Monthly Archives: November 2018

How Are Biologists Keeping Tabs on Migratory Sportfish?

Keeping Tabs on Migratory Sportfish

Seaguar continues its support of Gray FishTrag Research roosterfish study
from The Fishing Wire

Tagging Rooster Fish

New York, NY ( – There has never been a more critical time to learn about the marine fisheries that we rely upon for sport and commerce. Such research faces significant headwinds, as many of the target pelagic species frequently migrate hundreds, if not thousands, of miles during the course of their lives, and public resources to support detailed population studies are limited. Nevertheless, anglers and scientists have forged a unique partnership – Gray FishTag Research – in an effort to gather high-quality data on marine fish population dynamics, migration patterns, growth rates, habitat preferences, and more.

Seaguar, the originators of fluorocarbon fishing line, is proud to support the efforts of Gray FishTag Research to study and protect sustainable marine fisheries around the world.

Gray FishTag Research is a non-profit organization, leading an international and fully interactive fish tagging program powered by the world’s largest network of fishing professionals, consisting of approximately 10,000 charter boat captains and mates. Tags are deployed on fish that are caught and subsequently released; data are collected when a tagged fish is recaptured, or from pop-off satellite tags that record data electronically and then “pop off” the tagged fish after a predetermined about of time. Fish tagging and recovery data is made available, free of charge, to any interested parties through the Gray FishTag Research website.

Seaguar sponsors a unique Roosterfish study off the coast of Costa Rica in memory of long-time Seaguar sales manager, John DeVries. Tagged roosterfish are fitted with pop-off satellite tags, and data collected from the tags after popping off the roosterfish yields detailed information about the tagged fish’s movements, both horizontal and vertical, during the time that the tag remained attached. Recently, Gray FishTag Research announced the recovery of not one, but two pop-off satellite tags that were deployed during a Seaguar-supported tagging expedition:

The first PSAT tag, on a fish named “Las Gatos”, was deployed on April 28, 2018 and popped-off 58 days later. Not only was data transmitted by the tag after pop-off, but the tag itself was actually recovered, found by a local angler who recognized the importance of his discovery and returned the tag to Gray FishTag Research for more detailed analysis.
The second PSAT tag, on a fish named “Nicaragua”, was deployed on June 9, 2018 and popped-off 17 days later, off of the southern coast of Nicaragua. This fish traveled an amazing and noteworthy distance of at least 228 miles during the 17 days that the PSAT tag remained attached to the fish.
Seaguar also supports the work of Gray FishTag Research to enhance our understanding of swordfish movements and population dynamics through a fish tagging and recovery study. Recently, a tagged swordfish that entered the study in late 2017 was recovered, nearly eight months and 500 miles later!
On December 16, 2017 a swordfish was tagged by angler Anthony DiMare while fishing with Captain Nick Stanczyk aboard the Broad Minded charter boat out of Islamorada, Florida. The swordfish was estimated to be 47 inches in length and had an approximate weight of 50 lbs. On August 11, 2018, a full 238 days later, that swordfish was recaptured by NOAA observer McKenzie O’Connor while aboard PLL Vessel Ellen Jean. The recapture location was approximately 475 miles away from the tagging location. The measured length of the recaptured fish was 55 inches, and it now weighed 96 lbs.

Gray FishTag Research is an essential tool for promoting the sustainability of marine game fish and increasing public resource awareness. All fish species in every ocean are being monitored, including billfish, sharks, general offshore and inshore fish species. The program collects information in real-time by providing a direct connection between anglers and the scientific community, in every part of the world.

Seaguar is proud to continue our support of Gray FishTag Research as it yields unique and invaluable data about our most important marine fisheries. The dedicated anglers who capture, tag, and release fish as part of the study, and the diligent scientists who process, analyze, and report tagged fish data, are the perfect embodiment of Seaguar’s motto; just like our lines and leaders, these professionals are Always the Best!

Cost of Common Sense Climate Change Hysteria

I always get a kick out of the claims of a true believer in whatever the current name for weather. They call me a “skeptic” or “heretic”, reinforcing my use of the term “true believer.” So far, they don’t demand I be burned at the stake, maybe that would produce too much carbon!

Both sides have scientific information on their side but ignore or make wild claims about the science they think supports the other side. But only one side, the true believers, claim the science is settled.

