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September/October 2017 | GulfCoastMariner.com


[Letters from the President & Publisher] Admiral (Publisher) Charles Milby

MARINER GOES PINK

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ctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Bay Group Media is proud to support this worthwhile cause. As a recent cancer survivor myself, I fully understand the tremendous trauma that patients, and their friends, families and co-workers go through. The stress, pain and feeling sick all of the time can be quite taxing, not only physically but mentally. One day you are feeling great, loving life and then you hear those three dreadful words from your trusted physician: you have cancer! I am a tough hombre and depression was a big part of the illness. Needless to say, unless you have suffered from cancer yourself, you can be sympathetic but you have no idea what it is like to go through. With that being said, I have tremendous respect for all of the women who have suffered from breast cancer and how it has effected them physically and mentally. I imagine being sick every day; nausea, out of sorts and in pain and depressed. All while trying to care for yourself, a husband and family; let alone holding down a demanding job or running your own business. The uncertainty alone is terrible enough without all of the other physical and emotional pain. I had an incredible amount of support from my friends and co-workers at the Bay Group. For that I am forever grateful! All you amazing ladies who have suffered and survived from breast cancer, you are my heros! To further help promote the Breast Cancer Awareness Cause, Gulf Coast Marnier Magazine is going to sell its popular men and women logo sportswear in pink and white shirts for the months of September and October. Supplies and sizes are limited so please call for your order. These Dri Fit Shirts are perfect for summer and winter wear. Call 281 474-5875 for your shirt or email art@baygroupmedia.com All proceeds from sales will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Vice Admiral (President) Rick Clapp Rear Admiral (Editor) Mary Alys Cherry Captain (Creative Director) Brandon Rowan Commodore (Graphic Designer) Kelly Groce

Clean up begins for thousands of homes and buildings affected by Harvey.

Heroes, all of you

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hank you all, you the men and women who stepped up and volunteered boats and trucks to help with the high water rescues from heavy rains during Hurricane Harvey. This event overwhelmed the local authorities, and as the water kept rising, it was apparent they were not going to keep up with all of the calls coming in for help. When the call went out for assistance, the response was swift and sure. Officials, along with civilian volunteers, from League City conservatively rescued 2,500 citizens from flood water in Galveston County. Emergency crews, police and fire department personnel, conducted more than 3,400 water rescues in the Houston area. The United States Coast Guard headquarters at Ellington Field conducted over 1,000 water rescues. The stories of people stepping up in this horrible disaster goes on and on. There is no way we can thank all of the volunteers personally, but we want you to know we appreciate all you did. It makes us proud to be Texans.

Charles Milby, Publisher

Rick Clapp, President

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine

September/October 2017

Sales Crew (Advertising Executives) George Dismukes Judy Gaines Amber Sample Robyn Weigelt Editorial Mary Alys Cherry Rick Clapp Capt. David Dillman George Dismukes Janie Goldman Kelly Groce K. Pica Kahn Capt. Joe Kent Betha Merit Charles Milby Brandon Rowan Capt. Steve Soule Photography Kelly Groce Betha Merit 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 art@baygroupmedia.com www.GulfCoastMariner.com


| September/October 2017 8|Snapshots

31|Transition in Galveston Bay

10|Hurricane Harvey

32|Cover Story: Prestige Oysters

YOUR fishing and water recreation photos. Submit photos for next issue to art@baygroupmedia.com

Rebuilding after this storm of biblical proportions. By George Dismukes

12|Minimizing Hurricane Damage Secure your home with Hurricane Fabric of Texas.

15|Captain James Plaag

Fishing Galveston Bay in September and October. By Capt.David DIllman

The Halili family: Blueprint for the great American dream. By K. Pica Kahn

Publisher’s Letter ________________p. 6

34|Economic Impact of Oysters

Oysters are good for the bay and great for the Texas economy. By K. Pica Kahn

From trout to tarpon with Capt. Plaag, the 36 year master guide of Silver King Adventures. Interview by Brandon Rowan

36|Battle Over Oyster Beds

19|Captain Steve Hillman

38|Misho’s Oyster Company

Hillman Guide Service’s big trout buff on his early years and his fishing favorites.

22|Captain Bob Drisgill

Moses Lake is home but Mangus II Charters finds good trout all over the Galveston Bay complex. Interview by Kelly Groce

24|Fishing Tournament Results/Photos Texas Billfish Classic, Ladies Casting for Conservation, Poco Bueno, Lonestar Shootout

28|Fall into Great Fishing

Cooler temperatures and outgoing tides create a feeding frenzy in the marsh. By Capt. Steve Soule

30|Fishing Weights

A look at which type is best for your fishing situation. By Capt. Joe Kent

Contents

The legal battle involving STORM has a happy ending. By Mary Alys Cherry

How Croatian native Misho Ivic built an oyster empire. By K. Pica Kahn

40|Oysters as Aphrodisiacs

Youngster lands big bull dorado ________________p. 9 Oyster Trivia ________________p. 9 Name that Fish ________________p. 9 Nautical Numbers ________________p. 9 Definition of a Hero ________________p. 11 Monterey Boats ________________p. 44

Fact or fiction? By K. Pica Kahn

2017 Galveston Bay Report Card ________________p. 44

41|Oyster Reefs

Mariner Press Party at Gilhooley’s ________________p. 46

These structures provide marine habitat and protect shorelines. By K. Pica Kahn

42|The Galley: Oyster Appetizers Delicious oyster recipes and appropriate wine pairings. By Betha Merit

50|Preventing Deadly Gulf Bacteria

Even those in good health can fall prey to saltwater bacteria. Everyone should keep this one item on their boat to prevent potentially life threatening infections. By George Dismukes

Summer Fun with the Masterson Kids ________________p. 48 Nautic Marine & RV ________________p. 52 Nautical Wedding on the Elissa ________________p. 54 Boats for Sale ________________p. 58 Galveston Bay Tides ________________p. 62

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Max Conner with a nice kayak flounder.

Send your photos to art@baygroupmedia.com

Haley Matthews tricked this 8 pound 5 ounce beast in less than two feet of water using a Limetreuse Saltwater Assassin.

This little sea turtle was chilling out along the Port Aransas South Jetty. Photo by Kelly Groce.

Sam Brown caught this beautiful leopard spotted trout in Nighthawk Bay, Upper Laguna Madre.

Surfer Wesley Burnett enjoying some hurricane Franklin swell at Surfside. Photographer @tlump1


NAUTICAL NUMBERS

Youngster lands big bull dorado

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leven-year-old Will McLemore of Houston landed this 67” dorado while fishing with Capt. Brett Holden and the crew of the Booby Trap out of Los Sueños, Costa Rica. He also released his first ever blue marlin! His father, Scott McLemore, also released a marlin just minutes later on their half day trip just 20 miles from the marina.

The big dorado took a live tuna, bridled with a circle hook, while fishing for Marlin near a floating log. “There are a lot of big dorado this year,” Capt. Holden reported. “We have landed more this season than the past three years combined.” For more information on Los Sueños, visit www.lossuenos.com. For more on the Booby Trap, visit www. boobytrapfishingteam.com.

Name that fish

4 Sea turtles can hold their breath for several hours, depending upon the level of activity. A resting or sleeping turtle can remain underwater for 4-7 hours.

50 The University of Southern Mississippi has a blue crab tagging program to investigate movements of blue crabs along the gulf coast. The reward for each tagged blue crab is between $5 and $50.

A. Hogfish B. Roosterfish D. Creolefish

ANSWER: A, Hogfish. The Hogfish uses its unusual snout to search for crustaceans buried in the sediment. This very long “pig-like” snout and its rooting behavior give the hogfish its name. It is highly regarded as a food fish and is targeted by commercial, reef and spear fishers.

C. Clown Wrasse

13 The Texas state record for a flounder is 13 pounds and 28 inches long. Caught by Herbert Endicott on February 18, 1976.

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Harvey’s flood waters ravaged homes and vehicles in the Bay Ridge neighborhood in League City. Photo by Brandon Rowan.

those codes, thereby assuring that your home will pass inspection. If a home does not meet the local building codes, you cannot get an inspection certificate and without a certificate, you cannot get insurance.

HARVEY – A STORM OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS By George Dismukes

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e have a tendency to forget the power of nature until she gets restless, raises her head and deals us a blow like Harvey who has left in its path devastation of historical if not biblical proportions, with costs estimated easily to be in the trillions of dollars. There has never been a storm like it to hit the Texas coast… EVER in the annals of recorded history. It will be spoken of for decades and used as the model when people study storms and how to respond to them. The magnitude of the storm was enormous. The world knows by now that Houston got swatted like a fly, even though the eye of the storm hit almost 200 miles south of Houston, at Rockport.

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Some structures that existed before the storm have simply disappeared. Others were flattened or torn asunder and can only be razed, never repaired. FEMA estimates they will be on site for years to come trying to make sense of it all. Then, there are some structures, some homes that, against all odds, withstood the Category 4 onslaught. Why? Could it have been luck? Hardly. When you’re dealing with a storm of this magnitude, luck hardly fits into the equation. So, precisely what is the difference between a house that has to be picked up in pieces, and the one still standing? The Gulf Coast Mariner needed to know. After all, a large part of our readers live within a storm zone, and vulnerable to attack by the next fury of nature. We decided to ask two of our

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

Mariner advertiser/ builders. We asked them to help us out by revealing the most vital things to do when building a house to maximize the odds that house would remain standing after a hurricane. Below are their responses. We recommend you take notes. What they have to say could save you thousands of dollars and untold heartache.

If your home is to be built on a concrete foundation (slab), be sure the cap is no less than 4” thick and your beams are 1’ X 2’, minimum. If the house is to be constructed on pilings, contract for a reputable piling installer, like Palm Coast Pilings, who is capable of precise piling positioning and will advise you on the correct size of piling, correct spacing and depth to sink your pilings in order to keep your home level, safe and secure.

Application of steel strapping below and above (from below bottom plate to stud.) Hurricane straps from the top of the stud to the rafter; and not on alternating studs, but affixed to every stud without exception.

Things such as the kind of nails employed in your structure are far more important than most people think. Ring shank or screw shank nails used in basic framing make for a stronger structure.

Some builders use 7/16” composite wood for roof decking. Use plywood only, and in most cases, 5/8” thickness.

