re-Powers Bottom and Running Gear Painting Lite Aluminum & Stainless Steel Repairs and Fabrication Running Gear Repair Fiberglass and Paint Repairs Hull Side Waxing Custom Upholstery and Canvas And much more...

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Molly’s Marine Service is home to: Mattos Marine Diesel Service, the Volvo Penta, Yanmar and Westerbeke dealer; Admiral Yacht Canvas & Upholstery, the sole distributor of EZC2Y; and Gulf Coast Yacht Sales & Management, the authorized Formula Boats retail sales agent. Molly’s Marine Service performs warranty work for Formula Boats as well as a number of other boat manufacturers.

Molly’s Marine Service has a full ship store and parts department including special order items. The shelves are stocked with oil, filters, belts, hoses, cleaning supplies and a vast assortment of other items for all your boating needs. They are also home to the YETI Cooler. All parts can be sourced through various marine distributors or directly from the manufacturer. The staff has a wealth of knowledge. The next time you are in the area, make sure to stop by to see how Molly’s team can assist you with your boating needs.

MOLLY’S MARINE SERVICE CONTACT: WWW.MOLLYSMARINESERVICE.COM BUSINESS HOURS Monday - Friday 7:30am - 4:00pm PHONE NUMBERS Office: 239.262.BOAT (2628) Fax: 239.455.0455 LOCATION 895 10th Street South, Unit 101 Naples, FL 34102

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BRIN US Y G TRADOUR E! HUGE SELECTION Deck Boats Bay Boats Sport Boats Skiffs

Flats Boats Offshore Boats Center Consoles Waverunners

MORE BRANDS MORE $AVING$

YAMAHA BOATS & WAVERUNNERS

102550 Overseas Hwy. Key Largo, FL 33037 Tel. (305) 451-3320 W W W. R I VA M O T O R S P O R T S . C O M


SpeCIfICAtIonS

Cruiser Comforts 6’5” Head Room Inside Console Queen Size Bed Full Size Head w/ Privacy Door Full Size Shower w/ Hot & Cold Water 12 Volt Air Conditioning Multiple Seating Options Inside Cockpit

Center Console PerformanCe 60 MPH Plus w/ Twin 350’s 1.5 MPG at 35 MPH Cruise Center Walkway to Dive Platform All Open Deck Design Ride of an Offshore Performance Hull 600 Mile Cruising Range

Air Conditioned Head, Galley, & Stateroom Inside of the Console

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