Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

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May/June 2016 |

[Letter from the Publisher]

Admiral (Publisher) Charles Milby Vice Admiral (President) Rick Clapp Rear Admiral (Editor) Mary Alys Cherry Captain (Director of Art) Brandon Rowan Commodore (Graphic Designer) Kelly Groce

Happy Birthday Gulf Coast Mariner


hree years ago we started this

magazine with great enthusiasm and big ideas. How did we do it? Hard work and attention to detail. We hope you enjoy these articles. Our business is changing; the internet is as important as ever. I encourage you read us online at and let us know what we can do to make this magazine better. Congratulations go out to all of the American Sailors who will represent our country at Rio 2016. If you want to meet the team and wish them well then be sure

to attend a once in a lifetime event at the Houston Yacht Club on July 27. This event will be open to the public. For more information contact the Houston Yacht club in La Porte Texas at 281-471-1255 Check out the new section on boats in this issue. We have power, sail and sportfishing boats. You said you want more boats so we’re giving you more boats. We hope you like it.

Charles Milby, Publisher

Sales Commodore (Director of Sales) Patty Kane Sales Crew (Advertising Executives) Judy Gaines Debbie Salisbury Editorial Capt. David Dillman Kelly Groce Thomas Hilton Patty Kane Capt. Joe Kent Betha Merit Charles Milby Brandon Rowan Janice Van Dyke Walden Photography Jen Edney Melissa Fewell Kelly Groce Patty Kane Charles Milby Brandon Rowan Debra Rueb Distribution Timothy Shinkle Company Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine P.O. Box 1032 Seabrook, TX 77586

For information on advertising:

Phone: 281.474.5875

GCM staff, from left, Tammy Lipsey, Rick Clapp, Brandon Rowan, Joe Kent, Charles Milby, Kelly Groce, Judy Gaines, Patty Kane, Lillie Harmon and Debbie Salisbury. (Photo: Debra Rueb)


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine

May/June 2016


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine

May/June 2016

| May/June 2016 8|Texas Youth Anglers

The future of fishing looks good with sailfish, shark and big flounder catches.

10|Sailing World Cup

Great action photography of this multi-day race event held earlier this year in Miami. Photos by Jen Edney

12|Sailing News

Railey wins silver at Radial Worlds and Ullman and Keen are honored as US national coaches of the year.

14|College Sailing

TAMUG wins the South Eastern Intercollegiate Sailing Association Dinghy Championship.

16|Selecting a Sailboat

Solid boats to consider for your sailing adventure.

18|Keels & Wheels

The country’s largest classic car and boat Concours gets better every year and 2016 was no exception. By Patty Kane

20|Offshore Fishing Rides

Venture far into the Gulf and return home with full boxes on any of these fine fishing boats.

22|Inshore Fishing

This could be a hot year for flounder thanks to the recent regulation changes by TPWD. Also, five tips for flounder gigging and Galveston Bay trout forecast.

24|Pairing Beer with Seafood

Forget the wines and accompany your fresh catch with craft beers, imports or the old standards. By Betha Merit


26|What’s In Your Bag?

Make your dockside and onboard entertaining easy with these unbreakable, yet elegant serving pieces. By Patty Kane

28|Houston’s Flood Problem

The Bayou City saw massive flooding after heavy Spring rains this year. How do we offset flooding and storm water runoff? By Janice Van Dyke Walden

34|The Future of Fishing As We Know It

There are forces at play that are silently working to reshape how we are going to be able to access and enjoy our own public trust natural resources, like red snapper and potentially other species. By Thomas J. Hilton

The importance of a sharp hook _______________p. 9 Nautical Numbers _______________p. 9 Nautical Trivia _______________p. 9 One Design and Pursuit calendar _______________p. 14 Surfing photos _______________p. 17


Flounder gigging tips _______________p. 23

Keels & Wheels was, again, a hit this year. Photo by Debra Rueb

Galveston Bay Tides _______________p. 30 Boats for sale _______________p. 32


PROUD PARENT OF A YOUTH ANGLER? EMAIL YOUR PHOTOS TO ART@BAYGROUPMEDIA.COM 1. Capt. Brett Holden and Brett Jr. after an epic 24 sailfish day in Los Sue単os, Costa Rica. 2. Five-year-old Brett Jr. works on a good sail in the fighting chair of the Booby Trap. 3 & 4. Vibrant colors and impressive acrobatics from these sailfish. Photos by Capt. Brett Holden. 5. Max Conner, age 14, of Galveston with a chunky flounder. 6. Max releases a big red after a hard fight. 7. This April, Max caught a 7.5-foot sandbar shark from the beach in Bolivar.


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine

May/June 2016

Lansky Multi-groove Fish Hook Sharpener


STAY SHARP A sharp hook is the difference between landed and lost fish

Cabela’s Diamond Knife/Hook Sharpener

Bass Pro Shops Diamond Edge Hook File

By Brandon Rowan


ometimes WE anglers get so caught up in lure selection, hard or soft plastic, color choices and jighead weight that we forget perhaps the most crucial part of our offerings; the hook. Case in point; one April afternoon, I found myself on a beachfront jetty, birds squawking overhead and the water boiling with schools of Spanish mackerel busting shad. My 3/8 oz. silver spoon had no problem getting bit but I only landed one fish for every four strikes.

