Monday, November 1, 2010
This months Cigar Aficionado Magazine searched for the top white shark company running operations in Mexico and sent intrepid reporter Jim Cornfied out with Shark Diver and the crew of Horizon Charters to Isla Guadalupe to discover cigars and sharks.
Our little company has kept a fine tradition of cigar smoking alive on board as it turns out shark adventures and very expensive cigars seem to go quite naturally together.
We're on page 52 of Decembers issue, talking sharks, conservation, and what we do best.
We'll post the entire article when it comes online or pick up your magazine today.
With the Halloween Trip to Isla Guadalupe away and our divers enjoying a great crossing this week I decided to fly up north to catch the winter run of Steelhead on the Big D.
It's been an epic run this season with Steelies running 30 inches and 8-15 lbs.
Steelhead are a remarkable adaptation in nature. They are sea run rainbow trout that, unlike salmon, can return year after year to river spawning beds.
I have spent quite a few years in California working on habitat reconstruction for Steelhead with Trout Unlimited. The rivers need our help, and often that help comes in the form of day labor to remove trash and plant the kinds of trees and shrubs that promote native insect populations and keep the river cooler during the summer months when young smolt head downstream.
Saturday was one of those rare days when everything comes together, our drift boat, the weather (overcast, cold, with a hint of snow) and of course the fish.
This fine 30' buck was sitting 60 yards below a Chinook spawning bed slurping fat orange eggs that drifted down to him. I was nyphing with an 0ctober caddis and an egg dropper hoping for a take. We had been drifting quitely though ancient basalt canyons lined with deer and elk for almost two hours that day, raw remote nature, the way I like it.
The take was heroic, and I soon found myself in a line screaming (and heart pounding) battle that lasted almost 30 minutes with this powerful buck working deep and fast currents and producing titanic leaps in eye popping display.
For most people 30+ degree weather is cause for hunkering down at home with the television running. For a fly fishermen with a 30' Steelhead and tight lines, this is heaven.
As you can see I landed this beauty and took a few admiring images quickly enough to return this magnificent animal back to his home waters to produce the next run of Steelhead on the Big D.
Patric Douglas CEO
Villagers in the Philippines have butchered for food an endangered whale shark that was trapped in a fish pen, stunning officials who vowed on Thursday to file criminal charges for the slaughter of a rare creature.
Environmental officer Job Tagle said he found about a dozen people with knives running away with big basins of meat carved from the whale shark when he reached the village of Bio-os in the central Philippines on Tuesday.
Tagle said only the head of the whale shark - the world's biggest fish species - was left when he and police arrived.
It took at least 10 men to carry the head, which weighed about 200kg, onto a van. It had what looked like several bullet and spear wounds and was later buried, he said.
The owner of the fish pen, located about 500 metres from shore, said the animal was dead when he found it, but police suspect it was killed based on its wounds, Tagle added.
An official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Negros Oriental province, Oscar Moncopa, said charges will be filed against the owner.
Conservation group WWF-Philippines said possession or slaughter of a whale shark can be punished by up to four years' imprisonment plus a fine of up to 10,000 pesos ($A237).
In February, another 5-1/2-metre whale shark was found dead and the Bureau of Fisheries and WWF offered a $US2,170 ($A2,239) reward for information about the culprits. No one has been arrested.
Whale sharks have been hunted for decades and 2.2 pounds (a kilogram) of dried fins can fetch up to $US800 ($A825) on the black market.
Looks like they have hit all the right notes:
Underwater Thrills is now part of a small cadre of water blogs - The Top 50 - that deliver shark content, industry analysis, and media on a daily basis.
And that list is growing. Unfortunately missing from this list is Da Shark in Fiji and The Dorsal Fin an oversight that needs to be remedied and will be this week.
For the record here's the Official Top 50 and here's to year number three, 3000 posts and counting.