Posted in photo business on April 21st, 2011 by Scott

They are taking it to the streets again. It’s time for another social media face off to help Salt Water Sportsman choose their next cover image. They have mocked up one of my photos and are asking for your opinion. My photo candidate is a monster Dolphin caught aboard the Carolina charter boat “Pelican” in Isla Mujeres Mexico. It was part of a typical double header Dolphin bite, with the other fish being a smaller cow. I tried to get a unique angle of this fish and ended up laying down on the deck and warping the fish up and away. I was using a 20mm lens with an aperture of f18. Please follow the link below to place your vote. The other guy doesn’t stand a chance!
SWS Cover Battle

UPDATE – I just heard from SWS and found out that they ended up choosing the Wahoo photo submitted by editor John Brownlee instead of my killer Dolphin shot. Maybe next time…

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June Moon, North Drop USVI

Posted in fishing report, travel on July 5th, 2010 by Scott

I’m just back from St. Thomas with a Virgin Island fishing report. I arrived on island within minutes of the leading edge of a tropical wave. So it was no surprise that there would be some rain and wind. Little did I know…
Day 1 – Fishing aboard the 58′ Paul Mann boat Prime Time today. Pouring rain and squalls all morning. A mid day arrival of charter party has us hitting the South Drop for a few hours. We end up with one billfish bite in just a few hours of trying.

Day 2 – Prime Time again today with a full day and an early start. Continuing steady rain with plenty of wind. Photo conditions were terrible but the fishing was ok. We ended up releasing 1 of 3 bites. A second fish that might have been a catch was cut off by accident. While we were hooked up, Bubba Carter on the Tijereta made a close pass in the hope of getting a bite. Sure enough he did. Happens all the time and it’s the right thing to do. The random part is the initial run by his fish was directly toward the one we had close to the boat. And since the moving line is the cutting line, we lost ours with 50′ to go. The good news is that it makes for some great photos of a neighboring boat (below) and Bubba did end up getting his fish. And I got to say hi to mate Terry and old friend Tony as they roared by. So a happy ending.

Day 3 – I’ve been wanting to ride with Ronnie Fields for a while now and today was my chance. The 60′ Sportsman boat Big Oh was hitting the North Drop for the first day of their summer season. Even the light tackle and very light leader they fish didn’t scare me away. I figured I might get some shots of jumps near the boat and some water splashing photos. Sadly, both of the fish they released today did not jump. But the team delivered on the splashing water opportunities. As the backing performance of the boat gets sluggish (below), Ronnie is forced to give back some line and have the crew open the tuna door and let the sea back out where it belongs.

Day 4 – The last few days have been spotty on the North Drop so today on the Prime Time Butch decides to give the South Drop a try. His clients also have a flight to catch so they have to be at the dock early. The rain is intermittent today with moments of actual sunshine. We spend most of the day near the FAD and start out with a rare 35lb Dorado. Ahh, another benefit of the South Drop. When the call for lines out comes, we have released two Blue Marlin. What a great way to wrap up a trip.

Day 5 – Today I have the good fortune of riding along with an old friend Terry aboard the 72′ Merritt boat Tyson’s Pride. I first met Terry in the Mona Passage when I was working on the Key Venture while we were rafting off Jim Edmonston’s mothership the El Zorro for a few weeks. Terry and the Tyson’s Pride stopped by for a few days of what turned out to be very slow fishing that season. Now 20 years later I get a chance to spend a day with him and his ace crew of Shaun and Newt. Turns out that he is going to try to get his seven year old son Charlie his first Blue Marlin today. A good day for the cameras, despite the return of the steady rain. Since the North Drop is still spotty, we again hit the South Drop and go right to the FAD. Charlie wastes no time and gets right to work on a small Blue Marlin. After watching Charlie catch his first Tarpon the day before, and now a billfish from his dad’s fighting chair … the name Charlie Robinson is one we will be seeing in the future associated with some notable catches. We have a strong day by releasing 3 of 4 marlin bites and seeing 2 other lookers. This turns out to be more action than anyone on the North Drop saw. It’s going to be crowed at the FAD tomorrow…

Day 6 – The newest boat in the fleet is the 57′ Paul Spencer boat Southpaw. This state of the art vessel looks like any other sleek, modern, sportfisherman from the outside (photos 1 and 2 below). But what you don’t see is the high tech components within. Most notably the propulsion system is Volvo Penta and their pod drives (photo 3 below). I can’t wait to see this hardware in action. Unfortunately, we trolled the North Drop all day today without a bite. The fishing overall is terrible today with very few bites. Looks like the action today is South with the Chach catching 5 of 9 bites. I will say that the ride is very smooth and there is little or no vibration at any speed. I’ll have to try my luck again next moon.

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