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January/February 2018 | GulfCoastMariner.com


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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine

January/February 2018


GulfCoastMariner.com

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[Letter from Gulf Coast Mariner]

Admiral (President) Rick Clapp Rear Admiral (Editor) Mary Alys Cherry Captain (Creative Director/Partner) Brandon Rowan Commodore (Graphic Designer/Partner) Kelly Groce Sales Crew (Advertising Executives) Judy Gaines Dana McDonald Debbie Salisbury Amber Sample Robyn Weigelt Editorial

Learn More in 2018

I

am continually astounded

at what I don’t know. Every craft or pursuit seems to have an endless list of intricacies and must-know knowledge that takes years of study. Let’s take fishing for example; maybe you find yourself on a feeding frenzy of fish but you have the absolute wrong tackle or lures. Maybe you have the right gear but you’re in the wrong spot. Maybe you’ve finally got both location and tackle right but your presentation is incorrect. We want to keep that scenario from happening to you. We’ve put together a collection of great articles this issue to help you learn and put all the pieces together. Shallow water expert Steve Soule will help you make this winter your “season of learning.” Captain David Dillman shares knowledge on what to expect in 2018 and Captain Joe Kent looks at what we can learn from the

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine

January/February 2018

past. Interviews with Mike Bosse, owner of Down South Lures, and Hunter Welch of FishStix Rods shed light on the business side of fishing and what it takes to be successful there. We want to help you as much as we can without giving away too much. Some things, like that great new fishing spot, are best earned by putting in the time and effort. Concerning fishing, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn and experience much; from the marshes all the way out to the platforms of the Gulf, but I’m always learning something new. Make 2018 the year you get closer to mastering your craft.

Capt. David Dillman Kelly Groce Capt. Joe Kent Betha Merit Brandon Rowan Steve Soule Janice Van Dyke Walden Photography Kelly Groce Betha Merit Brandon Rowan 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

Brandon Rowan Creative Director/Partner Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine


Black Ice: This black drum lies on an icy dock in Sargent after snow fell across Southeast Texas earlier that morning on Dec. 8. Photo by Kelly Groce.

| January/February 2017 8|Yachty Gras Extravaganza

Don’t miss America’s largest Mardi Gras boat parade!

10|Snapshots

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

21|Down South Lures

Owner Mike Bosse on how Down South Lures were created, plus his favorite colors and retrieves. By Brandon Rowan

24|Plastic in Paradise: Microplastics

11|Fishing Apparel

It may be in the oysters and seafood we eat, in the water we drink and there seems to be no magic way to get rid of it. By Janice Van Dyke Walden

12|Walking in a Winter Wonderland

26|The Galley: Warming Drinks & Food Bowls

Outfit the whole family with apparel from Reel Wicked; clothing with a drop or two of attitude.

Winter is a season of learning for fishermen. Better understand new and favorite fishing grounds and predator fish behavior. By Capt. Steve Soule

14|Changing Patterns in 2017

Fishing in the Galveston Bay Complex has been undergoing changes for several years now. By Capt. Joe Kent

15|A New Beginning

In 2018, look forward to a good trout population, plentiful redfish, sheepshead and black drum. By Capt. David Dillman

16|Starship Marina & Boatyard

Accommodating boats of all kinds, from sportfish to sailboats, Starship Marina has a place for you.

18|FishStix Rods

Meet Hunter Welch, rod builder and owner of FishStix Rods. By Kelly Groce

Recipes for cocktails and meals to keep you warm in 2018. By Betha Merit

Contents

28|Ladies Night at West Marine

Letter from GCM __________________p. 6

Learning knot tying and rigging at the first annual Ladies night at West Marine in Kemah, in support of Judy’s Mission, an Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

ON THE COVER Starship Marina & Boatyard can accommodate a wide variety of boats.

Boyd’s One Stop Flounder Tournament __________________p. 8 HYC Youth Sailor brings home Gold from China __________________p. 9 Name That Fish! __________________p. 9 Nautical Numbers __________________p. 9 Galveston Bay Tide Charts __________________p. 30

GulfCoastMariner.com

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Boyd’s One Stop Flounder Tournament Winners

1. Jantzen Miller 8.86 lbs, 25.5 inches.

Come celebrate the 19th annual 2018 Yachty Gras Extravaganza

T

he annual fun and exciting Yachty Gras event celebrating the Mardi Gras Season begins with a week of revelry. The celebration for the Clear Lake area starts on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. A welcome aboard the traditional “Kickoff Party” will be hosted by Hans Mair and Sundance Grill at Waterford Harbor. Admission is free and open to

2. Kevin Heiman 8.41 lbs, 24.5 inches.

“The elaborately decorated yachts will be throwing beads to the revelers viewing the parade along the channel route.”

3. Nathan Chain 8.34 lbs, 25 inches.

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January/February 2018

the public. The reception will consist of hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and silent auction items. All net proceeds from this event will benefit several local Bay Area charities. The official commemorative poster was designed by artist and organizer Dr. Maurine Howard. “The theme this year is titled

“Wonder of the Sea,” Dr. Howard said. The following weekend of Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m., the Yachty Gras Grand Night Parade takes place. “America’s largest Mardi Gras Boat Parade” will begin from the Seabrook Channel and proceed past the Kemah Boardwalk. The elaborately decorated yachts will be throwing beads to the revelers viewing the parade along the channel route. Parade judges will be located at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company. Yachty Gras is a spectacular “Family Event” for viewing, dining, and participating in the Yachty Gras Grand Night parade. Remember to book your hotel or bed and breakfast rooms early to enjoy a fantastic weekend of fun and excitement for the entire family. Come enjoy some of the finest restaurants on the Gulf Coast and explore all Bay Area Houston has to offer! As they say in Na Orleans, “Laissez les bon temps rouler!” For additional information, please visit www.yachtygras.com or call 713 882.4040.


