Sniper Releases 20 White Marlin and 1 Blue Marlin Offshore Of Rudee Inlet Today with Harvey Shiflet at the helm and Drew Wilkinson as mate. Crew was Harper King, Whitey, and Friends.
Congrats on a Great Day!
Next week, your U.S. Senators are expected to vote on the most comprehensive package of sportsmen’s legislation in recent years. Introduced on September 10, 2012, the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S. 3525) includes 19 bills that will benefit the sportfishing community, as well as recreational shooters and hunters. This historic legislation provides for increased access, habitat conservation and improved fish and wildlife management.
The Senate is expected to vote on this bill by Thursday, September 20.
Originally proposed in June as an amendment to the Farm Bill, the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 ultimately was ruled non-germane to the Farm Bill and was not included. Fortunately, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), along with eight co-sponsors, has introduced the bill as a standalone bill, with a vote expected before the current session ends next week.
Individual bills of particular importance to the sportfishing community in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 include:
Making Public Lands Public Act – Increases access for angling, hunting and recreational shooting on federal lands by directing 1.5 percent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to ensure access to fishing, hunting and other recreational activities.
The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act – Blocks ongoing attempts to federally ban lead in recreational fishing equipment and ammunition by amending the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Billfish Conservation Act – Conserves declining billfish populations by prohibiting the commercial sale and importation of billfish throughout the U.S., with exceptions for Hawaii and the Pacific Insular Area islands to preserve traditional fishing practices.
National Fish Habitat Conservation Act – Authorizes the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to conserve, restore and enhance fish habitat on a range-wide scale.
Artificial Reefs in the Gulf of Mexico – Requires the Department of the Interior to coordinate federal and state efforts in order to maintain idle drilling platforms as valuable artificial fish reefs.
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By Kevin Koenig | Posted September 2012
I tested out the Viking 55 yesterday down in New Gretna, New Jersey, and I have to say … Wow. Nice boat. The thing floats like a duck and runs like a gazelle.I’ll admit, being Jersey-bred, I’m slightly biased, but even considering that bias, this model was impressive. There are worse ways to spend a beautiful late-summer day than ripping around the South Jersey marshlands in a 55-foot Viking, and that is the truth. Check back for a full review of the boat in an upcoming issue of Power and Motoryacht.
Oh, and one other thing. I took a factory tour as well, which is where I ran into Bridget, Viking’s own therapy dog. Viking provides health-care services for its employees on site, and in the medical offices they have this sweet little dogface running around keeping everybody company while they get their shots and whatnot. Not a bad perk at all.
By Lee Tolliver
© September 6, 2012
Most anglers looking to score an offshore billfishing “grand slam” head to exotic locales such as Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica or Cabo San Lucas – places that require extensive travel and fat wallets.
They would be better suited to head to Virginia Beach, where the action the past couple of weeks has been nothing shy of world-class.
An offshore billfish “grand slam” consists of catching a white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, swordfish or spearfish – any three of the five – on the same day. It’s rare, having been done only a couple hundred times worldwide in the past century, according to the International Game Fish Association. And the feat is even more rare along the Atlantic coast of the United States, having been done just a handful of times.
Catching four out of the five species in the same day is known as a “super grand slam.”
But Capt. Steve Richardson has registered five “grand slams” alone in the past few weeks – two of them by Charlottesville’s Tom Wheaton. On a trip last week, Richardson’s boat – Backlash – caught and released 17 billfish, with “grand slams” for Adam Bryant of Roseland and Nelson Jones of Amherst.
“There is some phenomenal fishing going on here now,” Richardson said. “Boats from Ocean City (Md.) and from the Outer Banks are making runs to the Norfolk Canyon to get in on the action.”
In 11 trips, Richardson said that Wheaton has caught eight sailfish, eight blue marlin and 49 white marlin.
Richardson, who once held the world record for the most white marlin caught in one day with 41, said things are only going to get better.
Two years ago, records for white marlin were shattered along the mid-Atlantic. A Maryland boat, Cerveza, scored 67 releases on an overnight trip, while Capt. John Duffie on the Maryland-based Billfisher set the single-day record with 57.
Boats returning to port flying 10, 15, 20, sometimes 30 release flags are no longer uncommon in ports from Ocean City to Oregon Inlet.
“Fishing has been outstanding this time of year for quite a while,” said Richardson, who has fished in all the planet’s billfish hot spots. “It’s attracting boats and anglers from around the country and around the world.
“It’s the best fishing in the world this time of year… bar none.”
It’s likely to get even better as seasonal patterns should benefit from storms staying well off the coast. Tropical storms Leslie and Michael on Wednesday were closing in on Bermuda while on the verge of becoming hurricanes, joining forces to pump huge groundswells into the fishing grounds nearly 70 miles off the Virginia coast.
Those big, slow-rolling conditions concentrate large schools of bait, which in turn attract predators like billfish.
Anglers also currently stand the chance of catching a “super grand slam” because of increasing numbers of swordfish. The state-record sword – a 381-1/2-pounder caught in 1978 on Richardson’s boat – was shattered last week by a 446-pounder caught by Virginia Beach’s Joseph Harris while fishing with Capt. Justin Wilson on the Just Right. Overnight trips provide the best opportunity for swordfish, but slams caught over a two-day period don’t count under IGFA rules.
Capt. Jake Hiles on the Matador doesn’t care, saying that an angler or boat “super grand slam” still is an amazing feat.
He scored a boat “super grand slam” last week with three fish caught by James Chen of Jamaica and a swordfish caught by the captain.
” ‘Grand slams’ and ‘super slams’ just don’t happen very often… not for single anglers and not for boats,” Hiles said. “You can go one place for awesome white marlin fishing and somewhere else for awesome sailfishing.
“But right now, we have it all right here. I’ve been all over the world fishing and I never would have thought that I could have this kind of world-class action 55 miles off my own back yard.”
Lee Tolliver, 757-222-5844, firstname.lastname@example.org