After the action settled I checked my lure and found a dull hook. My wire leader kept me from losing my lure but my lure had me losing fish. Guess who carries a hook hone when fishing now? Sharp hooks equal a better hookup ratio and more fish successfully landed. This is especially important for fish with tough, bony mouths like flounder. Make it part of your pre-fishing routine to check and sharpen any hook you might use on your outing. Many sharpeners or hones are small enough to fit on a keychain or in a tackle box.


Pelicans can hold 3 gallons of water in their bill at one time. Pelicans do not store fish in their pouch, but use it to catch them and then tip it back to drain out water and swallow the fish immediately.

23 The sand dollar prefers salinity above 23 ppt and a clean sandy substrate since it has difficulty burrowing in other sediments. They can most commonly be found in the second and third sand bars.

6 Stingrays give birth to 2-6 young stingrays each year. The babies are born fully developed and take care of themselves from the moment of birth.


[ S A IL I N G ]

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016 Photography by Jen Edney Copyright Š US Sailing Team Sperry


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016


[ S A IL I N G ]

Ullman and Keen Honored as US National Coaches of the Year

A Railey Wins Silver at Radial Worlds


he US Sailing Team Sperry’s Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) has won a silver medal at the 2016 Laser Radial World Championship, held on Banderas Bay at Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. This is Railey’s fifth career Worlds podium finish, having won Gold in 2005, and bronze in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Railey has earned the distinction of earning more medals at the Women’s Laser Radial Worlds than any athlete in history. “I’m very proud of my results,” said Railey, a Rolex World Sailor of the Year and US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. “I showed consistency, and didn’t do anything drastic. This was a huge step in my career. I am looking forward to the [Olympic] Games.” Railey sailed a steady series, and none of her races were worse than 9th place. “Paige sailed a very consistent and top-quality regatta, and competed hard throughout,” said Mark Littlejohn (Auckland, New Zealand), Railey’s coach. “She fought for gold right until the last leg of the last race. She just missed out.” Having guaranteed at least a silver medal heading into the final race, Railey battled with Great Britain’s Alison Young for the top of the podium. Young’s first place finish in the deciding race, combined with Railey’s 6th, clinched gold for the British sailor by a single point. Nevertheless, Railey looks to be at close to her best heading into the summer, and as August’s Olympic regatta draws closer. “Paige is in a great place to win a medal in Rio,” said Littlejohn, who has guided athletes to multiple medals in his career. Railey qualified for her second U.S. Olympic Sailing Team in March, and will represent Team USA at Rio 2016. A training accident nearly derailed her career in the summer of 2014, but she quickly bounced back with a string of top finishes. Railey finished 4th at the 2015 Rio Olympic Test Event, and won her second career gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. The 2016 Radial Worlds was also a strong event for the national team as a whole, as Railey’s teammate and training partner Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) enjoyed a career-best finish of 6th overall. It is Reineke’s third top-10 Worlds result since 2012. Reineke finished 2nd in the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Selection Series.


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

fter soliciting nominations from the public, US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) has announced David Ullman as US Sailing’s 2015 National Coach of the Year, and Steve Keen (Stamford, Conn.) as US Sailing’s 2015 Development Coach of the Year. Each year, the OSC honors coaches who have distinguished themselves at the youth, national and international levels. The awards are a part of the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Coach Recognition Program, which highlights the accomplishments and contributions of U.S. coaches who train athletes at all levels of Olympic and Paralympic sports. “These two coaches embody the kind of professionalism and skill that can really make a difference for sailors of all levels,” said Ben Richardson, Chairman of the OSC. “Quality coaching is crucial for the continued development of the sport in the United States. On behalf of US Sailing, I’d like to congratulate Dave and Steve for their work over the past year.”

Dave Ullman Ullman is wellknown in the international sailing community for his contributions as a racer, sailmaker and coach. The 1996 US Sailing

Rolex Yachtsman of the Year founded Ullman Sails in 1967, and has won multiple World Championship titles in several classes, including three in the Olympic 470. A dominant force during his own Olympic-class career, Ullman now enjoys passing on his knowledge to the current generation of sailors representing the United States. “It’s a way of giving back, and having that knowledge go forward with other American sailors. Shadden and McKee were close friends when I stopped sailing 470’s in ’87. As soon as they could beat me, it was time for me to coach them. And now, with Annie and Briana, I get a great level of satisfaction from watching them perform at a high level.”

Steve Keen Steve Keen, a New Zealand native who moved to the U.S. in 2008, guided sailors to success at some of the biggest international youth sailing events of the year. Keen helped I420 class athletes Will Logue and Bram Brakman win a gold medal at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Langkawi Malaysia in late 2015. Other coaching highlights included Jack Parkin and Wiley Rogers’ silver medal at the 2015 I420 Open Worlds, and Matthew Logue and Cameron Giblin’s 6th at the 2015 I420 U17 Worlds.


