Happy New Year and welcome to the first newsletter of 2018. I hope everyone had a Happy Hanukah and a very Merry Christmas with family and friends. Things have been busy at SPC and we feel very blessed this Holiday Season. We are wishing all of you success, prosperity and good health throughout the New Year. Let's all work together through our many differences to make 2018 a year to remember for doing and achieving good things.
Homeless Christmas Project
For the past 14 years now, I have tried to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by giving to those in need on Christmas Day. In the weeks and months leading up to Christmas, I gather and individually wrap somewhere between 50 and 60 brand new gifts, to be handed out to the homeless here in Fort Lauderdale. The gifts include blankets, socks, dress shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shoes and items that are needed or that may inspire confidence and pride. On Christmas morning, I wake early, load my truck and head out on the streets to personally give out the gifts and make human contact with, some of our fellow citizens that are alone, sad, hungry and desperate. Many of those I meet are veterans who have served our country and almost everyone I reach out to is very grateful. I know I bring some real joy into their lives by the reactions I get. There is just something special about receiving a wrapped gift on Christmas Day that can't be beat. This year I ended up with over 50 gifts and 41 snack/hygiene bags that my wonderful wife Diane put together. I also had help from my friend Pat Ross who donated a bunch of brand new t-shirts and my best bud Bryan Doe who helped me wrap. It is always a very emotional experience and as the years have passed, I have noticed an increase in homeless women, families and veterans. Until now, this has been a very personal, grass roots effort, done with very little fanfare. My good friend Capt. Bouncer Smith and others have encouraged me over the years to consider expanding my efforts and to reach out for help in order to do so. So after some reflection, I am proud to announce that to celebrate 15 years of this project, I will be asking for help to expand in a very meaningful way this year. My goals for Christmas 2018 will include two phases. First I will attempt to collect and wrap 150 gifts, to be distributed to the homeless on the streets of Fort Lauderdale on Christmas Day, 2018. This will allow me to double the number of people I reach. The second phase will be to identify and choose five deserving families, that have had extraordinary obstacles to overcome and who may not be able to afford to give their children a Christmas like many of us experienced growing up. These families will receive the full blown Christmas treatment with a fully decorated tree, a gourmet Christmas meal with all the trimmings and presents under the tree. I am announcing this now in hopes of inspiring many of you to help me. I will be following up on this throughout the year and keeping you all informed about where we stand with the five families we will help. You can start now by sending me any brand new clothing items that you think would be useful to someone living on the streets. Socks, blankets, sweatshirts, dress shirts and personal hygiene products are all high on the list. I will also be looking for cash donations and connections for Christmas trees, a chef and gifts for the five families. Thank you in advance to those of you who decide to get involved. Please start sending items to: Saltwater Professional Consulting 5421 NE 22 Terrace, Fort Lauderdale FL. 33308
Sea Spray Abaco Challenge, February 7-10, 2018 Come and join me and my team at the Sea Spray Resort and Marina on Elbow Cay, Abaco Bahamas for three days of fishing, fun and competition. We are only a month away from the 2nd Annual Sea Spray Abaco Challenge. Most of the teams that participated in last year's inaugural event are already registered and ready to go. Early registration ends on January 10th. If you register before the 10th, you will save $200.00 off your entry. After January 10, entry will be $1200.00 for a team of 4 anglers. An unlimited number of anglers can be added to your team for an additional $200.00 per angler. I have several charter options available as well. All flight and accommodation arrangements can be made easily. Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna and Grouper are all in the mix. We set the mark last year and again this year, with incredible trophies from King Release Mounts and our prize packages through 5th place team are second to none. Custom built rods by Fairbanks Customs, clothing and gift cards from Pelagic Gear, boots and gift certificates from XtraTuf, sunglasses and accessories from Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Moyes Custom Lures and a $999.00-line spooler from Spooled Up Tackle are just some of the prizes up for grabs. Our nine radio raffles have a retail value of $350.00 each. We offer very affordable value-added categories to make things interesting and our food and entertainment are a priority, not an afterthought. We even have pockets on the front of our tournament t-shirts. We also have a separate Grouper Trolling category that is included in your overall entry and a Bahamian Champion Trophy that goes to the team with at least two Bahamian citizens as registered anglers and who accumulate the most overall points. Add all of that to a generous donation to "Every Child Counts" and the "Hopetown Primary School" and you can't help but have a time to remember on Elbow Cay. We look forward to seeing some of you there. Register Here
Welcome New Product Sponsor: Dry Case I am proud to welcome "Dry Case" to our distinguished family of product sponsors. I have been using and testing their products for some time now and I am very impressed. Located in Wilmington N.C., Dry Case produces some of the finest waterproof bags and accessories in the world. From duffle bags, backpacks and traditional dry bags, to waterproof portable speakers and phone cases, Dry Case offers a wide variety of products geared towards those of us who love the outdoors and being on the water. They offer the most durable, high quality, versatile and reasonably priced products I have ever come across. Their bags in particular have become an everyday part of my life. From the ocean to the grocery store, you will see me using and benefitting from all of their great products. I am excited about this new relationship and look forward to big things in 2018. You can see all that Dry Case has to offer at www.drycase.com. Use Code: Capttony15 at checkout and save 15% off the entire line. Fishing Report:
Fishing has been hot and cold the last several weeks, with the sailfish bite getting stronger by the day. Daytime sword fishing has been red hot when the weather is calm. We were fortunate to harvest a "Pumpkin" sword this past month on "Wish List" and were blessed to enjoy some fantastic sword steaks on the grill. My friends and fellow Pelagic Pro Team members Capt. Nick Stanczyk and Zac Yarbrough recently went 5 for 7 in a single day on the swords out of Islamorada Florida. An epic day for sure and part of a two day total of 9 out of 12 swords caught. 6 of the 9 were tagged and released for the Billfish Foundation. I would also like to Congratulate Capt. Stanczyk and his wife Capt. Sassy Sara Stanczyk on the birth of their first child. A beautiful little girl named Sadie. Sadie couldn't have two better parents as well as an amazing support group to give her a leg up on the competition. Good luck Nick and Sara. We have had some good fishing up here in the Fort Lauderdale area as well. The Kingfish and Wahoo bite has been steady, with live bait either drifted deep with egg sinkers or bump trolled on down riggers bringing the biggest fish. We have caught several 30 pound plus King Mackerel recently and Wahoo have been caught up and down the coast on a regular basis. Recently I had the pleasure to fish with Capt. Bouncer Smith and new IGFA President Nehl Horton. We had a fun day with the kings and tagged and released a nice sailfish together with Nehl personally pledging to donate $1,000.00 to the Billfish Foundation for its recapture. Bouncer, Nehl and I talked about a variety of subjects, including the "Keepemwet" philosophy and the importance for leaders in the fishing industry to step up and lead by example when it comes to ethical angling practices. We all agree that we owe it to the next generation to take care of our resources and the future of our industry. I am excited to be a part of the new direction at IGFA and look forward to helping President Horton in any way I can. The prime fishing season is now through April. I am available to fish with you on your boat and to teach you how to get the most out of your day on the water. I also offer a variety of charter options here locally and around the globe. Just this week, I have charters going in Lighthouse Point Florida, Maui Hawaii and Quepos Costa Rica. Give me a call or send me an email and book your next fishing adventure now. There has never been a better time to get out on the water for some fishing.