Spring

Volume 6, Issue 23

CONTENTS

Spring 2016

26

If you can’t be on the water, you can usually be online and still focused on fishing. GHM’s many web initiatives help you do just that, and none are better than GHM’s The Online Fisherman. It will put the twist back in your Bimini.

BY FRED GARTH

30

Louisiana is filthy rich with great fishing habitat, and you can catch everything from a crappie to a blue marlin in a single boat ride. While not practical, it’s still possible in a state where the water never ends.

BY captain devin denman

36

Louisiana’s artificial reef program takes full advantage of the state’s longtime association with the oil and gas industry— but don’t think that’s where things stop. From inshore waters to off, reef building is in full swing.

BY Nick Honachefsky

41

You want to know what the fishing is really like? We talk to charter captains across six of the state’s best fishing zones to find out what bites, how to catch it and where to celebrate when the day is done.

BY GHM STAFF

48

Landing a fish is only the beginning. In Louisiana, dining on your catch involves as much passion and artistry as coaxing it from the water. We feature some of the state’s best chefs and their awesome eats.

BY GHM STAFF

56

An army of volunteer anglers is tagging, releasing and recapturing Louisiana’s fish. The data collected from these programs is improving redfish, speckled trout, snapper, tuna and other popular fish stocks.

BY daryl carson

Departments

14

Guy Talk

Everyone needs to visit the boot-shaped state and sample the two f’s—fishing and food.

BY GUY HARVEY, PhD

16

WEB

Discover the latest in digital opportunities in the GHM universe.

18

The Bite

Guy gets a chance to inspire a young artist, we find some of the coolest gear to hit the market and catch you up on the latest conservation news.

BY GHM staff

60

Photo Portfolio

We view the Sportsman’s Paradise through the lens of a resident photo pro.

80

Last Cast

Fishing (and staying on) the bayou is something you have to experience to believe.

BY Fred Garth

by Guy Harvey


CONTENTS

Spring 2016

68

Dock Buzz

We all want to catch the fish of a lifetime, but when it happened to our man Nick, it brought a flood of emotions and one paralyzing question—what to do next.

BY Nick Honachefsky

70

Backlash

Never afraid to speak his mind, Dr. Shipp is recognized as one of the world’s experts on red snapper. GHM interviewed the man with the plan for extended catch limits.

BY Frank Sargeant

72

Feature

Thomas Gorman is a serious fly fishing addict and his quest for a blue marlin landed him in Panama. It was a heart-pounding, roller coaster ride.

BY Danny Thornton

76

Gearheads

An increasing number of anglers are using downriggers to get their bait to depth. Whether you chase tuna, king, grouper or swords, a quality downrigger can make the difference between success and striking out.

BY Daryl Carson

Complete Angler (CA) is our “magazine within the magazine,” dedicated to hard-core fishing enthusiasts and delivering access to experts, the latest in fishing gear and the hottest fishing spots on the planet.

Guy Harvey Magazine Offices:

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA
Fred Garth, Editor-in-Chief

MIAMI, FLORIDA
Ozzy Delgado, VP, Sales & Marketing

NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Merrill Squires, Partner

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
Scott Smith, Partner

Credits To:

PUBLISHER
Lost Key Publishing
Art Director
Carly Stone
Managing Editor
Daryl Carson
Marketing Director
John Guidroz
Circulation Director
Penny Jones
Director of Sales & Marketing
JJ Waters
Marketing Consultant
Justin Gaudin
Editor, Complete Angler
Nick Honachefsky
Accounting
Karen Belser
Copy Editor
Kerrie Allen

Contributing Editors
Dr. Guy Harvey, Danny Thornton
Contributors
Capt. Theophile Bourgeois, Capt. Daryl Carpenter, Capt. Devin Denman,
Capt. Josh Ellender, Capt. Mike Gallo, Tim Mueller, Capt. Mary Poe,
Capt. Olden Rodrique, Frank Sargeant, Crystal Stevens
Editorial Advisory Board
Dr. Guy Harvey, Chad Henderson, Bill Shedd, Dr. Mahmood Shivji,
Harvey Taulien, David Wilkinson

Guy Harvey Magazine, Issue 23, Spring 2016. GHM is published four times per year (quarterly) for $24.95 per year by Lost Key Publishing, LLC, 7166 Sharp Reef Road, Pensacola, Florida 32507. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Guy Harvey Magazine, PO Box 34075, Pensacola, Florida 32507. 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.

We’re Green

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.

