Sunday, February 27, 2011

Videos are Killing Me!

I have some video I have put together but it won't load right.  So until then here is a hogfish and a fat porgy to remind you of the things we catch for dinner down here.  The bite is still a little off but we did good on Mangroves Thursday and today the fish won.  We lost six big fish on a fishing 101 tour half day.  These two, plus another porgy will make dinner.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fishing and Bambi

Doug and Ed did pretty good today on the Mangrove Snapper and a few Yellowtail Snapper.  Only one spot was happening on the ocean side so we will try the Bay next week for a few days.  The reason Bambi is in the title is because Doug brought some venison down for me.  Some of the ladies heard of my dinner plans and got all dewy eyed.

What they did not understand is that Bambi had it coming!  Like most child stars Bambi was as cute as a button buck.  Money and fame do strange things to people, especially the young and naive.  Bambi fell in with the wrong crowd.  Just like Linsey Lohan, rehab didn't take.  Bambi got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and paid the price. 

After dinner, I may start trying to edit the video I shot today.  It looks like I got some great shots of peoples backs. 

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Midnight Blue Parrotfish on the Reef

video 

Just playing with the video recorder.  Slow fishing today inshore, so weather willing tomorrow it is tuna time!

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blame it on the Moon

Yeah, that's right!  I sucked yesterday.  It was all because of the full moon.  That's my story and I am sticking to it!

I have posted before how things get weird around the full moon.  Most of that I can handle, but the fishing part gets me down.  Of the five captains I talked to, we all agreed this full moon was the suckiest we have seen in a long while.  I even postponed my next trip a few days so I may be able to look like what I know what I am doing next time.

So look for a better post in a couple of days.  Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Back to Fishing Stuff!

The guys I am fishing with Friday I took out last year.  It was our first time fishing together so I was not sure what would turn them on.  The reef was not all that hot that first time, so I took them to do a little fishing in Hawk Channel.  If you have never fished the Hawk Channel humps and bumps you don't know what you are missing if you are one of those constant action kinda guys.  They loaded up on just about every kind of eating bottom fish you can imagine.  I made sure they stayed in the legal limits of course and I was not too concerned with anything going to waste since I had not given my buddy Omar any fish in a while.

Once we got back to the dock, the crew picked out all of the best snapper they could use and I took the rest to Omar after they realized how long they would be cleaning fish.  Omar and his nephew freaked out at seeing about 80 pounds of assorted Lane Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Yellow tail Snapper, Porgy and big grunts.  Grunts by the way are good eating, just a pain in the butt to clean.  That was a lot of fish since we had five anglers on board and came close to hitting our limits.

Sexy fish like sails, marlin, tarpon, permit and bonefish get most of the blood boiling for the frozen north guys, but never under estimate the fun of a good panfish whooping!

Now let me put my cape back on and defend the little guys from the evils of unethical government.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

This Ain't Got Nothin' to Do Wid Fishin'!!

Okay, I apologize for the contamination of the fishing blog temporarily while I try to hash out the best wording for my indignant rage inspired by arrogant buttholes employed by my government.

For a little background, I wrote this article, Can the United States Government can Steal your Intellectual Property?  The article is confusing to many since I am a suckie writer and you have to follow the links put everything in perspective.  I feel very strongly this situation should be addressed to prevent the rights of little guys from being stomped on by idiots in our government.  Not all government employees are idiots, so I am inviting one that is not an idiot to review my next article before it is published.  Feel free to add your own comments if you like.  Here is the [second]draft for the next article:


In, Can the United States Government Steal Your Intellectual Property, two points were tried to be made, the theft - copyright infringement and ethical misbehavior by government employed climate scientists. To reduce confusion we will separate the two:

The Theft

Anthony Watts a semi-retired meteorologist started a grass root effort to survey the condition and siting of the surface weather stations in the United States, believing that poor siting could produce significant errors in the temperature data used to evaluate global warming. Volunteers were used to collect data for the surfacestations.org survey. The collection site had properly maintained notice of copyright and published intent of use for the data collected. Toward the completion of the survey, the station data was used by scientists working for the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), a branch the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) before Mr. Anthony Watts, could publish his work. The actions of the NCDC employees constitutes copyright infringement, which a theft of intellectual property.

Scientists at NCDC stole the data and a scientist, Dr. Gavin Schmidt, at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) believes there was no theft because data is not protected by copyright once published.

Should Mr. Watts have any expectation of protection of his unique research from employees of the United States Government?

