29
Nov 16

My plug for BTT

I just gave the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust $200. If you are in a position to do something similar, I’d urge you to think about it.

This is our conservation organization. They are looking out for the fish we love and the places where those fish live (and the economies that depend on those fish as well).

They are science driven, which, oddly, puts them at odds with some people, but I’m in the “pro-science” camp (how is there even an anti-science camp?).

They have big challenges ahead of them as the earth gets warmer, development pressures increase and marine ecosystems in general come under more and more threat. We need to support these guys and their work.

Go on. Do it.

mmmmm

mmmmm

Give, and you get... of course, you get fish, which is way more than anyone could ask for.

Give, and you get… of course, you get fish, which is way more than anyone could ask for.

Norman tagging a bonefish for BTT

Norman tagging a bonefish for BTT

yeah...  what he said.

yeah… what he said.

 


26
Sep 16

What’s happening in Belize, anyway?

There is a lot going on in Belize… but it might be easy to miss. It doesn’t make the news like… well… none of these places really make the news, but you know what I mean.

A not-small Jack from Belize.

A not-small Jack from Belize.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a dique.

There is a caye not too far from Savannah Caye called Blackadore Caye. Leonardo owns it and he wants to put a super luxury resort there. Now, it is very much not what this area needs. It is pristine and putting a resort there will make it less so. They bought the place legally, so the building they want to do on the island can’t really be stopped… but they aren’t content with building on the island, they want to put some huts out over the water, like you see in French Polynesia. One problem… such structures are illegal, unless you know who to bribe and what wheels to grease. So… basically, Leonardo is a dique. Here is a page put together by Orvis that lays it all out.

Belize netting

Belize has some great C&R legislation, but netting is a whole other issue. Gillnets and fish traps operate all over the country… and that’s not good for a country that depends on tourism for 35% of all jobs. Here’s some info on the netting issue.

Belize is a beautiful place. I honeymooned there back in 2012. I had my first trip in 2010 and ended up lucking into a grand slam. It is a place I think of often. If you’ve been there, you are probably in the same boat as me… hoping it doesn’t get screwed up.

 


07
Aug 16

Importance of genetic testing for bonefish explained

A recent blog post from BTT explained why they do genetic testing on bonefish. I know that many of you have collected fin clips and this will tell you why.

I got a few fin clips back in Andros in 2011 as part of FIBFEST II.

A few Androsian fin clips from 2011

A few Androsian fin clips from 2011


10
Jun 16

A little mangrove destruction in Fresh Creek

I saw some photos yesterday of some mangroves being ripped up near Fresh Creek in Andros.

Mangroves, as most folks here would know, are vital. They are the nurseries for juvenile fish. They hold the shoreline in place when the big storms come through. They are host to crabs and shrimp and all manner of wild things.

You shouldn’t rip out mangroves because you want to put in a fuel station.

But… if the reports are true, that’s exactly what our good ole pal Prescott Smith is doing down in Andros. Yup, that Knight of Conservation appears to be ripping out mangroves. And yes, that’s a bonefish flat right in front of the ripped out mangroves.

It boggles the mind.

The number one threat to bonefish is not angler pressure or illegal netting or pollution. The number one threat to bonefish is habitat loss.

There is a lot of habitat in Andros. Miles and miles and miles of it, square miles. It is the biggest nursery in the Caribbean. It is only that good because it is mostly intact. Bonefish won’t be lost by a few huge devastating blows, but by a thousand little cuts. This is one such little cut.


09
Mar 16

BTT in the spotlight

You have to love it when the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust gets into Forbes. The author, Monte Burke is an angler and he is a fan of conservation and throwing flies at fish, so it made sense he’d pen this particular story.

The story is an interview with Aaron Adams and I urge you to check it out.

BTT is an organization I support personally. I have talked to many folks there and believe in what they are about and how dedicated they are to their mission.

Go on… join BTT if you haven’t already.

Support BTT

Support BTT


25
Feb 16

Clip it… Clip it really good… for SCIENCE!

BTT is running a Fin Clip Challenge, sponsored by YETI from March 1st to March 23rd. Collect as many fin clips as you can from South Florida to support YETI’s Bonefish Genetics Program. You get the most and you get the YETI Hopper Cooler with art by Jorge Martinez. Looks pretty dope.

More details about the contest on the BTT blog.

