Thursday, April 17, 2014

 
EDITOR'S NOTE
In observance of Good Friday, there will be no editions of The Outdoor Wire Digital Network published on Friday, April 18. Our final editions for the week will be distributed on Thursday, April 17. If you have time-sensitive material, it should be submitted to us no later than 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, April 16. Material received after that time will be included in our regular publications which resume on Monday, April 21.

AWARDS
The Orvis Company has announced Doug Gibson, Three Rivers Ranch, Warm River, Idaho (www.threeriversranch.com) as recipient of the Orvis-Endorsed Guide Lifetime Achievement Award.
Officer Lee Lawshe of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received the 2014 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award among other prestigious awards he received this year.
The Texas B.A.S.S. Nation has been given the "Partners in Conservation Award" for its outstanding contributions to drafting the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan.

CONSERVATION
Trout Unlimited and other sportsmen's groups are applauding the EPA proposal to restore the clear protection of the Clean Water Act to thousands of miles of headwater streams across the country.

ENVIRONMENT
The Coast Guard is overseeing response efforts, Tuesday, for an offshore drilling rig that began taking on water into a ballast tank after a large wave hit them in heavy seas more than 100 miles south of Galveston.
Across the Gulf Coast, dedicated Coast Guard personnel have responded to 1,082 suspected Deepwater Horizon NRC reports and overseen the cleanup of more than 5,500 pounds of oily material since June 2013

EVENTS
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites all to Trout Fest, Central California's annual celebration of one of the state's most popular fish.
ION, Academy Sports + Outdoors and Whitney Bank present the East Jefferson Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana's annual membership banquet on Wednesday, April 23, at the Landmark Hotel in Metairie.

FISHERIES
The Ad Hoc Red Snapper For-Hire IFQ Advisory Panel will consider issues surrounding an IFQ-type program, provide the Council with feedback, and assist with program design.

INDUSTRY
Arctic Ice, manufacturer of high performance thermally regulating cooler panels is proud to partner with "Herb" Philipson's, Outfitters for the Great Outdoors, to bring their innovative product offerings to outdoorsmen throughout Upstate and Central New York

NATIONAL PARKS
Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks will have free admission April 19 and 20, opening weekend of National Park Week.

NEW PRODUCTS
Arribe Fishing has introduced its new 1200 Lever Drag, a gleaming red beauty so advanced, smooth, powerful and durable, it ushers in a new class of tackle - the "Performance Reel."
This telescoping flashlight can reach out to almost two feet to get at hard-to-reach keys, hooks, lures or other gear and includes powerful LED illumination that is easy on batteries.

PRO TEAMS
McClelland says his Stratos 201XL is some 5 to 6 mph faster than his former boat, getting him to the top spots faster.

RETAIL
The Bass Pro Shops retail attraction will be located between Greenville and Spartanburg on Interstate 85 at Highway 101.

SPONSORSHIPS
American Bass Anglers announced today that EnerSys, the manufacturer of ODYSSEY® batteries, will continue its sponsorship of ABA.

STATES
Over the course of the year, the DNR will stock roughly 26 million fish weighing nearly 370 tons, including eight species of trout and salmon and four coolwater species such as walleye and muskellunge.
Michigan's daily possession limit for Lake Erie walleye is based on its share of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the lake, which is determined by the Lake Erie Committee under the guidance of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, based on fish abundance.
Combined, the state-licensed commercial fishery caught more than 3.6 million pounds of fish with an estimated wholesale dockside value of roughly $5.53 million prior to processing, marketing and retail sales.
The Land Use and Access Committee of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission voted yesterday to direct staff to coordinate with consultants to repair and improve the dam at Rhodes Pond near Godwin in Cumberland County.
Saturday, April 26 brings the statewide trout season; Lower Peninsula inland walleye, northern pike and muskellunge seasons; and the catch-and-immediate release seasons for largemouth and smallmouth bass in the Lower Peninsula.