Before siding can be installed, you must first scab your house with plywood or pressed wood sheathing. This must be firmly nailed in

THINGS YOU SHOULD DO •

All good homes begin with a sound design. Your architect/designer doesn’t just draw pleasing pictures, they are trained to know what materials must be used in vital places to make your structure strong. In addition, they are familiar with local building codes and will design your home so that it meets or exceeds


frequent spacing. It will keep your house plumb and square in high winds. Without it, your home is nothing but a playhouse, vulnerable and destined for disaster. THINGS TO NOT DO •

DO NOT HIRE STORM CHASERS. Storm chasers are people who gravitate to a disaster area following a storm or other tragedy and go door to door offering repairs at discount prices. They almost always want a hefty deposit in advance, frequently do not show up at all to effect repairs and if they do, generally perform inferior “band-aid” work which is unacceptable in every sense and do not meet local building codes. They purchase the cheapest materials they can find that do not meet the minimum specifications for the type of repair being performed; they do shoddy work. Even if you have to wait a while, contract a local firm that has a reputation to live up to, and a history of work within your community. It isn’t just the best way to go. It is the only way to go. To this end, Putnam Builders will check out any builder you are considering at no cost and let you know what rating they have. DO NOT SKIMP ON BUILDING MATERIALS. If you make a deal with your contractor, which involves you purchasing the materials and him doing the labor, that’s fine. But do not buy things such as cheap nails. Here’s an example: If you are using treated wood, to fasten that wood, you must use ‘hot dipped galvanized’ nails. If you skimp and purchase electro galvanized nails, you will regret it because electro galvanized nails cannot stand up to the corrosiveness of treated lumber. They will rust away within a few years and your project (say for instance a deck) will literally fall apart before your eyes.

The bottom line is, you do stand a chance against the biggest, most powerful storm. But it’s not a lucky shot, it is the result of good planning and a well constructed building; a structure that was built with hurricanes in mind. There simply are no guarantees, but you can improve the odds of being one of those lucky people who still have a house after the storm. The key: Take nothing for granted.

DEFINITION OF A HERO By George Dismukes

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hero is not defined by

appearance, male or female, white, black, brown, tall, short, slender or fat, bald or bushy haired, clean shaven or bearded. Heroes are defined not by their appearance, but what they do. In August 2017 the world discovered that Texas has an overwhelming number of heroes. The reason a rear view mirror is smaller than a windshield is because “we” are supposed to spend more time looking ahead than looking back; so the purpose of this short treatise is not to dwell on the events generated by hurricane Harvey. God knows the mainstream media including TV, radio and newspapers have done that. But it would be remiss of Gulf Coast Mariner if we did not comment on the extraordinary actions of so many of our citizens who by definition performed as genuine heroes during our crisis. So where do we begin? And how many silk threads does one weave into this tapestry to define exactly what a hero is made of? When a man sees flooding on his TV in far off West Texas or Louisiana and says to himself, “those people need help!” Then goes outside, hooks his boat and trailer up to his truck so that he can drive hundreds of miles with no consideration of monetary remuneration, and indeed must pay his own travel expenses, so that he can enter the danger zone, launch that small craft into raging flood waters and place his own safety at risk because of a desire to help people he has never met before --

does this qualify? Does this meet the criteria of a hero? Indeed it does. But what is bigger than life is the number of our citizens who stepped forward and never for a moment thought of themselves as heroes, just concerned neighbors wanting to help other neighbors. The Mariner says they are all heroes. There are too many categories to enumerate; volunteers who helped feed and clothe refugees, rescuers who plowed the dark waters searching for flood victims who needed rescue, people who donated clothing, food and other goods, nurses, doctors, millionaires who turned over their entire stores for use as shelters. The list goes on to infinity, and I also want to mention the kind souls who rescued stranded animals who were certainly confused and frightened by this tempest. The point is this: regardless of the bunk you have heard about a divided America, what we have seen when the chips were down is proof positive that those who would try to divide us with diatribe and prevarication have been decidedly proven beyond doubt as being wrong and being nothing but trouble makers. They are the problem, not our general citizenry with whom we are fortunate to walk shoulder to shoulder daily. This isn’t just Texas, it’s America. We are a land of giants, and as you have figured out by now, a giant isn’t like that guy in the beanstalk story. It has nothing to do with stature. It has to do with heart. Be assured that the hearts of our people are good and with that, there is vibrant, everlasting hope for us all.

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Protecting your property from hurricane damage

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verything is bigger

in Texas. So too, it would appear, are the named storms, like Harvey, which plague us each year; so constant, so predictable that coastal residents sleep not unlike the rooster with one eye open, focused on the Gulf. We try to ignore it, but the threat is there, ubiquitous and omnipresent from summer until fall. We track each storm gambling with Las Vegas odds that it will land somewhere else, just far enough away from our part of the coastline to avert catastrophic results. We sigh relief each time we successfully dodge another bullet. Problem is, we can’t always dodge those bullets. The odds are not in our favor because when one finally does take aim at us, the devastation is such that it takes most people years to recover. You can run, and you should do that when a storm is headed right down your throat. But your house can’t run. It has no choice except to take the brunt of whatever force the hurricane is packing. The question becomes, what can you do to help protect your property? It’s a well known fact that your points of vulnerability are doors and windows. To seal those during a storm most people place plywood over such openings and screw them in place. They probably wouldn’t bother if

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they knew the truth of how little protection this provides. Not only that, it is a pain at the very least and downright dangerous in the case of beach houses to put up in the first place. Teetering on a latter, trying to balance a cumbrous piece of wood while attempting to screw it to the wall is a good way to get your neck broken. Of course, it is an excellent opportunity to utilize language you haven’t even thought of using in a long time! It’s always good to keep your French vernacular dusted off and ready for appropriate use! Okay, skipping forward, let’s say you nailed plywood to all your openings and the storm has passed, whether it hit you dead-on or not. Now the interior of your home is like a tomb because you have no electricity, thus no light until you remove the plywood which you now have to store somewhere until the next storm comes along. I could go on, but without belaboring the point, these are just a few of the typical problems we all encounter during and after a storm. Most people see this as an almost overwhelming problem that we have no choice except to

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

deal with any time a storm sets its sights on us. Lew Erhart saw this problem and felt he had to do something to help his fellow man. Keeping in mind that maintaining the exterior integrity of a home or structure is the most vital aspect in preventing vast damage, he set about developing something better than plywood to place over openings because insurance companies are quick to tell you, that is the Achilles Heel. Keep the raging storm out, keep interior damage to a minimum, and it is the interior damage which makes a home unlivable in the days and weeks following a storm. If you have interior damage, you can’t find a reliable contractor immediately following a storm because demand is overwhelming at this most vulnerable time. In desperation you may weaken your standards and accept the overtures of a storm chaser, resulting in, well, we all know what usually happens. You lose your money and still have the problem. There is no choice. You MUST stop the damage before it happens. Now there is an alternative solution. It’s called “Hurricane Fabric.” Here’s how it works as described by its developer, Lew Erhart: “Hurricane fabric is best described as Kevlar for your house. It is a high strength epoxy coated fabric that attaches to you house structure with hidden stainless steel attachments and nylon clips. We prepare your house by attaching fasteners to the structure, cut the Astro Guard to fit you openings, attach the clips to your screens, number each one and fold into provided bags to easily store in attic or garage. I also insist that the homeowner remove one screen so you have experience doing so.” Having your home prepared is a wise plan on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The last four major storms, Category 3 plus were named, increased

in strength and were on shore in less than 72 hours, one in less than 18 hours. That leaves little time to prepare your house, gas your vehicle, secure paperwork and work the rest of your plan before the storm hits. “With Hurricane Fabric you can usually secure a standard 2000 s/f ranch in an hour and a half working alone. It is light weight, five ounces per square yard of fabric your homes entire set of screens is less than one hundred pounds whereas one sheet of 5/8” plywood weighs sixty pounds.” “I have been through or worked after more than 29 hurricanes starting with Andrew, IT IS NOT THE STORM, IT IS THE AFTERMATH.” If your home is protected and you have done practical preparations prior to the event your return to normal life will be much easier. We do free estimates which include a brief preparations presentation with each quote. I’ve made about every mistake possible and I can you tell what “not” to do at length. Please feel free to contact us at 713-8769416, lewerhart@yahoo.com or go to our website One Stop Hurricane Protection. And here’s exciting news: to accommodate those who need the protection but are on limited or fixed incomes, Lew has managed to arrange financing. It’s simple. Make an appointment with Lew. He’ll come to your home, take your credit info, enter it on a laptop and while credit approval is happening, he will do a quick inspection of your home to determine the needed materials, cost and schedule installation. For more information visit www.texashurricanefabric. com, or see their ad in this magazine. Protect your home. Protect your memories. Protect yourself from heartache. You can, because at last, the odds are in your favor.


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James Plaag From trout to tarpon with Capt. Plaag, the 36 year master guide of Silver King Adventures. Interview by Brandon Rowan Where did you grow up? I’m from Houston but I grew up down here near the water. My family has had houses here since the 1950s. So I spent all my youth down here. We had a place on Chocolate Bayou and in 1967 my family built a house in Jamaica Beach. I used to watch ZZ Top play down there on the weekends. How long have you been guiding? It’s been 36 years, man it goes by fast. Silver King Adventures was started in 1990. Things were tough with the ‘83 freeze when everything froze and died. Then with the ‘89 freeze everything froze and died again. We had been trying to catch tarpon, but we didn’t know what we were doing at the time. But we had some people interested in going, and it took us a while to wire it up but we got it going. I was tarpon fishing (continued on the next page) GulfCoastMariner.com

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in Louisiana some at that point too, and that’s how we started.

whole life. We make our own stuff, but we got a lot from him.

So it all started with Tarpon? Well, yeah that’s how the name came. One of our customers gave us that name and got roused a bit, and he made us a nice little ad. He was in that business.

How did you get your start fishing? I cut my teeth fishing the canals at my Grandma’s house in Jamaica Beach. I was about 8 and would ride my bike to the water. With dead shrimp I would catch croaker, hardheads and little redfish. If it bit, I would catch it.

What is your fishing specialty or target fish? Right now we are tarpon fishing. We’ll still go trout fishing if the beach is no good but we’d rather be fishing for tarpon.

“If I could only have one soft plastic and one hard bait I’d take a 51 MirrOlure CH and a red shad Bass Assassin.” So you’re spending a lot of time a couple miles off the beachfront? Sometimes we’ll get 10 miles out. I’ve caught them in 67 feet of water down to 7 feet of water; it all depends on where you can find them. They are the hardest fish on the planet to find and catch. What lures/baits are you using for tarpon? We quit fishing with bait maybe about 15 years ago. We make our own little lures. We still use Coon Pops. Coon is one of my best friends. I learned a whole lot from him; he’s probably the best tarpon fisherman I’ve met in my

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

Do you have a favorite fishing moment? There’s two moments. We caught a really big tarpon one year. The fish was 6’9” with a 50 inch girth and weighed 238 pounds. The other is from Panama. We were on the Gotcha in Panama City and we took it to Piñas. It’s probably the finest place I’ve ever been in my life. We saw about 15 or 16 fish, caught about 8 or 9. Half blues and half black marlin. If you could only have one soft plastic and one hard bait, what would they be? I’d take a 51 series MirrOlure in chartreuse/gold and a red shad Bass Assassin. I work for both of those companies, but if I didn’t, the answer would still be the same. I put my son through school on that red shad color. What is the biggest mistake you see fisherman making out there? They don’t put in the effort. There’s the old saying that you get out what you put in. Fishing is not just throwing your stuff out there and getting them; it doesn’t work like that. If just want a boat ride, that’s all good and fine, but if you actually want to catch something, you have to put in more than just a lackadaisical effort. What are some things anglers in the Galveston Bay Complex should key


in on during September and October to be successful? September is a hard month for trout fishing. It’s a transition month. You have a major spawn in April and a little bit bigger than a minor spawn in September. September is probably one of the worst months to try and catch a trout. You can, and someone might tell me “Man you’re stupid, we kill them in September.” Yeah, well you might, but by and large it’s not that good. If the weather is good then September is the best month to catch Tarpon. October is the same for those first three weeks if it’s calm. That’s when the big fish are there. It’s a really good month. October is also a good trout fishing month. Those birds will start working and it gets pretty easy. But September can be tough inshore. For me that month is made for tarpon fishing and dove hunting. Do you have a favorite tide stage to fish? It depends on the time of year and where you are fishing. If you’re fishing the marsh during winter, then you got to have an outgoing tide. If you’re fishing near the ship channel, deep water shell or well pads, then the fish will be biting on the incoming tide. What is the biggest change you’ve seen in our area from when you first started compared to today? The biggest change? It’s a thing called a cell phone. It totally ruined fishing and I’ll throw croakers in there, too. It used to be that you could stay on a school of fish for two weeks, now you can’t stay on them for 2 hours before someone picks up the phone and tells the world “Hey I saw this dude on the fish over here and they’re getting them.” The information highway brother…the coconut telegraph is a killer.