NAUTICAL NUMBERS

Charlotte Rose – Sanya, China. Photo by Thomas Miya/ Sailing Energy

48 HYC Youth Sailor Brings Home the Gold from China

H

ouston Yacht Club’s Youth Sailor and US Youth World Champion, Charlotte Rose, recently returned from Sanya, China where she won the Gold Medal in the Youth World Championship competing against 374 of the world’s best youth sailors from 60 nations. Rose raced against defending champions, Dolores Moreira Fraschini, (URU and the 2017 Youth Radial World Champion, Hannah Anderssohn (GER), pulling out to dominate the 40-boat competition. “After a tough week of racing the fact I am a World Champion has still not set in. I find myself still astounded by my achievement even with all the best wishes and recognition I have received,” Rose said. “It was a tough last race to win gold but I did it. I knew what I needed to do and I did it. I am especially grateful for my coaches, Rosie Chapman and Leandro Spina of US Sailing, for

believing in me. I am very grateful for HYC for their positive thoughts and support from afar. The utmost thanks goes to my family who have and always believed in me and supported my dream I cannot thank them enough, they earned this gold medal too,” Rose added. Rose earned her spot in the World Championships as the only singlehanded sailor on the US Youth World Team through hard work, determination and finishing at the top in the most competitive national regattas during 2017. Rose is a senior attending Westside High School in Houston. She has sailed in a wide variety of national and international sailing competitions including representing the USA in the International Laser Radial Youth Worlds competition in Canada, where she placed 3rd in the Under 17 category. To learn more about the Houston Yacht Club, please visit: www. houstonyachtclub.com

Name that fish B. Yellow Beaknose ANSWER: C, Ballyhoo. The Ballyhoo is a baitfish of the halfbeak family. These fish are often used in conjunction with artificial trolling lures by sportsmen seeking marlin, wahoo, dorado, tuna and other big game saltwater fish.

D. Gulf Anchovy

808 The Texas state record for largest blue fin tuna is 808 pounds and 103 inches long. Trina Isaacs caught it on May 4, 1985 in the Gulf of Mexico.

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A. Spearfish C. Ballyhoo

The maximum speed of a wahoo is around 48 miles per hour. The wahoo has bladelike fins that help propel it through the water making it one of the fastest known fish in the world.

The average life expectancy of a tilefish is 25-35 years. Tilefish are popular in restaurants because their meat tastes like their diet, which is lobster and crab. GulfCoastMariner.com

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Send your photos to art@baygroupmedia.com

Dan William with a 36” bull red caught at San Luis Pass.

Gina Dominique’s Kemah redfish.

Garrett Blumenshine and J.P. Groce with a November flounder haul.

Max Conner with a Galveston West Bay red.

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Newlyweds, Simon and Paige Porter, celebrated their first day being married on the Monkey Shine of Los Monos Sportfishing in Quepos, Costa Rica. They caught 9 dorado and a nice marlin. Congratulations!

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018

Michael Naymik with a big stringer of fish.

Trey Pumphrey’s 7lb 23 inch flounder was caught with Wave Dancer Charters.


[ A P P A R E L ]

REEL WICKED Clothing with a drop or two of attitude. Outfit the whole family with this quality line of fishing apparel. Shop the entire product catalog now at ReelWickedApparel.com

GulfCoastMariner.com

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Capt. Steve Soule with a 29 inch red.

WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND By Capt. Steve Soule

www.ultimatedetailingllc.com

B

rrrrr….. stepping outside the past few mornings has been a little odd for a Texas boy. We were hit hard with a light freeze and even snow that stuck to the ground. This is just not so normal around Southeast Texas. This weather and these cooler temperatures may not scream fishing to most, but to me, winter fishing has always been my season of learning. Season of Learning Winter fishing teaches you in so many ways: navigation, structure, feeding patterns and fish habits. You might be wondering how? Well, let’s start with some obvious concepts and then we can work our way up to some that are much more subtle and

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difficult to detect. Winter brings two major changes that grant us the opportunity to learn the bay on a considerably more intense and intimate level. Clear water and low tides are definitely the norm from December through February. For most of the boating and casual angling populations these two factors can be intimidating. Colder water temperatures allow the sediment so common in our waters to drop out much more rapidly than during warmer periods, creating clearer water. In addition, our consistent green algae bloom dies off during the winter. This gives us periods where water clarity is exceptional, even in 3-4 foot depths. Winter brings cold fronts, and cold fronts bring North winds in force. Generally

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018

speaking, in the Galveston Bay system, a due North or Northwest wind will lower the tides, pushing water from the bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Low tides expose many areas that are covered by two or more feet of water throughout much of the year. Add some exceptional water clarity and you now have visible structures, with considerably less water covering them. Again, this can be intimidating for those not familiar with local navigation, but for those with appropriate boats and the willingness to learn, this is a great season. Winter Navigation Slower speeds and careful boat operation are key to exploring and gaining a better understanding of the areas you fish currently, as well as areas that you are interested in learning. There should

be no rush involved in your search for knowledge. Hasty or careless boat operation is the cause of fear in so many who attempt to learn the bay. Not only will you create a “less than safe situation” by hurrying, you also miss out on the subtleties that you truly need to grasp to gain a better working knowledge of the bay and areas you want to fish. On top of the safety aspect and the fact that you can’t learn much or gain any true understanding at higher speeds, its paramount to realize that fish typically move slower and shorter distances during cooler months. If you are always in a rush, you won’t likely have the success in finding or catching them. I’ve spent numerous days over the years idling boats around areas that I had already fished for years, trying to gain a better understanding