Science is never “settled,” new information changes it. After all, in the early 1400s settled science said the earth was flat, and in the 1970s it said we were due for another ice age by the year 2000 if we did not make drastic changes to our lifestyles. Sound familiar?

In 1975 while working on my first Masters

Degree I had to write a research paper on global cooling. The “settled” science then said our lifestyles had to change and we had to spend billions of other peoples’ money to avoid a new ice age, with glaciers covering half of the US by the year 2000. When that “settled” science didn’t work out too well for them they changed the name so it would fit any weather we had.

Closer to home for me right now, cancer research for the past 100 years has settled the question of why our bodies immune system does not fight off cancer. Science was “settled,” except for a few skeptics, that our immune system thought cancer was a normal body cell so did not attack it and nothi9ng could be done about that “fact.”

A few weeks ago, two research scientists, call them skeptics, won the Nobel Prize in medicine for their breakthrough research that found an enzyme in cancer cells fools our immune system into thinking the cancer is normal cells. They have been able to deactivate this enzyme in mice and the tumors were killed, offering new hope for a new cancer treatment that goes against 100 years of settled science.

My biggest problem with true believers is their claim that “common sense” demands the government spend billions of our tax money and we make drastic changes to our economy and lifestyles. The problem with using the term “common sense” tries to imply those that disagree are totally wrong, and any cost is worth it.

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that efforts to stabilize levels of greenhouse-gas emissions would require investments of about $13 trillion in the next 12 years. It also noted that reducing emissions would reduce the rate of economic growth, costing much more in the long term. Just the cost of switching from carbon fuels to alternative energy sources would cost 44 trillion between now and 2050.

That report does not mention the problem of reliability of alternative energy, the more dangerous smaller vehicles, and lack of and inability to accomplish some goals. For some, a tiny tin can car may be fine, but if you hunt or fish, especially if you pull a boat or trailer, they do not work.

Some will say we have to make sacrifices, but they almost always want others to make those sacrifices. Every time I see celebrities and politicians with private yachts and jets say I need to cut back on my carbon use I can only shake my head. One cross Atlantic trip for them to attend a climate conference in their jet uses more carbon that I will in a lifetime of fishing and hunting using my truck and boat.

Just like they want to spend my money, they want us common folks to change our lifestyles while they live in luxury, changing nothing. And they demand we make those changes immediately, before their “settled science” changes.

Another “settled science” claim is low lying islands will be uninhabitable due to melting glaciers causing sea level rises. They say sea levels have risen about 8 inches in the past 150 years and are predicted to rise another sixteen to 48 inches in the next 100 years. But almost every example of this I could find says the islands are getting smaller due to sea level rise AND erosion.

A 2017 study by Duval and other looked at 111 islands “threatened” by sea level and erosion changes. Their study covered the past 50 years and found only nine that had actually gotten smaller. Fifteen had gotten bigger, with the vast majority not changing.

All this claim of change is based on computer models of our climate. But those models are only as good as the programmer writes them, and they depend on data input that can be manipulated. If you have a computer, you know how unreliable they can be. Auto spell correct is a computer model on your phone. How accurate is it?

I took a cruise up Glacier Bay National Park a few years ago. The naturalist told us the open water in the bay was 110 miles long. In 1764 when it was discovered it was covered by glaciers. They had retreated 110 miles in just over 250 years. And the fastest retreat took place from 1860 to 1870. I guess it was all those Civil War SUVs! There are 1045 glaciers in the bay and some of them are growing, not retreating. Why? They are not affected by climate change?

If our settled science is correct, our environment has always changed and probably always will. I have seen a lot of different weather in my 60 plus years outdoors, but climate changes very slowly, not fast enough for a person to see.

I have faith in human nature enough to know we adapt to climate change and thrive no matter what happens. And I see no sense in doing all the drastic, expensive changes to our lives because some computer models and true believers say its “common sense.”

Lefty Kreh Estate Auction

Eye-Opening Weekend for Lefty Kreh Estate Auction
Jim Shepherd
from The Fishing Wire

When we carried the notice last week that Lang’s Auctions, Inc. would be selling off items from the estate of esteemed writer, angler and innovator Bernard “Lefty” Kreh, I knew I had to put the dates into my calendar and check it out.