[ S A IL I N G ]

Coach Gerard Coleman and the Texas A&M Galveston sailing team are all smiles. They just qualified for the 2016 College Sailing National Championship at the San Diego Yacht Club this May 24 - June 4.

RACING CALENDAR One-Design Events May 8

Sears Qualifier



Shoe Regatta



J-70 NAC


June 11 Catherine Spiller Women’s Regatta HYC 25-26

Leukemia Cup


July 16-17

Texas Youth Race Week



Texas Youth Race Week



Texas Youth Race Week



USODA Team Race Nationals



USODA Girls Nationals



USODA Nationals


Pursuit Events June 4 June 18 July 16


GBCA Rum Race #1 GBCA Rum Race #2 GBCA Rum Race #3

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

TAMUG Wins the South Eastern Intercollegiate Sailing Association Dinghy Championship


ollege Sailing is alive and well, and apparently in good hands, thanks to a group of sailors in Galveston Texas. The coed Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) team won the conference championship in what shaped up as a windy affair when strong winds and rain shortened the two day regatta to just one day. By winning this regatta the girls and guys from TAMUG have earned the right to represent SEISA in the National Semifinals which will be sailed in San Diego, Ca. this May.


SAIL The J/70 Speedster (22.75 feet) is J/ Boats’ first ramp-launchable keelboat - designed to fulfill the growing need for an easy-to-own, high performance one-design that is exciting to sail, stable enough sailboat for the family, and built to last. With fleet discussions underway around the world, J/70 is on-track to take the world by storm. The small cabin below is a bonus, and provides weather protection, a place to nap and personal privacy... essential to keeping everyone happy if spending a day on the water. And, for children safety is paramount.


The sailplan requires just two lines to control and the boat can be set up in less than five minutes. The patented kick-up rudder system allows full beach landings with no problems. The hard-chined hull and low sail plan provide unmatched stability and a forgiving feel. The Sunfish hull is light enough to throw on top of your car with ease, and the bulletproof Vanguard construction ensures that your Sunfish will provide years of virtually maintenance free enjoyment. The Sunfish combines performance, stability and durability in a package that appeals to beginners and experts alike.


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

The reputation of the Melges 24® precedes itself. Best known for its very competitive disposition and easy-tosail personality, this modern sportboat maintains its status as a leader in highperformance, one design yachting. With more than 850 boats sold, it continues a humbling tradition of America’s Cup, Olympic Medallists, Volvo Ocean Race recruitment. Looking to improve on tactics and boat handling skills? The Melges 24 builds better sailors. Features high-tech components and materials such as a carbon fiber spar, rudder, bowsprit and vertical keel fin.

Sorry to make you jealous Texas surfers, these are too good not to print. Photography by Melissa Fewell

Jason Fewell, of Galveston, laying down a turn in Nicaragua - the land of offshores.

Jason bottom turns into a nice section.


KEELS & WHEELS “Over the years the event has raised more than $1.5 million for local charities.”

By Patty Kane


key ingredient

to having a successful outdoor event is the weather and Mother Nature provided

two nice days for the 21st Annual Keels and Wheels Concours d’ Elegance held the last weekend in April at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook. The country’s largest

classic car and boat Concours gets better every year and this year was no exception. Tne crowd was able to view a rare display of the world’s finest examples of classic automobiles and an

astounding collection of mint condition vintage wooden yachts. The event is a draw for families as well as car and boat collectors and enthusiasts from all over the United States and the world. The beautiful grounds at Lakewood Yacht Club, located at 2425 NASA Parkway, make the perfect setting for exhibitors to show off their most prized vehicles while the picturesque Lakewood harbor is equally appropriate for displaying the pristine wooden boats. Visitors to the event are drawn back to the grace and beauty of days gone by.

Photography by Debra Rueb and Charles Milby

Over the years the event has raised more than $1.5 million for local charities. Proceeds from this year’s event will once again go to the Boys & Girls Harbor. Attendees not only have a wonderful time but contribute to a worthy cause. Keels & Wheels is the product of a lot of hard work and is the brain child of founders and Concours Chairmen Bob Fuller and Paul Merryman. Bob and his wife Judy, Laura Power, Paul and the Keels & Wheels Board are dedicated to making the event a big success every year. The Lakewood members who donate their time are also an important part of making Keels & Wheels able to continue year after year. Fuller thanks the generosity of the 2016 sponsors. If you would like to be a sponsor for this spectacular event in 2017, contact Bob Fuller at 713- 521-0105 or email


Grady-White Fisherman 257 Length: 24’ 9”

Venture far into the Gulf on any of these fine fishing boats.

Beam: 8’ 6” Fuel Capacity: 135 gal. Max HP: 400 HP Weight (w/o engines): 4,300 lbs. Draft: 20” Deadrise: 20° Bait/Livewell: 32 gal.

Fish Storage: 120 qt. (2), 185 qt.