STEVE’S WINTER LURE SELECTIONS (L to R): Heddon Super Spook Jr. in Bone/Silver, MirrOlure She Pup CHPR, Paul Brown Fat Boy in Pink/Silver, Bass Assassin 4” Sea Shad in Sugar & Spice and Slammin’ Chicken.

of the structure and layout of an area. I often learn small and very subtle contours that are like little fish highways. So many of these winter days were spent slowly exploring, rather than catching limits. These days though not always productive, in terms of numbers of fish caught, are often some of the best when it comes to creating more success in future trips. Consider this an investment in your future fishing success, and don’t be frustrated by a day that doesn’t result in a full stringer. Learning to be consistent in fishing is a labor of love. If you are only interested in sort term results,

your long term fishing future will suffer. Cold Habits Fish habits will change in winter, not just where they can be found, it goes beyond that. Winter’s colder temperatures can be dangerous to fish, and because of this, fish must constantly be aware of the changing temperatures. Survival becomes a critical part of their daily activity. Comfort for fish, or better stated, thermal safety, is key to survival. Alongside safety, prevalent food sources are an absolute must to survive the winter. Fish movements and feeding patterns are

notably different in winter. The driving factors are temperature or impending temperature changes, and movement of the prominent food sources. Understanding the latter will help you locate fish during the cooler months, even in places that you have never fished before. Fish will move and feed based on many factors, but monitoring and understanding how frontal passages move fish will boost your fishing to another level. With hundreds of theories about when predator fish feed in relation to weather, it becomes obvious that nailing down the exact timing will

never happen. There are just too many variables. Take this general statement and park it in your memory banks. It can help hugely but don’t try to push the weather limits as this can result in potentially life threatening situations. Fish feed on barometric pressure changes, instinctively understanding that these changes are the precursor to temperature change. The passage of a front, directly during the most prominent change in pressure, will elicit a binge feed. Pressure will steadily fall leading up to the actual air mass change. As that air mass reaches us along the coast, the pressure will rapidly start trending upwards. There will be a short period of extreme feeding as fish prepare to adjust to intense temperature change. There are other periods that they feed around frontal change, some before, some after the change, but this is often the most intense. Watch the weather, learn the tides, understand how these will impact the water conditions and tide heights where you want to fish or explore. Take your time, don’t expect to learn it all in one day, one week or even one year. Get out and enjoy the opportunity to gain more tools for your fishing tool box, and if you really want to up your game, step out of the boat and put your feet on the bottom. Wading will teach you far more about habitat than any other type of fishing. Happy learning and hunting to all through the cool months! GulfCoastMariner.com

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see ambient temperatures fall into the upper 40s and lower 50s for a short period of time; however, it would be long enough to send signals to fish to get moving. In recent years, water temperatures have barely fallen below 80 degrees in September, which continues the summertime mentality in fish. This year it was well into October before the Galveston Bay Complex got into the low 70s. By October, flounder should start showing signs of movement and trout action in

Trout will be starting their winter patterns.

By Capt. Joe Kent

F

a l l f i sh i n g in the Galveston Bay Complex has been undergoing changes for several years now. The biggest factor contributing to the changes has been the

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warmer weather over this period of time. Likely, the most noticeable change has been in the late migration of flounder. Another area that has evidenced this change is trout action in the upper bays. For fall fishing patterns to

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018

get into full swing, the water temperature needs to fall below 70 degrees. Each year, September is looked upon as being a transition month, when at some point during the month our first cold front of the season crosses the Texas Coast. Most years we would

Trinity and other bays would pick up. Bird action has been one of the traits of October, as seagulls would work the bays feeding upon shrimp driven to the surface by schools of feeding fish, usually speckled trout. A number of anglers sent notes or called in expressing concern over the lack of activity on specks and flounder. Now, while there were those concerns over two of the big three, reds continued to offer excellent action. September is usually prime time for reds around the jetties and in the surf and 2017 was no exception. In fact bull and slot reds saved the day for fishermen during September and October. We just have not had the strong cold fronts to hit until after October. Until a few make their way here, fall fishing patterns will not get into full swing. A good example of how the weather patterns have changed and affected fishing was in the new flounder regulations that came out


several years ago. Known as the Special November Rules which limit the bag limit on flounder to two fish and prohibit gigging for flounder, they applied only to the month of November. Early on, it was noted that the annual flounder migration, for which the rules were designed to protect, continued well into December. When written, the flounder run usually peaked around Thanksgiving and was followed by a steady decline of fish moving out of the bays. Soon, the rules were extended to mid-December, as the migration continued well into December. Interestingly, the Special November Rule prohibiting taking flounder by gigging ended December 1 but the two-fish limit continued. One of the most experienced Galveston area flounder guides, a long time fisherman who has been keeping logs on flounder for decades, always said that the peak of the flounder run occurred between the Full Moons of October and November. A few years ago, he revised his observation and pushed it forward due to the warmer weather. Now the peak is between the Full Moons of November and December. While the flounder run is the most obvious change, speck action follows close behind, as now we are seeing the fall pattern start in November and run well into December or early January. January 2018 should be an interesting month for fishing if we do not have any significant freezes beforehand. While most flounder will have migrated each year there will remain a number of flounder that decide to stay in the bays. The key is food. If bait is available, we will see them hang around until enough marsh emptying northers blow through to send the small fin fish and crustaceans to deeper waters. At that time, trout will be starting their winter patterns.

during the show. While you are there, please stop by and say hello! Maintain Your Ride January/February is the time to get your boat ready for the upcoming season. Before one knows it, springtime on the Upper Coast will be here. You should perform all your required maintenance on the boat and engine. If it needs to go to a repair facility, don’t hesitate. They get busy and the earlier you get it in, the better chance it will be ready by March. If you are mechanically inclined, order all your parts now. They can become scarce during high demand times.