I did, and it was an eye-opening event. I grew up around the auction business. From cars and trucks, to estates, houses, and livestock including cattle, horses and the occasional llamas, camels and other zoo critters to used furniture, my family was involved in auctions. The word involved is far more accurate than saying we were interested in them, because for several years, my dad had a small auction house.

It was there where I first realized that people can get so into the competition of bidding that their brains seem to close down. That’s how you wind up coming home to try and explain a $75 dollar “bargain” lamp that has a $12 price sticker on its base. You got caught up in the competition rather than keeping a cool head.

The Lang’s auction, however, was totally different from the ones of my childhood. This was much more closely related to a Christie’s auction. Great catalog, wonderful illustrations and accurate descriptions of the items offered. The one area where they were wrong was the portion that was so eye-opening: the estimated price ranges for the items.

I had an eye on this personal letter from President George H.W. Bush to Kreh. As a fan of both, I thought it a great two-fer, especially at the $100-150 estimated auction price. I didn’t win.

Kreh Auction Letter

Screenshot from LANGSAUCTION.COM

A dyed-in-the-wool fan of letters and photographs from famous people, I had my eye on a personal letter from President George H.W. Bush to Kreh thanking Lefty for sending Mr. Bush a copy of “Presenting the Fly”. According to the estimated price range, I felt my $100 bid strong enough to scare off the tire-kickers. Turns out, I was the tire kicker. The photo and accompanying image went for $650. And nearly everything else I’d found interesting shot straight through the estimates, leaving my bids ‘way down on the live bidding lists.

My abject failure to get close on anything, quickly had me checking into lure collecting. Turns out I was (again) a victim of my own ignorance. There are several levels of lure collecting – and I was out of my league.

A legendary figure like Lefty Kreh didn’t just have significant fishing tackle, he invented a bunch of it. That’s why the “Lefty’s Deceivers” in this auction sold in the hundreds – or higher. And those collections of lures with the hand-drawn “Plate A, B,C, etc” notations were worth so much. They were the lures for the illustrations of the definitive books on the tackle.

As I watched the auction rolling along, I realized many of the items weren’t antique- that’s a designation serious collectors only attach to pre-1900 lures. They weren’t the old, rusty, greasy lures left in the bottom of your grandfather’s ancient tackle box, either.

These lures were the “heroes” of their genre- the lures kept in pristine condition, accompanied in many cases by their original packaging and in “unfished” condition. They’d been used for catalogs, sent to notable writers (like Kreh) or given to serious collectors.

Kreh Muskie Charmer

Before this weekend, I don’t know if I’d ever heard of a Musky Charmer. But after this one sold for $21,000, I’m not likely to forget it, Charmer Bait Company, nor the Creek Chub Bait Company of Garrett, Indiana. Screenshot from Lang’s auction.

Researching over the weekend, I scratched the surface on a whole new category of angling- the lure collectors. The people who can look at an old lure and instantly recognize its parts, paint scheme, and likely year of manufacture. To them, it was about the art of the lure, not its allure to fish.

After all, the website writes, “Antique lures have no real intrinsic value above five to ten dollars. For some collectors there is an emotional connection to our past or an individual we cared about when growing up with whom we associated fishing. There are those that love beautiful things that are old. But in the end, lures are historical artwork that was, in some cases, mass produced more than sixty years ago. There are plenty of old lures out there. But the real quest is for historical pieces or those preserved in new condition.”

Those were the people participating in this auction -and while I might share their love of all things old and exquisitely made, I lacked the baseline knowledge to know whether or not I was wasting my time bidding.

For me, the auction wasn’t about the things being auctioned, it was about my respect for the man who’d owned them last. To me, having something from Lefty would serve as a trigger for my memories of- and admiration for- him.

That’s why I was delighted to learn – after the fact- that I hadn’t struck out despite the fact I was fighting out of my weight class. Before the auction had begun, I’d bid on a piece that caught my eye because it didn’t look particularly historic.

Kreh Mounted Stone Fly

A mounted Porter Stone Fly (above) with a base (below) that illustrates how revered “Lefty” was among fly fishermen. It will enjoy the same standing in its new home.

Mounted Porter Shrimp Fly from Kreh auction

Today, I’m the proud new owner of a “Mounted Porter Shrimp Fly” with a base that reads “Lefty, To Fish, Friendship, and Flies” and signed by its tyer, Bruce Porter. It might not be historic, but it will carry the memory of Lefty from one admirer to another.

That’s significant enough for me.