Thomas Turner is savvy enough and has enough experience chasing giant fish in the Gulf of Mexico to know there’s an element of luck in chasing, hooking up and landing tournament-quality blue marlin.
There’s also a level of expertise he likes to have aboard the “You Never Know,” the 72-foot offshore vessel he uses to fuel his passion for bluewater adventures and the competitiveness that comes with entering any of the near 15 big-time billfish tournaments that fill the Gulf States’ summer calendar.
Turner has placed Floridian Joey Birbeck at the helm and assembled a dyed-in-bluewater tournament crew, including his daughter Sydney. And by Turner’s admission, “We’ve had a helluva summer,” after fishing seven straight weekends.
It got even better last weekend in Orange Beach, Alabama’s, Blue Marlin Tournament, and it took one of the crew to show just how much each and every one aboard is needed.
via Giant marlin nets first place for Thomas Turner’s crew | Louisiana Outdoors | theadvocate.com.
From reef to restaurant, we are seeing lionfish pop up on more restaurant menus in Northwest Florida. There’s a big push for divers to catch as many as possible because they are an invasive non-native species that are eating native fish.
Their presence is terrifying for local fisherman. Flora-Bama Yacht Club executive chef, Chris Sherrill said “I’m mortified at the battle we are losing to lionfish.”
That’s why he is trying to have it on his menu as often as possible.
via Chef takes lionfish battle from reef to restaurant | WEAR.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Dr. Bob Shipp stood in amazement last weekend at the 83rd annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR) as he watched the frenetic activity on Dauphin Island.
Shipp, Professor Emeritus at the University of South Alabama’s Marine Sciences Department, never would have imagined the resilience of the Alabama Gulf Coast, its ecosystem and related recreational activities when he was sitting at Dauphin Island Sea Lab six years ago.
via Oil Spill Memories Fade at ADSFR, Dauphin Island | Outdoor Alabama.
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WPMI) — Five boats had already reelded in blue marlin on the second day of the Blue Marlin Grand Championship. Host Jim Cox says this will be the first time that a line is formed for weigh-in on a Friday.
via Fish already in the boat as the Blue Marlin Grand Championship gets underway | WPMI.
The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo kicked off last week with the kids tournament. Starting today the main competition got underway. The Rodeo goes all the way through Sunday, with the main day/ big game coming on Sunday. In the mean time anglers will be able to try their hand at 30 different categories.
via 83rd Annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Weekend Gets Underway.
Waiting is the hardest part. A few waves look good, but they don’t break at the right spot. Many more simply aren’t enough to get excited about. But then one comes. It looks like a wall of water rising a hundred yards out. I pointed it out to my son. He could see it too.
“I’m going to hold your board,” I said, “When it gets close I’m going to give you a push, and I want you to ride it. Don’t let it get out from under you.”
via Holding the board for my son, waiting for the perfect wave | AL.com.
FOX10 News is committed to protecting the environment.
We are in the middle of sea turtle season on Alabama beaches and volunteers continue to find new nests.
From May through October, about 45 volunteers from the “Share the Beach” http://www.alabamaseaturtles.com/ volunteer group patrol Alabama beaches looking for nests.
via Record number of sea turtle nests on Alabama beaches? – FOX10 News | WALA.
FOX10 News | WALA
The flesh-eating bacteria lighting up news reports all along the Gulf Coast has been around forever and is almost entirely avoidable if you know where to swim, said the nation’s leading expert on the deadly bacteria.
Andy DePaola was the lead seafood microbiologist and subject matter expert for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration until he retired last fall. His specialty was Vibrio vulnificus, the bacteria responsible for a string of high profile deaths and amputations this summer among beachgoers.
via Flesh-eating bacteria easy to avoid, just swim in the Gulf, not bays says expert | AL.com.
GULF SHORES, AL (WALA) - A different kind of visitors are making waves on our local beaches.
We’re in the middle of sea turtle nesting season.
The “Share the Beach” http://www.alabamaseaturtles.com/ initiative was created in 2001 to help the sea turtles, many of which have become endangered.
Volunteers with the group say objects on the beach are blocking mother turtles from safe nesting areas.
via It’s the middle of sea turtle nesting season – FOX10 News | WALA.
ORANGE BEACH, AL (WALA) - Thousands crowded Alabama beaches today one of the biggest draws along the gulf coast this weekend is Perdido Pass. There, you have a great beach with calm waters and some boating nearby. One of the biggest challenges though was staying cool and folks had different strategies.
via Beach-goers look to stay cool in Orange Beach – FOX10 News | WALA.