A New Beginning By Capt. David C. Dillman Spec-tacular Trout Adventures 832-228-8012

I

can’t tell you how many times

lately I have heard the phrase: “ I will be glad when this year is over.” For all of us that live on the coast of Texas, this is so true. South Texas coastal residents are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Here on the Upper Coast, the destruction left by the flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey is still daunting. What has become a normal routine is still not “normal” for a lot of us that reside on the coast of Texas. What is normal? The first two weeks of January is the annual Houston Boat, Sport and Travel Show. In its 63rd year, the show begins January 5, 2018 and runs through January 14. It is the largest indoor show of its type on the Gulf Coast. It features something for everyone that attends. I will be at the Eagle Point Fishing Camp booth

Hot Cold Fishing On the fishing scene, the trout population is really good. However, there is a noted decrease in the overall size. TP&W has deemed the trout fishery is good and recommended no changes in the current bag limits this coming year. The catches of redfish have been “off the chart.” Redfish have been plentiful throughout our bay system, along with sheepshead and black drum. This January/February, fishing should continue to be good, before and after cold fronts. The Northwest reaches and the West side of Galveston Bay will offer your best opportunity for speckled trout and redfish. As the sun rises and sets, this side of the bay receives the most sunlight. The water remains a tad bit warmer than other areas of the bay, thus holding the fish. Also, during passages of cold fronts, the adjacent water is deeper and offers protection to the fish. Eagle Point up to the Seabrook Flats, Sylvan Beach, Tabbs, Burnett and Scott Bays will be the places to fish. West Galveston Bay will also see its fair share of fish.  Live shrimp this time of year will be in short supply. Few, if any bait camps will have some, much less even be open. You can always call Eagle Point Fishing Camp to check on their bait supply. Usually, they hold live shrimp all year. Hopefully we will have a “mild” winter, and avoid a major freeze!  GulfCoastMariner.com

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Copy text is 9pt Book Antiqua.

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018


Starship Marina and Boatyard features a 75 metric ton Marine TraveLift to accommodate large boats. We provide environmentally clean facilities, protecting our Texas coastal and inland waters from pollution. We make it easy so you can spend more time enjoying your boat. Located on the channel between Clear Lake & Galveston Bay- we are just 1/4 mile from the Kemah Boardwalk on FM 2094.

Call 281-334-2121 or visit www.starshipmarina.com 1206 FM 2094 Clear Lake Shores, TX 77565 GulfCoastMariner.com

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018


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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018


Mike Bosse Owner and designer of the wildly popular Down South Lures Interview by Brandon Rowan

Where are you from? I was born is Cypress, Texas. We moved to Chappell Hill when I was four years old. I grew up there and went to Brenham High School. We grew up fishing ponds, the New Year’s Creek and the Brazos River. Eventually, we graduated to fishing Lake Conroe, Fayette, and Gibbons Creek before I got bit by the “saltwater bug.” (Continued on page 22)

Mike Bosse with a big trout caught on a Down South Lure in red shad. GulfCoastMariner.com

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Tell me about the journey that led up to the design and success of Down South Lures. Like many people, I had an extreme love for fishing. Since I pond hopped all the time, I loved to fish for bass. This inspired me to make my first lure when I was 12 years old. I cut about 3 inches off my mom’s wooden broom handle and carved a cup out of one end to make a “popper lure.” Then I grabbed an old Heddon Torpedo, took the screw-in eyelet off the nose and screwed it into the nose of my bait. The hooks were removed from the old Torpedo, and I screwed those into the bottom of my lure. I did not paint the plug; I just tied it on and went fishing. A two-pound bass was caught that afternoon on it.

Since we bass fished big lakes like Conroe, we threw a lot of Carolina rigged sickle tailed baits in deep water. We loved the way the bait swam down off the ledges when we dragged them over humps and creek beds. We were firm believers that fish ate the bait when it was falling, more often than not. Well, fast forward about 15 years and I found a love for saltwater fishing. I noticed that most of the paddle tails and tout tails did not swim on the fall like our bass worms did. After that, I began to tinker with other plastic baits, modifying them to have action while falling. It just grew from there. More and more friends were asking me to make them baits. After that I cut my own mold design. It has grown into the Down South Lure that you see today.

