May 2016 Newsletter

WELCOME TO THE MAY  EDITION OF OUR NEWSLETTER: 

It has been awhile since the last, and I have much to report and to be thankful for. We are almost to the end of spring and the dog days of summer are fast approaching. Fishing overall in South Florida has been consistent but not red hot. We are still catching between 2 and 5 sailfish a day, even when we aren't targeting them. The King Mackerel bite has been very good in shallow. Don't be afraid to fish shallow this time of year (20-80 feet), as Cobia are moving down the beach with the rays and migrating sea turtles and the best King Mackerel bite is often in close to the beach. Be sure to have a couple spinning rods rigged with 30# and 40# Fluorocarbon leaders and 5/0 and 6/0 circle hooks for sight fishing sailfish. We baited a nice pair of sails in 20 feet of water just last week. Such a beautiful sight to see them lit up in the shallows against the white sandy bottom. If you venture offshore, there have been some gaffer size Mahi in 800-2000 feet. Wahoo fishing continues to be strong leading up to the full moon. Planers with strip baits or double hooked ballyhoo and live bait, slow trolled on down riggers have been the best methods recently. 

10,000th Billfish Captures...

On April 11 th , 2016, I reached a very special milestone in my career, capturing my 10,000 thoverall billfish as a Captain, Deck Hand and Angler. I was fishing in Key West Florida on the 70' Viking, "Nimrod", with Capt. Randle Enfinger and Capt. Rich Budalich. Number 10K came as part of a triple header, with two fish eating kite baits and a third eating a casted threadfin herring as it followed the first hooked fish to the surface. We had an amazing catch ratio all week going 17 for 18 overall, including a streak of 16 in a row. We ended the week catching a night time swordfish for the owner of the boats son, his first. While many guys have more billfish under their belts, I have not lived in Costa Rica, Guatemala or Mexico for the past 20 years. The m ajority of my fish have come in the Atlantic Ocean. Being an East Coast guy, this is a fact I am extremely proud of. I did get to spend some years fishing in the Pacific and around 3K of my billfish were caught there. Here is how my billfishing career breaks down. Species and Totals: 644 Blue Marlin 53 Black Marlin 874 White Marlin 372 Striped Marlin 1 Spearfish 2,831 Pacific Sailfish 5,225 Atlantic Sailfish I do not count Swordfish with my Billfish numbers, as they are not genetically considered billfish. My Swordfish number is a modest 137 and NO electric reel caught fish will ever be counted as any type of sport fishing achievement for me personally. Although I have caught quite a few using Electric reels, they taste good but do not count and are not on the list, period. Highlights from the journey to 10K 1980, Shinnecock Long Island:  My first billfish was a White Marlin caught with me as the angler on my Aunt Gloria and Uncle Bill Dunn's boat "Last Resort". They are responsible for starting my career as a fisherman and I will always be thankful for the opportunity they gave me. My uncle Bill Dunn taught me to keep a detailed log book and was one of the first to use high visibility line. 1987 St. Thomas USVI: My first full year fishing the famous North Drop I had the opportunity to take my father Dr. Donald DiGiulian and my brother Damian out on the 46' Merritt, "Reel Love" with Capt. Rich Sachs. We caught 3 Blue Marlin and 1 White Marlin. It was a very proud day, catching each their first Blue Marlin. We ended that summer with 93 blue marlin releases for the season. 1988 St. Thomas USVI: Teamed up with Capt. Laurie Wright and his wife Julie on the 46' Merritt "French Look", we caught the men's 16# test Blue Marlin record with a fish that weighed 409 ¼ LBS. I will always be thankful for all that Laurie & Julie taught me. We remain friends to this day. 1989 Cozumel Mexico: Fishing with Capt. Eddie Herbert and Kent Smith on the 54 Merritt, "Bootlegger", we caught 33 Blue Marlin, 67 White Marlin and 117 Sailfish in just over 30 days of fishing. We also set the all-time Cozumel grand slam record with 8 and even had a few super grand slams. One particular day we had 14 White Marlin, 3 Blue Marlin and 3 Sailfish for a triple grand slam. 1990 Key West Florida: Fishing the Key West Blue Marlin Tournament on the 54' Bertram "Jafa", with Capt. Tom Siano, we weighed a Blue Marlin that at the time was the all-time Key West record of 665LBS and won the tournament. 1991 Flamingo Costa Rica: 626 Pacific Sailfish in 12 days on the 62' Merritt, "Tysons Pride" with the late, great Capt. Rick Defeo and his wife Donna. Our anglers literally waved a white flag to indicate they were exhausted. 1993 Port Antonio Jamaica: Fishing with my good friend and mentor, the late Capt. Dan Timmons on the 65' Merritt, "Can't Touch Dis" in the Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament. We Caught 8 Blue Marlin in one day and 14 overall and became the first team in history to win the tournament on all release points. Dr. Guy Harvey personally presented us with the winning trophy. 2015 Miami Florida:  Onboard the 33' Dusky, "Bouncers Dusky" with one of the greatest people I have ever had the honor of being associated with, Capt. Randolph "Bouncer" Smith. Filling in for his mate as I often do, we caught a beautiful Blue Marlin on a trolled Ballyhoo. It was just very meaningful for me to say I caught a Blue Marlin with my friend and hero.

PELAGIC ROAD TRIP...


