Saturday, February 19, 2011


by Robin

Legislation is always wordy & confusing at best. But thankfully, I have a friend who is a lawyer who reads all this stuff for us and explains it in fisherman talk. ha ha. So, here it here is the scoreboard for all of you who are going out this weekend. It is a beautiful weekend!!


Red Snapper - closed
Grouper - closed 'til April
Vermillion closed 'til March
Seabass - closed 'til June
Warsaw grouper - closed indefinitely
Snowy grouper - 1 per boat (although I read it was closed along w/ warsaw)
Cobia - 1 - state waters, 2 - federal waters per person, BUT they trying to make it closed to 1/boat no matter where you caught it.
98' - 240' bottom fishing - back open; closure proposals are permanently killed!! Yeah.
Catch- Share funding - DEAD!
(Who says we can't get anything done in a bi-partisan fashion in Congress?)

Enjoy the read. I cut/paste it for you. - Happy Fishing, Robin

WASHINGTON - Feb. 19, 2011 (Saving Seafood) - Amendment #548 to H.R. 1 sponsored by Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) and cosponsored by Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) and Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey) passed the United States House of Representatives on a recorded vote of 259-159 at 1:43 a.m.

The Amendment would prevent funds from being expended by NOAA to enact new limited access fishing programs. The Amendment, if H.R. 1 is passed by the Senate and signed into law, would prevent spending on new catch shares programs.

51 Democrats joined 208 Republicans voting in favor of the Amendment.

Amendment No. 548 to H.R. 1 would ensure that no funds made available in the continuing resolution may be used to develop or approve new limited access privilege programs for any fishery under the jurisdiction of the South Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, New England or Gulf of Mexico Fishery Managment Councils.

This would prevent further spending on new "Catch Shares" programs, a heavily-promoted fisheries policy of the Obama Administration under Dr. Jane Lubchenco's leadership at NOAA. The policy, backed by several environmental groups, has been controversial. The Catch Shares policy has faced widespread opposition by East Coast fishermen.

The Amendment does not affect fishing programs on the West Coast or Alaska.

Woohoo!! Happy Dance. Barney Frank, I may not agree with you on much, but I THANK YOU for listening to your constituents and voting against your party lines to be a voice for the fishermen.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


These following articles only prove my point in my last blog that the government has a agenda. Please take the time to call your Representative today. Please support Amendment #548 to block funding for catch shares.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

RED SNAPPER TAGGING & the STORM (out of Ponce Inlet, FL)
by DBNews Journal & Jordan Kahn
Feb 11, 2011

Thank you Jordan for producing such a video and thank you to the Fish & Wildlife Institute for collecting all the research & tagging.

Great, short video on how to tag & vent your red snapper. Also, this video speaks volumes to the SAFMC's claim that snapper are overfished & fishing needs to be closed down AT LEAST until 2013 when it will come up for review again. If you tell a lie long enough, loud enough and often enough, you can convince the public it is true. I had friends who watched the video, read the articles and still question the validity of our quest for comments & signatures for petitions.

This is ridiculous!!

Taken from the deep-blue-sea website, John writes:

"A SAFMC staffer told me they were surprised by the sparse turnout [at the last meeting]. Well, the answer seems clear based on the comments submitted and the many emails that I have received. People are extremely interested, but they are tired of taking time off work, driving for hours and being ignored. One person told me it is like arguing with a tombstone. They have figured out that the only way the current system is going to hear them is through either congress or the courts, and that is well under way.

We need to keep our voices heard in the SAFMC and take every opportunity to support the interest of science based/data rich fisheries management. It is dubious fellows who work within the shadow of the unknowns and we need to turn the light of science and data on to see clearly how best to manage our treasures under the sea. Given the current financial situation with the feds, things could actually get worse, especially if they decide to turn our fishery resources into commodities. Our elected officials will need to hear a loud continuous sound that we will not accept anything less than a fair and competent fisheries management system."

I don't know if many of you have paid attention to the food industry the past few decades but sometimes I think fishing parallels it, only we're still in the slow death process. The govt shuts fishing down or overregulates it. Puts the little guy out of business with their charter business or mom/pop bait & tackle store. Then, the big industry moves in to save the day, further pushing out the rest of the competition. Big industry WILL move in because you have to keep feeding the monster with revenue and the naive public will demand their healthy fish. Then, industry & govt are in bed together and there is NOTHING left for the average Joe. Do you know they're already training farm-raised fish to eat corn??

Wake up America. I only want a fair share of my rights to fish in a small edge of the ocean. The oceans cover 335,258,000 sq km of the planet, which is 70.9% of the surface area. I'm only asking for the first 30 miles outside my port. I promise not to keep the little ones. I promise not to keep the large breeders. I promise not to keep too many. I promise to follow fair regulations and to stay away from endangered whales. REALLY. But, what I will not is act like a dead fish washed up on the shore while the government & it's long arm overreaches into my kid's future and steals all our potential memories away while shutting down the oceans for their financial gain under the guise of some environmental safety. (Not to mention, every longliner from foreign countries continue to rape the ocean itself. Not just the fish but sharks & turtles.)

Poo on you SAFMC for treating us like ignorant barbarians who don't love the ocean and all its contents as much, if not more than you do. In the end, I pray that our voices will be justified and you see, scientifically, that there are more red snapper down there than you can shake a stick (er... a rod) at.