Were there any unforeseen challenges or surprises have you encountered while developing Down South? One of the biggest challenges in the lure industry is that you have to prove that your bait is different and has a place in peoples’ tackle boxes. The only way you can do that is by fishing with it, and getting it into the hands of reputable fishermen. Once they see that the bait has merit, they will begin to purchase your lure. It’s very hard to get fisherman to switch from something they have been throwing successfully for years. Another surprise to me was that it was extremely hard to get shelf space. Going into it, I figured that if I had a good product with professional packaging, I would be granted

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018

pegs. That’s not the case at all. People have to ask for your products over and over. Then you can get a spot on the wall in a tackle shop. What is your personal favorite DSL lure/rigging? I’m pretty simple. I like a 1/4 oz. or 1/8 oz. 3/0 jighead rigged with either the original Southern Shad or the Super Model XL. I throw various colors, depending on the water clarity. If I had to pick one color for all clarity it would be Chicken of the C. What colors and riggings are best for the super DSL for big trout in the winter? I like to go with as light a jighead as possible considering the conditions. If it is windy, or the current is moving pretty good you may


have to use a little heavier jighead. If you notice that your lure is not getting down to the bottom, and there is a big bow in your slack line, you need to go heavier. My personal favorite “big fish” colors are Red Shad, True Plum, Key Lime, and Howell’s Strawberry Wine. What kind of retrieve do you recommend when fishing DSLs? Retrieves can vary with the conditions as well. My personal all-around favorite is to let the bait sink to the bottom and then retrieve with a twitch, twitch, pause cadence. I think fish are more reactionary feeders, and that they do not over think when feeding. That’s how they have survived this long. The twitch, twitch, pause resembles a classic “two hop” shrimp

was another solid 5 pounder. I just eased away and told myself, “I’m bringing my girlfriend here first thing in the morning.” We got up early, and I told her I was not going to fish, just run the trolling motor. We eased up to the point and she caught 3 fish very quickly to 4 pounds on a pink MirrOlure She Dog (She loves topwater and the conditions were perfect for it.) As we approached to honey hole, I told her to cast right by that one larger rock that had a wash out behind it. She gave it a perfect cast, and within 6 twitches she had a major explosion. It ended up being her largest trout ever measuring 28.5 inches. She said, let’s quit on that cast, but I wanted a flounder for lunch. We agreed to try for 15 minutes pitching around

“Let the bait sink to the bottom and then retrieve with a twitch, twitch, pause cadence.” escape. Though my bait more resembles a fish swimming, or an eel escaping to the bottom, I always think that the most natural movements get the most strikes. You will notice that most of your bites will be when this bait is falling. Do you have a favorite fishing moment? Could be a big fish or trophy but also a special fish or situation. I have a bunch that stick out, but probably my favorite was when I was when I located some big trout while prefishing for a redfish tournament in Galveston. I was throwing my baits against a stretch of rocky shoreline. There was a lot of bait activity on that particular rock line point, so I fired my Chicken of the C in there and caught a 5 pounder. The next cast

some rocks in a spot where I have caught them before. It was only 50 yards away from the trout spot. Within 5 minutes I had the solid thump of a flounder right by the boat on my Chicken of the C lure. I set the hook, and all hell broke loose. It was a big red! I told my girlfriend to get the net because I saw how many spots it had on its side. It was absolutely covered. I told her whatever you do, do not miss this fish! I’ll never hook one like this again. She got it on the first swipe. It measured 31.5 inches and had 144 spots on it. I took close up photos of both sides of the fish, and released the beauty for someone else to catch. We never made another cast that morning. I racked the trolling motor up and we headed back to the dock. The moral of the

story is, I’ve had better days with numbers of fish, but we both broke personal records that day. What’s your favorite place you have fished? If I had to pick one bay system in Texas, it would be Port Mansfield. The vast grass flats are just too appealing. The deep reefs and rocks of Galveston are a close second in the state. Poling for permit in the Florida Keys is my favorite out of state adventure. Aside from fishing, what else are you passionate about? When I’m not fishing, I like to hang out with friends, watch football, and BBQ while enjoying a cold beverage. We enjoy going deer hunting when we get a chance as well. Recently, I have become more intrigued with deer hunting, so my tournament partner and I have secured a deer lease in south Texas for next year. Is there any Down South Lure news or upcoming events you’d like to let our readers know about? Yes, always be on the lookout for new and innovating products and colors that we are working on releasing. Give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram to see all the updates. We post everything up there, and feature exceptional catches on our page. As always, we will have a booth at the Houston Boat Show in January, The All Valley Boat Show in McAllen in February, and The Houston Fishing Show in March. We

always have our lures and apparel on special at these shows, so come by and get a deal. In addition, we will be doing some raffles and drawings for people that stop by at these shows. See you guys soon and tight lines. GulfCoastMariner.com

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[ C O N S E R V A T I O N ]

Plastic in Paradise: Part II Microplastics

It may be in the oysters we eat, the water we drink and in the air we breathe. There’s no magic way of getting rid of it. And, it seems the Gulf of Mexico’s most pervasive plastic pollutant may be literally on our backs. By Janice Van Dyke Walden

F

o r yea r s, scientists have reported on the extent of plastic pollution in far-off places of the world. But a new effort is revealing just how extensive “plastic soup” is in the Gulf of Mexico. In the first citizen-scientist effort to document the extent of microplastic pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, volunteers and scientists are finding that these permanent fragments are in nearly every sample they take. The low-level collection method of dipping one-liter water bottles and collecting sediment in one-gallon bags is also showing that microplastics are just as extensive in urban areas as they are in remote locations of the Gulf.