“If the weather is good then September is the best month to catch Tarpon.” Do you have a new recently discovered lure or technique you’d like to share with our readers? In these last three years we’ve been fishing a lot like they fish swimbaits for bass. Instead of jigging them, we use them like a search bait. That’s where the paddletail comes into play, like a Bass Assassin Sea Shad. Once you get your speed down and find the fish, whether it’s the bottom or top of the water column, it’s easy. That way you can tell clients to cast, let it fall for X amount of seconds and then bring it back on a medium retrieve.

could go out there with a lure and I might catch one and I may not, but you drag that croaker through there and you can target the individual big breeder fish. So you’ll have one boat load up with 15 or more 3 – 5 pound trout before they head in. Then you’ll have 30 boats out there doing the same thing. Add it up in pounds and it doesn’t take long to see the problem. If you want to fish with finfish, then get you some piggie perch. Put some effort into it. Piggie is a better bait than a croaker, but you have to put some more effort in to use them. Another thing I’ve talked about is putting a slot limit on the trout. Knock the minimum length down to 14 inches so Joe Blow can go out and catch his 10 fish. And then anything from 20 to 25 inches just put them back. Most customers want fish they can keep, so they could box the smaller eating fish and let the big ones go. Aside from fishing, what else are you passionate about? Dove hunting. But with fishing we go with the old saying “Can’t stop, won’t

stop.” That’s what we do; we fish. Cameron, my son, is the same way. It’s what we do. Do you fish any tournaments? I’ve fished a couple tournaments this year. I’ve been lucky enough to place in just about every one of them. I don’t go after it hard anymore though. Them boys that fish those tournaments in wintertime, they’re good, they catch them. They’re young and they’ll make long runs. We fish the Seabrook Saltwater Derby every year. We’ve won something in that one just about every time. I fish with Jason Nolan. He just called me about it, it’s coming up on September 29. Uh oh, we got some competition (laughs). Team Gulf Coast Mariner will be fishing that one too. Well I hope y’all do good, but I hope I do better (laughs). How can someone contact you for a guided trip? Give me a call at (409) 935-7242 or email info@ silverkingadventures.com. Tarpon fishing will be hot and inshore fishing during the fall is the best all year.

Favorite place you have ever fished? It’s definitely Panama. Is there anything you’d like to see changed in the current regulations? Do away with the croaker. Sooner or later the guides are going to fish themselves out of business and everyone will be wondering why. What it enables you to do is to target the individual fish you wouldn’t catch otherwise. I GulfCoastMariner.com

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017


Hillman Guide Service’s big trout buff on his early years and fishing favorites

Interview by Brandon Rowan

Steve caught this chunky speck over shallow shell during a transitional period.

Where did you grow up? I was born in Galveston and grew up on Dickinson Bayou where my parents started a small seafood business in the midseventies. When not fishing off of our little pier I would fish out in the bay with my dad, uncles and grandpa. This was back when we didn’t have to venture far to catch trout, redfish and flounder. Reefs in Dickinson Bay, (continued on the next page)

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Steve released this mid-October beauty after a quick photo.

ever ask for. Funny how things seem to work out the way you least expect. When I started guiding I ran tarpon, bull red, shark, black drum, flounder and trout trips. While I enjoyed all of that I realized that my true passion was fishing for trout and reds. I’m a firm believer in sticking to what you know. And, by doing the same thing day-in and day-out you can stay on the patterns and become better.

Moses Lake and Todd’s Dump gave us all the action we could ask for. It really wasn’t until my mid-teenage years that I learned how to read the water well. I fell in love with wading and learned what slicks meant. This is when fishing hit a whole new level for me. I caught my first topwater trout on a chrome/ blue jumping minnow on Dickinson Reef when I was around 16 years old. I still remember how rafts of mullet would mark the J-shaped reef. No GPS was needed. In 1996 I graduated from the University of Houston – Clear Lake with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management, then took a job in the chemical industry. Within a couple of years I came back to my roots in the family seafood business to take over the marketing aspects of the business. We would fly clients in from all over the country and I would take them fishing and golfing. It was during this time when I realized just how much satisfaction I got

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from watching others enjoy catching fish. In 2004 I obtained my captain’s license and started running trips. Some folks told me to be careful taking something that I enjoy and turning it into a job. I suppose this is true for some. For me, it was the right choice. I never intended on becoming a full-time fishing guide but the circumstances pretty much played out that way. Now, I have some of the best regular clients that any guide could

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

“I love catching legitimately big trout and Baffin has produced more big trout for me than all the other bays I’ve fished combined.”

Do you have a favorite fishing moment? My favorite experience is when a young man from Idaho called to book a two day fly fishing trip with me in March of 2006 for him and his father. The first day was spent wading coves in West Bay amidst typical March stiff winds. The bite was tough on flies, but the trout and reds were cooperative (for me) on conventional tackle. Kurt and his dad kept their distance from me despite me constantly waving them in my direction. They caught a few undersized trout on seaducers, clouser minnows and spoon flies. They seemed to be happy despite not catching a bunch of fish. The wind gave us a break on the second day and the fishing was much better. Once again, however, they wouldn’t wade over when I was on fish. They caught some, but I was a bit perplexed and maybe even a little disappointed that they pretty much hung out away from me in their own little world. I pulled up to the dock at Teakwood Marina and Kurt’s father headed for the truck as he was a little tired. Kurt handed me my check and said the following; “Captain Steve, I know that me and my dad could’ve caught more fish had we spent more time by your side or used conventional gear, but I need to tell you something. My dad has terminal cancer and the doctors only gave him a few months to live. He


started taking me fly fishing when I was a little boy and those memories are the ones I cherish the most. We got to relive some of those memories the past two days and I want to thank you for that. This may be the last time I get to fish with my dad.” As Kurt walked towards his truck tears flowed from my eyes. I drove home thinking about how blessed I was. That two day fishing trip with Kurt and his father will forever be etched in my memory as well as my heart.

What is your favorite soft plastic and hard bait for trout if you had to choose only one of each? My favorite soft plastic would have to be a Limetreuse Saltwater Assassin and MirrOlure’s MirrOdine XL would be my choice for a hard bait. What is the biggest mistake you see other fishermen make? I would have to say that the biggest mistake I see on a regular basis is other fishermen motoring over fish. Just the other day we witnessed a boat motor through several good trout slicks then line up behind us to make a drift. He was more concerned with what was happening on my boat then what was happening in the water around him. This has become a daily occurrence. I would love to see more awareness and better etiquette. What should anglers key in on during September and October in Galveston Bay? The early days of September are usually similar to our late summer patterns which

Favorite place you’ve ever fished? Hands down, my favorite place I’ve ever fished is Baffin Bay. I love catching legitimately big trout and Baffin has produced more big trout for me than all the other bays I’ve fished combined. Galveston Bay has produced some big trout for us through the years but not as consistently as Baffin.

involve drifting slicks in 7 to 11 feet of water over shell and throwing mainly soft plastics. Depending upon the timing of cool fronts, late September and early October can become more of a transitional pattern where trout are found deep as well as shallow. Slicks and active bait are always good telltale signs but gulls hovering over migrating white shrimp can also lead you to the fish. Wading near marsh drains is always a good plan especially during late October. Trout can be somewhat spread out until a true fall pattern arrives which usually occurs in November. Do you have a favorite tide stage to fish? My favorite tide to fish depends on where we’re fishing but our trout seem to feed better during a tide change. If we’re wading the mouth of a marsh drain then I like a high tide going to a low. If we’re drifting open bay reefs then any tidal movement is best, regardless of direction. What is the biggest change you’ve seen in Galveston Bay over the years? I could write an entire article on this subject but I

suppose the most noticeable change is the bottom landscape of the bay. Many islands are now reefs and many reefs are now gone. Through the years the bottom structure has changed from environmental changes and man-induced changes. We have lost more than half of our live oyster reefs and all of our rangia clam beds mainly due to Hurricane Ike and other environmental changes. I’ve also seen the number of boats increase dramatically over the years. Do you have a recently discovered lure or new technique you’d like to share with our readers? I’m pretty much a creature of habit who tends to keep things simple. That being said, I seem to be throwing more waking baits such as Strike Pro’s Hunchback this year. It’s a subsurface hard bait that wobbles from side to side. It has a loud rattle that tends to draw strikes when sometimes other baits won’t. Other than that, I usually stick to the basic soft plastic and topwater program. It really depends on what I see while we’re fishing.

Is there anything you’d like to see changed in the current regulations? The jury is still out on this question for me. I carefully observe the changes I see on a yearly and daily basis while running my charters. I also study the data from the Texas Parks and Wildlife, as well as others such as the Harte Research Institute. My current opinion is that we’re struggling with habitat in this bay and fishing pressure has greatly increased. Man-made and environmental changes have had a negative impact on our estuary. I don’t think anyone can deny that. The question is what changes should be made? Is a limit reduction to 5 trout the answer? I personally think it’s a good start. Sustainability of our spotted seatrout as well as our habitat should be on the front burner. Aside from fishing, what else are you passionate about? I thoroughly enjoy fishing but my biggest passion is spending time with my family. My wife and I only have one daughter, and she turns 16 in January. Time seems to pass faster than ever and I don’t want to miss anything that has to do with them. We’re a goofy little family and we can rarely have a serious conversation, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. You can contact Hillman Guide Service by calling 409-256-7937 or by emailing captsteve@ hillmanguideservice.com

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017


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2017 RESULTS Overall Point Leaders 1. Hey Girl

1,450

2. Smoker II

1,000

3. A-Team

650

Blue Marlin Division 1. Hey Girl

1,450

2. Smoker II

1,000

3. A-Team

650

Billfish Release Division 1. Hey Girl 2. Smoker II 3. A-Team Tuna Division 1. Kurt Pantle - $ea Dollar$ - 59.5# 2. Cody Stephens - $ea Dollar$ - 53.2# 3. Trey - Bimini Babe - 50.6# Wahoo Division 1. Michael Milan - Fool’s Gold - 24# 2. Gretchen Childress - Panacea - 21.8# TOP FEMALE ANGLER Diana Wood - Blue Marlin Release TOP JUNIOR ANGLER Miles Harper - Blue Marlin Release

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017


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[ fi sh i ng t o u r na m e nt r esults]

2017 RESULTS www.thelonestarshootout.com

Red Tide took 1st place wahoo with a 46.5 lb fish.