The Fisherman 257 was built ready to go offshore. Two insulated forward 120 quart boxes and a transom 185 quart box provide plenty of room for any pelagic or reef fish you bring in. The fully insulated 32-gallon lighted livewell keeps bait lively with full column raw water distribution. This ride makes for a comfortable, yet capable sport fishing machine.

Sailfish 270cc Length: 26’ 2” Beam: 9’ Fuel Capacity: 188 gal. Max HP: 400 HP Weight (rigged): 6,700 lbs. Draft: 18” Deadrise: 22-24° Bait/Livewell: 30 gal. Fish Storage: 260 qt. (2) www.

Rod Holders: 10

Improved fishability with higher gunnels, larger fish boxes, more interior room and a transom livewell make the 270 the best laid out fishing platform on the market. The improved functional and stylish helm offers ample room for your larger electronics and multiple storage compartments for gear and equipment.

Cape Horn 24os Length: 25’ 1” Beam: 9’ 1” Fuel Capacity: 136 gal. Max HP: 400 HP Weight (dry): 3,700 lbs. Draft: 20” Deadrise: 23° Bait/Livewell: 30/45 gal. Fish Storage: 470 qt. www.

Rod Holders: 20

With a host of changes in both design and style, the new Cape Horn 24os is more ready than ever to face what awaits 50+ miles offshore. The newly designed hull provides impressive ride comfort and fuel economy. A sprawling floor plan leaves more room to fish. Two big live wells make sure you will never run out of bait.

Sea Hunt Gamefish 25 Length: 25’ 6” Beam: 9’ Fuel Capacity: 148 gal. Max HP: 400 HP Weight (dry): 4,700 lbs. Draft: 19” Deadrise: 21° Bait/Livewell: 27/30 gal


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

Fish Storage: 148 qt. (2), 188 qt.

The Gamefish delivers exactly what serious fishermen demand in a sportfishing center console boat. This boat comes ready to fish with multiple insulated fishboxes and livewells as standard features. The cockpit has abundant room for 360° of fishing and the hull delivers a soft, dry ride.

World Cat 320cc Length: 32’ 2” Beam: 10’ 6” Fuel Capacity: 279 gal. Max HP: 600 HP Weight (dry): 9,200 lbs. Draft: 16” Bait/Livewell: 45 gal. Fish Storage: 300 qt. (2), 225 qt. (2), 105 qt.

The 320CC is a versatile performer that excels in our Gulf chop. You can run flat out to your favorite fishing spot, even in rougher seas. A large 45 gallon livewell provides ample space for bait and over 1,300 quarts of insulated storage keeps your catch cold. Twelve gunwalemounted rod holders and comfortable seating for twelve means you can bring the entire crew out fishing.

Rod Holders (gunwale): 12

Yellowfin 36 Offshore Length: 36’ 8” Beam: 10’ Fuel Capacity: 477 gal. Max HP: 1,250 HP Weight: 9,500 lbs. Draft: 20” Deadrise: 24° Bait/Livewell: Fish Storage:

Rod Holders:

The combination of speed, an unmatched dry ride and rugged construction make the 36 Yellowfin the boat to beat no matter where you are fishing. The 36 can be powered by twin or triple outboards and either option will yield speeds that few other boats in its class can match. Numerous console, leaning post and top options, let you customize the 36 to perfectly complement the way you fish. A huge 477 gallon fuel capacity lends incredible range to this ride.

Boston Whaler 330 Outrage Length: 33’ 1” Beam: 10’ 2” Fuel Capacity: 300 gal. Max HP: 700 HP Weight (dry): 9,000 lbs. Draft: 22” Deadrise: 23° Bait/Livewell: 40/50 gal. Fish Storage: 228 qt. (2)

Rod Holders: 16

With its precision-engineered deep-V hull, high padded gunnels and unsinkable Unibond construction, the 330 Outrage delivers an incredibly soft, safe, dry ride, whether you’re venturing far from shore or cruising close to home. State-of-the-art navigation and command systems make captaining a breeze, while smart ergonomic seating ensures an enjoyable ride for every passenger. In the bow, a plush forward lounge lifts to reveal ample storage below while the facing bow seats invite easy conversation.

Cape Horn 36os Length: 36’ 11” Beam: 10’ 6” Fuel Capacity: 410 gal. Max HP: 1,100 HP Weight: 7,900 lbs. Draft: 24” Deadrise: 23° Bait/Livewell: 60/40 gal. Fish Storage: 1,400 qt., 85 qt.

The 36os features “more of everything.” The wide beam and excellent speed let get out into the Gulf faster and in comfort. A 1,400 quart insulated fish box will hold any fish you may catch, including swordfish up to 9-feet-long. The rear 40 gallon live well is standard, as is the large transom gate. The main live well sports 60 gallons for keeping the largest of baits frisky. The 36os is a solid choice for the seasoned angler looking for all the advantages needed to fish harder than any other.