Contributor’s Profile

Capt. Devin Denman

Devin Denman grew up fishing the marshes of St. Bernard Parish, and it’s in that vast saltwater prairie where his heart lies.

Upon graduating from high school, he joined the Marine Corps and became homesick after several deployments overseas. After separating from the Marines, he moved back home, where he spent his time in the pursuit of speckled trout and redfish. In the mornings, you could find him leaving the dock under cover of darkness and returning in the afternoon sunburned from a long day of fishing. In the evening, he took time to detail his trips in fishing reports. For a time, Denman operated an inshore fishing charter out of Shell Beach, Louisiana, before discovering that his true passion was not just in the pursuit of his quarry, but in writing about it and helping others become better anglers in the saltwater marsh. Today, Captain Devin owns and operates a resource for inshore anglers in Louisiana called the Louisiana Fishing Blog.

Tim Mueller

Tim Mueller, a Louisiana-based professional photographer, spends much of his time traveling and exploring the people and places of the Southeastern United States.

His photographic experience began in his hometown of St. Charles, Missouri, and was developed further at the University of Missouri. He then spent 16 years sharpening his skills while working at The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, the city in which he and his family continue to make their home.

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It is finding the sometimes unexpected beauty in everyday life and nature that inspires Mueller’s photography and life. Tim’s curiosity in Louisiana’s native people sparked the publication of the book, Nations Within, a portrayal of Louisiana’s four federally recognized Indian nations.

A Taste of Louisiana
When I talk with people about fishing, many of them think that I’ve fished in every lake, river and ocean in the world. But the truth is, there are a myriad of places I have yet to fish. That’s not by choice.

These days, I have so many commitments and appearances that are geared towards marine education and research, that fishing sometimes gets pushed to the back burner. Not to mention, I also spend a lot of my time painting. After all these years, I still love painting and getting new art out to the public.

Yet, there are times when the planets line up and I’m able to catch two fish with one hook, so to speak. Meaning, I get to fish and promote marine issues all in the same trip. Such is the case in early June when I visit Southern Louisiana. Believe it or not, I have never fished the waters of the famous (and infamous) state of Louisiana, although I’ve always wanted to. Of course, I’ve heard the incredible stories of monster redfish and trout inshore and big tuna and billfish offshore, but this will be my first chance to hook up on some Cajun fishing. I guess one advantage of being well known is that I’m being guided by some guys who claim to know their local waters as well as they know how to cook blackened redfish. And that is saying a lot!

Guy Online­

Un’Shucking’ Believable

How Louisiana’s oyster shells make the incredible journey from reef to table and back to reef

The Perfect Tackle Box

Saltwater and freshwater enthusiasts, what do you need in your tackle box?

The Lure(s) of Tarpon Fishing in Charlotte Harbor

The 3,000 year history of fishing in Charlotte Harbor

Guy Harvey Beer in the USA?

Raising money for marine conservation and shark research with every delicious glass

Famed Keys Artist to Build Sculpture from Recycled Materials

See the amazing centerpiece for the Blazing Mako Tournament and Festival 2016

News, Notes & Gear
Super-Fan
At just 10 years old, Nolin Godwin is already living the Guy life.

BY CRYSTAL STEVENS

A few months ago, Ruth Harrell called the GHM office to thank us for posting a story about her nephew, Nolin. It soon became clear that there was more to learn about this young marine artist.

So we exchanged numbers and arranged a meeting. Nolin and his mother drove down from Atmore, Alabama, about an hour away from our office in downtown Pensacola. Ten-year-old Nolin was proudly holding a 16x20 canvas with a picture he’d painted in bright acrylic hues of a shark chasing a marlin. Dressed in a salmon-colored button down and khaki cargos, sporting a summertime-spent-on-the-water tan and light blonde hair, he’s your typical Southern boy. I offered them some cookies, and when Nolin bypassed the chocolate chip for the oatmeal raisin, I knew he wasn’t your typical 10-year-old.

Charge Your Doohickeys Anywhere
Almost every day, we get requests from companies asking us to write about their new, amazing product that will transform the world as we know it. At least that’s what the marketing peeps claim..

Lots of times, they’ll send the product for us to try out for ourselves. Sometimes we like them, sometimes we hate them. Sometimes they don’t even work. A few months ago, we received the myCharge Hub Plus portable charger, which eliminates the need to bring a bag full of charging cords. Folded neatly into the side of the deck-of-cards-sized device is built-in wall prongs, so it’s easy-peasy to charge it.

GPS Can’t Do This!
Art comes in many forms—from the truly magnificent to the absurdly strange. Lodged somewhere in the middle is a new art form made from navigational charts.