FOX10 News | WALA
The Fourth of July and Baldwin County beaches seem to go together just like red, white and blue. “It kind of makes you feel like the sea to shining sea, right?” says beachgoer Michelle Doyle, “Like part of America and everybody’s down here having a good time and celebrating.”
via Red, White and Blue Baldwin County Beaches.
It blew up on Facebook. An Atlanta Meteorologist put up several posts warning people about high levels of bacteria at Gulf Coast beaches from Louisiana to Florida.
WSB-TV’s Burns said: “When you head down there you could see these toxic levels of fecal bacteria continuing and very dangerous to swim in these waters. They call this the kind of flesh-eating bacteria.”
via No “Flesh Eating” Bacteria at Beach.
After the success of a live weigh-in category at last year’s Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR), rodeo officials will expand the category and lift restrictions for the 83rd rodeo, scheduled July 15-17 at the rodeo site on Dauphin Island.
Last year’s live weigh-in category was limited to the speckled trout jackpot entrants. Anglers in the jackpot who brought live speckled trout to the weigh-in site had their fish weighed and then carefully released.
This year’s rodeo will allow anyone who has a live speckled trout to take advantage of the live weigh-in category. It also will expand the category with the addition of the live weigh-in of redfish (red drum).
via ADSFR Expands Live Weigh-In Category | Outdoor Alabama.
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) — There are concerns of too much fecal matter in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mississippi native Teresa Madrigal brought her kids to the Fairhope beach for summer vacation. It is a much safer option. Beaches in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida are all under advisories for enterococcus, which is an indicator of fecal matter.
“It’s really scary to think about. I know where we’re from they talk about the amoebas a lot,” said Madrigal. “So you think you come out in salt water, you’re a little bit safer but now you’ve got to be concerned.”
via Local residents concerned about flesh-eating bacteria at our beaches | WPMI.
After a nearly four-year-long conspiracy to illegally dump oil waste into the Gulf, the Norwegian shipping company, DSD Shipping, was sentenced to pay a total corporate penalty of $2.5 million.
The company was ordered to pay $500,000 of the penalty to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation to fund marine research and enhance coastal habitats in the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay.
via $2.5M settlement announced after shipping company dumps 20,000 g – FOX10 News | WALA.
An erroneous report from an Atlanta television station set off waves of panic among Gulf Coast vacation goers Wednesday.
The Atlanta report from WSB-TV meteorologist Glenn Burns claimed the National Weather Service had closed beaches along the Panhandle due to a “flesh-eating bacteria” known as Vibrio vulnificus. The station later retracted the report – the National Weather Services doesn’t close beaches and there’s no presence of flesh-eating bacteria – and Burns apologized via social media for the confusion.
via Are beaches on the Florida Panhandle closed? Atlanta report causes panic; water advisories in place | AL.com.
A television newscaster out of Atlanta inspired a frenzy Wednesday afternoon after reporting that the National Weather Service was warning folks to stay out Panhandle waters due to the presence of “really toxic levels of a fecal bacteria,” which he then explained was “flesh-eating bacteria.”
The National Weather Service doesn’t issue swim advisories. And local health officials clarified that both descriptions were false.“
What the newscaster is saying is incorrect,” said Dr. Karen Chapman, director of the Florida Department of Health for Okaloosa County.“
Enterococci fecal bacteria is not the same thing as vibrio vulnificus flesh-eating bacteria.
via TV report about bacteria in local waters was false, local officials say – News – Northwest Florida Daily News – Fort Walton Beach, FL.
GULF SHORES, Ala. (WPMI) — A family from Vicksburg Mississippi got up close and personal with a shark on the beach in Gulf Shores, and there’s video to prove it.
The video shows what appears to be a shark swimming dangerously close to a group of people playing and floating near the shore. The video was taken from high above a condo in Gulf Shores this past weekend.
via Gulf Shores beachgoers get up close and personal with shark | WPMI.
With crowds heading to the beach this summer, officials in several states along the Gulf Coast are issuing warnings due to harmful bacteria in the water that can result in disease, infection or rashes.
Alabama beaches were all clear in recent testing, officials said. The testing of beaches in Mobile and Baldwin counties occurred June 20-22.
via Gulf Coast Beach Advisories: Latest on Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas water | AL.com.
Tonight is one of the biggest nights in television- the night everyone has been waiting for- and no, I’m not talking about the Game of Thrones finale.
Tonight kicks off Shark Week 2016. The fun starts at 7:00 p.m. CST on the Discovery Channel.
via Shark Week 2016: Sharks on Southern coastlines, attack data along the gulf | AL.com.