Rod Holders: 26


[ F I S H I N G ]

Garrett Blumenshine with a 20-inch flounder he caught using a Berkley Gulp! Pearl White Shrimp.



nglers around the Galveston Bay Complex have reported excellent catches of flounder this past winter and the action is getting better as the water warms and days get longer. This is a refreshing change from not too long ago when sportsmen were concerned about the drop off in catches. Prior to the turn of the century, our flounder stocks were showing serious decline in both numbers and quality of fish. Liberal bag limits and no season restrictions were taking their toll on one of the most popular saltwater fish. A bold and unpopular move on the part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department several years ago has proven to be just what the stocks of flounder needed. Before we take a look at the


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

changes that took place, let’s go back and see what was happening before the enactment. Flounder have always been one of the top choices of a large number of fishermen all along the Gulf Coast. Flounder gigging especially was a popular way to bring good quantities of meat to the table in a short time span. Prior to the changes, anglers could go out gigging after dark and take a day’s limit of 10 flounder before midnight and afterwards take another day’s limit of 10 as the possession limit was a two-day bag limit. While mostly flounder giggers were the ones to reap the benefit of the liberal daily limits, pole and line fishermen would at times find concentrations of flounder stacked up around passes and also take advantage of the quantities. Arguably, the most popular and productive time to fish for flounder, whether by conventional rod and reel or by gigging, was during the annual migration in the fall. During this time the flat fish stack up in huge numbers along the pathways to the Gulf of Mexico and are easy targets. This is when I first noticed a problem. Prior to the 1990’s, quality flounder would be easy to catch at my favorite spots along the Galveston Ship Channel, but

toward the end of the 80’s and early 90’s it became more difficult for the average angler to catch more than just a few flounder. During that era the size was also noticeably smaller as well. Sportsmen were becoming well aware of the problem and so was the staff at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. As mentioned earlier, in a bold move the TPWD recommended an overhaul of the regulations. The changes, which were not popular with a large number

“We are getting reports from both the flounder gigging sportsmen and rod and reel anglers of large numbers of quality flounder in the bays.” of anglers, included reducing the daily bag limit from 10 to five and eliminating the two-day possession limit. Flounder gigging would be prohibited during the month of November and at the same time the daily bag limit was further reduced to two per person during November. Fortunately for all anglers, the original thought of eliminating flounder fishing all together during November was compromised with the two-fish limits. The only size and bag limit regulation that remained was the 14-inch minimum size. So, after everyone cooled down following such as dramatic change, how is this all turning out?

First, during November, most fishermen, regardless of experience level, are now able to go out and take two flounder. Prior to the changes, there were a lot of empty stringers as the fish were scattered. Now, let’s discuss what I consider the most noticeable effects. This past winter, there were more flounder caught during the winter months than I can ever recall. Some anglers say it is because we had a warm winter and the fish never migrated. We have had a number of warm winters in the recent past and we did not see this take place. This spring we are getting reports from both the flounder gigging sportsmen and rod and reel anglers of large numbers of quality flounder in the bays. Occasionally reports coming in to the Galveston Daily News during March and April resembled November reports from the flounder run. All I can say is that it points to the results of the overhaul in flounder regulations several years ago. Thanks to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for making the move!

WHICH TIDE? Traditional wisdom says to gig right after a low tide but I consistently find more fish during the outgoing tide, a few hours before its lowest point. Flounder move to the flats to intercept bait pushed from shorelines and drains. However, visibility can be trickier during this time.

LIGHT EM UP Work toward building a submersible LED light out of PVC. Ripples on the bay surface will not affect your visibility as badly with an underwater light. Search the web for ideas and build plans or visit or


Tips for flounder gigging the flats By Brandon Rowan Judging by this Spring, it appears we may have a banner year for flounder on our hands. I made multiple outings in March and April to Galveston’s West Bay and found more and larger flounder than I have in the past five years. Gig some flatties in May and June with these tips:

You’ll find flounder near points, shell islands, outside marsh drains, on grassy shorelines or sandy flats between shell pads. Sometimes they’ll be in just inches of water. Keeper flounder could be near if you see bait, beds or even undersized flounder.

ABOUT THE MOON Don’t be afraid of the moon. I found four fish, up to 20 inches, in an hour’s time during April’s full moon.

SHELL IS COMFORTABLE? I found two flounder this Spring lying directly on shell pads. Keep an eye out for this and push down hard.