TELEVISION
Joined by Bobby Brewer and Brooks Beatty of Jackson Kayak in the beautiful Crystal Coast of North Carolina, Jim Sammons connects with Captain Joe Shute of Fish Finder Charters to track down some hard fighting amberjack.
This Sunday on the World Fishing Network (WFN) Jim Sammons journeys north...way north...to catch big pike and giant lake trout out of Plummer's Arctic Lodge with longtime friend and big fish expert Jeff Goudreau.

TOURNAMENTS
Inshore anglers from across Florida and surrounding regions will meet at Titusville, Fla., April 26-27, for the first regular-season event of the Florida East Division of the IFA Redfish Tour Presented by Cabela's and IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing.
A high-stakes, big-fish battle of epic proportions will take place when the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit returns to the storied waters of the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie April 18-20.

WILDLIFE
Each fall, sea turtles in the Greater Atlantic Region (Maine to Virginia) strand due to cold stunning, a condition similar to hypothermia in people. Luckily, there are dedicated organizations and agencies that respond to stranded sea turtles and, when necessary, provide medical care in rehabilitation facilities.

Cleaning Flatfish

Whopper flatfish like this one have lots of great-tasting fillets on them, but it's a bit tricky cleaning a fish that appears to have only one side. The following steps will show you how.

Step 1
To get started, all you need is a fish like this four-pound summer flounder and a long, straight, sharp, flexible fillet knife. The cleaning board with clamp is optional, but if you're cleaning a lot of fish, it's a time saver.

Step 2
Start white side down, and make your first cut across the tail just forward of the fin.

Step 3
Insert the point of the knife into the first cut and slide it as far forward toward the head as possible running it alongside the spine, represented by the red line. You'll be able to feel it.

Step 4
With the knife angled just slightly down so the blade is running along the rib bones, slice carefully outward to detach the filet. On larger flounder you might have to reinsert the knife to complete the cut all the way to the head.

Step 5
Repeat the process on the belly side of the fish, but make the slice carefully so the knife doesn't cut into the stomach cavity outlined in red.

Step 6
This is what it looks like after the two cuts. The fillet is only attached directly behind the head.

Step 7
Detach the fillet with a single cut as shown, being careful not to penetrate the stomach cavity and set it aside.

Step 8
Turn the fish over and repeat the process on the bottom (white side) fillet.

Step 8
Turn the fish over and repeat the process on the bottom (white side) fillet.

Step 9
Carefully remove the feathers, the tiny muscles that power the fins around the flounder's perimeter.

Step 10
Lay the fillets on the cutting board skin side down, and use your finger tips to hold the very end of the tail section. Make a downward cut to the skin, turn the blade almost horizontal to the table, and carefully push the blade toward the far end using a slicing motion to separate the meat from the skin.

Step 11
When done, you have a single fillet from the top and bottom of the fish that can be divided into four smaller fillets by slicing down the middle where it is thinnest, (the section that was over the backbone). For smaller fish this is not necessary; for larger fish the split fillets are more single-serving friendly.
Everyone's favorite fresh-caught seafood is flounder. Here's how to clean them like a pro.

Seems no matter where you fish in the coastal waters of the world, there is a flatfish of one species or another available to anglers. In the United States, if we start in New England and work our way around the country to the West Coast, you can encounter Atlantic halibut, yellowtail flounder, black back or winter flounder, four-spot flounder, summer flounder (commonly called fluke), southern flounder, Gulf flounder, California halibut and Pacific halibut. They range from small fish that might average a pound or two, like the winter flounder, to enormous flatties that can reach 9 feet in length and weights to over 500 pounds, like the Pacific halibut.

They vary in availability and range from estuaries to deep ocean waters. Some are scavengers like the winter flounder, while others are voracious predators like the summer and southern flounders and all the halibuts. Some species are at low levels of abundance, primarily the Atlantic halibut, which has become a very rare catch in U.S. waters, while others are exceedingly abundant, like the fluke. The most common trait is that they are asymmetrical in body shape or for lack of a better term-flat!