God bless America & her Oceans!
Happy Fishing,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For our 225hp Merc OptiMax (outboard)
by Robin

First, let me preface this blog post with the fact that I am not a mechanic, although I did assist through most of this process with my hubby. He is the brilliant mind behind all our repair work. I do not claim to remember all the names of lubes, solvents, grease, epoxies, & specific pieces BUT, I think I do a really good job for a wife. I know way more about mechanical things than I ever thought I would when I got married. But enough of me.... onto the real star of the blog.

Here are the upper & lower cases of the powerhead. Everything has been disassembled, any glues or gasket fragments were removed and Jack sprayed some special degreaser to clean any gunk or debris out of the engine. This is a very important step that should not be skipped. After sitting, Jack hosed it down to wash off the debris.


It's is sparkling clean. Those 6 main grooves are where the pistons & their arms will fit through to attach to the crankshaft (removed at this point).


If you look very carefully at the black side of the powerhead, you will see little "spickets" where it looks like something is attached to the metal part. Those are for the oil lines. Jack took the time to make sure each one of those lines was free & clear of debris. We did this with a high-pressure air compressor attachment.


Then, Jack put it lots of grease into all the little areas between the pairs of pistons.
There are holes that he is filling.


This is the lubricant that he used.


Next, we prepared the table with tools to begin the insertion of the pistons. If I remember right, Jack also took this time to replace a couple of the o-rings that go in on the upper end of the crankshaft, which were boogers to get out. BUT, we did it. So, at this point, we have pistons which need new rings assembled onto the end of them. I probably should have taken a picture of that. There are 2 of them. It was my job to remove the old so that explains why there are no pictures of it.


While I did that, Jack took the new rings that he ordered and according to specs, tried to fit them the best with each of the cylinder sleeves. It's an imperfect world out there, so you want to stay in a special range of a gap at the ends of the rings. (Rings have a break-point. I'm not explaining myself very well.)

If you look below where the arrow is, the ring is being checked in this sleeve and if the gap is too much, he has to find a bigger ring. Comprende'?

After the rings were matched to pistons, we put them on. Then Jack used this ring compression tool to hold them down (because they're a bit springy), then the piston is carefully slid up into position. Then, you remove the blue ring compressor and the rings spring to make a tight fit into the cylinder. The better the fit, the better the pressure, hence better the rpms & horsepower being made by the engine. Are you still with me??


Jack is greasing the needle bearings and putting them into their "thing". There are two of these things and they fit on the inside of the arm of the piston that rotates round and round the crankshaft. I was dreading this part of the job most of all, but it turns out, it wasn't so bad. I did the other 5 of them. The grease keeps everything moving easily initially until the engine gets the oil flowing freely. BUT, the "ace in the hole" for the grease is that it keeps those stinkin' bearings from falling out. Think pliable glue. LOVE IT. This way, we didn't have to worry about them falling down into the deep recesses of the engine before Jack could tighten everything down. Whew!


Here is the lower case with the crankshaft inserted & the pistons all attached to it. Yipee. We were almost done for the night at this point. Now, we had to attach the uppercase to the lower case.


Forgive me for lack of info, but the red "goo" is a special epoxy that makes a gasket-type seal between the top & bottom of the cases. It's put on liberally and sealed down with long bolts & nuts.


After this, we high-5'd each other, covered it up for the night and fell into a deep coma. Next morning, Jack added the parts that you see on top of the powerhead in the pic below. Then, he threw it on the hoist and I walked outside from doing breakfast dishes. I only had to assist in lining up a couple holes with bolts and throw on nuts. Here Jack is tightening everything down.


I'm thinking I wasn't too useful this day because I don't have a lot of pictures. Jack continued to add parts and oil lines. It's hard to see in the pic below but he used color-coded tie-wraps for securing lines. He would have to tell you the code because he gave it to me, I threw it in the vault and forgot it. Oops.


The next day, I believe he finished up with the lower foot (I did help a little bit of that.), matching up the intake pipe to it's 'home' and he put the electrical harness back into place.

More later....
Happy Fishing if the winds ever die down.

Friday, February 11, 2011

RIVER TRIAL - 2/8/11
by Robin

Our repair job on the 225 Merc OptiMax Outboard engine was successful!!! She is making 5600 rpms and going over 32 mph now. What a relief!!!

We had to run her for approximately 2 hrs while she was having her engine being broke back in. Jack had me run the throttles (at home the day before), 5x forward after turning the key. This makes the engine run double-oil for the next 100 minutes or so (??). So, after she passed her initial run down the channel of the Indian River, we took her for a slow cruise through the "Cut" which heads out towards the locks & Atlantic Ocean. We have a favorite celebratory Marina restaurant we can pull in dock-side and eat fish tacos.


I absolutely love the slow ride over there because we always see fish jump, manatees, dolphin, beautiful water birds and hawks. I'll have more pictures to share another day of that ride.

We ate our Fish tacos at Harbortown Marina and then headed back home. High-5's all-around!! Looks like we are back in business, so-to-speak, and can head out to look for cobia at the next opportunity.

Happy Fishing!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

NEW REGULATIONS - Deep Water Closing

As of Jan 31, 2011, SAFMC has prohibited the harvest and possession of speckled hind and warsaw grouper.

I'm holding up a pretty, young warsaw grouper from back in March of 2009.


Snowy grouper bag limit is limited to 1 per vessel.

Fishing for, possession, and retention of deepwater species (snowy grouper, blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, queen snapper and silk snapper) seaward of a 240 ft depth is prohibited in S Atlantic federal waters.

There were also some changes to Golden tilefish but that doesn't affect us since we don't fish for them.