TROUT TIME By Capt. David C Dillman


his MARCH/April was a typical spring, which we actually have not experienced in a few years. I witnessed good fishing and weather, but also wind, rain and drastic temperature changes. Now we turn our outlook to May and June, or the months that I refer to as the return of speckled trout in our bay system. I believe we have resident fish and those that migrate. May marks their return. One will find in May that the “first green to the beach tide” will yield catches of trout along the beachfront. The Galveston Jetties will also have its first major run of speckled trout. One of the best baits to use in order to be successful is ole’ reliable live shrimp. As we move into the latter part of May, the trout will move towards Texas City and East Galveston Bay. Some good locations are Half Moon, Hannas and Peppers. Drift fishing with live shrimp and soft plastics will be effective. In June, the trout will move farther north toward Dollar Point and Eagle Point. Numerous reefs and gas wells in this area are key to finding the fish. Some locations to fish are Dollar Reef, Millers Point, Todd’s Dump, the spoil banks and the gas wells. This area is subject to wind and strong tides. The importance of this cannot be overstated. There are a couple different methods used to fish these areas. Drifting fishing, anchoring, or dredging. Drifting or anchoring with live shrimp or croaker is the most common way. Dredging with live croaker is also effective in certain conditions. In this method, you drag your bait along the reefs until you get bit. Where to launch in this area? Look no further than Eagle Point Fishing Camp’s large ramp. They also have the best supply of live shrimp and croaker in the area and a knowledgeable staff with over 90 years total fishing experience. This launch point provides easy access to all the above named places, with the exception of the jetties. I, myself, founded my guide service here in 1990 and as of April 1, 2016 have moved my operation back to Eagle Point. I will be running trips from here and also helping GM Eric Valentino and retired well known guide Windy Marshall run the business. They say life turns a full circle. It is really good to return to my home! Good fishing and tight lines!



FRESH CATCH By Betha Merit


orget the Sauvignon Blanc and

Pinot Grigio for your seafood culinary accompaniments. Or, better yet, you assess your guests and enjoy the new age of beer. With the rise of craft beers, imports, and old standards, there are brewski choices that will make any chef proud. The rule of thumb for seafood is for less hoppy styles. A Belgian Saison or light German lager or blonde ales pair well with a simpler recipe for fish or shellfish. By adding heavier sauces or pasta, you can go for heartier versions of German lagers or wheat beer. Then again, the old adage of “drink what you like” can still apply. Only you know what is your entertainment goal. To please your guests, is the likely choice. Ahhhh, freedom of expression.

Flounder with Green Sauce Ingredients: • •

4 fresh flounder fillets salt & pepper to taste

For sauce combine: •

1/2 container of Alouette herb and garlic spreadable cheese

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped green onions

4 TBSP fresh meyer lemon juice

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

1 peeled, de-seeded cucumber, grated


Shrimp & Broccoli Tortiglioni Pasta

Pat four flounder fish filets with salt and pepper. Saute in butter or olive oil until flakey. Serve sauce on fish. A great accompaniment is potatoes, see next recipe.

Ingredients: • • • • • • • •

8 oz. tortiglioni or rotini pasta boiled in 6 cups of water, cooked al dente 3 cups frozen broccoli, thawed 2 TBSP olive oil 1 pound peeled and deveined large gulf shrimp 2 teaspoons meyer lemon peel zest 3 TBSP unsalted butter 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions: Heat a large skillet or pan over high heat, adding oil to swirl and coat. Add shrimp to pan, saute two minutes. Stir in lemon peel, cook another minute. Add drained pasta, broccoli, butter, and lemon juice to pan. Saute another minute until broccoli is to your liking, stirring occasionally. (Hint, you can pre-cook broccoli if desired). Gently stir all ingredients and sprinkle with black pepper.


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

Dirty Potatoes Ingredients: •

4 medium white potatoes

1/2 stick butter

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green onions

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions: Cut up un-peeled washed potatoes into cubes and boil in water until done but not too soft. Drain water. While still warm cut up butter into potatoes, add onions and salt and pepper. Stir until mixed. Add more onions and pepper on top for garnish.


What’s In Your Bag? B Y



Before the heat sets in, early summer is a good time for dock parties and entertaining onboard. Make your entertaining easy with these unbreakable yet elegant serving pieces from Homes By Eagles’ Nest in League City.


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016


Buffalo Bayou spills out of its banks between Memorial Drive and Allen Parkway on April 18, 2016 after heavy rains. Photo by Jim Olive.

By Janice Van Dyke Walden


pring rains have hit Houston, and at the time of this writing, the Bayou City is flooding once again. While offices are closed and workers stay home, the clock ticks on the 30-day public comment period for a Texas Department of Transportation


(TXDOT) document that will affect future permitting on roads, storm water runoff and setting aside land to offset flooding. The 53-page Permit to Discharge is TXDOT’s first attempt to standardize the agency’s permitting process across the State of Texas as it relates to water discharge. The nation’s

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

second largest environmental agency, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), has the document under review, and concerned environmentalists want to have time to study the permit and recommend changes. Attorney and Galveston Baykeeper Board Member Jen Powis first heard of the document a couple of days

before our talk on April 11, 2016. Her requests to TCEQ for a copy in that first week did not produce the draft on her desk, but she has since obtained a copy of the document filed as Permit No. WQ005011000. “Impervious surface is my concern,” says Powis, who lives in Houston. No one doubts that flooding in the nation’s fourth largest city is due to more roads, higher density living and less surface area to absorb water when rainfall occurs. What concerns Powis and her Baykeeper colleagues is how the State is going to allow more flooding through regulatory holes in the system For about two years, she and other members of Galveston Baykeepers have been watching TXDOT’s moves toward “one, big statewide permit” system that could pave the way for more development and less saving of water-absorbing land. About 27 states have adopted the policy of one permit for their entire transportation system, but with more highway miles than any other state, Texas has an unmatched amount of paving along with a variety of landscape to consider. Till now, TXDOT has issued permits based on the specific conditions of each community. Powis favors this approach, adding, “I’m a strong proponent of local solutions for specific places. We all know that Houston looks very different from the Edwards Aquifer.” Powis would also like to see metrics applied to the permitting process. One metric would be to factor daily and statewide flow rates how much storm water flows through a community – to determine how and where development can occur.