Interestingly, they aren't born that way. All flatfish start life looking rather unassuming as baby fish go until Mother Nature does her sleight of hand. Their eggs hatch into larvae that resemble typically symmetrical fish. The larvae quickly develop into a rounded form with protective spines on the head, over the gills and in the pelvic and pectoral fins. They are born with a swim bladder for buoyancy to make it easier to roam near the surface and feed on plankton, but as they grow they turn into "Frankenfish." One eye migrates across the top of the head onto the other side of the body, the swim bladder and spines literally disappear, the body coloration on the sightless side turns white, while the other side assumes a darker coloration that provides camouflage for lying on the bottom. That's important because the bottom is where these critters spend the majority of their time, either scavenging for a meal or lying in wait for a hapless fish or crustacean to get too close - and wham!

For anglers in the U.S. flounder are a favorite target species, not because they are a hard-fighting game fish, but because they are fun to catch and great to eat! You can't get around the fact that most recreational fishermen enjoy catching fish to eat, and flounders are pretty much at the top of the list. Most of the flatfish that anglers catch are of the smaller varieties, so we would like to pass along a technique that many consider the best way to fillet them.

For the best tasting flounder, try bleeding and icing immediately after landing. Lift the gill plate, cut the gill rakers with a scissor or knife, then put the fish in a live well or bucket of water to bleed out. When that's done, put the fish on ice in a cooler to firm up the meat for easier cleaning and to maintain the quality.

The Fishing Wire welcomes your comments and actively solicits letters and guest editorials from readers as well as fishery managers, scientists and industry experts in boating, fishing and related equipment. Please send your comments and suggestions to frank@thefishingwire.com.
Outdoors Calendar

» Got an event you'd like to see posted here? Send it to frank@thefishingwire.com.

Apr. 1 - Nov. 30: New Jersey inshore saltwater fishing tournament. Eight species, over 50 weigh stations, prizes for the largest catches. Proceeds to the Fisheries Conservation Trust. $20 entry; www.BeachNBoat.com or 609.423.4002.

Apr. 12 - Mar. 31: 2nd Annual Lund Boats LCI Champlain Basin Derby,
50 weeks, 15 species, $25,000! www.lciderby.com

Apr. 20 - Apr. 21: 21st annual East Idaho Fly Tying and Fishing Expo, Shilo Inn, Idaho Falls, ID; www.srcexpo.com.

Apr. 24 - Apr. 28: Bassmaster Open, Red River, Shreveport, LA; www.bassmaster.com.

Apr. 25 - Apr. 26: National Walleye Tour at Detroit River - Trenton, Mich.; www.nationalwalleyetour.com

Apr. 26: 11th Annual World Record Achievement Awards at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum , Dania Beach, FL; www.igfa.org.

Apr. 26 - Apr. 27: Mud Hole Custom Tackle's Rod Building 101 Class, Houston, Texas, http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building-101/Classes or call (866) 790-7637 ext. 112.

Apr. 26 - Apr. 27: IFA Redfish and Kayak Tours at Titusville, Fla.; www.ifatours.com

Apr. 26 - Apr. 27: Muzzy Bowfishing Classic at Lake Guntersville, AL; www.muzzy.com.

Apr. 27: Brian Kerchal Memorial Tournament and fund-raiser for Connecticut Youth at Candlewood Lake - Danbury Town Park ramp, Danbury, CT; 203-768-7212.

May 10 - May 11: Mud Hole Custom Tackle's Rod Building 101 Class, Boston, Mass., http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building-101/Classes or call (866) 790-7637 ext. 112.

June 6 - June 7: Ed Alber Tarpon Rodeo on Tampa Bay, fund-raiser for Tampa Baywatch; www.tampabaywatch.org.

June 7 - June 8: Mud Hole Custom Tackle's Rod Building 101 Class, Orlando, Fla., http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building-101/Classes or call (866) 790-7637 ext. 112.

June 14 - June 16: 33rd LCI Father's Day Derby presented by Yamaha. www.lciderby.com





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