Guy Harvey Magazine — Summer 2017

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Best Photos of GHM!

The Art of Ocean Conservation VOLUME 7, ISSUE 28 SUMMER 2017 $6.95

Best Surf Fishing Gear Building Reefs for a Cause

COMPLETE ANGLER: Saving Baitfish from the Fish Oil Factory | Snook Fishing on Kayaks at Tarpon Lodge 1 |


Hobie Mirage® Kayaks were designed with serious angling in mind. Jump aboard and get hooked up, over and over with Hobie.









CABIN BLUFF CATHARSIS A father-son fishing trip to the Georgia coast marks a turning point

Overfishing pressure and a harsh landscape make living off

in the lives of both the kids and the adults.

of the land and sea a challenge as Joe Ierna, a Long Island,


Bahamas, “native” explains.




CAJUN RENDEZVOUS Savvy anglers know about Venice, Louisiana, but the hamlet of


UNCHARTERED WATERS Hiring a fishing guide usually means climbing on a boat to find great

Barataria is building a reputation for great food, fishing and float

fishing. However, a new type of boatless guide is emerging.

plane excursions to the Chandeleur Islands.



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Follow the Fish


A Recipe for Cobia

Guy discusses the science of fishing expeditions.

Miami Chef Cindy Hutson uses farm-raised cobia


from Open Blue, a Panama-based mariculture center. BY TINA MENDITTO



Exclusive Guy Harvey Artwork



Hooked on Speckled Trout

Buy a limited edition Guy Harvey gicleé and he’ll sign

She’s a beauty and there are so many reasons to love

it for you!

and admire her. BY FRED GARTH



News, Notes & Gear Find some of the coolest gear to hit the market and catch up on the latest fishing and conservation news. BY GHM STAFF



Best of GHM We looked through the past five years of amazing photography and picked the best of the best.

On the Cover: Game Over by Guy Harvey | 5







Save the Bait




Menhaden are being scooped up by the net full off of

Yaking with Hobie at Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island

Virginia’s shores. With no bait to feed on, the striped bass

A group writers and photographers visit remote Pine

are finding other places to survive.

Island to test yaks and their fishing prowess.




The Complete Surf Angler



Reefs with a Cause

Getting into surf fishing? Here’s all the gear you need

After a tragic accident, a family tries to heal by building

to catch your dinner.

artificial reefs in the waters their son loved.



CompleteAngler Angler(CA) (CA) our “magazine within the magazine,” Complete is is our “magazine within the magazine,” dedicated

dedicated to fishing hard-core fishing enthusiasts & delivering to experts, to hard-core enthusiasts and delivering access toaccess experts, the the latest in fishing gear, and the hottest fishing spots on the planet. latest in fishing gear and the hottest fishing spots on the planet. 6 |

OWN THE ADVENTURE. LIVE THE EXPERIENCE. Introducing the Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort, Tarpon Springs, on Florida’s Gulf Coast. A resort community inspired by Guy Harvey and the spirit of outdoor adventure and relaxation featuring coastal cottages and full service RV lots.


The sketches, renderings, graphic materials, plans, specifications, terms, conditions and statements contained herein are proposed only, and the Developer reserves the right to modify, revise or withdraw any or all of same in its sole discretion and without prior notice. All improvements, designs and construction are subject to first obtaining the appropriate federal, state and local permits and approvals for same. The information provided, including pricing, is solely for informational purposes, and is subject to change without notice. This is not an offer to sell, or solicitation of offers to buy, the condominium units in jurisdictions where such offer or solicitation cannot be made or are otherwise prohibited by law. This offering is made only by the offering documents for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the offering documents. | 7

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Special! 1-year: $25 $19.95 2-year: $40 $29.95 3-year: $56 $44.95 + FREE GHM T-shirt!


CREDITS TO: PUBLISHER Lost Key Publishing Managing Editor Daryl Carson Art Director Carly Stone Circulation Director Penny Jones Director of Sales & Marketing JJ Waters Ad Sales Director Justin Gaudin Editor, Complete Angler Nick Honachefsky Social Media Consultant David Wilkinson Social Media Coordinator Nathan Merritt Accounting Karen Belser Copy Editor Kerrie Allen Contributing Editors Dr. Guy Harvey, Danny Thornton Contributors Tina Menditto, Sam Root, Brian Lockwood, Joe Ierna, JJ Waters, Scott Harris, Ginger Jenne, Scott Smith, Jackson Smith, Josh Mathias, Carter Windham, Doug Perrine, Jim Abernethy, Jon Hauge, Jason Arnold, Paul Boesel, Richard Gibson, Jim Klug, Daniel Goz, Steve Dougherty. Editorial Advisory Board Dr. Guy Harvey, Chad Henderson, Bill Shedd, Dr. Mahmood Shivji, Harvey Taulien, John Guidroz, David Wilkinson


Finding an environmentally-friendly printer is important to us. That’s why

this magazine is printed at Publishers Press in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Publishers Press recycles more than 50 million pounds of paper products each year, which saves 10 million gallons of oil, 35,000 trees and 14 million gallons of water. Publishers Press also recycles more than 300,000 pounds of aluminum printing plates annually and no hazardous wastes are ever sent to a landfill, but are recycled and reused.

Additionally, they recycle 217 tons of plastic each year and have set aside 550 of the 700 acres they own to be used for conservation and recreation.

It’s easy... Call 888.275.2856, email OR visit

GUY HARVEY MAGAZINE (ISSN 2162111X) is published four times per year (quarterly) by Lost Key Publishing, LLC, 7166 Sharp Reef Road, Pensacola, Florida 32507. Periodicals postage paid at Pensacola, Florida and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Guy Harvey Magazine, PO Box 13274, Pensacola, FL 32591-3274. No part of this magazine can be reproduced without express written permission from Lost Key Publishing. Occasionally, we may make all or part of our subscriber list available to carefully screened companies that offer products and/or services that may interest you. To subscribe to Guy Harvey Magazine call our toll-free subscription number, 888.275.2856.

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Made in USA

Compact & Durable

When a guy goes by the name Jet Ski Brian, you know he’s really into his personal watercraft. But when you see the photos, you realize this is not a typical man toy.

Walk where no other topwater has walked before!

Jet Ski Brian has the most pimped-out, mack-daddy jet ski we’ve ever seen and it’s nothing short of a fishing machine. A resident of Poquoson, Virginia, a small community on Chesapeake Bay, he frequently travels as far as 15 miles out into the Atlantic to fish for striped bass. High gas prices sparked the original idea of a jet ski because his Grady White was getting about one mile per gallon at 35 mph, whereas his jet ski was pulling down 4–5 mpg at the same speed.

The PT-7’s aerodynamic body casts like a bullet and skips into tight places where others can’t. 3” length and 1/2 oz., this soft plastic minesweeper detonates explosive strikes like no other topwater on the market today. Redfish, seatrout and largemouth bass find its “walk-the-dog” action simply irresistible. Pre-rigged with a single premium 6/0 EWG hook, it keeps big fish on where standard trebles fail. 10 realistic colors with several more on the way.

w w w. d o a l u r e s . c o m

He fishes more than 100 days a year on his sled and has been featured in The Virginian-Pilot, The Sportsman, and recently on the cover of Fisherman Magazine. He also does online fishing reports online at Atlantic Anglers and Tidalfish. In addition to hunting fish, JS Brian is an accomplished photographer and provided the images for Nick Honachefsky’s article about menhaden on page 62. According to JS Brian, his dream is to get sponsored by Yamaha and get them to build a special angling jet ski. Sounds like a great plan. Learn more and check out his photo collection at:

TINA MENDITTO Menditto has been working with media and writing professionally for the better part of 25 years. As a high school junior, she discovered her love of journalism as the editor of her high school newspaper. Oddly enough, her first major story was a controversial one calling for more nutritious lunches at the all-girl Catholic high school she attended. Who knew that as an adult, she would parlay her passion for food into working with chefs who share her commitment to nutrition and sustainably sourced seafood. She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in communication and psychology. She was first introduced to Guy Harvey back in 2010, when she worked with him on his Guy Harvey Island Grill restaurant concept. Since then, she has worked with chefs from around the country and notable restaurants including The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Morton’s The Steakhouse and Capital Grill just to name a few. When she’s not doing her day job, she is paddleboarding on Biscayne Bay, boating with family in Key Largo or acting in community theatre. 12 |

E K I L R A O S N E VE R B EFO R E Guests spin, glide, skim and fly like a giant ray on the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the world.

Y L L A U T VIR AW E SOM E Visitors are immersed in a virtual reality experience on SeaWorld’s famous floorless coaster.


Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster awaits the bravest thrill-seekers.

©2017 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. | 13



Fishing in Mississippi isn’t one size fits all – variety is what attracts anglers to our waters. The 70-MILE COASTLINE offers a RANGE OF FISHING OPPORTUNITIES, from shallow backwater fishing for speckled trout to offshore fishing for red snapper. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to ENHANCING, PROTECTING AND CONSERVING our coastal resources. Enjoy fishing for 50 RECREATIONAL SPECIES, whether it’s from a pier or from our 92 ARTIFICIAL REEFS.

ENJOY STATE RED SNAPPER SEASON THROUGH SEPTEMBER 4. • 1-844-MSSNAPP (1-844-677-6277) Photo credit: Don Smith


FOLLOW THE FISH Those who know me, know that I began fishing at a very

My two most recent expeditions have been to Isla Mujeras,

early age. Growing up in Jamaica allowed my siblings and

Mexico, in the Yucatan to catch and tag shortfin mako sharks

me many outstanding angling opportunities. When I was

and to my favorite fishing hole, the Tropic Star Lodge in

a teenager, my father bought a 32-foot wooden offshore

Panama, to study roosterfish. Remember, to study these

boat—which, of course, was an extremely joyful day in my

species, you first have to catch them. That’s the kind of

young life. It also began my love affair with the giants of the

laboratory work I can get behind!

sea, billfish and sharks. As a curly-locked youngster, I even

In Mexico, I’m happy to report, our team successfully

won a tournament or two. Not having to travel very far to wet

tagged 12 mako sharks with satellite tags, making this the

a line was a fantastic way to grow up. It’s one of the reasons I

most successful expedition in the six-year history of the

still live close to the deep blue sea. If the weather is good and

program. I should note that some of the funding came from

the water looks fishy, I jump in the boat and put out the lines.

our partnership with SeaWorld to help underwrite this vital but

Even if no one is around to fish with me, I don’t hesitate to go

costly work. They’re critical because understanding where these


out by myself. In fact, solo fishing lends a certain peacefulness

animals live is the first step in conserving these ecologically and

is an internationally-acclaimed

to the experience. That is, until a big wahoo or marlin hits and

economically important species. Kudos to SeaWorld for joining

artist, fisherman, scientist, and

the reel screams out its sweet music.

forces with the GH Ocean Foundation to highlight the ongoing

world traveler, who devotes

decline in global shark populations and to help advance

much of his time and money

door in Grand Cayman, I still love to travel to destinations

Even though I have top-notch fishing out of my back

research of these apex predators. This type of cooperation and

toward ocean conservation.

far and near to hunt for different species. These days, almost

collaboration from the corporate world is essential if we’re ever

all of my fishing travel involves marine science and research.

going to stop the global decimation of sharp populations.