This would be tied to the permitting process. “A lot of the time we try to build our way out of the problem,” say Powis, “versus preserving land at the beginning.” She and the other Galveston Baykeepers want to see TXDOT have more foresight in the allocation of green infrastructure. “The burden should be on the developer to incorporate mitigation in the project,” says Powis. She’d like to see the revised TXDOT permitting system require developers to set aside land to offset the impervious cover they create. In an area like Houston, only one enforcement body controls such a process now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the rule doesn’t apply to all conditions. USACE has jurisdiction over all federal waters, including wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA). But under CWA, land is only a wetland

if it lies within the 100-year flood plain or connects to a body of water under federal jurisdiction. Since most of Houston’s prairie and inland wetlands are technically not termed as wetlands under CWA, developers have been able to build on these parcels without mitigating or even going through the federal permit process. Galveston Baykeepers’ Board Member John Jacob sees that TXDOT’s new permitting process could not only support federal wetland law, but go further to protect now unprotected land – the prairie and inland wetlands – and further offset urban flooding and poor water quality. Of the couple of Houston parcels that Jacob cites as unprotected wetland “already gone” is Generation Park, a 4,000-acre business development less than a mile west of Houston’s drinking water source, Lake Houston.

Of the 4,000 acres, Jacob says that 67% (1,300 acres) were wetland. The master plan calls for allocating less than 20% to green infrastructure. In this case, if TXDOT had such a rule in its permitting structure, it could help protect both Houston’s drinking water and the water quality of Sheldon Lake State Park on Generation Park’s south boundary by requiring mitigation. Jacob has been following the dramatic loss of inland wetlands for years. He serves as Director of Texas A&M’s Texas Coastal Watershed Program. In a 2014 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension report, Jacob notes that in the 12 years between 1992 and 2010, Harris County and the 7 surrounding counties lost over 30% of their freshwater wetlands. “Coastal, tidal wetlands - about 10% to 20% of the State’s total wetland inventory – are not under threat like the prairie

wetlands,” says Jacob, where most of Texas’ wetland inventory lies. And, those prairie wetlands dot the periphery of Houston’s urban sprawl, mostly in tracts less than one-acre in size. Jacob calls Texas’ prairie and inland wetlands the “lymph nodes” of our ecology. “They are cleaning the water, purifying the water.” So why should the loss of wetlands 30 miles inland concern a coastal fisherman? Jacob puts it in simple terms: “Less wetlands: more flooding: worse water quality: less fish.” Meanwhile, the opportunity for public review and comment narrows, with TCEQ’s comment period ending May 7th. To find out more about how Galveston Baykeepers is working to protect Texas’ coastal water quality, visit: www.


Galveston Bay Tides EAGLE POINT, TX NOAA Station Id: 8771013

MAY Sun 5/1 08:35 AM 05:36 PM

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

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[ B O A T S


SA L E ]

2001 80’ Donzi $1,799,000| Larry Smith | 850-259-8989

2008 Viking 64’ CNV $1,925,000 | Randy Bright | 713-816-2165

2008 Viking 54’ CNV

2011 Pursuit 315 Offshore

$1,120,000 | Randy Bright | 713-816-2165

$229,000 | Larry Smith | 850-259-8989

2002 Grand Banks 42 Classic All new batteries Dec. 2015, Westerbeke 12.5 KW Generator, Raymarine RC 530 plus Chart Plotter, Furuno RD-30 Radar, Twin Caterpillar Engines $355,000 |

1998 Carver 53 VOY $249,000 | Cory W. Webster | 281-636-2228

1991 Florida Bay 55 2010 Regal 44 Sport $309,000 | Cory W. Webster | 281-636-2228


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

Steel hull with aluminum superstructure Twin Lugger 425hp diesels, Jacuzzi, Washer/Dryer $149,900 |

[ B O A T S


S A L E ]

2013 Beneteau Oceanis 41

1990 Island Packet 35

Extremely Light Use, 4G Simrad Radar/ AIS added, All new AGM Batteries 2014, Electric fold down transom $244,000 |

Cutter Rigged, Excellent Interior, Large Cockpit, Good head room / Full Keel $84,000 |

2000 Catalina 42 MKII

1996 Catalina 400

Customized for Cruising, AP with GYRO compass, Washer / Dryer / Generator / Davits / New Compass $139,500 |

Twin Steering Wheels, Large Cockpit, Walk through Transom, Centerline Queen Aft $99,900 |