Backlash with their 566 lb blue marlin.

1st place dorado, pictured right, and 2nd place.

Tournament Champions Done Deal took first in billfish release.

Division (1st Place) Boat Name

Owner/Member

Captain

Score

Tournament Champions

Done Deal

Jon Gonsoulin

Jason Buck

2,250 pt

Billfish Release

Done Deal

Jon Gonsoulin

Jason Buck

2,250 pt

Blue Marlin

Backlash

Jackie Hunter

Glen Kusenberger 566 lb

Tuna

Relentless Pursuit Dennis Pasentine

Josh Jones

153.5 lb

Dolphin

Sun Doll

Paul Keller

Gary Middletone

34 lb

Wahoo

Red Tide

Dan Sugulas

Dan Sugulas

46.5 lb

Crew Awards

Name Boat Name

Owner/Member

Score

Top Captain

Jason Buck

Done Deal

Jon Gonsoulin

2,250 pt

Top Mate

Chris Marshall

Done Deal

Jon Gonsoulin

2,250 pt

Top Junior Angler

Kanon Lasserre

Draggin’ Up

Chris Heule

750 pt

Relentless Pursuit brought in a 153.5 lb fish to take first place in the tuna division.

Photos: Poco Bueno

2017 RESULTS www.poco-bueno.com

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

Billfish Release Boat

Points Tag & Release

1st Place

Doc Holiday

1500

2 Blues

Largest Fish Boat

Angler

Weight

Blue Marlin

Chum On

Chris Horn

551

Tuna

Doulos

Adam Lozano

130.5

Dorado

Maverick

Lee Daughdrill

40.5

Wahoo

Whiskey Business

Jimmy Guinn

33.0


Chum On’s big 551 lb. blue marlin.

Fishing & Winning POCO By Janie Goldman

L

eague City resident,

Rodney DeVillier, Captain of Chum On, and owner of One More Cast Charters, (www. omccharters,com), brought in the winning 551 lb., 109 inch Blue Marlin in the annual Poco Bueno Fishing Tournament. The win was celebrated by boat owner Dr. Kevin Horn, a Baytown orthopedic surgeon, and crew members Chris Horn (angler who brought in the winning fish), Ben Horn, David Horn, Jake Horn, Michael Horn, Shaun Essery and Joey (Sully) Sullivan. Poco Bueno, is an invitation-only, family-run fishing tournament held every July in Port O’Connor. It was founded in 1969 by Walter W. Fondren and several friends with the intention to draw attention to Port O’Connor and the rich resources it has to offer fisherman.

Captain Rodney DeVillier, who runs the marine electronics department at Fathom Maritime service, says he has been participating in POCO since 1999. In that first year they won third place and won again in 2002 with the second place prize. Rodney explained that even though this year there was an option to weigh in on the second day, they choose to weigh in on the first day because it can bring in an extra $15,000. In addition, cooling the fish overnight can cost you some weight. When asked what he especially enjoys about the Poco Bueno tournament in Port O’Connor, DeVillier explained that the format and rules are different from other tournaments. It’s all about tradition. He plans to continue participating in POCO for as long as it continues to keep its traditions and the intentions of its founders. GulfCoastMariner.com

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can be reduced from other peak times. Add in some heavy cloud cover and you will notice a decrease in water temp even without rain fall. Mix in some solid rainstorms with the cloud cover and its entirely possible to knock several degrees off the surface and shallow water temps. Short days, long stringers By September, we have typically passed peak temperatures. It’s still hot for sure, but we are beginning to trend slowly downward. Shorter daylight “photo period” helps as there is a reduction of hours of sun heating. Another slight boost to fishing is the second annual reduction of fishing and boating traffic due the opening of some shooting sports season. Teal season does put some boats on the water in select areas, but they aren’t moving around much during the first few hours of the day. In general, the reduction of boats running around tends to help “settle” the fish and allow them to spend their time doing the feeding and moving habits that are normal and less of their time trying to avoid propellers and loud noises that our boats make.

By Capt. Steve Soule www.ultimatedetailingllc.com

A

fter what feels

like an eternal summer this year, I could not be more excited thinking about fall and cooler temperatures. There are so many great things that happen on the bays, and of course the cooler temperatures don’t hurt my feelings one bit. In mid August its still hot but one of the first major changes happens; the kids go back to school. There’s a slight drop in fishing pressure as many of us have to change

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our focus from entertaining kids to keeping them on track with school work and other related activities. Tropical weather from late summer is usually the starting point of some very slight bay water cooling. The increase in even daily thunderstorms and cloud cover starts the downward trend of water temperatures. This seems to in turn trigger some slight change in fish feeding and activity periods. Extreme daytime temps of summer can reach well into the 90’s and often leave us with fish that are sluggish and less active during the

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

“As these tides flow and bring food out into open areas, fish tend to binge feed on more available food sources.” mid day periods. Scorching heat and cloudless days can push fish to slightly deeper water and definitely seem to keep fish from high levels of surface feeding. Not to say that there won’t be activity in the heat but many days it

Fish the outgoing tide One of the biggest changes, and one that affects certain parts of the bay very dramatically, is the change in tides and timing. This is a known annual event, though there is no exact repeating


subject to being moved around by the force of tides, not to mention that their food sources are moved and easily available during periods of stronger tide movement. As these tides flow and bring food out into open areas, fish tend to binge feed on more available food sources. Conversely, on incoming and higher tides, many of the food species are able to find cover and shelter in places that make it challenging for predators to reach them.

date when it occurs. At some time in September, we will see this change, the change of having a typical daily incoming tide in the early morning hours. Eventually we see the early morning tide turn to an outgoing swing. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you understand the number, size and varying types of baitfish, shrimp and crabs that have grown through the warmer months and have spent their time deep into marshes and up rivers and creeks, falling tides tend to become the predominant feeding time. Knowing where some of the big numbers of prey species are makes it easier to understand how an outgoing tide can spike feeding activity. Small baitfish and invertebrates are much more

Cool water feeding The final change of the fall tends to come slightly later in September or early October, and is again temperature related. Though we will probably see some very mild cool fronts, the early “stout” fronts will make a huge difference in fishing. The smaller mild fronts will create small changes in bay temps and fish feeding, but as we start to see more significant fronts, feeding activity increases at a much more notable rate. Since these early fronts don’t typically bring huge temperature drops and are quickly followed by rapid warming, they don’t really cool the water that much. Stronger fronts that last longer, will create even more water cooling. So, why does cooler water make the fish feed? In short, so many of the small prey species that arrive in the spring, have grown to maturity and are prepared to move out of the back bays, creeks and rivers and these movements are triggered by falling temperatures. Add the onset of outgoing tides and you have a perfect recipe for heavy feeding. Fish are aggressive, food is more readily available, the boating and fishing traffic has reduced and the comfort level is significantly better to spend a day outside. Sounds like a perfect time to go and enjoy the outdoors. GulfCoastMariner.com

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FISHING WEIGHTS AND HOW THEY WORK By Capt. Joe Kent

W

hile writing

the fishing report each day for the Galveston Daily News, there are many questions that readers ask about fishing and fishing equipment. One question that crops up fairly often has to do with fishing weights. The inquiries are generated by anglers who shop at tackle stores or bait shops and see a wide variety of weights on the shelves and are curious as to how to distinguish between the choices. Another common question about weights has to do with a recommendation of what weight or weights should be used for a particular type of fishing. Hopefully this article will shed some light on those questions and provide some useful information about how and when to use the various weights. Browsing around the fishing weight displays in tackle shops can be a confusing adventure, as most of the

30

larger operations have dozens of different types on display with only a few being popular with fishermen. Determine Your Use Before getting into the various weights available, let’s address a basic question. For what type of fishing is the weight designed? Casting

Panfish, such as croaker, are a common catch on beachfront piers.

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

for trout and reds involves different types of weights than say surf fishing or offshore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Pier fishing also has its unique type of weights. For most types of fishing, the objective is to get your bait down with the least amount of weight. Currents, wave action and wind all effect the choice of weights. When viewing the choices of weights at most tackle stores there are several that stand out and for purposes of this article we will focus on the most popular along the upper Texas coast. Pier and Bank Fishing For bank and pier fishermen who cast baits with a double drop leader and weight at the bottom, the most popular are the bank sinker, pyramid and bell weights. All come in varied sizes and are designed to get the rig (leader, hooks and weight) to the bottom quickly before the “trash fish” attack on the way down is successful. This type of fishing is great

for pan fish and is the most convenient and popular style when fishing from piers, rock groins and jetties with dead bait.

Live shrimp is a top trout bait.

Live Bait When using live bait, other weights are the answer and again the objective is to get your bait out there and to a depth where the fish are feeding. This is much more challenging than just getting your baits to the bottom.


“The key to all of this is to get your bait to its desired location with the least amount of resistance.” Current strength is the key to choosing the right weight and just as important, the type of weight. When fishing for most game fish, whether from a pier, wading or a boat, a slip weight is the best choice. Slip weights include egg weights and the easily changeable rubber grip weights and pinch weights. All are found in various sizes and again the choice is determined by where you want your bait in relation to the current flow. Another of the detachable weights is the split shot which is easily attached and removed from fishing lines and is one of the smaller weights. This weight is popular with anglers free-lining bait with little resistance. Surf Fishing One weight that gets more attention or curiosity than most is the odd looking surf fishing bait called the Sputnik. The name comes from its resembling a satellite with antennas. This bait is popular with surf fishermen as it digs into the sand and is not nearly as affected by wave action and tidal flow as other weights. It also is popular with anglers fishing rocky or debris filled areas, as the wire protrusions we call antennas are much more easily removed from being stuck in the rocks or debris.

Offshore Fishing Finally, we deal with offshore weights. While heavy pyramid, bank and egg weights are popular for getting baits down to the reef fish, the trolling weights have been found to move the rigs faster to the bottom. The reason is their slim design that does not displace as much water as other bottom weights. While there is a desirable and proper weight out there for whatever your choice of fishing, remember the key to all of this is to get your bait to its desired location with the least amount of resistance.

Eric Valentino after a good day with Capt. Dillman.

The Transition in Galveston Bay By Capt. David C Dillman Spec-tacular Trout Adventures 409-632-0924

A

ll I can say is “Wow!”