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After a productive expedition to Isla Mujeras, I was back in Cayman just long

keep your adrenaline flowing when you’re not fishing.

enough to say hello to my family, unpack and then repack for Panama. In fact, I’m

We’ll also take you to Pensacola Beach, Florida, near the offices of Guy Harvey

writing this issue’s editorial from the lush hills overlooking picturesque Piñas Bay.

Magazine, to examine a new kind of fishing guide—one who doesn’t use a boat!

It’s a nice backdrop, and my home away from home, as I’ve traveled here more

Finally, we travel to Long Island in the Bahamas to visit with Joe Ierna, a long-time

than 50 times. If you have not experienced it, you should put it on your list.

and good friend of the Guy Harvey organization, as he describes what it’s like to

Regarding the roosterfish research, it is still ongoing, so I’ll have to report on that in an upcoming issue. In this spirit of fishing travel, one place I’ve never fished but have heard

fish and live off the land like a local. There’s a lot more in this issue, such as a tribute to some of the best photography we’ve ever published, some recipes and a controversial take on

so much about is South Louisiana. Fortunately, Fred Garth, the editor-in-chief

profiting from public resources written by Nick Honachefsky, editor of GHM’s

of GHM, has caught many fish there and has some very fishy stories to tell.

Complete Angler.

You can read about his most recent visit to the Cajun paradise as well as a trip

Once again, as I review the pages of this issue, I must commend all of the

he took to Tarpon Lodge near the tarpon capital of the world, Boca Grande

fine writers and photographers for another outstanding effort. And, before I go,

Pass in Florida. Come to think about it, Fred might be having almost as much

I should mention that you can join me on our “Conservation Cruise” aboard the

fun as I am. I guess he deserves it for leading the charge to produce such a

Norwegian Escape, which has my artwork all the way down its 1,200-foot-long

beautiful and informative magazine.

hull. I’ll be onboard painting, speaking and generally having a great time during

Another unique fishing destination we’ve highlighted in the pages of this issue is a place on Georgia’s Atlantic Coast called Cabin Bluff. Originally a hunting

the week of October 21-28, 2017. Please come along. Go to for more info.

camp almost 100 years ago, I can best describe the place as “upscale woodsy.” The inshore fishing is amazing, as you’ll see, and there are plenty of other activities to

Fair winds and tight lines. | 17

Guy Harvey Signed Giclées Guy Harvey Magazine is offering a limited collection of numbered and signed Guy Harvey giclées. These are exact reproductions on canvas of Guy’s original paintings and ready to be framed. Inquiries for these beautiful giclees should contact Penny Jones at 888.275.2856 or


Game Over Giclée 17” x 25” Price - $300 USD 18 |

Raging Blue Giclée 17” x 26” Price - $300 USD

Snook & Mullet Giclée 20” x 22” Price - $300 USD


Jumping Dolphin

Grand Illusion



17” x 25”

18” x 24”

Price - $300 USD

Price - $300 USD

To purchase a signed and numbered giclée, contact Penny Jones at or 888.275.2856. | 19

NEWS, NOTES & GEAR Guy Harvey’s Store in Grand Cayman Turns 10 If you’ve ever been to Grand Cayman (and if not, why not???), then you’ve

during high season. The big sellers are still the quintessential T-shirts that Guy

undoubtedly seen the Guy Harvey Gallery & Shoppe on the waterfront in

Harvey is so famous for, but performance shirts with UV protection fly off the

downtown George Town. Cruise ships bring their passengers to the dock just

shelves, especially in the tropical climes of the island. Art wise, the store sells lots

a few blocks from the store at 49 South Church Street. Just look for the yellow

of limited-edition gicleés and art printed on very shiny aluminum. Of course,

exterior and the bronze marlin sculpture. Ya can’t miss it.

Guy’s original art is also very popular. In recent years, the store has increased its

The 4,000-sq.-ft. store, which includes an almost endless array of everything Guy Harvey, has apparel, original art, prints, gicleés, souvenir items and a bunch

emphasis on women’s clothing, a growing trend that will likely continue. While the store has been visited by royalty and celebrities, you might not

more. Plus, it’s decorated with an Old Man and the Sea theme, the famous

be so lucky to find Guy sitting there painting when you arrive. He spent a lot

Hemingway story (Guy’s favorite) that Guy has beautifully depicted in his art. Now,

of time at the store in the early days, but his appearance schedule, tagging

the store is celebrating its 10th anniversary, so we did a little digging to find out

expeditions and other travel keeps him on the road a lot. But don’t let that stop

what has transpired in a decade!

you. A trip to Cayman is not complete without a visit to the Guy Harvey Gallery &

According to a plaque by the registers, the first sale was actually back on Dec.

Shoppe, especially because a portion of every product sold goes toward marine

21, 2006. However, the official grand opening was Feb. 24, 2007, when the store

conservation and environmental programs both in Cayman and globally. And,

was dedicated by the governor of the island at the time, Stuart Jack, CVO. Since

if you’re truly lucky, you might go upstairs and see the artist himself creating his

then, traffic to the store has grown to as many as 1,000 customers per day

next masterpiece. It could happen!

Guy celebrates the 10th anniversary of his Grand Cayman gallery.

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Papa’s Pilar Rum Distillery Grand Opening It’s no secret that fishermen and boaters love rum. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1600s when Caribbean plantation slaves first discovered that molasses from sugar cane could be fermented into tasty brew. It’s also well documented that one of our favorite rums is Papa’s Pilar, a Hemingway signature beverage. Now, the fine fellows at Pilar have, quite appropriately, had their grand opening in May of a distillery in Key West where Papa himself poured back many a mojito. Using only the finest hand-selected rums from the Caribbean, Central America and Florida, the distillery has a state-of-the-art barrel rack that hosts their unique solera blending process. If you’ve tried it, you know that the blending creates a delectable tasting rum. In addition to the distillery, the new facility features a walking tour through the history of rum and what makes this deep-rooted spirit so special. You will be introduced to historical Hemingway photos and a replica of Hemingway’s boat, Pilar, hanging from the rafters, complete with a winged “W” on the bow signifying the make of his vessel, the 38-ft. Wheeler Playmate. Visitors will be able to smell each note that is present in the dark and blonde rums as they make their way to the tasting bar. After all, what is a rum tour without a tasting? Incomplete, that’s what! So, after learning about the process, discovering the taste profiles, and enjoying the subtle hues the different woods impart on each expression, you will be able to sample the rums and have new knowledge of history and rum making so you can appreciate it even more. A nice touch: the handmade tasting bar top is laminated with unique Hemingway photos, Key West maps, newspaper clippings and headlines. Now, there’s one more thing to do on your Key West bucket list. If you can’t make it down, you can always sample Papa’s Pilar rum at home or on a fishing boat near you.

Above: the bar and memorabilia. Top right: Pilar’s blonde and dark rum. Bottom right: In the distillery. | 21

Just Say No to Ethanol Are you one of those people who fills their boat up at the corner gas station? If so, the little bit of money you’re saving on gas could be lost to the repair shop in motor damage. Here’s why. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a 2005 law that mandates the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When written, it was assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to rise. However, U.S. gasoline usage has actually dropped steadily since 2005 and now the law forces more corn ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline. So the ethanol to gas ratio is growing and that spells trouble for boat engines. Because of its ability to damage boat motors, federal law prohibits the use of gas blends greater than E10 (10% ethanol) in recreational boats. However, the RFS forces E15 (15% ethanol) and higher blends into the market, so now the chance of repairs, engine failure, or even getting stranded out on the water, increases. Four advocacy groups have sent a letter to the Trump Administration and Congress urging them to fix the ethanol policy. The organizations involved include the American Sportfishing Association, Boat Owners Association of the United States, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and National Marine Manufacturers Association. While we applaud those excellent organizations for looking out for us, it’s best to take care of your own boat motor by avoiding ethanol altogether.

No more Fishy Smelling Hands No amount of soap I’ve tried has ever effectively banished the smell of fish from my hands. I once snuck some Aqua Velva cologne from my dad’s bathroom cabinet and slathered it on generously. I discovered that the combination of fish guts and Aqua Velva makes cat urine seem like rose petals and honeysuckles. Well, finally, after decades of searching, I found the cure in Texas with a product called: Real Clean, All Natural Waterless Hand Cleaner. The directions say, “Apply a small amount to your stinky, bacteria-

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covered hands and rub away the germs. Does not replace the use of real soap, you stinky bass.” The next time I went fishing I got my hands good and slimy then sprayed on some Real Clean. Amazingly, the smell was gone instantly. The ingredients tell the story: a little Aloe Vera, some Witch Hazel, a dollop of Vitamin E oil, a pinch of Tea Tree Oil and a bitsy bit of Lavender Oil. I was so happy with the results that I found a permanent place in my tackle box for the stuff. To get your hands on the goods for only $5 per bottle go to:

More than Just a Flashlight

summer good timess

A man can’t have too many flashlights. A cut-through-the-fog high beam is more valuable than clean underwater on a weekend fishing excursion. So I was excited when I stumbled upon the E.Lumen by Renogy. For pure illumination, it’s three lights in one. The main beam shoots light for a couple hundred feet so it’s perfect for boating, hunting or knocking off a jewelry store at midnight. Plus, one click and the high beam goes to half beam in case you hear the authorities coming. One more click and it flashes a strobe light. Along the body there are LED lights that give off a continuous glow or flash either white or red. Again, perfect if you’re stranded on the side of the road fixing a flat tire after you’ve been on a high speed getaway. Not only is the E.Lumen a flashlight, but it’s an escape tool too. It has a razor cutter to slice through seat belts and a hammer to smash a windshield - both essential if you’re trapped in your car at 1 a.m. when you’ve run into a tree because the cops were in pursuit of you as a likely suspect for robbing, let’s say, a jewelry store. There’s also a a compass to guide you through the woods if, well, you’re on the run. And, finally, if you run down the battery, you can recharge it with the built-in solar panel. It also comes with a handy USB cable to charge your phone so you can call an ex-girlfriend to get you, just in case the cops are closing in. For only $25 bucks, even law abiding

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Explore the shore on America’s #3 beach! Go fishing, take a guided beach walk, hold sea critters at the touch tank. At the end of the day, find tropical cocktails, live music and campfire s’mores beside the Gulf of Mexico.


citizens should have one or two. For more go to:


Everglades Gets Help from the State First, the Florida legislature passed SB10 to help restore the southerly flow of

retailers and boat manufacturers,” said Eric Eikenberg, executive director of

water through the Everglades. Now, U.S. Congressman Brian Mast has unveiled

the Everglades Foundation. “To make the reservoir a reality, we will need to

another first, the Everglades FIRST (Flow Increases Rely on Storage and Treatment)

stay fully engaged for the fight ahead, convincing Congress to approve the

Act. The bill will expedite the federal timeline for the completion of reports that

project and appropriate the funds. Florida fishing depends on this, and we’re

are required before Everglades restoration projects can move forward.

not going to stop now.”