There have been 102 reported shark attacks along Gulf Coast state since 1865.
With data from the Global Shark Attack File, AL.com has plotted those attacks in the map below. Click on the pins to get the details of each incident.
via Shark attacks: A database of attacks in the Gulf of Mexico | AL.com.
If you don’t like the term “Sea Lice,” how about “Ocean Itch?” Or “Seabather’s Eruption?” Or maybe even “Sea Poisoning?”
Whether we’re actually talking about a real problem here is highly dubious. But the species we’re talking about clearly has a very real branding problem.
Sea Lice made international headlines in early June when they apparently invaded swimwear along the Florida Panhandle. Something about that scenario just seemed to fire the collective imagination, leading to a widespread loss of perspective about this particular feature of coastal life and to nebulous, unsubstantiated warnings that the stinging menace could be drifting toward Alabama’s pristine beaches. (So far, the purple flags are not flying.)
via ‘Sea Lice:’ A minor menace inspires major mania | AL.com.
ORANGE BEACH, AL (WALA) - As many head to the beach this summer, officials want to make sure you know about the dangers of rip currents. Five people died last week along the Gulf Coast after drowning in rip currents, one of them was in Orange Beach.
via Five rip current deaths along panhandle: officials warn of rip d – FOX10 News | WALA.
When the subject of plastic waste in the ocean comes up, many peoples’ thoughts turn to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vast swath of water soupy with tiny bits of broken-down plastic.
It seems like a faraway problem. But the same plastic residue is pervasive on the shorelines of Mobile Bay and the northern Gulf of Mexico, according to a newly published study conducted by scientists from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the University of South Alabama.
via Study: Plastic waste pervasive in Mobile Bay, Gulf of Mexico shorelines | AL.com.
There has been no proposal that can satisfy all the stakeholders in the Gulf Red Snapper fishery—the commercial, recreational and charter fleet.
The latest move to reallocate red snapper quota from the commercials to the recs has angered the commercials because it took money from their business without adding significantly to the recs season. The same thing happened when the charter fleet separated from the recs. It gave them a longer season at the expense of the recs season. If you gave all the quota to the recs, two viable industries would be shut down and only increase their season to 18 days, roughly. Compounding the issue are the different regulations in state waters. It’s easy to game the system when I can practically fish in three, maybe four, states from Dauphin Island.
via An open letter to all red snapper fishermen | AL.com.
ORANGE BEACH, AL (WALA) - The distressed swimmer pulled from the Gulf off Orange Beach Tuesday afternoon has died, according to Melvin Sheppard, Orange Beach safety director.
Authorities are not yet releasing his name.
The male swimmer was picked up by a rescue boat and transported to a local hospital, according to an Orange Beach city official on Tuesday.
via Swimmer pulled from water off Orange Beach dies – FOX10 News | WALA.
FOX10 News | WALA
The beauty and the thrill of a day at the beach changed forever Tuesday for one family vacationing in Orange Beach. “We did get a call,” says beach safety director Melvin Shepard. “When we got there things didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to and it did wind up in a fatality for us.”
via Orange Beach Drowning Marks First of the Season.
Recreational anglers will get a chance this weekend to fish in federal Gulf waters for red snapper.
The two-day extension for federal red snapper season – a multimillion dollar tourism draw for Alabama – came as a result of poor fishing conditions as a result of Tropical Storm Colin, which affected parts of Florida before moving into the Atlantic Ocean.
via Federal red snapper season extended two days following ‘poor conditions’ from Tropical Storm Colin | AL.com.
Concerns about sea lice – tiny jellyfish larvae that are showing up along the Florida Panhandle – have some thinking about skipping the beach this year.
That might not be necessary, though, as there are things you can do to help avoid sea lice or treat them if you do have the misfortune of encountering the pesky critters.
via Sea lice: Where they are, how to avoid them, what to do if you’re stung | AL.com.
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WPMI) — Sea Lice, the microscopic jellyfish larvae, have made their way to Santa Rosa beaches. Purple flags are flying in Florida, warning beach goers of the stinging marine life.
Officials on Alabama beaches are thankful Sea Lice isn’t in Alabama, yet. The only warnings Tuesday at Alabama beaches are the red flags, rough surf, and possible rip currents.
“We haven’t had anybody coming up and complaining of massive stings while they are here in the waters,” said Melvin Shepard with the Orange Beach Fire Department.
via Beach Lice could pose threat to Alabama beachgoers | WPMI.