In the case of Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Company, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a compilation work such as a database must contain a minimum level of creativity in order to be protectable under the Copyright Act.” [1]

This ruling differentiated protected versus unprotected databases like the telephone white pages (unprotected) and the yellow pages (protected). So what is a minimal level of creativity for a database to legally be considered a “creative database”? Inclusion of graphics of any kind is enough to make the database creative. Graphics have a separate distinction in copyright law.

Mr. Watts' creative database was a pictorial survey of the weather stations. Each photograph is afforded copyright protection. The collection of the photographs in the survey form a creative database that the supreme court has ruled is protected under the Copyright Act. Even without a copyright notification on the site, the creative data and each photograph is protected since the United States joined in the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. [2]

While the database has copyright protection there are “fair use” rules that allow educators, journalists and others, limited rights to uses portions of copyright protected works. From Wikipedia, “While fair use explicitly applies to use of copyrighted work for criticism, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research purposes, the defense is not limited to these areas.” [3] The NCDC could have assumed their use was allowable as “fair use”.

Since Mr. Watts' compilation was creative he should have expected legal protection for database. Some of Mr. Watts' survey was used by the NCDC under fair use and what Mr. Watts assumed was an agreement in principal to publish a joint paper. Mr. Watts protested that use after the NCDC published a paper that came as a surprise to Mr. Watts.

“The appearance of the Menne et al 2010 paper was a bit of a surprise, since I had been offered collaboration by NCDC’s director in the fall. In typed letter on 9/22/09 Tom Karl wrote to me:

“We at NOAA/NCDC seek a way forward to cooperate with you, and are interested in joint scientific inquiry. When more or better information is available, we will reanalyze and compare and contrast the results.”
“If working together cooperatively is of interest to you, please let us know.” “[4]


Mr. Watts offered to include the NCDC as collaborator in his (Watts et al.) paper:
“On November 10th, 2009, I sent a reply letter via Federal Express to Mr. Karl, advising him that we would like to collaborate, and offered to include NCDC in our paper.. In that letter I also reiterated my concerns about use of the preliminary surfacestation data (43% surveyed) that they had, and spelled out very specific reasons why I didn’t think the results would be representative nor useful.
We all waited, but there was no reply from NCDC to our reply to offer of collaboration by Mr. Karl from his last letter. Not even a “thank you, but no”.[4]



Fair use would not apply in this case since the Menne et al could not be considered a criticism as there was no published paper to critic.  Teaching, scholarship and research would not have benefited from the Menne et al paper unless their paper was intended to show an extreme example of poor academic conduct.  Stealing data prior to the publishing of a scholarly paper is not fair use if the stole data is used to preemptively publish a scholarly paper.  That would be the antithesis of fair use!
Dr. Roger Pielki, Sr. wrote a post on his blog, Climate Science: Dr. Roger Pielki, Sr., containing the following:

The publication of the Menne et al 2010 paper violates the professional courtesy that is standard practice by other scientific groups. We had even offered them co-authorship on our papers, so that we can benefit from their scientific expertise and they can benefit from ours. They refused.
This failure by NCDC to honor professional standards is just another example of the lack of accepted professional standards at this federal climate laboratory. They should have joined us in a paper, or, as an appropriate alternative, waited until we published and then complete their analysis.[5]



The NCDC continued to use Mr. Watts copyright protected data despite the valid protests lodged concerning the Menne et al 2010 paper. More Dirty Pool by NCDC's Karl, Menne and Peterson, was posted by Mr. Watts on September 23, 2010 over more violations of copyright. [6]

Mr. Watts complained of  use and attribution was added after the fact by Menne et al. Mr. Watts stated on his blog, “Of course I could have been a jerk about it and demanded all sorts actions via formal complaints, copyright claims, etc. But I didn’t. It simply didn’t rise to that level.”[7]

Had Mr. Watts not been so kind, the courts would have had the final say as to how “fair” NCDC's interpretation of fair use actually is. Can the United States Government Steal Your Intellectual Property? Yes, at least until the courts straighten out NCDC employee's warped understanding of the Copyright Act of 1976.

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Act_of_1976
[4] http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/rumours-of-my-death-have-been-greatly-exaggerated/

Oh, I do have a trip coming up so I will post a real fishing related something soon.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cold and Wind Day Off

It is cold and windy so I put my trip off until Monday when things get back to normal.  Ten below zero (60 degrees) may be fishable but they are here for a week so rescheduling is not a problem The bite is still kicking though so it is all good.