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Microscopic trash Most microplastics are created when sunlight or wave action breaks down larger pieces of plastic debris into tiny, even microscopic bits. Colorful and abundant, they enter the marine system as fragments, film, fiber and microbeads. Lifted in the air, washed from our landfills, or drained from our sinks and washing machines, they end up in our oceans for thousands of years where marine life ingest or adhere to it. Through a microscope, Theresa Morris has observed

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018

baby shells living among microplastics and algae living in Styrofoam. As a citizen-scientist coordinator based in Galveston with the Turtle Island Restoration Colorful, tiny and abundant, Network, microplastics she’s one of enter the the scientists marine system as fragments, involved film, fiber and in creating microbeads a more and may stay in complete the ocean for thousands of picture about years. (Photo the extent of courtesy microplastics University of Florida IFAS in the Gulf of Extension, Mexico. “The Florida research is Microplastic so new, we Awareness Project) don’t know

how bad it is,” she admits. Although Morris and volunteers have analyzed just a few samples on Galveston’s beach, she’s convinced that more investigation needs to be done with funding behind it. Each sample she’s examined contains some form of microplastic. In the course of her PhD thesis, Caitlin Wessel has seen microplastics in hundreds of samples she’s collected, from the Texas-Mexico border to the Florida Keys. As she finishes her doctorate, Wessel works as the Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program based in Mobile, Alabama. Her two years of degree work collecting samples from water, beach sand and coastal shelf material show just how prevalent tiny bits of plastic are, even in the most unlikely locations. Wessel got curious about microplastics four years ago during a moment offshore Louisiana. While helping a fellow grad student off Louisiana’s uninhabited Chandeleur Islands, Wessel found herself picking bits of plastic out of seagrass cores. It’s not what she expected to find 30 miles offshore at the nation’s second oldest National Wildlife Refuge. “That got me thinking,” Wessel recalls. “This is


supposed to be a pristine habitat, but there’s all this trash out here.” Fiber, fiber everywhere Around that same time, Dr. Maia Patterson McGuire started wondering if microbeads were present in the ecosystem she works in. Found in toothpaste and exfoliate healthcare products, the tiny beads of plastic rinse off, go down the drain and into the stream chain. Because they are so tiny, most wastewater treatment facilities pass microbeads. When McGuire, a University of Florida Marine Biologist, began her citizen-science investigation in 2015, there was no law forbidding the production of microbeads, and not very much was known about their impact on marine life. With a grant from NOAA, McGuire trained and equipped 16 partner organizations that organized 130 volunteers to collect water samples along the entire coast of Florida. McGuire was looking for the tiny microbeads. Instead, she found a different, more prevalent plastic: plasticized fiber, the kind used in synthetic clothing and other products. “It could be nylon, it could be acrylic, it could be polyester, it could be the plant-based plastics like rayon or a polymer that is made from cellulose, but still a plasticized product,” says McGuire. Without access to more precise equipment, “we can’t tell just what kind of fiber it is,” she says. But what she does know is that the fiber is manmade, it’s widespread, and it’s not going away. “There seems to be an equalopportunity of finding plastics in water samples regardless of where they are collected.” Erik Sparks agrees. At Mississippi State University, he is the collection point for all the samples taken in

Theresa Morris of the Turtle Island Restoration Network, Galveston, uses a microscope to identify and count bits of plastic collected from a gallon of beach sand. Photo by Jim Olive.

this citizen-scientist project. Working with Morris, Wessel, McGuire and other partners along the Gulf Coast, he’s seen the results of hundreds of samples, from Corpus Christi, Texas to the Florida Keys. In the two years of data reporting, Sparks is finding that “at least 90% of the microplastics have been fibers. By far, the most abundant microplastics are microfibers that come off of polyester clothing.” Clothe the world With only so much land on earth to produce cotton and wool, polyester fiber is filling the gap, clothing a world population expected to exceed 9 billion people by 2050. As the population soars, so does polyester production. In the last 20 years, polyester production increased five times to 50 million tons per year. In the next 8 years, it’s expected to nearly double to an all time high. Fibers in bivalves That’s not good news for the Gulf of Mexico where oysters and other bivalves live and ingest the “plastic soup”. When they filter microplasticinfused water, plastic can

TAKE THE PLEDGE McGuire used her citizenscientist investigation to form the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project. Each volunteer takes a pledge. You can, too. •

Read labels on personal care products and avoid those that contain polyethylene.

Use paper or re-useable shopping bags.

Avoid using plastic drinking straws.

Bringing your own water bottle or drinking cup instead of buying single-use plastic beverage bottles.

Instead of Styrofoam, bring your own washable hot drink cup.

Use foil or a washable container as a to-go box.

Recycle as many plastic items as possible.

Instead of nylon, acrylic and polyester, choose more natural fabrics.

Find it at www. plasticaware.org.

stay lodged in bivalve tissue. No one knows for how long. Of the oysters that Caitlin Wessel found in Mobile Bay, 25% contained 3 to 5 bits of microplastic. Beyond its disturbing presence in tissue, microplastics are also

known to interfere with the reproductive and offspring performance of oysters. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences in March 2016 explains that Pacific oysters exposed for two months to polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) experienced decreases in diameter, oocyte number and sperm velocity. And, microplastics’ adverse interaction is not limited to oysters. It appears to affect all levels of aquatic life. A 2017 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows that in lab results dating to 1991, aquatic organisms experienced at least one impact through interaction with microplastics. The impacts range up the aquatic food chain from adherence in algae to liver toxicity in fish. That kind of exposure may affect humans. “As plastics break down, they leach toxins that are very bad for you,” says Morris, “Like PBCs. They’re carcinogenic. They cause mutations in fetuses. They also cause a lot of physiological complications in your endocrine system. Fish eat them, and so, when you eat fish,” she explains, “you are eating meat that has had these plastic toxins leached into the meat. The research is so new; we don’t know if this is what is causing people to come down with cancer.” Given the recent spotlight on microplastics in the media, there’s still no ceasing the trend of more people on earth. So, the demand for plastic will be there where natural resources are spare. Which means, microplastics will be in the Gulf of Mexico a long, long time. “There’s no feasible way to remove microplastics from the water without basically removing every piece of life from the water,” says McGuire. And, if that were to happen, we’d no longer have an ocean. GulfCoastMariner.com

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Warming Drinks and Food Bowls

H Warm-You-Up Hot Toddy Ingredients:

• • • • • •

Boiling Water about 5 whole cloves per drink 1 lemon wheel 2 teaspoons brown sugar 3-4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 ounces scotch (or any whiskey).