Cleverly named NavChartArt, a new company is offering decorative charts that can be ordered online and that are suitable for a whole range of applications, from framing and hanging on your wall to wrapping your center console. The custom charts can be used as wallpaper, window tinting or just about anything you can think of. NavChartArt scans actual charts at such a high resolution that there’s almost no size limitation.

Stuck On Top
Love to fish but tired of your rods banging around in the bed of your truck? Or can’t fit your favorite 7’ inshore fishing stick inside your car? MAGNERAK offers a solution in their magnetic fishing rod roof rack.

Ideal for nearly any size vehicle it transports 1- or-2 piece rods up to 12’ long that are paired with spinning or conventional reels. The rods can even be rigged and ready for action. The M1 model attaches to the roof of your car without tools or hardware. Four scratch- resistant, magnetic feet make it virtually impossible to move once attached and it’s rated for speeds up to 85 mph. The system holds three to five saltwater or freshwater rods in various combinations depending on heavy or light tackle setup: two rods up to 12’ and one up to 9’, or three to five rods up to 7’ long.

Upcoming Tournaments

Florida Keys Dolphin Championship

Florida Keys, FL
May 13–15
www.floridakeysdolphinchampionship.com

Fish from Miami to Key West in the world famous Florida Keys Dolphin Championship. You can register and weigh your dolphin in at one of five different locations from Miami to Key West. This registers your team for the prizes and trophies for that location as well as the overall tournament, which is the first through fifth place overall largest dolphin and the largest dolphin over 55 pounds Shunter bay boat prize.

Orange Beach Billfish Classic

Orange Beach, AL
May 19–23
www.orangebeachbillfishclassic.com

The OBBC is a strictly non-profit billfish tournament with 100% of all net proceeds donated to qualified 501(c)(3) conservation organizations. The OBBC is an all-volunteer effort, so there is no overhead to deduct from the financial support that’s
provided to various conservation beneficiaries.

Bimini Big Game Club Tuna Dolphin Tournament

Bimini, Bahamas
May 19–22
www.biggameclubbimini.com

With the Gulf Stream just a mile offshore, Bimini has been a fishing mecca for decades. Legendary figures like Ernest Hemingway have added to the reputation for big blue water action. This year’s Tuna Dolphin Tournament is just one event in the Club’s 2016 tournament series.

MBGFC Memorial Day Tournament

Mobile, AL
May 27–30
www.mbgfc.org

The Mobile Big Game Fishing Club has two of the five largest big game tournaments annually in the United States, while holding the designation of the largest tournaments in the Gulf of Mexico in the history of big game fishing. Join the chase for the $1 million state record blue marlin prize.

Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic

Venice, LA
May 31–June
www.comefishla.com

The 2016 Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic features a modified-release format for billfish species, along with prize money for blue marlin, tag and release, dolphin, tuna, and wahoo—something for everyone. This tournament is also part of the Gulf Coast Triple Crown.


Fishing At High Speed

If you like to troll the web, GHM’s Online Fisherman is always a hit.

BY Fred Garth

It’s hard to admit that I was already a veteran magazine guy before websites were invented. And, before email. Uh, and also before fax machines. I think we had trains but I can’t recall. It’s all a bit fuzzy. I did have a car, I remember that.

In 1994, I met a dude in California who was experimenting with this weird thing called the Internet. Sidetone: his real job was a cameraman for The Price is Right with Bob Barker so his credentials were, uh, very odd. Nonetheless, he built a cool website and showed it to me. It ran slower than a snail on Vicodin. But all websites were glacially slow back then.

Now, of course, everyone would die and the world would explode into a massive fireball if the Internet disappeared. At least that’s what my kids say on their Snapchat messages to me. Fortunately, the Guy Harvey Magazine family is always refining our web position. In the past five years, we’re reconfigured our website five times. We’ve added Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites that cause me irrational fear, but are still somehow important.

A local captain pays tribute to the swampy, salty wonders of Louisiana fishing.

BY CAPT. DEVIN DENMAN

The boat moved down the bayou and I could hear the sound of water rushing around the hull. The four-stroke motor worked quietly, and I took a look backwards to see if anyone was trailing me. All was clear. It was a warm, summer morning and the sun wasn’t over the horizon yet, but I could see orange and yellow rays making their way through the cypress trees. Nobody knows Louisiana for her sunrises, I thought to myself. I finally cleared the swamp, leaving tall cypress trees laden in Spanish moss behind me, and entered a freshwater marsh.