In Late Ap ril I worked the "Blue Wild' spearfishing show for my sponsor Pelagic High Performance Offshore Gear. The world of spear fishing for sport is growing in popularity every year. It was very educational to see all the different aspects of this high adrenalin sport. But the main part of the week was spent visiting different Pelagic vendors with Pelagic's Marketing director, Colin Sarfeh, throughout South Florida and the Florida Keys.  On our way through the Keys, we had the opportunity to spend a day with fellow Pelagic pro team member Capt. Nick Stanczyk, fishing out of Bud-N-Mary's Marina in Islamorada on his brand new 37' Freeman, "Broad Minded".  Nick is a day time swordfish master and he did not disappoint. We went 3 for 4 on the swords that day and Colin caught his first ever Broadbill Swordfish, a beautiful 150# fish on stand up 50. Congratulations Colin, it was an honor to be with you for your first. I also had a turn as angler and managed to hand crank a nice 100# fish.  Also on board that day were my friend Willie Mitchell, professional photographers Steve Dougherty and Zac Yarbrough, Pelagic girl Alysha Aratari and Nick's wife Sarah Stanczyk. We had an epic day and it was a blessing to be out there. All 3 of our fish were caught manually, the way they should be. Great job to everyone onboard that day. I'm looking forward to the pictures and video. FISHING WITH US ARMY BLACK HAWK PILOTS ...

Thanks to my good friend Capt. JP. Wolf, I had the opportunity to volunteer my time to fish with three American Hero's on May 16. I jumped at the chance to show a small measure of appreciation for the service these men have given our country. Thank you to Major Dave Barjian, Chief Warrant Officer 3, Josh Hendrickson and Flight crew chief, Sargent James St. Laurent for all you do to keep us safe and able to enjoy our lives. All of these men have spent time on the front lines in combat putting their lives on the line for the rest of us. We were fishing on Capt. Wolf's 37' Mark Willis built "Wish List", out of Light House Point Florida. After landing their Black Hawk's in West Palm Beach, they drove down for a great afternoon and evening on the water. We caught Sharks, King Mackerel, Amberjack and two sailfish in just a few hours of fishing time. Congratulations to Sargent St. Laurent on catching his first two billfish ever. Both sailfish were tagged with Billfish Foundation tags and released to fight another day. KEEP EM WET...


It is a constant thorn in my side to see so many posts of billfish being taken out of the water for pictures prior to release. It just makes zero sense since we now know that removal from the water will increase their mortality rate to anywhere from 40% to 80%. If left in the water and properly revived they survive over 90% of the time. If the purpose of releasing a fish is to let it grow and spawn and live to fight another day, why would you remove it from the water? If you are fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, this practice is against federal law. But that should make no difference. I call people on this all the time. Not in a confrontational way but rather to educate. It is amazing the excuses I hear. Even some well-known supposed professional fishermen with TV shows just can't seem to help themselves. It is purely ego run amuck and it needs to stop. It is beyond comprehension that people will kill a magnificent fish just to take a picture, even after seeing the scientific evidence that says they do not recover well when removed from the water, even under the best conditions and when handled by experienced professionals. A common excuse is that the angler has spent a great deal of money and effort to catch their first billfish of each species and should be able to bask in the glory. I call B.S. on that excuse. Recently I captured my 10K billfish and if there was ever a time to take a picture out of the water, this was it. I didn't even consider it as this would have made me ignorant and extremely egotistical and quite frankly, a jerk. I have also had over 100 clients catch their first billfish with me in the last two years alone and there is no way they are getting a picture with the fish out of the water. In fact those that allow it are flat out lying to their customers. If you told a client that the fish they wanted to release was going to most likely die because it was removed from the water, what would they say? I think most would say take a picture with the fish in the water. With today's technology and camera options, there is absolutely no excuse for this behavior. The best pictures are taken with billfish in the water, period. Please help spread the word about this damaging and illegal practice. The true pro's don't consider this behavior as professional and they have zero respect for those that continue to do it. We are under constant attack from the Pew Foundation and PETA, who are both actively trying to stop all fishing. They are powerful and have huge bank accounts to pursue their agendas. They will use any ammunition they can to put us fishermen in a bad light and we can't afford to just serve up examples of ignorant behavior. Please spread the word about this to your friends and families. Don't be afraid to speak up and take a stand for our great sport and industry. Join me and two time Stanley Cup Champion, Willie Mitchell in our mission to "Keep Em Wet"! 940 WINZ AM RADIO ...


I have started a regular segment on The Weekly Fisherman radio show every Saturday morning. Four weeks into it, I am enjoying the opportunity very much. The show is hosted by long time Sun-Sentinel outdoor writer Steve Waters and Hall of Fame D.J. Eric Brandon. Going into its eleventh year, the show has a b rand new home at 940WINZ. I can promise if you tune in, you will learn something valuable from my segment each and every week. Thank you Steve Waters for this opportunity; it is a real pleasure to be a small part of such a great show.

NEW SPONSOR FISHTRACK...


Recently my sponsor Fish Track (www.fishtrack.com ) has hired me to produce several "How Too" videos. These short videos cover a variety of subjects and I believe they are very helpful for improving overall performance on the water. Fish Track is a very valuable tool for me in my daily fishing routine. Their app is very user friendly and can be used for a host of information gathering that will directly improve your odds of finding and catching fish. Fish Track provides the latest SST (Sea Surface Temperature), Chlorophyll and true color imagery available. You can overlay bathymetry and ocean currents, plot and send waypoints and receive Buoyweather marine forecasts for any waypoint on the chart. And you can do it all with their app on your smart phone. I endorse their product and encourage you to get your subscription today. Please visit the following links to view my videos. http://www.fishtrack.com/how-to/video-how-to-use-outrigger-clips_138294 http://www.fishtrack.com/how-to/video-how-to-properly-crimp-mono_137889 http://www.fishtrack.com/how-to/video-dark-side-down-for-lure-skirts_137077 http://www.fishtrack.com/how-to/video-how-to-skirt-a-lure_136029 http://www.fishtrack.com/how-to/video-how-to-maintain-rods-and-reels_137435

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