Directions:

Fill a mug with boiling water and let stand to heat up. Meanwhile stick the cloves in the lemon wheel. Now empty the mug and fill just over half way with fresh boiling water. Add the brown sugar, stirring to dissolve. Add the lemon wheel and stir. Now add the lemon juice and scotch and stir once more. May remove the lemon wheel and attach to side of mug.

Tequila Hot Chocolate Ingredients:

• • • •

1 ounce tequila 6 ounces hot chocolate (your choice on how you make it) 1-3 Tablespoons whipped cream dash of chili powder for garnish.

Directions:

Add tequila and hot chocolate to a glass. Garnish with a hearty dollop of whipped cream and a dash of chili powder.

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018

ouston, we had snow! And what a year it was. We started with hosting the Super Bowl, went on to survive Hurricane Harvey, won the World Series and then had snow that delighted hearts with our winter wonderland morning after. Bottom line for this column is that we got to enjoy some cold weather. And now we need some warming up. There are a great variety of hot drinks to be enjoyed, and a touch of hooch make them especially fun to be shared with friends or when entertaining. One of my favorites is heating up eggnog and sprinkling with nutmeg then adding a shot of whiskey or rum. Many hot drink recipes can be made without the alcohol if you have minors in the crowd. My friends know me for cooking healthy, simple one pot dinners, a lot. They are easy, filling, feel warm in the hands while eating, and have been dubbed as, “pure sustenance.” The basic recipe is to brown a pound of ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef, bison, lamb, etc.), add spices and herbs to the browning with a dollop of olive oil. Then cut up and toss any veggies from the fridge into the pot, or add bags of frozen veggies from the freezer. Additional items might be quinoa, wild rice, potatoes or sweet potatoes. These

One-Pot Bison Bowl • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1 pound ground bison 1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup diced onion (frozen or fresh) 1 Tablespoon dried minced garlic 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1-2 Tablespoons of your favorite dried green herb (thyme, dillweed, basil, etc.) 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 Tablespoons tomato paste (optional) 3 small Mexican gray squash, chopped (any green squash will work) 1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice blend 2-4 Tablespoons water or any broth 1/2 bag of frozen kale salt and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet sized pan, drizzle olive oil as pan heats. Brown bison, onion and garlic on medium to high heat until crumbly. Add herbs and spices and optional tomato paste. When blended, lower to medium heat and move the meat to the edges of the pan to form a circle with an open middle, add the squash and frozen kale to the pan, pouring the liquid over the top and covering with a lid. After about 20 minutes of good simmering, add the cooked rice and stir everything together. Cook another few minutes, adding liquid if needed. Salt and pepper to taste.

last additions may be pre-cooked or added raw to the browned meat and veggies; you just adjust the water amount for

what you add. If precooked, you may add the veggies and any of the extras with a few tablespoons of water and cover with a lid.


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1st Annual Ladies’ Night at West Marine Rig Shop West Marine in Kemah hosted Ladies’ Night in the Rig Shop, and a benefit for Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation on Thursday, Nov. 9. It was an evening filled with education, fund-raising and good times to empower women to be confident boaters, to connect ladies with a shared passion of being on the water and to educate them (along with their first officers who attended) about early symptoms of ovarian cancer. Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation was created in 2010 to honor Judith (Judy) Liebenthal Robinson, Ph.D., a NASA scientist and avid sailor at Lakewood Yacht Club. Despite

Knot tying and dock line instruction at the rigging table.

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018

habitual exercise, a consistently healthy diet, and regular medical examinations, Judy was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer and died within a year. While battling ovarian cancer, it was Judy’s mission to raise awareness about the vague symptoms and ineffective screening procedures associated with ovarian cancer. She inspired all who knew her; and as a result, friends (many from Lakewood Yacht Club) came together to create the Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Along with lots of food, and spirits provided by cosponsor Railean Distillery of San Leon, West Marine Rigging associates Suzanne Kutach and Randi Miller taught knot tying and dockline instruction, while Rigging associate Josh Gray (with his wife Angie) spiced up the evening in ‘Pirate’ regalia. With ‘Rigging Solutions’ donated by the West Marine Rig Shop (Tide-Minder Soft Shackles, Dyneema Cleat- Extender Loops and Shackles, and Sailboat Rigging Inspections), as well as donations from the 2017 Harvest Moon Regatta, $1,255 was raised in silent auction for Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation. “Although Ladies’ Night was our first event of its kind,” said West Marine Rig Shop Manager Franklin Viola, “The overwhelming enthusiasm and support by local lady sailors will certainly not make it the last!”