The Everglades FIRST Act prioritizes projects to fix water storage around

President and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association, Mike Nussman,

Lake Okeechobee and to minimize future

agrees. “We greatly appreciate Congressman

discharges into the St. Lucie River and

Mast’s leadership toward fixing Florida’s water

Indian River Lagoon. The bill instructs

quality challenges,” Nussman said. “Florida is the

the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite

‘Fishing Capital of the World’, and the future of

completion of reports and construction for the

our industry is dependent on clean waters and

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan,

abundant fisheries. The Everglades FIRST Act will

which includes the Everglades Agricultural

help ensure Everglades restoration is completed

Area Storage Reservoirs, Loxahatchee River

in an expedited and comprehensive fashion.”

Watershed Restoration Project, Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project

The bill was formally introduced during a pro forma session on May 11 with

and the Western Everglades Restoration Project.

seven co-sponsors: Francis Rooney (FL-19), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Bill Posey (FL-

“The fight for SB10 mobilized nearly 100,000 Floridians, from college kids to anglers, fishing guides and CEOs of some of America’s best known outdoor

8), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), John Rutherford (FL-4) and Claudia Tenney (NY-22).

The largest known concentration of tarpon in the world!

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24 |

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A-Fishy-A-Nado You’ve heard the stories. Redfish so big, you might throw your back out during a long day of hossing them in. So many trout, you need a calculator to count ‘em. And then you wash it all down with a bowl of hot sauce, some boudin, a crawfish boil and a six-pack of cold Abita beer. Yep, it’s Southern LA, and I’m not talking about the fruity nuts in Malibu. This is Louisiana, a vast, marshy landscape of fish heaven. But if you don’t have a cousin named Boudreaux to call, where do you start your search? A good place is, home to 200 captains, all members of the Louisiana Charter Boat Association. These guys are all either federally-permitted, which means they go offshore (past nine miles) or they are non-federally permitted, which means they fish the lakes, bays, bayous and rivers in inland Louisiana as well as out to nine miles off the coast. About 75 percent of the guides are non-federally permitted so they stalk trout and redfish mostly, whereas the offshore guides chase tuna, red snapper, amberjack, mahi-mahi, cobia and wahoo. Occasionally, they’ll also go way offshore for marlin and sailfish. With all the press about redfish, many anglers don’t know that that Louisiana has world class, blue-water billfishing. It’s true! For more info and to view profiles and locations of the certified LCBA charter captains,

Louisiana reds.



The RipCharts mobile app allows you to download satellite imagery to your device and navigate offshore.





plus Currents, SST Forecasts, Subsurface SST, and Bathymetry | 25

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Looking to the Past to

Guide our Future


Artisanal living off the land and sea on Long Island, Bahamas Above: Poor soil makes growing crops difficult. Opposite top: Even a small boat can get you to the fish. Bottom left: A nice set of carrots. Bottom right: The lobster population continues to provide a good bounty.

Unlike modern cities where people rely on jobs to earn a living and grocery stores for food, developing cultures head out into nature each day to tend their crops or out in the bush and jungles to catch a wild animal or out to the sea to catch a meal. It’s about survival. This is what “subsistence” or “artisanal” hunting and fishing is all about—survival. And, even though most of us reading this publication do not think about it, subsistence still represents most of the global population. It’s how they define their culture, heritage and identity. | 29

Here on Long Island, in the Bahamas, most of us live by and off the land and

and great craftsmanship of this strapping gentlemen of 63 years. When not

sea, one way or another. Children grow up playing in the bush and sea, and as

building, Stephen is on the sea fishing. And when the ocean is rough, he is on

they get a bit older, they help out around the family farm with the critters or the

his farm working the sandy loam soil and tending to his pigs and sheep. He is

crops. Whenever they have the opportunity, they go out on the boat to catch

an artisanal fisherman of the 21st century, fishing and farming to feed his family

some fish and “tings” for the pot. Oldtimers make up the majority of the farmers

and the community and his critters.

on the island now. For generations, they have grown peas, corn, watermelon, peppers, pumpkin and more. Farming in the Bahamas is not easy. In fact, the Loyalists learned this in the

When we go fishing, there is nothing fancy: a 10-ft. aluminum Jon boat with an 8hp Yamaha outboard engine, some rebar welded on an iron pipe as a grappling anchor and two pieces of driftwood we found on the Northside as oars.

1400s and 1500s when they attempted to grow cotton and sisal. In the end there

We use a mask, fins, snorkel and a Hawaiian sling with free shafted spear rig to

was no profit to be made, so the Loyalist farmers left these harsh lands to the

hunt grouper, snapper, margate, crawfish (spiny lobster) and conch.

African slaves who wished to stay behind and make a new life. The Europeans headed for greener, more profitable pastures in the new world—America! My father-in-law Gabriel “Stephen” Pratt is one of these decedents of Scottish-African mix, a hardy breed of farmer and fisherman of days gone by. They don’t make them like Stephen anymore. He completed school to only the

Holding his breath, he makes dozens of dives down into the clear blue waters, looking under reefs and in the holes of “dryers,” as the locals call them, in search of food for his family. On a good day, he even has some left over to sell and make a few dollars. But his main goal is food for the pot. Once the catch of the day is sorted and cleaned, Stephen will portion

9th grade and took up the building trade, helping to transform this tropical

up the catch to share with his dive partner and his five daughters and

island paradise for tourists to visit. Many of the homes in the Stella Maris

their families. This is how they grew up and it’s their tradition and culture.

Resort and the Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort area were born from the sweat

However, in the past 10 years, fishing has not been what it used to be. There

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are fewer and smaller fish, and the distances to catch fish have increased

Now, with their very culture and traditions being directly threatened, Long

dramatically. The farm and the ocean’s bounty have both suffered with hotter

Islanders have begun to willingly support and work with organizations like Ocean

temperatures, less rainfall and the ravaging effects of hurricanes. In 2015, a

Crest Alliance locally, the Bahamas National Trust nationally and the Guy Harvey

category 5 hurricane, Joaquin, hit Long Island directly and spun offshore for

Ocean Foundation internationally, to take action. Together, our organizations work

39 hours. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew’s eye passed 50 miles to the west, still

to restore and better maintain fisheries to their former glory. Through the design

giving us a blow of 120 mph winds!

and development of the proposed 215,000-acre Long Island Marine Management

Another setback for artisanal fishermen like Stephen has been the growth

Area (LIMMA), we are hopeful that these once rich fishing grounds known as the

of fish-finding technology on large vessels that harvest great numbers of fish,

Great Bahama and Little Bahama Bank will thrive again, for the local communities,

crawfish and conch in our waters. These actions have put a great burden on local

the world and for generations to come.

island communities, who have depended on this food source for generations. We

This article is in tribute to Gabriel “Stephen” Pratt, Bahamian free diver and

are now experiencing a fishery where many species have collapsed or are on the

artisanal fisherman extraordinaire, local farmer, master builder of island homes

verge of collapsing.

and the best father in the world! Stephen passed away at “his heaven on earth” on

The Bahamas fisherman, whether commercial or artisanal, understands what has happened to the fishery. Certainly, the local fishermen have created

January 10, 2017, on Long Island Bahamas Northside—Pratt’s family farm, down by the seashore! May God bless Stephen, his family and friends.

pressure. When you combine that with foreign poachers who overfish our waters, the problem is magnified to unsustainable levels. The Bahamas have also

Joe Ierna is the director of Ocean Crest Alliance, a 501c3 non-profitable charitable

experienced development that disturbs our shorelines and estuaries essential to

organization working on Long Island to establish Marine Protected Areas. For

species reproduction.

more information, visit:

Left: It’s all good, mon. Right: Symbiotically using fish to grow veggies. This page: Creating a garden in the bush takes constant attention.

32 |

Left: The Chandeleur Islands are extremely fishy with speckled trout and if you don’t want to slog out there by sea, just take the float plane. Above: The rustic dining area of the Bourgeois Fishing Lodge in Barataria.

You'll definitely catch fish in Southern Louisiana. The only question is, how many? BY FRED GARTH When you mention Louisiana to the uninitiated, many of them cringe. Folks from far off places like Wyoming or Oregon or New Jersey only know what (dare I say it?) the Fake News spouts off. So they think of a low-rated education system, shady politics and gators big enough to swallow a cow in one bite. Obviously, they’ve never visited the great Cajun state. But, for those of us who know about the Sportsman’s Paradise, like most hard-core fishermen in the world, we dream of monster redfish, multitudes of trout and cuisine so delicious that, well, my mouth is watering right now as I write these words. No lie. There’s a very long list of Louisiana’s high points. But the three I relate to mostly are as follows (in no particular order): fishing, eating and partying. In these areas, Louisianians are bona fide experts. That doesn’t even count the music—jazz, blues, Southern rock, zydeco—that has deep roots there. Living an easy three-hour drive from New Orleans, I tend to visit often. And when I turn south on Interstate 10 toward that colorful community, I put Pandora on the Little Feat channel. It’s a swampy collection of John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater), Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Government Mule, Little Feat, Allman Brothers—all soulful, all damn good music. Get’s me right in the frame of mind for gumbo, Bloody Marys and fishing. Oops, make that catching. | 33

Left: Eat dem bugs! Crawfish literally by the boatload. Right: Signs of Mother Nature's wrath are everywhere. Far Right: You don't have to go all the way to Venice to catch a lot of fish. Barataria is less than an hour from New Orleans.

This little preamble is to explain why I was fired up to make the cut for an

long stretches of river to slow the steady onslaught of erosion. Massive barges and

invitation-only event in the tiny community of Barataria, about an hour south of

oil ships chug along waterways. And, to top it off, the water is brown, sometimes as

New Orleans and right next to the township of Jean Lafitte—yes, a place named

cloudy as chocolate milk. Pretty? No. Full of life. You betcha, Boudreaux!

after the legendary pirate. The destination was Bourgeois Fishing Charters, run by

Man’s imprint on South LA is only rivaled by nature’s wrath. Hurricanes have

Captain Theophile Bourgeois and his beautiful and extraordinary partner, Ginger

mangled once healthy oak trees, now with fractured limbs jutting skyward and

Jenne. If you’re trying to figure out how to pronounce the good captain’s name,

clinging to Spanish moss. Boathouses have been twisted into dysfunctional art.

he tells it like this. “It’s like if your toe hurts and you can feel it,” he told me, “it’s

Marshland has been flooded and eroded over and over and over. I’m just saying,

pronounced toe-feel.” The last name is French so it’s “boorj-wah”. Break out your

this is a land that has been scarred by man and God. But we need oil, and so far,

high school French book if you need help with that.

we haven’t figured out how to stop hurricanes. So, as they say, “It is what it is,”

Like everything south of NOLA (New Orleans, LA), the land around Barataria

and the resilient locals don’t just survive...they thrive. Because, through all of

is low and flat and interwoven with a spiderweb of waterways. Everybody seems

the mish mash, it’s an unbelievably amazing place. There’s so much life, so many

to have at least one boat tied in their canal or on a trailer. If you don’t have a boat,

fish, infinite birds, tons of gators, scads of nutria, wild otters and on and on and

you’re required to get one before you can live around there. I think it’s a state law.

on. And, the locals are the veritable experts at finding it, catching it, cooking it,

This place is not what you’d call a beautiful landscape. It’s oil country so there are

eating it and washing it down with something cold, strong and good for the soul.

well sites of all sizes scattered randomly in marshes, mudflats and wherever they can

Plus, once you get onto the boat and jet out into the endless marshland, away

suck sweet, black goo from the earth. Many of the wells are ramshackle structures

from civilization, the scene blossoms into true beauty. And heaven for fishermen.

of wood and metal, rusting and rotting and succumbing to gravity. Old, dead,

One thing is for sure, Theophile and Ginger have got it all figured out. Some

half-sunk boats are littered all over the place—ravaged by storms and time—and

years ago, they bought an abandoned school house and converted it into a

never to be resurrected. Busted up concrete rip rap and rocks have been laid along

fishing lodge. It’s decorated in a hyper Cajun motif—rust-stained, corrugated

34 |



aluminum ceilings, stuffed wild critters of all creation from bobcats to deer, old

reds. Overall, I gained 6.8 pounds in crawfish, gumbo, jambalaya, fried shrimp,

fishing gear scattered about, hundreds of photos of anglers holding fish and, to

fried oysters, grilled fish, grits, bacon and beer. If you’re feeling somewhat jealous

top it off, hanging from the ceiling is a giant inflatable crawfish holding a big ole

now, I don’t blame you. My wife put me on a cottage cheese and lettuce diet for a

inflated beer can. Ooo-eeee! Who dat! Out by the water, there’s five or so go-fast,

month and made me jog to work.

center console fishing boats in the 20–26-ft. range, and the coup de gras is a four-

I’ve fished Louisiana for many years and I’ve learned a lot about fishing over

passenger float plane. Theophile will fly you out to the legendary Chandeleur

there. Like the per person limit on speckled trout is 25 fish per day—a number

Islands where the fishing is stupid good. It’s less than an hour in the airplane as

of many out-of-staters just don’t believe. But, it’s been that way for many years

opposed to way too damn far to go in a small boat. So if you’re going by air, you

and the specks just keep on coming. So when we came in with 30 fish after

can take your time in enjoying the real bacon, eggs, pancakes, hash browns, grits

a three-hour trip, our guide told his fellow guides that we did “just okay.“ We

and such before you zip out to the islands, fish for four hours and make it back

anglers were all smiles.

by mid-afternoon. If you have a big group, they have other float planes they can bring in. Like I said, they have it figured out. There was no airtime for our event, but there was plenty of fishing, laughing, imbibing and even a few racy jokes in the late of the night. Not only did we eat like Cajun royalty, but we slayed a mess of trout and redfish. In two days, my boat of four anglers caught 70 or 80 trout and some bull

Unlike other fishing trips, we actually did what you might consider work. The contingent I’d fallen into was a group of fishing writers who were paired up with representatives from fishing gear companies who were there to give us a sneak preview of their latest and greatest gadgets. In between eating and talking about fishing, we sat in the Bourgeois Fishing Charters lodge and learned even more about fishing. See the next two pages for a complete rundown. | 35

Flambeau Despite the racy name, Flambeau is not a gay bar in New Orleans. Or maybe it is. Not sure. Either way, this Flambeau makes some pretty cool soft tackle boxes, but, of course, a lot of companies do that. However, one thing


Flambeau makes that is the least known but

This company is the Switzerland of marine electronics in that they have

coolest product I’ve seen in a long time is the

remained independent in that crowded battleground. How? Well they

Zerust Vapor Capsule. It looks kind of like a

don’t make hardware. They make the software that hardware companies

D-cell battery and it keeps hooks and gear

use. Plus, their charts are updated daily from multiple sources, including

from rusting. You just put it in your tackle

us, the users. That’s cool. Their newly released SonarChart Live will create

box to keep rust away. The trick is to take

INSTANT LIVE one-foot contours on your Lowrance or Raymarine plotter

your lures out of their packaging before you

screen. If that’s not enough, Navionics makes a sweet navigation app for

fish with them. Then you leave them in your

mobile devices and phones (#1 navigation app in the world) and you can

tackle box with the Zerust for 24 hours—

even use it to update your chart and transfer waypoints to WiFi-enabled

enough time for the vapor capsule to send

plotters. Wow!

out rust-preventing molecules. No kidding. Sounds like science fiction but it really works.

Frogg Toggs Toggs outfitted all of us poorly equipped

Chandeleur Island Brewing Company

writers in bibs and jackets. It didn’t rain, but

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there’s

the boat ride was downright frigid. The first

lightning, there’s thunder. Where there’s

morning we fished, my Weatherbug app

fishermen, there’s beer. True that! And now, a

said, “44 degrees but feels like 38.“ When the

microbrewery from Ocean Springs, Mississippi,

boat hit 40 mph, it felt more like an arctic

is making waves with their Chandeleur brews

blast. But inside my Toggs, I was comfy cozy.

(named for the fish famous archipelago

The company has been around for 20 years

offshore of MS and LA). After the Barataria

and has figured out how to balance comfort

event, I decided to make a stop in Ocean

with performance and durability. They

Springs for a visit. Mmm good. I got the tour

come in a variety of fashionable colors for

and a “tasting” of five different brews. Let’s just

men and women. To put my FTs to the real

say, they pour generously. And, Chandeleur

test, I wore them in the Colorado mountains

also gives a portion of their profits for fish tags,

at temps below zero. As I expected, I stayed

so now you have one more good reason to

as warm as a hot buttered rum.

drink their beer!

Thankfully, those good ole boys from Frogg

36 |

Power-Pole It’s like Kleenex and Ziplock. They’re brand names but have become de facto terms for tissue paper and plastic bags. So it is with Power-Pole. Yes, there are others “fixed anchors” on the market, but PP is the gold standard. And, in recent years, they’ve developed the Micro Pole that is around $500 and can be used on boats up to 17 ft. or 1,500 lbs. They’re especially awesome on kayaks, and I speak from experience. They’ve also taken a page from the electric power tool


playbook and have a lithium battery that snaps into

This is the company that introduced waterproof plastic cases

the Micro like your electric drill. No wiring needed, so

back in the 1960s. I’ve used them to protect my camera gear

it’s easy to move the Micro from kayak to kayak or from

when I traveled to remote countries. Of course, now I have

kayak to flats skiff because it pops on and off of their

$10,000 in cameras, lenses and flash kits gathering dust in

bracket in about 15 seconds.

my garage because I shoot everything on my iPhone 6S now. But, I digress. So, if they’re the leader in durable plastic cases, why did it take them so long to come out with a heavy duty


cooler to rival Yeti, Engel and so on? Who knows? But anyway,

True story. I’ve fished topwater lures for 20 years. Always,

now they’ve jumped all in and their new cooler is of the same

Mirrolure Top Dawgs or Heddon Zara Spooks. Buddy of

high quality as their cases and flashlights. The cooler market is

mine gave me a Badonk-A-Donk and WHAM! I started

flooded so be careful before you plunk down a bunch of cash.

catching more fish at the same fishing hole I’ve been going

You might find similar quality for a lot less dough.

to all my life. Then I heard that Pradco, the company that makes Badonk-A-Donk was coming to Barataria. WHAM! Again. I was the only guy fishing top water and I didn’t catch as many fish, but all mine were BIG—much bigger than the fish everyone else caught, so I had bragging rights. That’s the way it is with topwater lures—less fish but hoss daddies. And, that why I like ‘em. So, let’s just say, I left Louisiana with a few ‘Donks in my suitcase.

Daiwa The guys have been around since 1958 and developed the

Louisiana Fish Fry

open-faced spinning reel in 1965. They’ve been innovating

If you want to cook and eat like a real Cajun, then

ever since. Now they have two cool new items to talk

learn some zydeco, say oooo-eee and buy yourself

about. One is the Magsealed ball bearing. Basically, the ball

some Louisiana Fish Fry. With an assortment of dry

bearings are sealed so that water and salt cannot penetrate

fry batters, spices, crab and crawfish boils, jambalaya

and cause rust and corrosion. It’s a major innovation that

mixes and everything you need for your neighbor

could change the lifespan of their reels. For hard core bait

to nickname you Boudreaux Thibodeaux, this stuff

casters like me, the TWS, or T-Wing System purports to add

is the bomb. Be careful though, when it says Cajun

almost 20% more distance because instead of a small hole

spicy, it means it. LFF is available nationwide at

for the line to shoot through, it’s an open triangle so the line

Walmart and other fine stores. Or you can go online

hits less often and there’s less friction.

and fish for the store nearest to you. | 37

Teachers get serious about catching fish, and when they do, it’s all smiles. The young hunters scanning the sea for redfish.

38 |

A father-son weekend to a coastal resort in Georgia turns into a right-of-passage for three boys and their dads. INTRODUTION BY SCOTT SMITH ARTICLE BY JACKSON SMITH, JOSH MATHIAS and CARTER WINDHAM


t’s with a broad grin on my face and a feeling of gratitude that I reflect on my recent father-son trip to Cabin Bluff, a little piece of paradise on the wooded, eastern coast of Georgia. As I think about our time there, a few quotes and bits of wisdom float through my head. In the book, Confluence of Streams, Zenobia Barlow reminds us that as “children we enter this world with an awesome innate sense of wonder and a natural affinity for the world around us. When adequately cultivated, these qualities can easily mature into ecological wisdom and habits of sustainable living.” Similarly, author Rachel Carson also tells us that the invaluable sense of wonder requires “the companionship of at least one adult who can repeatedly rediscover, along with that child, the absolute joy and mystery of the world we live in.” I can’t say I started fishing or hunting with my sons with thoughts of ecological wisdom in mind. I did it like we do most things, because it’s what my father did with me, and, of course, because it’s just so much damn fun. As I began to write this article, it occurred to me that a fresh, young perspective might be in order. So what follows is a collaborative effort by three sons about their trip to Cabin Bluff with their dads. | 39

Success! Josh, Jackson and Carter celebrate with one of many redfish they caught.

We were great friends approaching a turning point in our lives. High school

Just after our plane landed in Georgia, we were picked up at the airport by a

graduation began a process that would change everything. By August, the three

Cabin Bluff vehicle and driven straight to the camp. Without any rental car hassles,

of us would be living in different cities. Time started to seem different, and the

or need for grocery shopping, or running last minute errands, we were fans before

weeks of the upcoming summer more important. Growing up in North Louisiana,

we even drove through the front gate. As the driver turned onto the Cabin Bluff

all of us have been really lucky being able to hunt, fish and spend time with our

road, broad black iron gates opened up to a long road flanked by what seemed

dads. But when our fathers said they wanted to take us on a special fishing trip

like endless rows of old-growth oak trees. It was beautiful but completely unlike

to Georgia, we were definitely pumped, and the texting and planning began

the coastal fishing of South Louisiana and Alabama we were used to.

immediately. The fun started by just packing. Everything from a fly box to a

As we cruised along, we spotted the familiar sight of a bird truck. Our

favorite fishing hat reminds you of great times and starts the anticipation of more

conversation changed to Bob White quail and good hunting dogs, and we

to come. We weren’t wrong to be excited about this particular trip.

began to realize we’d arrived at what our grandfathers might have called a

40 |

honey-hole for everything we enjoyed most in the world. Eventually, we pulled

catching everything from brim to catfish. It wasn’t until the 18th hole that a baby

up to a stretch of cool, old log cabins sitting on the mossy Georgia shore. The

alligator showed up to take the brim off our fly. Needless to say, that was a first

gorgeous woods surrounded us and ran all the way down to some pretty water

for the three of us. And, it was a tough fight. But the fun really began when we

that we knew was redfish heaven. The guest cabins were rustic-chic and super

tried to get the feisty little gator off the fly and released back into the lake! After

comfy. After quickly unpacking, we checked out the grounds in our golf carts

that excitement we headed back to the cabin, happy to have all our fingers intact,

that were parked outside of the cabins.

and started getting ready for a dinner that would be the first of some insanely

Starting at the large main cabin where meals are served, we made our way

good meals! The amazing food at Cabin Bluff is credited to a well-loved lady, Ms.

past swimming pools, tennis courts and even a golf course, which made it pretty

Tay, and her team of cooks. Some of our favorites included tempura shrimp with

clear that there would be no shortage of things to do during our non-fishing time.

scallop wraps, beef tenderloin, BBQ alligator ribs and Pale Ale chicken. A highlight

It didn’t take us long to notice the awesome setup on the golf carts. They were

of the trip was an oyster bake in the outdoor cooking area near the shore. With

each rigged with spinners and fly rods, so we hit the small lakes along the course,

delicious, hearty breakfasts each morning and desserts like sweet cornbread with

Built in 1928, Cabin Bluff is upscale rustic with five-star accommodations, cuisine and world-class hunting and fishing. | 41

Top: From one generation to the next, these dads have instilled their love of the outdoors into their sons. Left to right: Bill and Carter Windham, Josh and Steve Mathias, Jackson and Scott Smith. Right: Jackson Smith hooked up on a redfish. Top: The iron gates of Cabin Bluff.

powdered sugar and honey butter, or skillet brownies with raspberry sauce, we

the setting and view are amazing. We walked and shot the course for several

were definitely not roughing it.

hours doing what we always do best, compete with each other with plenty

But before the first meal was ever served, we were welcomed by Cabin Bluff’s

of laughter and a good dose of harassment over particularly bad shots. What

Andy Ippensen. Andy gave us the run-down on the long, cool history of Cabin

followed was a simple thing, one that could probably take place anywhere—

Bluff. After hearing about some of the men who built and enjoyed this place for

even in our own backyards, but for lots of reasons, it just doesn’t. Strung up

years before us, we discovered what became our favorite building on the grounds.

between the trees of Cabin Bluff are the most inviting hammocks swinging in

We played a game of pool in the awesome man cave on the second floor of the

the breeze. These made for the perfect resting spot for full stomachs and lazy

main cabin. With dart boards, flat-screen televisions and a large, old-time bar that

eyes. We’d been at Cabin Bluff for about 20 hours, hadn’t been past the docks,

takes up a corner of the room, it was the perfect place to hang out before and

and already were in heaven. But that afternoon began an amazing day-and-a-

after meals were served downstairs.

half of guided fishing in the Low Country waters surrounding and extending

On the second morning, after a huge breakfast, we headed out to shoot some clay pigeons. We’d all had some experience with this kind of shot gunning,

past Cumberland Island into the Atlantic. The six of us broke up into father/son teams on 24-ft. bay boats and the

but none of us had ever seen or shot anything comparable to the sporting clay

competition was back on. There was no shortage of game fish and the only

course at Cabin Bluff. The course was set on a peninsula stretching out into the

challenge was getting tired of pulling them in. From big bull reds to trout and

Georgia marsh. Each stand was unique, with some in the woods and others at

triple tail, the fishing was awesome. We tried to accomplish a first (for us) and

the shore’s edge looking out over the water. The shooting was intense, but even

hook a triple tail on fly. It was one of the harder top water fish to spot, and our

for someone who doesn’t shoot, the path would be well worth the walk because

lack of success assured that we could try again on a future trip! The sun set on

42 |

our final afternoon with a large number great fish reeled in, a Shark Week-worthy video of “the one that got away,” and the inevitable stories that keep a three-day fishing trip alive and well for years to come. On the last night of our trip, we sat on the dock covering familiar subjects: fishing, hunting and the changes ahead for all of us. The most accurate description we’ve heard for Cabin Bluff is that it’s a grown man’s Disney World. It’s perfect for all the things we southern boys love best (including eating), while hanging out with people we love in a place that will not soon be forgotten.

And so, the inevitable regret of the three fathers letting go of their college-bound young men is softened by a certainty of passions shared, memories made, and the knowledge that our roles have not only been played, but perhaps played well, and highlighted with experiences that shape an adult, and ensure that there will be time made for more in the future. Guy Harvey Magazine is sponsoring a special trip to Cabin Bluff and you can join us. - Scott Smith Join us, the Guy Harvey Magazine staff on July 13-16 at a special magazine weekend fishing event at Cabin Bluff! For more information contact Mitzi Allen at or call her at 912-576-4582. | 43

Top Left: Josh showing the kids the different baits that they would be using and explaining how to hook them while also giving them an opportunity to hold them. Top Right: Sailor Waters, the birthday girl, standing next to a fishing rod ready to fish.

44 |

If you’ve ever traveled to go fishing (or managed to sneak in a little fishing while traveling), chances are you’ve sought out the expertise of a local guide or charter service. BY JJ WATERS


oday, the options seem almost endless for any type of fishing experience one desires, and what seemed unusual yesterday is the norm today. Who would have dreamed 10 years ago, that a kayak fishing charter business would be a thriving enterprise? Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we discovered a new and inventive fishing guide service operating along the Gulf Coast of Florida. | 45

Top: Josh talking to a parent about putting the lines out in the water after baiting them up. Bottom Left: Giving the birthday girl her gift from Pensacola Saltwater Guides. All birthday kids receive a rod/reel combo and a goodie bag. Bottom Right: The birthday girl and Josh with her gifts.

46 |

Josh Collins, an avid fisherman and young father of four, started his

home.” And it’s not just tourists. PSG caters to locals who want to go shark fishing

business, Pensacola Saltwater Guides (PSG), when he was inspired by his own

from the beach at night and those who want to learn to wade fish or gig flounder.

daughter. While working at a local hot spot, he met a lot of travelers and tourists

They even offer fishing birthday parties for up to 10 anglers. A fishing birthday

seeking charter services. He noticed that although they wanted to go fishing,

party? Brilliant! I decided to hire Josh and PSG for my granddaughter’s upcoming

sometimes they had limitations that prohibited them from going out on a boat:

6th birthday party and get more first-hand insight.

an elderly man who feared falling, parents with small children, a young couple

Josh arrived early in the morning to set up the beach for the birthday

who suffered terrible seasickness. It then occurred to him that his own daughter,

anglers. By the time I made it down, he had a tent and table set up, 10 rods

who had juvenile arthritis, was unable to go offshore because being on a

in rod holders waiting to be baited and a cooler with refreshments, ready to

boat, in anything but perfectly calm seas, could prove dangerous for her. Josh

go. When the kids arrived, he gathered them around for a quick lesson, then

couldn’t bear the thought that she, and others, might not experience the joy of

patiently showed them how to rig the bait for pompano and what to do when

fishing because they were shore bound, and from that, his business was born.

they got a bite. The kids absolutely reveled in it and the parents loved the idea

Land-based guides certainly aren’t unusual if you’re fly fishing in Idaho or tarpon

that their kids were outside, in nature, and learning something new. It was one

fishing in the Bahamas, but along the Gulf Coast of Florida, where charters are

of the best birthday parties we’ve ever had.

on charter boats, they’re unheard of.

I must admit that when I first heard of this new shore-based fishing charter,

So, what exactly is this land-based charter/shore-based guide? I wanted to

I was a bit skeptical. But the tide has turned. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Build a

find out. I met with Josh and he told me that aside from accommodating those

better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” I say, “Find a way

who are unable or uncomfortable going out in a boat, they cater to those who

to give a person a chance to fish, and you’ll change their life.” And Josh has done

prefer a land-based experience because of cost factors: solo anglers who prefer a

just that.

solitary experience and don’t want to pay for a boat; newbies who want to “test the waters” before committing to purchasing gear; experienced anglers who want

For more information on Pensacola Saltwater Guides, visit:

to fish locally without having to purchase equipment that they wouldn’t use “back


Left: Josh’s daughter Madison with her first mangrove snapper. Right: Showing birthday guests how to put bait on a hook. | 47

Flatback hatchlings are larger than those of other sea turtles when they enter the water; this is likely an adaptation for living in coastal waters with high densities of hungry fish. Photo: Doug Perrine, Spring 2012, Issue 8.

48 |

BEST OF GHM a photo portfolio | 49

Lemon shark. Photo: Jim Abernethy, Summer 2012, Issue 9.

50 |

Above: A young boy throws a castnet at the Fairhope Municipal Pier. Photos: Jon Hauge, Winter 2014, Issue 14. | 51

Snook, near Port Everglades. Photo: Jason Arnold, Spring 2013, Issue 11.

52 |

Above: Freediver and school of reef sharks. Photo: Paul Boesel, Jr., Summer 2013, Issue 12. | 53

Top: Fishing off St. Thomas on the famous “North Drop,” the Double Take lets go a beautiful Virgin Islands blue marlin! Right: Sunset behind the Varadero Marina on the Island of Aruba. Photos: Richard Gibson, Fall 2014, Issue 17.

54 | | 55

Left: Daniel enjoys catching giant tarpon from his float tube in a remote jungle river of Central America. Photo: Daniel Göz, Spring 2015, Issue 19. Right: Guide Garrett Blackburn and Martin Pescador Lodge owner Frans Jansen float down the Rio Rosselot in Patagonian Chile. Photo: Jim Klug, Summer 2015, Issue 20.

56 | | 57

Top: Miami Man O War. Bottom: Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island. Photos: Sam Root, Fall 2015, Issue 21. Right: The magic light of the golden hour shines bright against a 60-ft. Weaver off Delray Beach, Florida. Photo: Steve Dougherty, Winter 2016, Issue 22.

58 |

Feeding yellow tail snapper out of Marathon Keys. Opposite: American red snapper caught on the speed jig. | 59


Large ships haul speedy tenders offshore to put out nets that encircle giant schools of menhaden that will be scooped up by the Mother Ship.

62 |





hink about this situation: What if a lumber company went to Yellowstone National Park, cut down a thousand, 50-year-old oak trees and sold them for profit. Sound wrong? How about this then. A corporate company boat sets its net out right past the breakers in the Atlantic Ocean, scoops up all the menhaden in an area, then sells it for millions of dollars worth of personal profit. Is that wrong? One of those situations is illegal, the other is not. And thus, we enter the sticky realm of private companies harvesting public resources for corporate profits, and in the menhaden fishery example, it is happening right now. | 63

One case in particular revolves around the Texas-based company, Omega

monies that fishing generates, can be affected greatly by a corporation exploiting

Protein. Their marine fishing fleet runs out of a Reedville, Virginia, location and

public resources. Menhaden is the primary forage for many gamefish from Maine

this is the gist of what they do: using a spotter plane, schools of menhaden

to North Carolina, but especially for the much sought after recreationally-viable

(AKA bunker) are located aerially from above, then the location is radioed to a

striped bass and bluefish. When there is no bunker around, the bass and bluefish

purse seiner below, where the vessel then sets the net and scoops up an entire

don’t show up, their stocks decline from malnutrition, eliminating tens of millions

school (or as much as possible) of menhaden in one fell swoop. Then the process

of dollars from the businesses that depend on the income when the run is on.

is repeated for days on end until the hulls are filled to the brim with their total

When there are menhaden around, the fishery and economy is booming. Case

allowable catch. The boats then go home and unload the catch to Omega

in point—up until 2012, Omega Protein vessels from Virginia would come up

Protein’s facilities, mainly processing the menhaden for the valuable Omega 3 oil

and set nets in New Jersey state waters, scooping up vast amounts of menhaden

to be sold to the world for millions of dollars in medical products, animal feed and

during the start of the spring run season. Spotter planes and purse seiners would

cosmetics. In my view, here are the problems with that:

deplete the menhaden schools within days and the entire ecosystem was ghost:

First and foremost, the menhaden are a public resource. According to the

no striped bass, bluefish, whales, gannets, nothing. The spring run was a hollow

National Academies Press, a New Jersey court ruling in 1821 on the public trust

husk of what it once was. Laws were then enacted to keep the Virginia boats at

doctrine identified the nature of “The air, the running water, the sea, the fish and

least out of state waters, past three miles, and bunker schools rebounded in full

the wild beasts” as “common property,” to be held and regulated for the common

force nearshore, and with it came back the striped bass, bluefish, whales, gannets

use and benefit by the sovereign.” Menhaden habitually exist in both state (within

and seals. Tackle shops, restaurants, charter boats and grocery stores in the local

3 miles) and federal waters (3 miles and beyond), and no single company should

economies flourished again.

have the right to vacuum them all up for corporate profit. Second, is that state economies along the Eastern Seaboard, especially the recreational fishing community and all the coastal towns that thrive off the

64 |

To be clear, this isn’t a knock on the captains and commercial fishermen who earn an honest living at sea with companies such as Omega Protein, nor with Omega Protein itself, which is acting within its lawful rights, but more a

Left: Pelicans and seagulls swarm the fish-laden nets to scavange scraps that spill off the deck. Center: Partially digested menhaden pulled from the stomach of this striped bass. Right: Fish dumped into the ship’s hold to be sold for feed, oils, cosmetics and other uses.

dissertation on the tenets of whether the taking of a public resource for private

affirmative duty to take the public trust into account. Such allocations cannot

profit is an ethical business practice. Should one company’s profit margin directly

be irrevocable, but remain subject to the government’s continuing supervisory

harvesting a public resource trump all other business and personal interests that

responsibility over them, to hold and manage them on behalf of the people.

depend on the public resource indirectly? I do realize this opens up a real can

Although fishing privileges can be granted, they remain subject to modification

of worms with questions such as, “Then isn’t all commercial fishing exploiting

in light of current knowledge and current needs.” In other words, the bottom line

a public resource for profit when they sell their catches to the market?” I could

is that a public resource can be sold to private interests within governmental

also ask if recreational fishing charter captains exploit a public resource, legally

restrictions. Maybe that’s where the line ends up getting real blurry.

keeping fish like striped bass but making a profit off of it anyhow; maybe not

It all really comes down to this: is it okay for a private company to take

by directly selling the caught fish, but alas, I believe this argument fails as they

a public resource and exploit it for profit? The menhaden fishery is just one

are not a corporation nor directly making profits selling the actual fish (public

example. Would it be acceptable then if we allowed a mining company to strip

resource) for personal profit.

mine Rocky Mountain National Park, or to allow a dog food company to harvest

The National Academies Press also stated, “Fisheries within federal waters

a herd of caribou in any of Alaska’s state parks to grind up for profits? If the

are held in public trust for the people of the United States. Public trust principles

property of the people can be sold off to special corporate interests, then we

are thus applicable to any allocation of fishing rights. The government has an

must ask, what is next? | 65

You’ve seen the guys out there relaxing in their comfy chairs, a cold beverage, and rods in holders pointing toward the sky. This is surf fishing, and to do it correctly, you need the right gear, and maybe a great blue heron to bring you luck.

66 |

1. Angler’s FISH-N-MATE Flea Rake

6. Nash Sports Sub Z 48 QT Cooler

Anodized aluminum rake for hunting sand fleas. Product

The top-rated Sub Z cooler by Nash Sports is designed

consists of a 15” wide basket and 58” long removable handle.

for the active hunter, fisherman or soccer mom user.


It’s 30% lighter than the competition but keeps

product just as cold and for extended periods of time. And, it’s Made in the USA! $249.99

7. Aqua Dream 7’6” Med Hvy (Spinning) 2. Angler’s FISH-N-MATE Utility Cart

musky, stripers & shiner fishing for bass. It’s saltwater approved

This rod is great for tarpon, snook, cobia, snapper, grouper,


with high quality microwave 30 guides with duralite rings.

boasts durable, anodized aluminum finish


for years of protection from corrosion.


8.Stream2Sea’s SPF30 Sunscreen 3. Flying Fisherman “Down Sea” Sunglasses

Protect your body while preserving the ecosystems you

Flying Fisherman’s “Down Sea” sunglasses with

mineral-based, high performance and water-resistant.

shatterproof, polarized lenses and TR-90 Grilamid


frames allow you see beneath the water’s surface.

love with Stream2Sea’s SPF30 sunscreen for body. It’s


4. Rod-Runner Easily transport, protect, and wash down expensive rods and

9. Bomber Logo Hat

reels! Interchangeable rod holders for light or heavy tackle.

Show your fishing buddies you’re an #AllWater


angler with the new Bomber Lures cap.


5. Quantum Smoke PTs Inshore Spinning Reel

10. AFTCO Bushido LS Performance Shirt & Avid Fishing Walkshorts

The latest generation of the famous Smoke PT Inshore

The Bushido Performance shirt is a 100% matte

series is loaded with high-performance features

polyester fishing shirt that wicks moisture away from

including 10 PT bearings, our exclusive CSC™ drag

the body and dries quickly. The Avid Fishing Walkshorts

system—all protected from the harsh saltwater

feature a sleek and clean walkshort styling and the

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latest in AFTECH features.


Shirt - $45

Shorts - $58 | 67

Yaking with Hobie at Tarpon Lodge

on Pine Island


68 |


Left: Aerial view of Tarpon


Lodge, the perfect place to FORT MYERS

relax, eat fine cuisine and hunt for snook, redfish and tarpon. Top: Nestled between



Sanibel and Captiva to the PINE

west and Cape Coral and Ft. Myers to the east, Pine Island remains a remote hideaway.



Episode One - Cornholed

before kayak fishing became so hip. Just call me a trendsetter. But back then, my

I never expected to find myself in a bitter battle of cornhole with the president of

buddies ridiculed me. They literally guffawed at my set up. “Hey Lewis,” they’d

a major watersports company. But, there I was, fondling my bean bags and going

say, “where’s your buddy Clark?” Then I started catching more fish. That put a

mano-a-mano with Mr. Doug Skidmore himself, AKA El Presidente de Hobie USA.

prop in their mouths real quick.

I warned him that I had once beaten Dr. Guy Harvey himself in an epic cornhole

Back at the cornhole rumble, I couldn’t seem to strike fear into Skidmore.

showdown. He looked down at me (he’s tall) and smiled in a way to say, “Not

He was obviously a seasoned executive, impervious to weak scare tactics.

impressed, peon scribe.” My intimidation methods were failing. On top of that,

So, I decided to offer him beer. We were well past sunset and the Florida

Doug is a lefty and everybody knows that lefties—from Sandy Koufax to Clayton

heat demanded cold liquids, especially since he’d just come from the climate

Kershaw—can toss stuff with scary accuracy.

controlled luxury of Southern California where humidity is a concept as foreign

Circumstances had brought me to Tarpon Island, Florida, to test the latest

as fast moving traffic. Unfortunately, the brewski seemed to calm his nerves

and greatest Hobie kayaks with a gaggle of other writers, photographers and

and he tossed two bags through the hole back-to-back, Steph Curry style. My

Hobie poobahs. My key contact was Hobie marketing guru, Keeton Eoff, who has

chances were looking grim. My only option was to “accidentally” stomp on his

become a fishing buddy and friend. Keeton, and his yak posse, had arrived to the

foot and hope to fracture a toe. But (full disclosure here), Hobie is an advertiser

isolated island with more than a dozen kayaks of all colors and sizes, and enough

in Guy Harvey Magazine, so I sequestered my violent tendencies in favor of

fishing rods and lures to start their own online shopping network.

capitalistic advancement.

The plan was to fish the vibrant grass beds in the area, which is just a few

Nonetheless, I still wanted to beat the man fair and square. But he eventually

miles south of Boca Grande pass, the well-known tarpon capital of the universe.

crushed my dreams and left me staring wantingly at the cooler of beer. I slunked

From the moment I arrived, I fawned at those yaks with Christmas-morning

off mumbling under my breath something like, “I’ll damn sure catch more fish

anticipation. I’m what is technically known as a full-on kayak offshore fishing

than he does.” Then I opened the cooler and submerged my entire noggin into

freakazoid (FOKOFF) and I began that journey in the late 1990s, a full decade

the icy slush. | 69

Episode Two - Fishing with JD

Both the ProAngler 12 and the ProAngler 14 were snatched up quickly. A

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m always late. Except for fishing. Never. Even

small crowd had gathered around them and I sensed an oncoming international

after drowning my misery in copious beer, I’m early to the dock. The fireball was

conflict. I’ve fished the PA12 and PA14 extensively so I opted for a red Outback 13,

just peaking above the horizon as I approached what can only be described as

which was sitting all by itself like the runt puppy. My only concern: can I stand up

a cluster you-know-what. A dozen fishermen were jockeying for the yak they

in this sleeker, faster canoe? Keeton claimed that I could. “You probably won’t fall

wanted, the rods they desired and the fanciest lures. I imagined feeding a tribe

out,” he said weakly.

of monkeys some double espresso and tossing in a bag of bananas. It would

I was less concerned about the boat I was peddling than who I was following.

look like this. Caffeine and anticipation turns people into beasts. I looked around

I’d only fished the outer reaches of Boca Grande a few times, so I leaned on local

for my cornhole nemesis. Skidmore was apparently sleeping in, dreaming of his

knowledge to hook me up. I sidled up to “JD” John Donahue, a SW Florida native

glorious victory.

who put me on some nice snook a year earlier 30 miles north. He had a topwater

Keeton had the look of a man wanting a large Texas bullwhip. To further complicate, we had two dudes from Germany and a Frenchman who kind of stood by and giggled at us: the uncivilized and uncultured. But, somehow, we eventually divvied up all of the goodies without injury or too many insults. I looked at the Germans. “It’s an American thing,” I said.

70 |

lure tied on and one of my favs—a bone-colored Heddon Zara Spook with twin treble hooks. “This is the ticket,” he said with a smile. I was all in. Even with all of the morning monkey madness, we managed to launch before 7am. Within minutes, the group split up and I tailed JD southbound. It didn’t take

Left: The author with one of many snook he landed from the comfort of his kayak.

long until we were in a school of redfish, a species I know like a brother. They

Below: Rigged and ready. Self contained kayak fishing at its best.

were skittish but we managed to do battle with a few and scare away even more. A kayak is only stealthy if the pilot is quiet. Too much banging around and you might as well drop a cinder block into the water. We did more touring than catching that day, but the Outback 13 proved to be plenty stable for me to stand, even when I donned my fly rod. I decided I’d keep it for day two and let the rest haggle over the PAs. As I pedaled back to the Tarpon Lodge dock around cocktail hour, I was tired, sunburned, hungry and in need of cool liquid. I slipped to the bar hoping no one noticed me. I’d already been frustrated by a slow afternoon of fishing; the last thing I needed was another cornhole whipping.

Episode Three - Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve: Snookalicious From Tarpon Lodge, if you’re after the coveted Silver Kings, you just boogie north about six miles to world-famous Boca Grande pass. Tarpon catching at BGP has been the rage for more than 100 years. Yep, all the way back to the late 1800s when men wore coats and ties to fish. Our plan did not include tracking the ubiquitous silver fish, nor wearing anything but cool high-tech fabrics. Our hunt was for snook in a mangrove-infested and quite gorgeous place called Matlacha. The bone Spook that JD had suggested was still hanging from my rod tip from the previous day so I pedaled deep into the mangroves, trying to lose my fellow “Hobits.” I found a dark trough running parallel to the mangroves and tossed the Spook, hoping for a big strike. Cast after cast. Nothing. An hour passed. Not even a surface slap. I even tried to get a mosquito to bite me. Nada. I decided to take drastic measures. I reached into my tackle box and grabbed a Super Spook. As the name clearly explains to even the most muddybrained fisherman, this is not just a Spook but a far better lure by the exact measurement of “Super.” It’s also a bit larger, heavier and has an extra treble hook. Its flingability is also super. On my very first cast, the Super Spook landed with a loud, almost frightening splash. I popped it twice. As I was initiating my third twitch, a beast of a snookie broke the surface and inhaled the SS. I played the fish cautiously and soon landed it. After a quick selfie, I let her go to live long and prosper. Next cast. Another crash. A smaller but nonetheless plenty pissed off snook fought me valiantly: I brought him gently to daddy and then sent him on his way. Two casts later. Splash, crash. Another fish and then another and then still another. I had indeed stumbled into a sweet combination of the right lure, phase of the moon, tidal flow and mystic voodoo chants to produce a prodigious amount of snookmania. The universe smiled. I smiled, too. The kayak experience was once again proving fruitful. The mid-morning wind began to howl and the launch site was, of course, directly upwind. I exited the calm of the mangrove jungle and pointed the bow into onslaught of one-to-two-foot waves. My legs burned but I pressed on until I | 71

The grounds and lodge are immaculately maintained.

ran into the Germans and Frenchman who were having their way with an invasion

I had the pleasure of hanging with Rob Wells, whose dad bought Cabbage

of ladyfish. The little tarpon imposters were attacking everything on every cast. I

Key and moved the family there in 1976. Rob and his brother grew up

joined the melee for a minute and a half and then bid them au revoir and pedaled

living on the island and taking a boat to school. It sounded romantic but he

my way to safe haven.

laughed and said the hour-and-a-half ride to school ended the love affair

There was talk of a real tarpon safari to Boca Grande, but the idea of a bunch of writers getting our lines tangled and perhaps falling into the jaws of a

pretty quickly. As we learned on our Cabbage Key burger tour, the island is insanely popular

waiting hammerhead was too much for our hosts to bear. A vote was taken and

for boaters passing through or just hanging for a while. There are beautiful

we unanimously chose a ferry ride to Cabbage Key to attack a large platter of

accommodations there and, of course, the famous restaurant. This eatery, as well

unsuspecting cheeseburgers and fries. I feared there would still be injuries but

as many other beach joints, claims that Jimmy Buffett was inspired to write his

probably nothing life threatening.

song about their burgers in paradise. Maybe. I ate one and was motivated to drink

Episode Four - Cabbage and Burgers

another beer. Inspiration comes in many ways, I guess.

If your idea of Florida is a swanky beachfront resort in Miami or a wild night of

Episode Five - Bye Bye

partying in Key West, then Tarpon Lodge is not your dream vaca. Built in 1926, this

Even though our intrepid group didn’t make it to Boca Grande, I mapped out a

historical resort is, as the website says, “Old Florida Frozen in Time.” This is laid back

strategic plan of attack for my next visit—this time with my lovely wife so she

West Coast Florida at its best. Beautiful water, great weather, miles of fishy sea

could enjoy the place I blustered about. Nonetheless, in just three days, we got

grasses and endless boating opportunities.

the sweet taste of Pine Island and Tarpon Lodge and all that the area offers.

You’ve likely heard of the popular barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva as

As I was heading for the car with my bags in tow, I saw Skidmore warming up

well as the towns of Cape Coral and Ft. Meyers. Well, Pine Island sits between

at the cornhole arena. Our eyes met briefly and he tilted his head as if to invite me

those two islands and those two cities, yet it has an aura of remoteness because

over for a rematch. I knew in my heart that I could whip him and bring pride to all

you lumber along on a long, two-lane blacktop to get there. And once you arrive,

of my fellow Floridians who covet the arid climes of California. But I had a flight to

all you see is lots of water, uninhabited islands and endless fishing territory. The

catch. I smiled, waved and decided to build my very own cornhole court so I’d be

place is perfectly manicured and beautifully maintained by the Wells family, who

ready for battle in the future.

took over the resort in 1999. 72 |

Cabbage Key from the air where locals claim that Jimmy Buffett penned his song, Cheeseburger in Paradise. | 73

a Cause


When you work on a noble cause, you will usually find success. That is certainly the case with the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation, an organization that was born out of tragedy but today has gained the attention of thousands of water lovers for building innovative, artificial reefs. They’ve even caught the eye of country music superstar Kenny Chesney. 74 |

Left: Andrew “Red” Harris with snapper, grouper and his dad Scott. Right: Andrew’s sister snorkeling on one of their custom-made reef modules and cleaning the foundation’s plaque. | 75

Andrew Harris was an inspirational young man who was killed at age 26 when he was struck by a boat while snorkeling on June 8, 2014. Loved by many and admired for his determination, Andrew had recently begun a career in the insurance business and had found early success building an agency. As a youngster, Andrew was always a gifted athlete. In high school he had

spent together,” he said. “It was highlighted by Ryan being drafted and getting a nice bonus from the Boston Red Sox. The next day was our saddest.” Since that dreadful event, Andrew’s mother and father and many of their friends have worked together to honor his memory by building reefs for snorkeling, diving and fishing. The Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation has made

the distinction of being named to the Palm Beach Post’s All Area team in both

it their mission to enhance the waters he loved to help ensure the long-term

golf and basketball on the same day. And he was voted MVP of the Jupiter High

health of the oceans and to assure that he will not be forgotten. They’ve held

School basketball team his senior year. Raised on the water in the Jupiter area,

golf and tennis tournaments and many other events to raise money to build

he loved to fish, snorkel, scuba dive and just be out on the ocean.

reefs. The foundation also sells its own shirts through their website with a

When he thought about college, he decided to apply to only one: Florida State University, a school he loved dearly. But, his early attempts to get in were

beautiful split view image of a reef and the Jupiter Lighthouse. Understandably, Andrew’s mom and dad, Scott and Martha Harris, are the

denied. Andrew continued to pursue his dream and was eventually accepted to

driving force behind the foundation. They were determined to do something in

FSU where he ended up graduated with honors.

Andrew’s memory but they weren’t sure where to begin.

On that fateful day in 2014, he was snorkeling with a girlfriend in the Jupiter

“We started out with college scholarships,” Scott said, “but we didn’t get

Inlet when strong currents swept her away. As she struggled against the fast

much interest from local schools. It’s a very crowded space. Then we started

moving tide, Andrew took action and began pulling her to safety. As he was

to think about Andrew’s hobbies like golf, fishing and diving and decided that

towing her back, a boat came too close. Andrew shoved her away from the boat

artificial reefs would be perfect!

and got pushed backwards and under water. The girl was grazed by the hull but Harris took a direct hit. An onlooker from another boat recovered Andrew from the bottom of the inlet. In a sad twist of irony, Andrew’s father reveals that the day before Andrew was killed was one of the most joyous for their family. “June 7, 2014, was the happiest day that Andrew and Ryan, our younger son,

“Andrew loved fishing and diving and we thought, ‘how hard could building artificial reefs be’.” Scott says with a laugh. If getting the foundation cranked up was difficult, the Harris’s never let it show. They began the organization in August, just two months after the accident, and by November they had formed a viable plan to build and deploy hand-made, custom concrete modules. Nine months later, they sunk 40

Left: Deploying the foundation reefs took assistance and donations from local companies and money from multiple fundraising events. Right: Custom made concrete reef modules on their way to be loaded onto the boat.

76 |

artificial reefs and the next summer, in August 2016, they deployed 100 more

Conservation Trust have been major donors, Morgan and Eklund donated the

—50 pyramids and 35 custom-designed “Coral Heads.” They also put down 15

sub-bottom survey, the Wantman Group donated the engineering and Kimley-

prototype concrete block reefs. A few months later, in November 2016, they

Horn made festival display boards. Jupiter Dive Center has contributed funds

placed 15 “Lagoon Coral Head” modules at the Blue Heron Bridge Snorkel

and boats for deployment viewing. Of course, the Harris family itself has also

Trail at Phil Foster Park in Palm Beach County. To date, the Andrew “Red” Harris

been a major donor.

Foundation has 155 reefs deployed and another 134 under construction. “The Palm Beach County ERM staff has been instrumental in this whole

“We’re not just asking others to contribute, we are putting our own money and time in,” Harris said. “It’s important to us, and our community

process,” Harris said. “They have guided me since day one and have been great

increasingly sees the benefits as our projects move from theoretical to actual

partners. Their knowledge and expertise has really helped us to achieve our goals.”

and our dreams become real, even though the new reefs won’t reach full

If building reefs began an emotional healing process for the Harris family, it also had the side benefit of advancing the science of artificial reefs. Placing

maturity for a couple years.” As the foundation continues to do good and do well, more positive things

many of their reef modules on a site where an ancient natural reef once existed

are happening. Now, country music superstar Kenny Chesney and his No Shoes

has been clearing the smothering sand from the underlying bedrock and re-

Nation have pledged their support. Chesney has partnered with ENGEL Coolers

exposing the natural sea floor. “It’s more important where you build an artificial

to create No Shoes Reefs. The goals are to raise awareness and funding to

reef than what you build it with,” Harris said. “And we think we have the best

protect precious coral reefs, which are vital for aquatic ecosystems to thrive.

possible site: thin sand over flat bedrock in shallow water with good visibility. It’s

Limited edition “No Shoes Reefs” shirts and hats are available and a portion of

our hope that researchers use our work as a substrate for advancing the science

the proceeds go directly to the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation to assist in reef

of reef building.”

restoration and artificial reef deployment.