Onward the boat pressed, for I had a long trip ahead of me. I was exploring a new part of Louisiana to fish. Despite spending my life fishing her vast estuary, I had not yet seen it all and today was the day to check off one more area. As I trekked further south, the salinity rose, crab traps appeared, saw grass was replaced by spartina grass and I could see PVC poles marking oyster leases. I knew I was finally where I wanted to be. Today, I was scouting for redfish, otherwise I had just run over miles of great fishing for bass, sacalait, catfish and more.

Obsessed with building reefs, Louisiana strives to improve fishing at every depth.

BY NICK HONACHEFSKY

Image: Offshore fishing and rig fishing are nearly synonymous in Louisiana waters, and the state is still aggressively working with the oil and gas industry to keep existing structures in place as fishing reefs.

The state incentivized oil and gas companies in a cost benefit way to decommission their rigs. Essentially, the state has made it cheaper for the companies to remove, clean and float a decommissioned rig to a planning area where it then becomes reef habitat.

These planning areas are agreed upon zones where rig material can be sunk for reef material, and are a positive example of how Louisiana’s reef program got the usually frictional recreational and commercial fishing industries to work together.

There were sit down meetings with members of both communities to hash out the best plan possible. The planning areas do not intrude on shrimp trawling grounds, and
are favorable spots where recreational anglers prefer to fish – known to anglers as a win-win “fish-uation”.

Indeed, the Rigs to Reef initiative is the highlight of the Bayou State’s reef concept and their success has served as a model for others, but their reef building program incorporates four distinct zones in both state and federal waters.

Guy Harvey photographed this skyrocketing short-fin mako shark on the morning of April 13 during a tagging expedition near Isla Mujeres. After the mind-blowing aerial show, the shark was brought to the boat, tagged and released. To see the entire series of photos go to: www.ghmof.com
To follow the satellite tracks of this and other sharks go to: https://cnso.nova.edu/sharktracking/


BY GHM STAFF

Louisiana saltwater fishing is legendary, both for its endless estuary and its offshore reefs and deep water. Inshore anglers enjoy high creel limits on redfish, speckled trout and other gamefish.

Offshore there are thousands of rigs and other artificial reefs that hold big-bodied snapper and grouper. In deeper waters, voracious pelagics such as tuna, wahoo and marlin are always ready to bite. Most amazing of all, you can access all of these fisheries in a single boat ride, though that’s a lot of fishing for just one day. We suggest you pick a spot, take your time and soak in the adventure. We’ve interviewed captains in six different regions to help you decide the best place to start.

Louisiana food is a mash-up of flavors as diverse as the people themselves. European, African, and Caribbean influences have produced a spicy and uniquely New World cuisine.

No trip to the state is complete without a stomach-distending feast, one filled with shrimp or crawfish or oysters, redfish, grouper or tuna. To pay tribute to the sheer tastiness of Louisiana, we offer a modest sampling of some of New Orleans’s best cooks and their awesome eats.

A volunteer army of anglers is making a big impact on Louisiana fishing.

BY DARYL CARSON

One of the most exciting aspects of the tagging program is when a fish gets recaptured, because both the tagger and the lucky angler who caught the fish receive a recapture report showing a glimpse of the life history of that fish. Taggers get satisfaction from recapture reports, because the fish becomes personal to them and they can watch ‘their fish’ grow and travel to new locations.

The vast majority of recaptures occur within five miles of the initial tagging location, but there are some fish that cover much greater distances, like a redfish tagged in Lake Pontchartrain and recaptured in Mobile Bay, 150 miles away. For offshore species, recaptures have also shown that some fish move while others seem to stay put. Red snapper have been documented to move hundreds of miles at times, while many are retaught at the same rig or reef. Yellowfin tuna, also caught around oil and gas platforms, have a shown a similar diversity.

Tim Mueller
a photo portfolio

Spring 2016

Volume 5, Issue 18


BY NICK HONACHEFSKY

Smiling in the surf

It was December 28, 2015. After 41 years of chasing the trophy striped bass of a lifetime, success came in one all too fleeting moment.

Northeast winds of 35 to 40 knots propelled a sleet storm that pummeled my face while I stood on the beach looking at a nasty, 7-ft New Jersey surf. I punched an Ava 27 jig with an orange tail and a 5-in. Tsunami sand eel teaser through the 28-degree air and it landed just past the second breaker. When the jig hit the water, I clicked over the bail and it felt like my lure hit a piece of dock or telephone pole that had been sent adrift by the Forester’s pounding. But after a few seconds, it began to move, peeling drag off a 10,000-class reel and 12-ft. rod and heading out into the whitewater.