2002 Beneteau 473

2004 Amel Super Maramu 53

In Mast Furling, Radar/Chart Plotter, A/C & Generator, Full Electronics Package $198,000 |

1987 Tayana 42 Center Cockpit Extremely well-cared for and in excellent condition. Centerline queen aft, beautiful Taiwan teak interior. $139,900|

One of the best bluewater boats ever made. Water tight bulk heads, 3 AC units $299,900 |

1997 Beneteau First 42s7 Standard two cabin layout, A/C, Full Battened Main, New Heads placed June 2015 $94,000 |


The Future of Fishing As We Know It By Thomas J. Hilton Hilton’s Realtime Navigator


ew Americans

realize there are forces at play that are silently working to reshape how we are going to be able to access and enjoy our own public trust natural resources, (in this case, our fish), now and for future generations to come. Millions upon millions of dollars have been poured into a concept called “catch shares” in our nation’s fisheries these last few years by environmental corporations, with the full knowledge and complicity of our federal government. It is a slick campaign, put forward by public relations/marketing firms to paint catch shares as a needed “conservation” tool to restore depleted fisheries. In reality, catch shares are an “economic” tool, a mechanism that converts our public trust resources into private commodities – taking from what each American owns and giving it to a few wellconnected corporations free of charge. The name does what it implies; taking what they catch, and converting them into shares, similar to shares of stock on Wall Street where the “owners” can sell, lease or trade them for profit. When you are on the ground floor of this scam, it is a massive transfer of wealth from the


many (all Americans) to the few, and we are talking hundreds of millions of dollars here. Unlike other public resources like oil, gas, and timber where rents are paid to the government for usage of the public resources, these shares are being granted to favored groups free of charge. To add insult to injury, the resource rents are diverted and paid to the corporations each year instead of to the nation, and the shares handed down to heirs as assets for generations to come. In my opinion, this is grand felony theft of the highest magnitude and nobody is being held accountable. In the case of Gulf of Mexico fisheries, catch shares were introduced to the commercial red snapper fishery in 2007 when the Magnuson-Stevens language was added in our fisheries law by the Environmental Defense Fund’s “Oceans Team.” This “innovative market approach” gave 51% ownership of Gulf red snapper to a few commercial fishing corporations which today I estimate to be worth around $300 million. Many of the catch share “owners” have since sold their boats and don’t even go fishing at all, and instead opt to rent their shares to other commercial operations for $3.00/pound or more. Al Capone would be

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine May/June 2016

proud of these guys, skimming hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, per owner, off of the harvest of America’s public trust resources while the nation, nor the fisheries, benefit from one red dime. They are laughing all the way to the bank, at your expense. Now the enviro corporations, their front groups, and our own federal government are attempting to implement catch shares into our Gulf recreational fisheries. This is where I am compelled to draw the line. If these groups get their way, the days of an American fisherman taking his kids fishing, catching a fish and placing that fish in their cooler “for free” are coming to an end. You will be required to pay SOMEBODY in order to bring fish that YOU catch back home to eat. This will most likely be accomplished through the

“They are laughing all the way to the bank, at your expense.” use of fish tags. For example, recently under a pilot program for the Gulf headboats, each boat was given a certain number of fish tags with which the boat owners could utilize any way they wanted. Some operations offered their normal trips at $80/person with the option of catching (and keeping) one red snapper - that is, if you purchased a red snapper tag for $25. Wow. What a deal. Recently, the Gulf Council segregated Gulf recreational fishermen based on what type of boat they fish upon, either a private vessel or a for-hire vessel, so that they could discriminate against one group for the benefit of the other. I find it appalling that our own federal government has

resurrected failed management policies such as segregation and discrimination in order to push this privatization scheme, but that is exactly what is happening. The proof is in the pudding – 2015 was the first year that gave different season days to the two groups. Private boats got 10 days and the for-hire boats got 44 days, and the 2016 red snapper season looks even worse for the average American Gulf fisherman. Remember, these are all recreational fishermen catching the fish – it really shouldn’t matter what type of boat they are fishing from, but separating them is essential to the next step; granting ownership of the fish to the for-hire sector of boat owners. These are mafia-style tactics. Our own federal government is squeezing honest tax-paying American citizens into shorter and shorter fishing seasons using bogus data to justify their actions, and then forcing the fishermen to accept the so-called “solution” of catch shares, or else be shut out of the fishery. Currently, the Gulf private recreational fisherman is prohibited from fishing for red snapper in federal waters for about 98% of the year – that is unless you want to pay a charter or head boat to take you, or...coming soon on your own tag$. The NMFS has failed all of us in this scam and needs to be fired, plain and simple. There is a bill that needs all of our support at the Congressional level; H.R. 3094 which would transfer management of the Gulf red snapper to the five Gulf states. We need to stop this privatization scheme now, as it will certainly not stop at red snapper - it will encompass every single federally-managed fish that swims in the ocean. Please contact your Congressional representative and voice your support of this bill - your kids’ and their kids’ fishing future depends on it.


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