Speaking of good, it is a good thing I moved my climate junk back to other blog.  I got hacked off at the lack of respect for intellectual property rights one of the big names in climate science has.  I used to have a little respect for the guy since he is caught between a rock and a hard spot at work, but since he defends scientists that steal photographs for their own use without even the acknowledging the guys work, he is just another over educated dumb butt in my mind.  If you want to see an example of me writing mad, it is in the energy blog link to the left somewhere.

I stopped to get fried chicken and fries for lunch, but my English is not good enough for the Spanish girl to understand me.  What I thought was Spanish for fries turns out to be a big meat stuffed ball of fried mashed potatoes.  I forgot to use "French Fries" instead of just saying fries.  Whatever the fried mashed potato thing is it isn't too bad, I just was really wanting fries.

Being stuck in the deep freeze means napping and internet today.  So I may get into some trouble.  What is amazing is that I can write just as mean sober as I did drunk, I just spell better. My grammar sucks about the same though.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Florida Sportsman Fishing Forum Bash

The Florida Sportsman Fishing Forum is used by locals and vacationers to keep up with what is happening fishing and fun wise in Florida.  The forum denizens are planning a Keys Bash this year and are trying to decide where to have the main event.  Fishing guys like to party, but not to the point it interferes too much with their fishing.  So not too surprisingly, the Middle and upper lower Keys are higher on the list for the bash than the upper Keys and party town Key West. 

The Seven Mile Bridge is a natural barrier for Keys partiers because, well, it is seven miles long (almost anyway).  The last bash I attended was at Rum Bums, which was Fisherman's Wharf, that became Fat Buoy's before it became Salty's Grille.  Since it is hard to locate a venue that changes names that often, Porky's Bay Side has offered to host the event for the middle Keys.

The forum has a topic set up for potential attendees to vote on their preferred Keys Bash location.  If you are going to be in the Keys for dolphin fishing you should get over there and place your vote.  The last bash was a lot of fun.  It is neat being able to place a real face with the internet character. 

Since everyone met on the internet anyway, I recommended an East West challenge with the seven mile bridge as the dividing line.  We can set up a Skype type link and maybe have a little fishing derby to make it interesting.  Then even the guys stuck working or trying to find work back home can join in on the fun.

Ideas like this take a little time to mature so any input you guys might have would be welcome.  Visit the forum to see what is happening and voice your opinion.  Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success. Tight lines, Capt. Dallas

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Fish Cleaning Table Stuff

Now that I am getting fit again after that nasty cold it is time to get busy again.  I worked on the new base for the fish cleaning table a while over the weekend while I wasn't gorging on dip and chili.  Since the base is supposed to be a kit, Jason and I put it together like a kit after I sanded and put a light coat of white wash on the wood.  I don't know about the white washed look.  It may be better with a more wood looking stain.  Anyway, here are some pictures of the kit and components.



I will get with Doc who is a real photographer with a real camera for more pictures.  The top photo is in the best light I had at the time and shows that the white wash has a neat, clean look.  The bottom photo is roughly what the kit will look like without the table top.  Right now you would have to install 16 screws to put it together.  I may change that to 8 bolts after I do some cyphering.

The cypress is pretty impressive wood.  It has a tight grain with few a knots that are very stable. With a light sanding the wood looks close to furniture grade.  It is a little expensive, but much less so than teak.  With the stain which provides UV protection and waterproofing, it should wear very well outdoors with very little maintenance.

Fishing wise I don't have any trips scheduled for the rest of the week thanks partially to the stupid cold.  I am booked pretty solid for the end of the month and first week of March.  Many guides, myself included are getting fewer advance bookings than normal so it is hard to tell how the year will work out.  So far it is looking better than last year.  The weather is definitely better than last year!  The reports that I am getting are real good with the bridge still hot, the bay pretty hot and the reef still going strong.  Near off shore there are a good number of sailfish being spotted and a few dolphin coming to the dock.

Jeff Knapp is still doing good with the tarpon fishing though he said today he needs to find mullet for bait since the tarpon are getting a little finicky with the pin fish.  My buddy Captain Howard Kelly is now running one of the Pips Boats and has his boat at the marina for tarpon trips.  I haven't talked to Captain Gator for a while, but it is getting close to that time of year for him to come down and fish with a few of his regulars.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

Monday, February 07, 2011

The Results are in!


Ron Robalo pictured is one of the many official taste tester judges for the first annual Porky's Great Fish Dip Challenge.  There were 12 entries in the inaugural competition and all were interesting.  The winner was number 8, Andy who's last name is withheld because I had a brain fart.  So it is a Cinderella come from behind kinda victory for the unknown yellow shirted number eight.  The favorites are among the also rans though Tim of Porky's made second place.  Mark and Kalam both had entries that were in the running.  Team Sea Squared managed to produce one of the worst batches they have ever made due to a rushed schedule and limited fish. Anyway, that is Captain Chris' story and he is sticking to it.