It’s hard to believe that summer is over. I know it is not the official end according to the calendar, but I go by the start of the school year. What can we expect for September and October this year? Hopefully no more hurricanes and a little cooler weather would be a welcome change. Most people have their own predication if we are going to experience an early fall weather pattern. From what I am seeing and hearing, all indicators point to an early fall here in Texas. Hummingbirds have made an earlier than normal migration, I have also heard of sightings of teal along the coast. Sand trout, and plenty of them, were caught in Galveston Bay the first week of August. Normally all this happens towards the latter part of August, not the first week. September and October are what I would consider transition months along the Upper Coast for fishing. As the water temperature drops, fish begin their migration north into the back bays of the Galveston Complex. I have already experienced the migration pattern

with good action in Trinity Bay during August. In September and October we should see a bigger push of fish into the northern reaches of East, Trinity and Galveston Bays. Why? Bait, bait and more bait! Tides will begin to drop with each passing front. As the shrimp and shad get pushed out of the marsh, they become easy prey for predator fish. So what’s the best bait? While some fish will still be caught on live croaker, live shrimp will be the go-to natural bait. Lure fisherman will also do well, with soft plastics being the lure of choice. Eagle Point Fishing Camp will carry croaker and live shrimp during these months. September and October is also the start of hunting season in Texas. Dove and teal season open in September for the bird hunters. Deer season is around the corner, so now is the time to prepare your lease and sight in those rifles! A special archery season for deer opens September 30. This time of year is special for the sportsman in Texas. Get out and enjoy this transition period. Hopefully we can dodge a major weather system and enjoy this amazing time of year in Texas and the Upper Coast!

GulfCoastMariner.com

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Blueprint for the Great American Dream The story of Prestige Oysters By K. Pica Kahn

I

t is a love story, and a story of the American dream. Johnny Halili, a little boy in Albania, never dreamed he would be an oyster mogul in the U.S. In the 1970s, coming from his home country to Chicago, he began his American work life in a car wash. Drifting from job to job, he heard from his cousin that there was work in Louisiana; so off he went. Working on a boat for the first time, he was a deckhand and worked very hard for years. Eventually he bought his own oyster boat, the Lady Katherine, and that is when his successful American dream life began. Prestige Oysters is a private

32

family run business which continues with his best deckhand Lisa, who later became the love of his life and his wife. Working through all kinds of weather, they never gave up their dreams. The couple are now joined by their son Raz in this family owned and run business. The company has two full-time processing plants providing market for over 100 boats from Texas to Louisiana and Maryland. The family was able to increase their business with the acquisition of the Quintus

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

350L high-pressure processing machine and CryoQuick tunnel to process oysters. In 2013, the company acquired Joey’s Oyster Company’s state of the art facility with HPP technology in Amite, Louisiana. “HPP is one of the most clean and advanced food

processing technologies. It is the size of a small room,” said Raz. “It does 1,200 oysters at a time in high pressure. We buy from other people, and we have our own boats. We also buy from independent contractors from South Texas up to Maryland. Oysters are a very popular appetizer. They


are a delicacy – a romance between ocean and man ” The High-Pressure process is a food processing method using water and elevated pressures to achieve consumer desired goals. In 1990s, HPP emerged as a method of processing food, but not until the 21st century was it applied to seafood. The advancements in HPP technology over recent decades have proved this method of food processing is

Lisa, Raz took the business to a new level, when he approached the giant Sysco Foods. “He was just this kid with an idea, and he made it happen,” said the proud mom. “We would have never even thought of it, but after college he came on the sales side of the business and this was his venture, and he took a chance and did it for us. It made all the difference. We are very proud of him. We were just simple wholesalers,

of the highest quality. From fresh juice to meats and seafood, HPP neutralizes listeria, salmonella, E. coli and other deadly bacteria. Their Treasure Band oysters have undergone our High Pressure Process which reduces the Vibrio Vulnificus and Vibrio Paraheamolyticus to nondetectable levels. The idea for the purchase of the multi million dollar

“My family and I have a great appreciation of living in a free country, where you can fulfill your wildest dreams.” machine was that of the father, according to Raz. “He really saw the value in it, and so we bought one, and it has been a great asset for us.” According to his mother

and he took us to a whole new level. Like his father before him, the son now 31, had a vision of where he wanted to take the company. After pitching the idea to the seafood

director at the time, he felt confident this was a program with a story behind it that could sell. “We were able to supply a year-round supply of oysters at a competitive price, and we are the first ones to have a corporate level oyster program at Sysco,” said Raz. “It was a multimillion dollar investment, but we always want to change, grow and push our company to greater highest.” Although the idea and the execution was the son’s idea, he says he learned so much from his father, from whom he got his work ethic. “He taught me the meaning of hard work and dedication, always preaching to never take anything for granted, to help others and stay loyal to the ones who have helped you along the way. My family and I have a great appreciation of living in a free country, where you can fulfill your wildest dreams. Enjoy working hard and it will pay off.”

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The Economic Impact of Oysters By K. Pica Kahn

O

ysters are good

for the Texas Gulf Coast for numerous reasons including the economic impact on the state. An unusual species, they also contribute to the health of the surrounding ecosystem through filtration of the area in which they live. “Here are the oyster landings (meat-weight, lbs) and ex-vessel value ($) for each year from 2000 through 2016,” said Lance Robinson, deputy division director, Coastal Fisheries Division Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. “This includes the data for 2017 through May, leaving six months of landings from June through December that will need to be added. “Landings are calculated in pounds of ‘meat-weight’ which subtracts the weight of the shell. The value is reported as ex-vessel value,

which is the price paid to the fisherman by the dealer/buyer. To calculate the value of the oyster fishery to the state’s economy, economic multipliers are used to account for how these dollars move through the economy (e.g. fisherman takes money earned from catching/selling oysters and buys gasoline, groceries, clothes, etc.)” For commercial fisheries in Texas, this multiplier is 1.8. In taking the ex-vessel value for the 2016 season ($13,715,122) and multiply by 1.8, the total value is $24,687,219.60, which would be the contribution to the Texas economy from the commercial oyster fishery for that year. “Regarding the ecological value of oysters to coastal ecosystems, combine the

ecosystem services and the valuation estimates of these services,” said Robinson. “Another analogy in trying to explain the value of oyster resources is through their water filtering capacity and thus improvements to water quality. A single adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons per day as they filter out microscopic algae (phytoplankton) upon which they feed.

“Algae and other particles that are too big to ingest, are encapsulated in mucous material within the shell. These materials are not ingested by the oyster, but the encapsulated packets, known as pseudofeces, are extruded from the shell and falls upon the reef where other small organisms (shrimp, crabs, etc.) feed upon this material. Using an average density of 10 oysters per square meter, 130 acres of oyster reef would be capable of filtering approximately 260 million gallons of water per day.” “According to the Greater Houston Partnership, by comparison, the city of Houston’s 39 wastewater treatment plants had a combined average daily wastewater treatment flow in 2009 of 252 million gallons per day,” said Robinson. “Oysters don’t purify the water like a wastewater treatment plant, but it’s an impressive statistic that 130 acres of oyster can remove sediment and other particulates from our bays at the same volume that is used by the city of Houston.”

Landings (meat-wt.), ex-vessel value ($) and average price per pound for oysters harvested from public and private oyster beds

34

PUBLIC

PRIVATE

Year

Meat-Weight (lbs) Ex-Vessel Value ($)

$/lb

Meat-Weight (lbs) Ex-Vessel Value ($)

$/lb

2000

4,591,000

$10,107,400

$2.20

1,550,000

$3,627,000

$2.34

2001

3,497,300

$8,057,800

$2.30

1,278,100

$3,233,600

$2.53

2002

3,274,600

$7,630,900

$2.33

1,410,600

$3,582,900

$2.54

2003

5,120,000

$12,034,200

$2.35

1,706,800

$4,488,900

$2.63

2004

4,001,000

$10,595,600

$2.65

1,578,400

$4,387,900

$2.78

2005

3,927,500

$12,257,800

$3.12

1,134,000

$3,901,000

$3.44

2006

4,815,900

$16,324,500

$3.39

1,224,300

$4,860,500

$3.97

2007

4,708,932

$14,491,310

$3.08

1,350,418

$4,325,311

$3.20

2008

1,950,499

$5,875,014

$3.01

1,003,793

$2,979,714

$2.97

2009

2,165,652

$6,823,992

$3.15

856,197

$2,600,253

$3.04

2010

4,560,246

$14,591,921

$3.20

1,234,501

$4,552,197

$3.69

2011

3,666,929

$10,623,009

$2.90

672,029

$2,163,344

$3.22

2012

4,693,431

$17,090,800

$3.64

1,123,763

$4,211,311

$3.75

2013

5,100,408

$19,385,716

$3.80

1,031,733

$4,105,999

$3.98

2014

3,351,237

$15,407,087

$4.60

777,501

$3,814,130

$4.91

2015

1,112,426

$5,623,656

$5.06

474,618

$2,630,621

$5.54

2016

2,095,398

$11,406,640

$5.44

399,048

$2,308,482

$5.7

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017


start back in early 2013 when the owners of Jeri’s Seafood, Ben Nelson and his son-inlaw, Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Tracy Woody, set up a separate company named the Sustainable Texas Oyster Resource Management (STORM). Then, the next spring, it was learned that the Chambers Liberty Counties Navigation District had awarded STORM a 30-year lease on more than 23,000 acres of submerged

“If the courts upheld STORM’s claim, it would have jeopardized all oystermen around the bay.”

Battle over oyster beds finally has a happy ending By Mary Alys Cherry

A

war over oysters?

While it may sound like something Hollywood would dream up for a movie, dozens of Galveston Bay families and businesses found themselves caught up in the middle of it and worried they might lose their livelihood. That was until last Oct. 26 when Judge Lonnie Cox of the 56th Judicial District Court ruled in their favor, much to the relief of Lisa and Johnny Halili of Prestige Oysters, Stephen Hillman of Hillman’s Seafood, Michael

36

Ivich of Misha’s Seafood and oystermen Jure Slabic and Ivo Slabic. “There is still work to do,” their attorney, Chris Feldman, said afterwards. “We still have to litigate total attorney fees and for tortuous interference where STORM interfered with our clients’ ability to harvest oysters,” he told The Baytown Sun. “We didn’t get a final judgment but a partial summary judgment, and there are still some things to do. But the big central issue has been addressed, and this case is a victory for everyone.” The controversy got its

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

land – the better part of Galveston Bay, as one person put it -- for $1.50 per acre initially. This despite the fact the land was already privately leased from the state and is normally leased by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Normally, the navigation district’s job is to improve and oversee waterways, not the harvesting of oysters. That’s the job of the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, which leases the reefs. Shock spread around the bay, still recovering from Hurricane Ike damages, creating a firestorm of dissent from oystermen and the Texas Parks and Wildlife, which manages dredging rights in the area. “They can’t do that can they?” was a frequent question on the lips of oystermen, oyster aficionados, just about everyone who had never heard of a navigation district having the authority to take such an action. If the courts upheld STORM’s claim, it would have

jeopardized all oystermen around the bay. Lisa Halili and other Galveston Bay oyster company owners promptly sued. “This can’t happen,” Halili remembers her son saying to her. “We can’t make a living.” Now, she said last year after the Cox ruling, “thanks to Judge Lonnie Cox, we are all free to go back to our way of life. For two years, this illegal lease has added to the heartaches of the good people who make their livelihood harvesting oysters. Their life’s work was threatened and jeopardized by . . . dealings on the part of the Navigation District.” The owners of Jeri’s Seafood and STORM were not happy with the verdict against them and took the fight all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, which denied their request to review the Galveston County ruling – ending their illegal lease for good. Meanwhile, the Galveston County oystermen have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, claiming their constitutional rights have been violated by a conspiracy by Navigation District board members trying to help one company, Jeri’s Seafood, take control of Galveston Bay. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that the Navigation District knew the lease was an under-the-table type of agreement and failed to consider giving the lease to any other party other than STORM, even though they were aware that the plaintiffs and other oystermen were competitors and had competing leases with the state, and that the District failed to seek approval for the lease with Texas Parks and Wildlife. The suit also seeks damages for lost income during the period the oystermen were unable to cultivate and harvest oysters from their leases.


Misho’s Oyster Company How Croatian native Misho Ivic built an oyster empire on the Gulf Coast By K. Pica Kahn

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isho Ivic, owner of Misho’s Oyster Company, one of the three largest oyster producers in Texas, didn’t start out in Texas or in the oyster business. Originally from Croatia, Ivic’s father, an engineer and a professor, told him he needed to leave his homeland for a better life in the U.S. “When I was 11, he said, ‘this is not a country for you,’”said Ivic. “‘Go to America, but get an education first.” He had been asked to join the communist party three times and refused. He wanted a better life for me. My father was raised by the Franciscan monks after his mother died when he was a child, and he was suppose to be a monk. Someone in our family had been a monk for 300 years.” But life had other plans for the father. Speaking five languages, his father was one of a few people who could communicate with Yugoslavian/Croatian business people, so that and his work as an engineer helped him support his family in style. He was sent to South America where he was able

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to earn a good deal of money and upon his return, he was asked to be a professor. So the son also went to university to become an engineer. He got a job in the oyster industry making $20 a day as a deckhand on an oyster boat. The second year, Ivic bought his first oyster boat, a 50-foot boat for $8,000. As his own boss, he had job security, couldn’t get fired and learned the trade. Without finishing his degree, he came to this county at the age of 32 and finished his education at the University of New Orleans as a mechanical engineer in 1976 after working for over two years in Croatia in the oyster industry. “I was advised by a friend to go to Texas and buy an oyster lease, which I did,” said. “I came to Texas and in 1977 I bought three leases. My dad said you need to work as an engineer, so I did that too.” He worked designing several boats and equipment. He was also involved in designing some conveyers for oysters. He now had eight boats and six leases producing 420 acres of oysters. “In 1983, I went to work as a mud engineer making $54,000 a year as an engineer and making $120,000 in oysters. I was married by that time and had four kids, and I’m still with the same woman 45 years later.

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

“I love my family and I love oysters. I eat them almost every day.” “That was the last time I ever worked for anyone again. I had the oyster business, and I never went back to engineering. I decided we needed to buy a dock.” However, the property he wanted in San Leon was $150,000 and he couldn’t afford it. But after Alicia, the owner went down to $50,000 and Misho had his docks. He now has seven docks, he owns four and leases three. With six children, all but two of them work in the family business living within 15 miles of each other from League City to San Leon. They are all hard workers, he said, and they all seem to adore their father. The feeling is mutual, he says. The family’s closeness and devotion to both the family and the

business helps, they believe, to make them successful. “People can feel how much we care,” said daughter Annie. “I think it even makes our oysters taste better,” she jokes. Emily, is a teacher in Austin and Kathy is in Croatia, involved in real estate and is a good mother. Annie, is in business with dad. Michael is his right-hand man, while Annie and Joy work in the oyster business in administration. Francis is a mom with three kids. Unlike some families they get long well and spend a lot of time together. “I love my family and I love oysters. I eat them almost every day,” he said. “I like Gilhooley’s restaurant for oysters. I liked them so much, I bought the restaurant recently. Oysters need brackish water; part saltwater and part freshwater. Gilhooley’s make them with Parmesan cheese and charbroils them. They are delicious. “Our oysters are not processed, have no hormones or preservatives, and they are pure as can be and very good for you. In countries where they eat a lot of oysters, there is almost no diabetes or heart disease and they attribute that to the oysters. They help blood move throughout the body. That is why they are thought of as an aphrodisiac.” Misho’s Oyster Company is among the top three oyster companies in Texas although they sell all over the country from Texas to Virginia and Maryland. Half are sold in Texas. “I am very proud of the company, but all my life, I have been riding a roller coaster. I never feel secure,” he said. “You never know when everything can change. If I have to, I can always go back to working on the boats, but not for $20 a day. No more deckhand for me. This time I will be the captain!”


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hormones that ended with the production of testosterone in males and progesterone in females. An increase in these levels of those hormones in the blood creates more sexual activity. “Spring, when the molluscs themselves are breeding, is best. There is the highest concentration of these two amino acids then.” D’Aniello believes these findings show that the Italians have been right about oysters as aphrodisiacs for centuries, dating back to before the time of the Romans. The results are best when the oysters are eaten raw. Some discount these findings as false, not believing in the research proving

Oysters as aphrodisiacs Fact or fiction? By K. Pica Kahn

A

candle light dinner out, a bottle of wine, a plate of oysters and the mood is set. It is a foregone conclusion that the supper is foreplay for the evening. Often hailed as an aphrodisiac, the succulent morsels, are suggestive at best, of romance. Myth or fact, the reputation of the oysters precedes the stories such as the prolific lover Casanova, who supposedly ate 50 oysters for breakfast. Scientists have been trying to prove or disprove the rumors for eons. According to legend, Aphrodite sprang from the sea on an oyster shell and immediately gave birth to a son. Not surprisingly, seafood, especially oysters, have long had a reputation as aphrodisiacs. The Romans called Aphrodite Venus, and her creation story has inspired much art including the famous 15th century painting “The Birth of Venus” by

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Sondra Botticelli. Oysters contain hormoneinducing amino acids effective in spring which is supposed to add to the effect. Spring is the time of year when the shellfish have their greatest potency as an aphrodisiac. American and Italian researchers studied bivalve molluscs, a group of shellfish including oysters, which were found to be rich in a rare amino acid that triggered increased levels of sexual potency. A 40-year scientist George Fisher, a professor of chemistry at Barry University, Miami, who led the research team with his graduate student Raul Mirza and Antimo D’Aniello, of the Laboratory of Neurobiology in Naples, believes this is the first scientific evidence of the proof of oysters as an aphrodisiac. For many years, the myth speculated the power of oysters centered on the refueling powers of the high zinc content of a mineral found in sperm. Men lose between one and three milligrams per ejaculation. Fisher and his team,

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

“The Birth of Venus” by Sondra Botticelli.

partly funded by the United States National Institutes of Health, took samples of bivalve molluscs from fish markets near Dr. D’Aniello’s Naples laboratory. According to Fisher, using a process called high-performance liquid chromatography to identify which amino acids were present and in what quantities, the team found two unusual ones - D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methylD-aspartate (NMDA), unusual amino acids not found in nature. Results in earlier experiments by D’Aniello found that injecting rodents with the amino acids triggered a chain reaction of

oysters as aphrodisiacs. Myth or fact? No one knows for sure. The human mind can convince itself of almost anything. Final judgment must be left up to the individual enjoying the slippery little suckers. In Casanova’s memoirs, Volume Six, he admitted to seducing 122 women, detailing how to best serve the delicacies. “I placed the shell on the edge of her lips and after a good deal of laughing, she sucked in the oyster, which she held between her lips. I instantly recovered it by placing my lips on hers.”


Oyster reefs By K. Pica Kahn

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ysters, while delicious and popular to eat, also form reefs that are the foundation of a healthy and resilient coastal ecosystem. Although once only eatable during months with “r” in them, that is no longer true. According to Lance Robinson, Deputy Division Director, Coastal Fisheries Division, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, oysters can be eaten any month of the year. “There are several processes which protect the public from unhealthy oysters,” he said. “You can eat oysters any time. Oysters can be harvested 12 months of the year under FDA specification. There are several approved techniques approved by the FDA that eliminate the bacteria that makes you sick. The first way is using high pressure.

Oyster reefs provide habitat for many marine species, like this sheepshead.

It kills the bacteria and is FDA approved. Second is low heat optimization, then quick frozen flash freeze and finally irradiation.” These processes help the consumer and the reefs help the ecosystem. The reefs add increased catches of fish and crabs, as well as offering protection from coastal erosion by waves. Over the years, oyster reefs have been on the decline. It is now possible to create man made oyster reefs that duplicate many of the benefits of natural reefs. In part due to projects in the Gulf of Mexico. A comprehensive study measuring the economic and social benefits that reef

restoration provides to Gulf Coast communities, has been completed by Environmental Economist Tim Kruger, Ph. D., with The Nature Conservancy. The project Dollars and Sense: Economic Benefits and Impacts from Two Oyster Reef Restoration Projects in the Northern Gulf of Mexico is based on an analysis of two planned restoration projects in Alabama drawing on findings from studies of restored and natural reefs in parts of the Gulf. The study suggests that oyster reef restoration will offer a return on an investment of recreational and commercial fisheries and other benefits. Due to the filtration

advantages of oysters, the restoration may also influence water quality making this economically advantageous to the area. An investment of $150 million used for the construction of 100 miles of oyster reefs over a decade in the northern Gulf of Mexico, is expected to show returns estimated to be a return twice the amount for goods and services to the economy. Over 200 jobs a year will be made possible during a decade of construction. Almost 90 percent of residents rely on seafood related jobs. In 2008, commercial fishermen in the Gulf harvested 1.28 billion pounds of shellfish earning $659 million in revenues. Oyster reefs do more than just filtering water, they protect shorelines by absorbing wave energy by as much as 93 percent. This not only helps erosion and flooding, it protects damage to private property. They help homeowners save on bulkheads protecting land. Hundred of miles of oyster reefs could possible save up to $150 million on bulkhead repairs, something any coastal property owner will appreciate.

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OYSTER

APPETIZERS

A

ppetizers are multifold fun. They get the party started by whetting your appetite and teasing your tastebuds. And they can also be served as a meal in tandem with another small plate of food or two. Another idea is to plan a small gathering and have everyone bring their favorite hors d’oeuvres with a paired wine. For the following oyster recipes we suggest pairing with bubbles, from Champagne to sparkling rosé. And any crisp white wine such as Chablis or Sancerre will also pair nicely. Enjoy.

Savory Bacon Wrapped Oysters Ingredients: • • • • • •

12 ounces bacon strips cut in half 1 pint shucked oysters 2 Tablespoons brown sugar (or white) 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce 2-3 cloves minced garlic 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Directions:

Crispy Oven-Baked Oysters Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • •

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 2 eggs 1 cup dry bread crumbs 2/3 cup grated Romano cheese 2 Tablespoons dried parsley 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 1 pint shucked oysters

Directions: Use three shallow bowls. In the first bowl combine flour, salt, pepper and cayenne. In another bowl whisk eggs. In the third bowl combine bread crumbs, cheese, parsley and garlic salt. Coat oysters with flour mixture, then dip in eggs, and coat with crumb mixture. Place in greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan; drizzle with oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve with jalapeño ranch dressing for dipping.

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Cook bacon in skillet style pan on medium-high heat until shrunken, but not crisp. Lay on paper towels to drain. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a shallow baking dish, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and dry mustard. Wrap each oyster with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place in the baking dish with sauce and bake for 15 minutes or longer. Oysters are done when the sauce bubbles and the bacon is crispy around the edges.

Chablis The Chablis region is the northernmost wine district of the Burgundy region in France. The cool climate of this region produces wines with more acidity and flavors less fruity than Chardonnay. These wines often have a flinty or steely note.

Sancerre Blanc Sancerre is located in the eastern part of the Loire valley, southeast of Orléans in France. Sancerre blanc is usually bone dry and highly aromatic with intense flavors of peaches and gooseberries.


T O N Y ’ S

S E A F O O D

R E C I P E S

Tony Chachere’s Easy Gumbo Ingredients: • • • • • • • •

1 bell pepper, chopped 1 large onion, chopped  3 ribs celery, chopped  1/4 teaspoon minced garlic  10 cups cool water  1 cup Tony Chachere’s Instant Roux Mix  1 lb. shrimp and 1 lb. crab meat  Tony Chachere Original Creole Seasoning

Directions: In a stockpot coated in pan spray, sauté vegetables until soft. In the same pot, add Tony’s Roux, 2 cups of water, 1 cup Tony Chachere’s Instant Roux Mix Bring to a boil. After mixture begins to thicken, reduce heat to low and stir for 3 minutes. Add remaining water. For seafood gumbo, bring roux mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add shrimp and crab meat and return to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add remaining water. Season gumbo to taste with Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning. Ladle gumbo over steamed rice and garnish with chopped green onions and Tony Chachere’s Gumbo Filé.

Opelousas Oyster Loaf Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • •

1 Loaf French Bread, unsliced Margarine 1 Dozen select large oysters 1 Egg Ketchup Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning 1/2 Cup light cream 1 Cup bread crumbs 1 Cup oil Dill pickles (sliced) Lemon (wedges)

Directions: Cut off top of the French Bread lengthwise and reserve. Scoop out insides and toast the loaf. Butter inside generously and keep warm. Dry oysters on absorbent paper. In a bowl, beat egg with Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, slowly adding cream. Place oysters in egg mixture, then in bread crumbs, thoroughly covering all sides. Fry in shallow oil until brown and drain on absorbent paper. Fill the hollow of French Bread with the fried oysters. Garnish with sliced dill pickles, lemon wedges and dabs of ketchup. Replace top, heat in oven and serve. Yields 4 servings.

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The Yacht Sales Company Adds Monterey Motor Boats to their Lineup of Luxury

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he Yacht Sales Company is proud to announce that they have acquired Monterey Boats to their lineup of luxury at their dealership located in Kemah! “From Sale To Sails We Take Care of You” is their motto and that they do! By now offering Monterey Boats to their every growing clientele, they have added a world leader in style, performance, and innovation. With a lifetime MVP warranty, award winning design, cutting edge technology and unmatched quality, Monterey Boats sets the bar for sport boats and sport yachts very high. This was the perfect choice for TYSC to go along with their other luxury lines: Beneteau Sailboats, Lagoon Catamarans, and CNB Yachts. With this new addition for The Yacht Sales Company, also comes a new additional location, which is 1206 Marina Bay Drive C, Kemah Texas, 77565. This new lot is spacious enough not only to hold the Monterey trailer motor boats but also for the used brokerage boats as well. They have appointed Captain Dave Davis to be the onsite specialist for Monterey and to head up sales for the entire lot. Jonathon Davis, owner of The Yacht Sales Company, is very excited with this addition of Monterey and says, “My goal has always been to provide our clients every opportunity to get on the water and with the addition of Monterey, I feel as a dealership we are providing yet another opportunity.” Tailored with the same mission as Monterey, which continues to provide the customer with exceptional products that are living, breathing extensions of the client’s waterborne recreational lifestyle and the best boats in the industry, lines up to be a perfect fit for The Yacht Sales Company. For more information please contact: Captain Dave Davis at 281-334-1993 or captaindave@theyachtsalescompany.com

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

2017 Galveston Bay Report Card Water Quality

Pollution

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Wildlife

he 2017 Galveston Bay Report Card was released on August 9, 2017. To create this third annual update of the report card, HARC again gathered scientific data related to each of the six categories and determined the grades associated with each category. This year’s grade of a C denotes that Galveston Bay continues to do pretty well for now, but there are issues, and there are actions we can take to ensure the bay’s future prosperity. The most significant challenges to the Bay continue to be declines in the acreage of natural habitats such as freshwater wetlands and oyster reefs. Wetlands provide important benefits by absorbing and slowing the release of flood waters and improving water quality. Oysters of course support an important commercial fishery by providing us with seafood and oyster

Habitat

Human Health Risks

Coastal Change

reefs provide important habitat for other fish and wildlife. Despite some threats, the Bay is headed in the right direction. A habitat success is reflected by increased stands of underwater grasses. Two decades ago, seagrass beds could only be seen in Christmas Bay. Now they are making a comeback in West Bay due to restoration efforts and improved water quality conditions. Fish and bird populations across the bay appear to be maintaining their populations. From time to time, we see periodic decreases in species such as flounder and speckled trout in certain subbays, but these populations tend to be resilient over time. View the full report card and detailed reports at www. galvbaygrade.org.

2 0 1 7 Galveston B ay R acin g S ched u le GBCA

Sept. 16

GBCA Women’s Regatta

HYC

Sept. 23-24

HOOD Regatta

LYC

Oct. 5-8

Harvest Moon Regatta

LYC

Oct. 20-22

J-Fest Southwest

LYC

Oct. 25-29

J-105 North Americans


MARINER

PRESS PARTY

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P h o t og r ap h y b y D e b r a R u e b

The Masterson Kids It’s good to have fun and these siblings have it figured out.

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he Masterson kids grew up on the water racing sailboats and tanker surfing with their parents Stewart and Wylie. Daughters Wylie and Kelly were in the first graduating class at Clear Falls High School and graduated summa cum laude from UT Austin, where they are now teaching before

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attending medical school. Laura graduated from Clear Falls, where she was on the sailing team that was ranked #1 nationally in Keel Boats. She won the Mallory Trophy in fleet racing, which is the High School Nationals, the first time it had been won by Texas. She is currently attending the College of Charleston where

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

she sails on the #1 ranked college sailing team and is on the honor roll. George is a senior, ranked 13th out of 675 students at Clear Falls, where he has played on the varsity tennis team since he was a freshman. He is on the sailing team and is a private sailing instructor.


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Deadly Gulf Bacteria By George Dismukes

D

avid (Bubba) Kehrer

is a large, robust man in his 30s whose job as manager of Putnam Builders in Bacliff, Texas requires that he spend a lot of time outdoors, on the job performing physical tasks. As might be expected, his physical condition is good, which makes the following account even more jarring, because as Bubba stressed several times during our interview, it can happen to anybody, regardless of your physical condition. Tell us what happened. Bubba Kehrer: I took the family fishing about 12 miles out one Saturday and caught several nice kingfish. We came home and I managed to run a bone all the way under my fingernail while cleaning them. It wasn’t the first time I have gotten a bone under my fingernail, so I didn’t think much of it other than my finger would be sore for the next several days. On Sunday, the very next day, my hand hurt so bad that I walked around holding it. I felt like someone had smashed my hand with a 16 pound sledgehammer and then they were standing on my hand, jumping up and down. Every time my heart beat, the throbbing and pain was excruciating, almost unbearable. About 24 hours after the accident my entire nail turned black and my finger began to swell up. Monday morning, the knuckles on my finger were completely swollen up. The end of my finger looked like a

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Even those with healthy immune systems like Bubba can be affected by saltwater bacteria. His finger after surgery is pictured right.

balloon that was about to pop. I could no longer handle it and went to Bay Area Regional’s Emergency Room. They took one look at it and knew it was a bacterial infection from the Gulf. Later on, I found out that the temperatures in the gulf are record setting high. I’ve heard about saltwater bacteria, I’ve heard about the flesh eating bacteria, ‘Vibrio,’ I’ve heard about all of this stuff and I know lots of the fishing guides around here. I fish all the time and I’ve never met anybody that it had actually happened to, so I always chalked it up as some guy out in the water who had open wounds, and (here’s the important part) I never gave it much thought that it could happen to me. BUT IT DID! I spent a while at the ER. They started high powered antibiotics and started surgery

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

“Anybody who is a fisherman should carry a spray bottle filled with a mixture of half water and half bleach.” in the morning. They cut my finger open, they removed my nail and scrubbed inside, bone, tendon and all to remove the bacteria. Luckily, my doctors were the best. My hand doctor, my infectious disease doctor are the best in the business. Do you want to name those doctors? BK: Absolutely. Those guys saved my life. They’re the best in the business. Dr. Mitchell

was my hand doctor and the greatest guy I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting in the medical field. Dr. Kamana was my infectious disease doctor and Dr. Azzam was my pain management doctor and every one of them are the best there is. I cannot say enough good about them. I was in the hospital for eight days, on antibiotics. There for a while, I was worried that I was going to lose my finger. The biggest thing that I have learned from this experience is that the bacteria in the Gulf is no joke. The danger is there, the danger is great, the danger is as close as the water. People are dying from infections. People are losing their fingers. People are losing their arms, people are losing their legs and people are losing their lives. There was a guy in the bed next to me in the hospital that got finned in the top of the foot by a catfish and he is fighting for his life. He has diabetes, so his immune system is compromised and that makes him even more susceptible. I learned from the hand doctor and from the infectious disease doctor that anybody who is a fisherman should carry a spray bottle filled with a mixture of half water and half bleach. If you get stuck or cut with anything, hit it with that mixture ASAP. The good news is that it will kill every kind of bacteria in that Gulf. What I endured was a real eye opener. I would have never believed it could happen to me. So now I want to tell everyone that no one is invulnerable. Be safe. Keep that spray bottle of water and bleach close at hand. You family is depending on it. David (Bubba) Kehrer has now returned to his job a wiser man. He granted this interview and spoke about a very private incident because of his love of people. THE GULF COAST MARINER salutes him.


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The New Nautic Marine & RV

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he new and improved Nautic Marine & RV Center in Kemah is the brain child of marine maven Kevin Kaiser. The basic concept began in 2002 at Waterford Harbor with the first ever “time share” sailboat in Houston. Kaiser then started a sailing school and yacht brokerage. In 2008 they overcame Hurricane Ike and our local economic disaster and started a new boat dealership.

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Nautic Marine & RV now proudly celebrates its 15th year in business. The newly designed center will feature one of the largest Palapas in Texas and will provide a fun vacation atmosphere for their customers. It will offer its clients a bar and will serve complimentary fountain drinks. The old building has been totally gutted, creating new work stations for all of their employees. Furthermore, they have added an acre of concrete for a convenient

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

parking lot for their visitors. The exciting news at the Nautic Marine is they now will be selling state of the art RVs. “We have entered the explosive RV business and will offer affordable RVs such as the Aspen Trails, which begins at $15,000,” stated Kaiser. This world class center will continue to carry the top brands in boating and yachting such as Formula, Wellcraft, Four Winns, Veranda Gran Turismo, Monte Carlo, Swift Trawler, Marquis, Carver and Robalo. They also offer a full range of financing options up to 20 years and low down payments. Nautic Marine and RV boast about their finance, sales, staff and service experience which has over 100 years. Nautic Marine and RV’s goal is to provide a pleasant experience from day one. They offer the “Nautic Difference” with exclusive no haggle, no hassle and nationwide low

price guarantee on every boat, yacht and RV. As Kaiser says “leave the boxing gloves at home.” No dealer games. They will make your experience fun and easy. Finally, Nautic is family owned and operated. Owner Kevin Kaiser hails from Louisville, Ky., and grew up in The Woodlands. He is a graduate of Sam Houston State University, earning his degree in communications, marketing and management. He has sales experience working for Coca Cola, 3M and Lennar Homes as a construction manager. Kaiser also holds a USCG 100 Ton Master Captain’s License. He and his dynamic wife, Brenda, have one son, Cooper, who is named after Cooper Island in the British Virgin Islands. So, when you are looking to buy your first boat, yacht, RV or just upgrading, see Kevin and company at Nautic Marine & RV. You will not be disappointed!


Nautical Wedding of the Year

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n August 12, Captain Dave Davis and Dr. Maurine Howard tied the knot onboard the Elissa, docked in Galveston Harbor. Friday night before the wedding, a private party was held at The Lasker Inn. Over 150 revelers were onboard the Elissa to celebrate this couple’s beautiful wedding. The lovely bride, Maurine Howard was escorted to the altar by the groom’s father, David Davis, to the tune of Geoffery

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Osborn’s “Going All the Way.” The entire wedding party enjoyed a champagne toast and a mouth watering white vanilla cake decorated with rope, anchors and seashells. The captain and his mermaid honeymooned on a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica.


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[ B O A T S

F O R

SA L E ]

2006 Four Winns 288 Vista

2013 Sea Hunt 29 Gamefish

Twin 5.0 MPI 260 HP. Bravo III, 250 Hours, Gen/Air, from Lake Conroe. Priced to Sell $59,900 281-549-6390 www.actionboatcenter.com

Twin 300’s, 260 Hours, 2-12” Garmins TACO Outriggers. Many Extras, Tri-Axle Trailer. $109,900 281-549-6390 www.actionboatcenter.com

1999 380 Sundancer

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2015 Beneteau Sense 55

Very low hours. Fully reconditioned New canvas and upholstery. Many Updates. $109,900 281-549-6390 www.actionboatcenter.com

$ 599,942.00 Sailboat Mike, 281-334-1993 www.TheYachtSalesCompany.com

2017 Beneteau Oceanis 38.1

2011 Azimut 40 Atlantis

$242,460 Sailboat Mike, 281-334-1993 www.TheYachtSalesCompany.com

$ 329,000 Bruce Jarman, 281-334-1993 www.TheYachtSalesCompany.com

2005 Beneteau 473

2007 Caliber 47 LRC

$209,999 Generator, air, bowthrusters plus Yanmar 76hp diesel. Kent Little, 713-817-7216 kent@littleyachtsales.com

$499,000 Owner has spared no expense to outfit this yacht. David Jackson, 713-806-8953 david@littleyachtsales.com

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017


[ B O A T S

F O R

1998 Sea Ray 560 Sedan Bridge

1979 Hatteras 53 Sport Fish

$329,000 Bruce Jarman, 281-334-1993 www.TheYachtSalesCompany.com

$285,000 Bruce Jarman, 281-334-1993 www.TheYachtSalesCompany.com

2014 Sabre 42 Salon Express

2004 Formula 47 Yacht

$745,000 David Hunt, 713-819-7426 www.galatiyachts.com

$239,000 Cory W. Webster, 281-636-2228 www.galatiyachts.com

2014 Hatteras 63 GT

2014 Prestige 550 Fly

$2,845,000 Randy Bright, 713-816-2165 www.galatiyachts.com

$899,000 Cory W. Webster, 281-636-2228 www.galatiyachts.com

S A L E ]

2008 Jeanneau 45DS $255,000 Very well kept and equipped. Kent Little, 713-817-7216 kent@littleyachtsales.com

PRE-OWNED YELLOWFINS Contact Texas Sportfishing Yacht Sales 281-334-2000 or 281-535-2628

GulfCoastMariner.com

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60

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017


GulfCoastMariner.com

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

SEPTEMBER Fri 9/1 09:05 AM 10:53 PM

1.34 H 0.30 L

Sat 9/2 09:42 AM 11:41 PM

1.34 H 0.31 L

Sun 9/3 10:07 AM

1.32 H

Mon 9/4 12:23 AM 10:15 AM

0.34 L 1.28 H

Tue 9/5 01:01 AM 10:05 AM 02:14 PM 04:34 PM Wed 9/6 01:36 AM 09:47 AM 02:19 PM 06:26 PM Thu 9/7 02:10 AM 09:26 AM 02:45 PM 08:07 PM Fri 9/8 02:43 AM 09:04 AM 03:20 PM 09:55 PM Sat 9/9 03:13 AM 08:40 AM 04:01 PM

0.62 L 1.13 H 0.94 L 1.12 H

0.78 L 1.12 H 0.79 L 1.13 H

0.96 L 1.16 H 0.64 L

Sun 9/17 08:53 AM

1.49 H

Mon 9/18 12:05 AM 08:53 AM 01:47 PM 04:16 PM

0.45 L 1.40 H 1.28 L 1.30 H

Tue 9/19 12:54 AM 08:48 AM 01:49 PM 06:19 PM

0.58 L 1.32 H 1.15 L 1.27 H

Wed 9/20 01:39 AM 08:40 AM 02:13 PM 07:55 PM

0.73 L 1.26 H 1.01 L 1.27 H

Thu 9/21 02:22 AM 08:27 AM 02:42 PM 09:26 PM

0.90 L 1.23 H 0.88 L 1.28 H

Fri 9/22 03:03 AM 08:08 AM 03:13 PM 11:01 PM

1.06 L 1.23 H 0.76 L 1.31 H

Sat 9/23 03:45 AM 07:36 AM 03:46 PM

1.21 L 1.27 H 0.68 L

Sun 9/24 12:56 AM 04:23 PM

1.36 H 0.62 L

Sun 10/1 08:03 AM 11:01 PM

1.51 H 0.65 L

Mon 10/2 08:04 AM 11:46 PM

1.46 H 0.71 L

Tue 10/3 07:54 AM 01:15 PM 04:58 PM

1.39 H 1.23 L 1.29 H

Wed 10/4 12:28 AM 07:39 AM 01:14 PM 06:42 PM Thu 10/5 01:09 AM 07:20 AM 01:34 PM 08:13 PM

0.81 L 1.33 H 1.09 L 1.30 H

0.94 L 1.30 H 0.92 L 1.34 H

Fri 10/6 01:49 AM 06:59 AM 02:04 PM 09:47 PM

1.10 L 1.31 H 0.75 L 1.40 H

Sat 10/7 02:29 AM 06:34 AM 02:40 PM 11:37 PM

1.27 L 1.36 H 0.58 L 1.48 H

Sun 10/8 03:01 AM 06:03 AM 03:23 PM

1.44 L 1.47 H 0.45 L

Mon 10/9 05:24 AM 04:13 PM

1.59 H 0.36 L

Tue 10/10 05:21 AM 05:10 PM

1.18 H 1.14 L 1.24 H 0.50 L

Mon 9/25 04:09 AM 05:06 PM

1.44 H 0.59 L

Mon 9/11 07:43 AM 05:43 PM

1.35 H 0.38 L

Tue 9/26 05:26 AM 05:57 PM

1.51 H 0.58 L

1.48 H 0.31 L

Wed 9/27 06:11 AM 06:58 PM

1.55 H 0.59 L

1.57 H 0.27 L

Thu 9/28 06:50 AM 08:06 PM

Thu 9/14 07:53 AM 09:01 PM

1.62 H 0.26 L

Fri 9/29 07:24 AM 09:12 PM

1.57 H 0.60 L

Sun 10/15 07:02 AM 10:50 PM

1.52 H 0.66 L

Fri 9/15 08:22 AM 10:08 PM

1.62 H 0.29 L

Sat 9/30 07:49 AM 10:11 PM

1.55 H 0.62 L

Mon 10/16 06:59 AM 01:02 PM 04:35 PM 11:44 PM

1.43 H 1.17 L 1.23 H 0.80 L

Wed 9/13 07:26 AM 07:51 PM

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine September/October 2017

0.49 L 1.17 H 1.07 L 1.15 H

1.57 H 0.35 L

Sun 9/10 12:09 AM 03:30 AM 08:14 AM 04:49 PM

Tue 9/12 07:17 AM 06:44 PM

62

0.40 L 1.23 H 1.17 L 1.18 H

Sat 9/16 08:44 AM 11:09 PM

OCTOBER

1.57 H 0.60 L

1.69 H 0.32 L

Wed 10/11 05:51 AM 1.75 H 06:15 PM 0.33 L Thu 10/12 06:23 AM 07:26 PM

1.75 H 0.38 L

Fri 10/13 06:47 AM 08:39 PM

1.71 H 0.45 L

Sat 10/14 06:59 AM 09:48 PM

1.62 H 0.54 L

Tue 10/17 06:53 AM 01:00 PM 06:32 PM

1.35 H 1.01 L 1.25 H

Wed 10/18 12:33 AM 06:43 AM 01:18 PM 08:02 PM

0.94 L 1.30 H 0.85 L 1.29 H

Thu 10/19 01:20 AM 06:28 AM 01:41 PM 09:23 PM

1.09 L 1.29 H 0.71 L 1.35 H

Fri 10/20 02:06 AM 06:05 AM 02:06 PM 10:44 PM

1.22 L 1.30 H 0.60 L 1.40 H

Sat 10/21 03:01 AM 05:22 AM 02:34 PM

1.33 L 1.34 H 0.52 L

Sun 10/22 12:17 AM 03:03 PM

1.44 H 0.47 L

Mon 10/23 02:35 AM 1.48 H 03:38 PM 0.45 L Tue 10/24 04:06 AM 04:18 PM

1.52 H 0.45 L

Wed 10/25 04:54 AM 1.54 H 05:06 PM 0.46 L Thu 10/26 05:31 AM 06:02 PM

1.54 H 0.49 L

Fri 10/27 05:59 AM 07:06 PM

1.52 H 0.52 L

Sat 10/28 06:17 AM 08:10 PM

1.48 H 0.55 L

Sun 10/29 06:23 AM 09:11 PM

1.42 H 0.60 L

Mon 10/30 06:17 AM 1.34 H 10:06 PM 0.68 L Tue 10/31 06:04 AM 12:36 PM 04:40 PM 10:58 PM

1.26 H 0.97 L 1.04 H 0.79 L


Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine - Sept/Oct 2017  

Our oyster issue! Recipes, harvesting and all things oyster. Also: fishing with Capt. James Plaag and Capt. Steve Hillman, Galveston fall fi...

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