Already, a PhD at Palm Beach State College is forming a new curriculum

“Our long-term goal is to honor Andrew’s memory by seeing the foundation

to experiment with and study growth on the new reef, possibly aided in the

become a self-sustaining organization for building and advancing the science of

future by electrical stimulation on some of the reef modules to stimulate coral

artificial reefs,” Harris said.

settlement rates and enhance coral growth. It’s no surprise that 100 percent of the money raised by the foundation goes to reef building. And, so far, they’ve brought in more than $900,000, some of which has come in the form of grants, fundraisers and donations of labor. For example, Palm Beach County pays for deploying the reefs, CCA and Building

Anyone interested can sponsor a reef module for $5,000 or an entire boulder pile reef for $20,000. Three of the boulder piles are going in this year. Contributions of any amount are welcome. For more info on the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation, visit: | 77



These days, a lot of chefs are putting less emphasis on favorites like grouper and tuna so they can focus on fish that you might not expect. And even though cobia has been a choice of chefs for years, it is seasonal and sometimes hard to get. Now, a company in Panama, Open Blue, is raising cobia by the thousands, providing a large supply of the tasty fish so we can eat shamelessly. Miami Chef Cindy Hutson reveals one of her most celebrated recipes for a fish that anglers also call a ling or a lemon fish.

Top: Chef Cindy Hutson. Right: Cobia Caribbean Nage. Photos: Kristin Paterakis.

In 1994, award-winning chef Cindy Hutson met her life partner, Delius Shirley.

cook everything under the sun, infusing nuances of her famous island flavors

With an inherent passion for cooking, but no formal training and three kids to

throughout each and every dish that she prepares.

care for, Hutson was hesitant to open her first restaurant venture. Against the

“I thrive on teaching about our earth’s bounties, edible history and utilizing

odds and with the extra support of Shirley, Hutson took the leap of faith and

indigenous ingredients that are regionally prepared,” says Hutson about

that same year opened Norma’s on the Beach. Rave reviews touted Hutson’s

her culinary inspiration, which is apparent in her many regionally-inspired

cuisine as “the best Caribbean restaurant in South Florida,” and international

Caribbean concepts.

support from USA Today, The New York Times, London Times, Chicago Tribune, Chef

More than 20 years later, Hutson and Shirley have built a culinary empire

Magazine and Eater, who named Hutson “Chef of the Year” (2012), helped set the

with the successful opening and operation of more than eight, award-winning

pace for what would develop into a thriving culinary future.

concepts. Currently, the dynamic duo run their 17-year-old love-child, Ortanique

Hutson’s culturally diverse and seasonally driven culinary style is heavily

on the Mile in Coral Gables, Florida, which opened with Esquire and Bon Appétit

influenced by her extensive travel and food history. Her signature “Cuisine

acknowledging it as one of the “Best New Restaurants” and Condé Nast Traveler

of the Sun” is a self-coined approach that means to create without limits and

awarding it as one of their “Hot Table” concepts.

78 |

Cobia Caribbean Nage Serves 8-10 3-4 lbs

Open blue cobia*

1 C

Small diced potato


Diced calabaza

1 C

Diced chayote

1½ C

Diced green banana

4 T

Ghee (or olive oil)


Small diced onion


Garlic cloves crushed and chopped

2 T

Tomato paste

1½ C

White wine


Diced, vine ripe tomatoes


Picked thyme


Scotch bonnet, chopped fine (no seeds)


Vegetable stock

Preparation Last spring, Hutson published her first cookbook, From the Tip of My

1. Sauté the onions and garlic in the ghee (olive oil).

Tongue (Story Farm), which received the prestigious 2015 Gourmand World

2. When a little soft, add tomato paste and stir on low heat for about 1–2 minutes.

Cookbook Award for “Best Woman Chef Cookbook in the United States.”

3. Add the wine and bring to a simmer for 3–4 minutes.

In February 2016, Hutson opened Zest, a contemporary dining concept,

4. Add the tomatoes, thyme, potato, chayote, green banana, scotch bonnet and

and Zest MRKT for “grab and go” in downtown Miami’s Southeast Financial

vegetable stock and simmer for about 10–15 minutes.

Center. The 3,500-sq.-ft. restaurant and its adjacent market feature menus

5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

inspired by Hutson’s multi-ethnic and seasonally inspired “Cuisine of the Sun.” Additionally, Hutson and Shirley recently opened a Zest concept at The Cliff

Fish Preparation

Hotel in Negril, Jamaica, where her world cuisine is now enjoyed overlooking

1. Season the fish filets with salt and pepper.

breathtaking views of the pristine Caribbean Sea. She is the celebrity chef/

2. Sear both sides in a sauté pan.

culinary ambassador for the Miami Cancer Institute (Baptist Hospital) that

3. Remove and add to the vegetable stock (broth) mixture.

opened January of 2017.

4. Cook until opaque in the stock (broth).

When Hutson is not in the kitchen, she can be found lending her culinary

5. Plate with broth.

expertise to the food community by hosting various events, intimate cooking classes and mentoring young women through the James Beard Foundation’s Women in Culinary Leadership program about breaking through the culinary world’s “glass ceiling.” She is a culinary ambassador for Certified Angus Beef and

* Open Blue is an mariculture company in Panama that grows large numbers of

the National Pork Board, and she has served on the board of the Miami-Dade

cobia and ships them worldwide. The fish is becoming more and more popular

County Culinary Council, Idaho Potato and Egg Board as their “Egg-cellent” chef.

with chefs because of its delicious taste and high Omega 3 content. | 79


HOOKED ON SPECKLED TROUT She’s as gorgeous as any Hollywood starlet with her

biggest speckled trout I’ve ever caught was that day—on

delicate, artistic beauty marks splashed obliquely across

my very first cast —with a monster live shrimp big enough

her exquisite silver and sometimes golden skin. From

for a jumbo seafood platter, hanging on a circle hook.

her neon yellow lips down to her elegant fan tail, she is

Even though I’ve been totally strung out on speckled trout

admired, adored and pursued with undying passion by

fishing since then, that’s still my trophy fish. She measured

men and women of all ages. She is the one, the only, the

29.5 inches. A few minutes later, I landed a 26-incher. I was

famously gorgeous, Cynoscion nebulosus, known officially

thinking. “Hey, this trout fishing stuff is easy. And these

as the spotted sea trout, and less formally as the speckled

buggers have a good fight in ‘em.” After a few more trout

trout. Or to those of us who worship her and follow her

trips, I began to realize that the calmness of backwater

blindly through marshes, rivers, thunderstorms, sunshine, rain, grass flats, mud flats, salt spray and wind, simply as a Speck. For the past two

Will I get scooped up in God’s fishing net before I land a

fishing had other advantages like not busting my knees or cracking my spine

30-incher? Maybe. But I’m not

bouncing through a

gonna stop trying.

and grouper. Or, getting

choppy Gulf for snapper


decades, I’ve been

For the past 25 years, Fred D.

somewhat obsessed with

Garth’s articles have appeared in

speckled trout. But I came to the party late because I spent

knocked over by sloshy waves. Hmm. Backwater. Trout.

numerous books, magazines and

my youth trolling with my dad in the Gulf for bluefish,

Redfish. This is definitely a thing, I thought.

newspapers around the world.

Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and anything else we

Read his blog at:

could eat. We always caught enough to feed the masses.

hoss daddies I caught were typical. Now, years later, I’ve

Fried, of course. With hush puppies. Little did I know that

come to realize that I may never catch a 30-inch-plus trout.

speckled trout is also perfect for the fryer or the grill or a

Will I get scooped up in God’s fishing net before I land a

even a swanky, overpriced NYC eatery. I mean, what’s not

30-incher? Maybe. But I’m not gonna stop trying. And I

to love about the glorious trout?

remember every speckled trout I’ve ever caught that was

Even though these fish—along with redfish—are abundant in the northern Gulf of Mexico waters, it was my best fishing buddy who converted me. One day about

Unfortunately, I was trout ignorant. I figured those two

26-inches or bigger. There have been quite a few. But each time, the measuring tape ends before 30. My quest continues, though, because I live near

20 years ago, he convinced me that some beasty specks

some incredible trout habitat. Don’t tell my wife, but it’s

roamed the waters under our local bridge. “There’s a deep

why I convinced her to move here. Of course, expansive,

hole next to the fifth set of pilings east of the pass,” he told

white sandy beaches and azure water helped, too. These

me. That was our intel.

days, I probably throw my lure for trout at least 150

So we got up at sunrise, pulled the shrimp trawl for some live bait and set out to strike silver. Turns out, the

80 |

my cold beverage

days a year. Probably 80% of the time I’m fishing with a topwater lure (my latest fav is the Badonk-A-Donk, which

works great and it’s also a lot of fun spouting off the funky name). “Yep,” I claim, “I’m crushing the specks with the Badonk-A-Donk. The Ba-Donk rules!”

These two speckled trout were caught on the opposite side of Perdido Key, a one-

When I’m not using topwaters, I’m slinging the fly. In case you’re wondering,

mile-wide barrier island in Northwest Florida near Pensacola. The 24-in. trout on

live bait and I divorced many years ago because it’s just too easy and it

the right hit a “rocket” fly (see the fly hooked in the cork grip of the rod) in five feet

contradicts my belief that we need to give the fish a fighting chance. Maybe I

of pure salt water in the Gulf of Mexico. The 25-in. speck on the left blew up on the

should go back to a big, feisty, live shrimp under bridges to break the 30-inch

top-water, Badonk-A-Donk (still in her mouth), in 18 in. of brackish water near the

barrier. But, for now, I’m sticking to lures.

piling seen in the picture over the author’s left shoulder. Only a mile away over land

Of all its attributes—tastiness, beauty and spunk—specks have another

and as the crow flies, by water the fish were separated by 15 miles.

wonderful quality. They reproduce prolifically. They spawn from May through September and are ubiquitous in Southeastern coastal waters. Some worry, though (me included), that with more and more anglers pursuing speckled trout, the current bag limits might be too generous. Recently, Mississippi tightened their standards because they’ve seen a drop in populations. It might be time for other states to re-examine their limits, too. A philosophical change in our attitudes would also help. Instead of keeping five or 10 trout or even 25, as Louisiana allows, I only keep what I can eat fresh. The rest of my trout fishing is catch and release—especially during spawning months. Frankly, it’s just dumb to fill the cooler with female fish that are fat with roe. Better to let the big girls go to dance on another hook, another time. So, fellow anglers, be gentle on the leading lady of the sea. Keep something for your grill but don’t be greedy. Otherwise, you’ll be hearing from me personally. | 81

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