The fight was long and arduous. I ran down the beach, staying in front of the fish to keep the hook lodged, knowing it was a class of fish I had never hooked into before and might never see again. Finally, the spike dorsal fin breached the surface in one foot of whitewater and I promptly walked backward, pulling the bruiser-striped bass out of the surf and onto the sand. The blood rushing to my head was almost enough to make me pass out—a striped bass worthy of a lifetime of angling was laying in front of me. I bent down and measured the surf striper at 50 inches long with a 30-in. girth. By IGFA calculations, it weighed between 51 and 55 pounds. In the Northeast, this was a striper—by boat or by surf—that barely one percent of people will ever catch in a lifetime of pursuit.


Doctor Snapper

An Interview with
Dr. Bob Shipp

Dr. Bob Shipp is widely recognized as one of the most authoritative voices in red snapper management in the nation. He’s spent some 18 years—six separate 3-year terms—as a member of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, including three terms as chairman. He’s also chairman emeritus of the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama.

Here are some of his thoughts on how we got to where we are today in Gulf red snapper management, deemed by most anglers as unnecessarily repressive on recreational harvest, and on where we need to go to make things better.

BY Frank Sargeant


it takes more than the right gear to land a marlin on fly.

BY Danny Thornton

If you Google, “marlin on the fly,” you’ll see a bunch of stoked up, bloody fishermen showing off their fly fishing prowess. For a lot of hard core fly fishers, a marlin is a bucket list thing. And, even though a Google search proves that it’s possible, don’t be fooled. It’s ain’t easy.

First of all, you have to go to a place where marlin live. So my buddy, who’s a fly freak in Tulsa, definitely has to leave Oklahoma. Then you have to find a captain who doesn’t mind fly line slinging around everywhere. Let’s face it, non-fly fishermen don’t appreciate it when your fly zips an inch past their ear. Sissies!

Of course, you also have to find the fish. Then there’s the required skill set one must have to hook a marlin, then get it to the boat. And, even if all of that works, you’d still better be damn lucky. Hard-core fly fisherman Thomas Gorman had a lot of luck but, unfortunately, much of it was bad. For years, he traveled the world trying to hook a marlin on his fly rod. His success rate was zero. So, on the bright side, things could only get better.


Downriggers are becoming a more common tool in the arsenal of many saltwater anglers.
Gearheads:

BY Daryl Carson

In recent years, there seems to be a trend among saltwater anglers to fish deep. This can be running lures deep to target grouper that might be holding on reefs or natural rock bottom, or it could mean getting baits down so they entice a hit from a tuna or kingfish that refuses to eat anything offered at the surface. Really growing in popularity is drifting or trolling deep for swordfish, now a regular thing for many South Florida anglers and also some along the Gulf Coast. Of course, fishing baits deep—at least trolling them effectively at depth—requires special gear. Sometimes a planer or similar device will work for modest depths, but these can also tangle and interfere with retrieving a fish once it’s hooked. For dedicated deep water efforts, a downrigger is needed and there are a variety of options. From rugged, manual machines to high-tech, programmable electric rigs, there’s something for every boat and budget. We’ve chosen a range of models from three of the most respected downrigger brands in the industry.


Last Cast

Hooked On LA Heaven

I have no idea how many times I’ve made the three-hour drive from New Orleans back home to Pensacola. But, I do know one thing. I always have the same feeling of total exhaustion and lingering guilt from having way too much fun.

There’s usually a dull body ache from pulling in monster redfish and consuming mucho adult beverages. At some point, usually between Slidell and Mobile, I vow—to whomever I’m riding with—that I’ve officially quit any type of hot sauces, Boudin sausages or anything made by someone named Boudreaux. Bottom line, the folks in Louisiana and especially NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) live very, very large. They eat with gusto and drink with even more, all to a constant backdrop of excellent music.

I’m proud that I have survived the city—just barely—on numerous occasions. The first time, I was only 13 and a new friend had invited me to Mardi Gras. We zipped around on bicycles and avoided getting squished by the massive floats and crazed crowds fighting for cheap beads. We broke every cycling safety rule, but no one, not even the cops, even noticed. My Mardi Gras friend eventually evolved into my best Louisiana fishing buddy and remains so to this day, some 40 years later. We met as kids when his family came to Pensacola for the summers. We’d troll the Gulf for king mackerel in his dad’s old Stamas. Or my dad would take us out for blue fish in our beat up Glaspar. As the years passed, we stayed buds, even during the three-year stint when I dated his sister.

Spring 2016

Volume 6, Issue 23

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