I doubt I’d be much help since I live in California and my only bonefish was caught accidentally and was likely the smallest fly-caught bonefish in Florida in that year.

The bonefish


12
Feb 16

Emerging Disasters

There are two things happening in the world of flats fishing right now that are just major bummers.

First is Florida. Billions of gallons of nutrient rich polluted water are pouring out of Lake Okeechobee and the impact to inland fishing in Florida is likely to be fairly disastrous. The Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River are taking the main brunt of this and their estuaries are going to have a hard time surviving. A sad situation with deep roots.

Next is Belize. Leonardo DiCaprio (DeCrapio??) is getting attention for his environmental actions and not the positive kind. Blackadore Cay, bought by DiCaprio a few years back, is the site he plans to build some real BS eco-resort that disregards local laws and the importance of the area to the people who live there now and make their living from the waters just off the shore of Blackadore.

Now, just because you’ve had to mentally go through those two total BS stories… here’s some eye candy in the form of some pretty bad-ass looking fish.

I kind of always thought Milkfish looked ugly… but I’m changing my mind on that.


21
Jan 16

Blackadore Disaster

Raise a hand if you’ve been to Belize.

A not-small Jack.

A not-small Jack.

Wonderful place. I love it there and really hope to hold my wife to her PROMISE that we could return for our 5th anniversary (we honeymooned there), if not sooner.

If you’ve fished there, you know one of the reasons why it is special… the diversity and quality of the fishing. The Belizians have gone further than most in putting in place protections for their game fish, which is to be applauded.

So, leave it up to some Hollywood nitwit to ruin it (or at least some of it).

Blackadore Caye is a located within view of Savannah Caye, one of the prime spots to go hunting for tarpon. It was at Savannah that I hooked (and lost) my first tarpon. It was where I landed my largest jack (maybe 20 pounds?). It is not a great place for a resort, but that is what Leonardo DiCaprio is doing.

This is the disaster of a resort.

This is supposed to be eco-everything. No fossil fuel use. Composted waste. All solar/wind. They make it sound like a godsend.

I can’t imagine it will be anything short of a disaster. You just can’t build something like that in a place like that and have it be zero impact. The thing that will be impacted first will likely be the fishing at Savannah Caye. More boat traffic isn’t going to do anyone any favors. It also seems the resort will make the island off-limits to the locals because the clientele for a place like this get uncomfortable when there are un-uniformed/non-drink-serving brown people around.

This map would seem to suggest that the Belizian people know what they want to do with Blackadore Caye:

Seems like the people of Belize want Blackadore to not become a resort, but seems like Belize isn’t going to get what they want from Leo.

Funny thing. Leo accepted a Golden Globe recently and dedicated his award to native people.

That’s some grade A hypocrisy right there. Leo should listen to Leo on this one.

There is a Facebook page for Defend Blackadore Caye. Join it. I just did.

Blackadore Caye, as a resort, is a lessening of everything Belize really is. It doesn’t need improving on, not like this, not by Leonardo.

 


15
Jan 16

The Bimini Ferry, Not Coming to a Port Near You

Resorts World Bimini wanted to bring rapid ferry service to Bimini to bring allllll sorts of flashy, cash-dripping Americans over to their resort.

Locals said “It isn’t going to work.”

Environmentalists said “It isn’t going to work.”

The Bahamian Administration said “I can’t hear you over the sound of all this money.”

Guess what? Resorts World Bimini got their ferry and their ferry terminal (at some high environmental costs).

And guess what happened next! Yup… the ferry has failed and the service has stopped.

The Bahamian people appear to be on the hook for this bit of douchbaggery.


02
Jan 16

Aragonite in the Bahamas

Aragonite is a mineral the Bahamas has in abundance. Of course, it could be that the other things the Bahamas has in abundance, like sea life, may depend, in part, on that very resource.

Still, where there is a buck to be made there will be people lining up to profit and the Bahamas are no different. That mining aragonite from the sea floor of the Bahamas could screw up what makes the Bahamas special is of little concern for the folks looking to benefit. It is a similar mentality to the one time thought process in the American West that there were so many bison that we couldn’t possibly kill them all, right?

The East End on Grand Bahama is set to reject any fresh attempts to create new mining operations there, citing the importance of the fishery to locals for providing fish for market, fish for the table and for C&R bonefishing.