A dark horse also won the chili cook off at the Seven Mile Marina.  The number four entry walked away with the honors of westend chili king of 2011.  The nameless older couple provided a sassy and meaty entry  with classic chili overtones that captured the hearts of the predominately cheesehead crowd at the marina.  First time entrant, Captain Gary Wood, produced his Australian version of the South Western United States classic dish which turned many heads.  Captain Gary mentioned that he did not really bring the heat this year.  Next year tasters may want to have plenty of cold beer to chase his turbo charge version.

The Old Town crew had a blast with what should become a Super Bowl Sunday tradition.  They even had their own half time show at Porky's.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Great Fish Dip Challenge and More

Thanks to this cold that has been cramping my style I have not made much in the way of preparations for the Super Bowl Sunday culinary events to take place here in Old Town Marathon.  Salty's Grille at the Seven Mile Marina is having a chili cook off and Porky's Bay Side is having the Great Fish Dip Challenge.

While the cold is much better, I am still a little congested and have that lingering cough.  The chili cook off will be better for me because I may actually be able to taste the offerings.  The fish dip challenge should be interesting though as there are a number of competitors with unique ideas for the event.  Judges for the dip challenge will be patrons that wish to participate, meaning that contestants may be able to use friends to stuff the ballot boxes.  It's all good though since the proceeds will be going to charity, namely the Wild Bird Center of Marathon.  A separate 50/50 drawing will be held for Rocketman who is recovering from a recent stroke.

For the fish dip challenge, early word is giving Captain Chris Johnson's offering the edge with Porky's House recipe a close second.  Sleepers, Kalam and Mark, have a few tricks up their sleeves that may turn the tables on the favorites.  Turn out of fans for each entrant is the key unknown factor in early poling.

The chili cook off is wide open.  Salty's has access to exotic meats but Captain Muzzy has been spotted sneaking into town indicating a new source of wild game meat for the cook off is highly possible.  Rumors are that the Castaway's 32 beer chili will be entered supposedly under a fictitious name.

Unfortunately, due to the cold bug, a number of qualified competitors for both events may not have entries.  Big Pine had a number of noted chefs working feverishly on entries until colds chilled their ambitions.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Winter Storms?

It was pretty nice on the water yesterday and today was pretty too.  A little on the warm side in the RV, but definitely nice outside.  Looking at the weather map it looks like the rest of the nation is having plenty of fresh snow for all those snow related things they like to do.  One fellow took advantage of the fresh snow to get creative and sent me the picture below of his efforts.

A few others I know are taking advantage of the weather to spend more time with their families at home or visiting with new friends in airports.  So it would seem that convincing anyone to leave the fresh powder to come down and go fishing with me is probably a waste of time.

Fishing is really not all that good anyway.  There are plenty of mangrove snapper, yellow tail snapper, mackerel and Cobia, but the sailfish, dolphin and tarpon bite is a slow.  Jeff Shelar with Catch 'em all only had a couple of sailfish released yesterday with a handful of dolphin for dinner.  Jeff Knapp with Beckoning charters only release one small tarpon about 130 pound the night before.  He did manage a 33 pound Cobia for dinner two nights in a row.  Bobby Brown with Sundance Charters mainly just played with mackerel and Amberjack the other day with a mutton snapper or two for dinner.  The two Pips boats stuck mainly to limiting out on snapper and King Mackerel for the smoker, thought Howard Kelly on the Pip's 36 snuck offshore for a few dolphin in the teens to twenty pound range.

Hopefully, fishing will pick up and some of you guys will get bored playing in the snow.  If you do, come on down, but don't forget your sunscreen.  A few locals down here are getting sunburns.  :)

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,
Capt. Dallas

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The New Regulations in the Works

Capt. Bill made a very good post at the Florida Sportsman Fishing Forum. The new proposed regulations for Dolphin, Wahoo and Cobia are being made for no good reason really.  Once regulations are put in place it is very hard to have them relaxed as condition change.  The lack of flexibility by the South Atlantic Marine Fisheries Commission is the biggest point that needs to be made by recreational anglers.  Statistics are no better than the person using them and there are plenty of people that abuse statistics without realizing that they are.  There needs to be a better, easier way to relax regulations as conditions improve or the statistics are disproved.

If you get the chance check out his report on the Georgia meeting and try to get vocal about how over regulation is not good for our fishing economy or your fishing vacation.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas