The New Weaver Happi Daze just Pulled in at Sunset! Heading to West Palm with the New Owners:
There’s a reason bluefin tuna is expensive. The massive fish are strong, fast and difficult to catch.
When Jason Davis set out on his first tuna fishing trip earlier this month, he knew he’d be fighting an uphill battle.
That’s why the Fuquay-Varina resident was blown away when he and his crew caught two massive bluefins over two consecutive days off the coast of Morehead City.
Recently, Davis and his two-man crew reeled in a 785-pound, 119-inch bluefin, which Davis believes is the biggest fish caught at Morehead City in several years.
The next day they landed a specimen topping 683 pounds on the scale and measuring 109 inches.
Both were to be auctioned off in Japan and could fetch tens of thousands of dollars each.
“I asked this dude who’s an experienced fisherman, what’s the odds of that?” Davis said of the consecutive days of success. “He said one-in-a-million. It’s unheard of.”
‘It’s a monster’
Davis, a 37-year-old seasoned saltwater fisherman, mainly goes after medium-size fish such as Wahoos and Mahi-mahi on his weekend trips. But he told himself he would get a tuna, despite his lack of experience.
He said having the right gear was key. He spent $3,500 on equipment just for this trip.
It was well worth it.
Davis has never read Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” but will identify with the title character if he ever does.
The first fish only took an hour to reel in, but the second tuna fought for four hours.
“He said, ‘I know you didn’t fight that other fish the other day but for an hour, so I’m gonna show you what a tuna’s supposed to do,’ ” Davis said.
After seeing how big the first tuna was, Davis decided to haul it on board instead of stringing it alongside the boat for the ride back. He said it took hours to get each fish on the 33-foot boat named “The Grady Bunch.”
“The worst thing you could have is a shark taking a bite out of him,” he said. “We had 14-foot hammerheads all around us.”
When Jason, his 11-year-old son Hunter and crew got back to shore, they were swarmed by stunned fishermen envious of the big tuna, Davis said, as well as his wife, Wendy, and their daughters.
“When he called and said, ‘Wendy, it’s a monster,’ I cried and cried,” Wendy said. “It was so amazing.”
The family, who owns a condo at the beach, took pictures. But Hunter said the pictures don’t truly show how colorful and magnificent the tuna looked in person. In one photo, Hunter sits on the fish like it’s a couch, with his feet barely touching the floor of the boat.
“It’s a magnificent animal,” Jason Davis said.
A whale of a tale
But the pictures didn’t convince one of Hunter’s classmates at Johnathan’s House Christian School, who accused him of Photoshopping the fish because it was just so huge.
“They were all impressed, but there was one guy who thought it wasn’t real,” said Hunter, a fifth-grader.
Jason Davis, who owns Jason Davis Grading, said even some professional fishermen had trouble believing what they saw the marina’s crane hoisting up from Davis’ boat.
The man who runs the fish market on the docks told Jason Davis that “there’s guys who fish their whole lives and never see a fish that big.”
“He said there’s no telling how many lines those fish have broken,” Davis said.
Davis doesn’t know how much his fish will be worth in Japan. Tuna sometimes sells at around $30 a pound, meaning the combined 1,468 pounds they caught could fetch more than $40,000 — although the money will be split among Davis, his crew and various intermediaries in North Carolina and in Japan.
But even without the financial reward, Wendy Davis said the family’s beach trips and fishing expeditions have paid off in other ways.
“The kids have met some marine biologists and other people like that,” she said. “They’ve got such a good education they never would otherwise.”
Posted on January 26th, 2015
Written by John Burnham, YachtWorld.com
2014 ended with a 6 percent gain in U.S. brokerage sales in December, but the year’s headlines were not positive. Sales for the year were down 5 percent, according to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in their proprietary database, SoldBoats.com.
Brokers sold 1,476 fewer boats in 2014 because of weaker sales in the two highest-volume segments — boats smaller than 26 feet and those from 26 to 35 feet. Sales in both segments were down 7 percent from 2013, with 11,319 boats sold in the 26-to-35-foot segment and 9,414 that were under 26 feet.
The aggregate price paid for all boats sold in 2014 was 8 percent lower. That’s $317 million less than new owners spent on boats in 2013. The value decline can be attributed entirely, however, to lower sold prices for boats 80 feet and larger. In 2014, 195 were sold, up 3 percent from the year before, but the total price paid was $850 million, down $375 million from the $1.23 billion that was spent on superyachts in 2013.
Leaving aside the superyacht sector, the rest of the market was down 5 percent for the year in volume, but the price of all boats sold increased by 2 percent, from $2.71 billion to $2.77 billion — a gain of about $60 million.
Stronger sales of larger yachts boosted the total dollars exchanged, especially among boats from 56 to 79 feet, a segment in which sales climbed from 725 to 769 boats and the total value increased by $38 million, to $525 million. In the 36-to-45-foot range, the total value increased by $21 million, even though the number of boats sold was roughly level with 2013, indicating an improvement in average sold pricing.
Average price gains were reported in the two smallest classes, as well, despite their volume losses. The average sold price for a boat under 26 feet was up $1,300, to $23,000, and for a boat from 26 to 35 feet the price increased by $3,300, to $57,900.
By region, brokers in the Southeast sold the most boats in 2014 — 8,387 — and the aggregate price paid was nearly half of the dollars that changed hands in the U.S. brokerage market because of the size of the boats sold. Sales were down by nearly 500 boats in the region, and the total price paid was lower by $335 million than in 2013, by far the biggest decline among regions and largely attributable to the slide in superyacht sales values.
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic brokerages sold about 400 fewer boats in each region, but remained the No. 2 and No. 3 regions nationally. The West, at No. 4, countered the East Coast trend, with sales figures down only 20 boats and the total value up $13 million. Similar results were recorded in the Pacific Northwest, the No. 6 region, with sales virtually level and values up by $17 million.
Brokerage sales on the Great Lakes, the No. 5 region, declined by 15 percent, or nearly 250 boats, and the total value was off by $17 million. On the Gulf Coast, which does not include the Gulf section of Florida, sales were down just 3 percent and the total price paid was up by $2 million.
Average times to sell a brokerage boat rose in every region in 2014, with a national average increase of nine days, to 270. Southeast brokerages remained the quickest at turning listings into sales, at 245 days. The seasonal regions of the Northeast and Great Lakes finished the year with the highest averages, 312 and 319, respectively.
John Burnham is the editorial director of Dominion Marine Media.
Call Hank Sibley (804) 337-1945
Atlantic Menhaden, the tiny fish that, two years ago, created big trouble between Chesapeake Bay environmentalists and commercial fishermen, is surfacing once more. Scientists have found new data that may prove there’s more of the fish than once thought.
Menhaden is eaten by fish and birds; used as bait by watermen and anglers, and rendered to make fish oil supplements. They travel up and down the coast, in and out of bays making it difficult for biologists to ensure they’re not being overfished.
In 2012, data indicated the fish were in trouble so regulators cut commercial harvests and fishermen lost jobs. But the data used was flawed. Robert Latour, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, has been part of a team creating a better assessment tool.
“We kind of went back to the drawing board and really from ground zero just started the whole process all over again.”
Scientists found new and historical data, some dating back to the 1950s, from states along the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast. Joseph Smith a research fishery biologist with NOAA said they collected a huge amount of information.
“We’ve literally beat the bushes among the states to find out what data was out there that the states might be holding that would help us to create these indexes of abundance.”
Preliminary results show a reverse in findings with a more robust population of fish. The new data could spark changes in quotas for commercial fisheries. Ben Landry, a spokesman for Omega Protein, the last fish reduction plant on the east coast, says more fish brings a new concern.
“Virginia catches the lion-share of the harvest – it gets about 85% of that quota on a coast-wide basis and I think there’s going to be a real effort by other states who have not traditionally caught a whole lot of menhaden to try and steal that allocation from Virginia.”
Next month in Alexandria, Virginia, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will officially release the benchmark assessment that uses the new model.