GulfCoastMariner.com

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

JANUARY -1.00 L

Tue 1/2 12:48 AM 12:54 PM

0.78 H -1.03 L

Tue 1/16 12:44 AM 12:45 PM Wed 1/17 01:40 AM 01:21 PM

0.77 H -0.99 L

Thu 1/18 02:21 AM 01:55 PM

0.48 H -0.71 L

0.71 H -0.89 L

Fri 1/19 02:48 AM 02:26 PM

0.44 H -0.66 L

Fri 1/5 02:42 AM 03:29 PM

0.59 H -0.73 L

Sat 1/20 02:51 AM 02:56 PM

0.38 H -0.58 L

Sat 1/6 02:04 AM 04:17 PM

0.46 H -0.54 L

Sun 1/21 01:52 AM 03:24 PM

0.30 H -0.46 L

Sun 1/7 01:35 AM 05:01 PM

0.34 H -0.33 L

Mon 1/22 12:47 AM 03:51 PM

0.22 H -0.31 L

Wed 1/3 01:51 AM 01:46 PM Thu 1/4 02:35 AM 02:39 PM

Mon 1/8 01:15 AM 08:34 AM 12:16 PM 05:41 PM

0.26 H -0.05 L -0.01 H -0.12 L

Tue 1/9 12:57 AM 08:38 AM

0.23 H -0.25 L

Wed 1/10 12:36 AM 09:04 AM

0.24 H -0.42 L

Thu 1/11 12:03 AM 09:37 AM 09:14 PM

0.28 H -0.56 L 0.35 H

Fri 1/26 08:26 AM 09:25 PM

-0.66 L 0.42 H

Sat 1/27 09:15 AM 09:31 PM

-0.72 L 0.46 H

Sun 1/28 10:08 AM 10:22 PM

-0.76 L 0.48 H

Mon 1/29 11:03 AM 11:32 PM

-0.77 L

Tue 1/30 11:58 AM

Fri 1/12 10:12 AM 09:25 PM Sat 1/13 10:49 AM 10:22 PM Sun 1/14 11:28 AM 11:33 PM Mon 1/15 12:07 PM

Tue 1/23 12:03 AM 07:07 AM 10:21 AM 04:11 PM 11:27 PM Wed 1/24 07:10 AM 10:52 PM Thu 1/25 07:43 AM 10:12 PM

Wed 1/31 12:56 AM 12:51 PM

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Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine January/February 2018

FEBRUARY

Mon 1/1 12:02 PM

0.49 H -0.77 L 0.49 H -0.75 L

0.17 H -0.05 L -0.03 H -0.13 L 0.16 H -0.23 L 0.21 H -0.43 L 0.31 H -0.62 L 0.44 H -0.79 L 0.56 H -0.91 L 0.64 H -0.98 L 0.66 H -0.99 L 0.64 H -0.95 L

Thu 2/1 02:29 AM 01:42 PM

0.58 H -0.84 L

Fri 2/2 04:07 AM 02:29 PM 11:59 PM

0.47 H -0.68 L 0.34 H

Sat 2/3 03:06 AM 05:59 AM 03:14 PM 11:31 PM

0.31 L 0.33 H -0.47 L 0.25 H

Sun 2/4 04:19 AM 08:11 AM 03:54 PM 11:11 PM

0.14 L 0.20 H -0.26 L 0.20 H

Mon 2/5 05:17 AM 10:51 AM 04:31 PM 10:49 PM

-0.04 L 0.12 H -0.04 L 0.20 H

Tue 2/6 06:10 AM 02:21 PM 04:51 PM 10:19 PM

-0.20 L 0.16 H 0.15 L 0.25 H

Wed 2/7 07:00 AM 09:16 PM

-0.33 L 0.32 H

Thu 2/8 07:50 AM 07:34 PM

-0.43 L 0.42 H

Fri 2/9 08:41 AM 08:05 PM

-0.49 L 0.50 H

Sat 2/10 09:32 AM 08:54 PM

-0.53 L 0.54 H

Sun 2/11 10:23 AM 09:53 PM

-0.55 L 0.56 H

Mon 2/12 11:12 AM 11:05 PM

-0.56 L 0.56 H

Tue 2/13 11:56 AM

-0.56 L

Wed 2/14 12:34 AM 12:35 PM

0.56 H -0.53 L

Thu 2/15 02:05 AM 01:09 PM

0.54 H -0.48 L

Fri 2/16 03:25 AM 01:40 PM

0.50 H -0.41 L

Sat 2/17 04:48 AM 02:09 PM 10:52 PM

0.45 H -0.30 L 0.35 H

Sun 2/18 02:11 AM 06:22 AM 02:37 PM 10:11 PM

0.32 L 0.38 H -0.16 L 0.31 H

Mon 2/19 03:04 AM 08:10 AM 03:04 PM 09:37 PM

0.20 L 0.32 H 0.01 L 0.31 H

Tue 2/20 03:52 AM 10:24 AM 03:27 PM 09:04 PM

0.05 L 0.30 H 0.19 L 0.35 H

Wed 2/21 04:42 AM 08:28 PM

-0.10 L 0.45 H

Thu 2/22 05:37 AM 07:48 PM

-0.24 L 0.58 H

Fri 2/23 06:37 AM 07:34 PM

-0.36 L 0.71 H

Sat 2/24 07:43 AM 08:01 PM

-0.46 L 0.81 H

Sun 2/25 08:50 AM 08:44 PM

-0.53 L 0.86 H

Mon 2/26 09:55 AM 09:31 PM

-0.57 L 0.86 H

Tue 2/27 10:57 AM 10:08 PM

-0.56 L 0.81 H

Wed 2/28 11:53 AM 10:08 PM

-0.49 L 0.72 H


GulfCoastMariner.com

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Gulf Coast Mariner January/February 2018  

Starship Marina and Boatyard: from sportfish to sailboats. Also, Down South Lures, FishStix Rods and articles from Capt. Steve Soule, Joe Ke...

Gulf Coast Mariner January/February 2018  

Starship Marina and Boatyard: from sportfish to sailboats. Also, Down South Lures, FishStix Rods and articles from Capt. Steve Soule, Joe Ke...

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