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Hawaii Boat Hooks Award for Most Releases

Releasing two blue marlin at the tail end of 2009 capped off another record-setting year for the Sea Genie, a 39-foot Rybovich based in Kona, Hawaii, and its captains Gene Vander Hoek and Chris Choy. For the fourth year in a row, says Sport Fishing contributor Jim Rizzuto in Kamuela, Hawaii, The

Billfish Foundation will recognize Vander Hoek and Choy for tagging the most Pacific blue marlin.

What's particularly amazing, says Rizzuto: Ait of the 160 billfish that the Sea Genie released in 2009 were caught on lures and none on live bait. Moreover, the pair caught nearly all the fish on single-hook rigs. Most trailers arm their lures with tandems, but these skippers have proven a single hook as effective — while

For the fourth year in a row, Kona's Sea Genie has taken honors for tagging more Pacific blue marlin than any other boat — all on lures with single hooks.

making release easier and safer. (To guantify that effectiveness, the 160 billfish released were the result of 268 bites — "that 60 percent conversion rate would be the envy of any bill-fisherman regardless of how many hooks he hung on his lures," says Rizzuto.)

Another TBF 2009 award for the Sea Genie goes to Paul Bowen, one of the boat's partners, for releasing more spearfish than any other angler.

Rule Would Deny Some Vessels Access to U.S. Ports

A rule proposed by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would allow the agency to deny entry into a U.S. port to any vessel listed as having engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by any of the world's international fishery-management organizations. Jim Balsiger, Acting NOAA Fisheries Service assistant administrator when the rule was proposed, cited illegal fishing as a global problem, depleting fish stocks and hurting economies

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and the livelihoods of people who depend on sustainable fishing.

"Denying port access to vessels that engage in illegal fishing is an effective way to curb this damaging activity," Balsiger said.

The rule also prohibits individuals or businesses from engaging in commercial transactions or providing certain services to such listed vessels. That includes processing fish and providing supplies or fuel, among other restrictions. Links to relevant conservation measures and lists of vessels identified as engaging in illegal/unreported/ unregulated fishing can be found at

Dolphin Research Shows High Rate of Recaptures

Data from 2009's Dolphinfish Research Program (www.dolphin offer some interesting tagging trivia, says program director Don Hammond in Charleston, South Carolina. Although the rate of tagged fish is 16 percent below the program's seven-year average, 2009 boasts the highest rate of tag recoveries. "At 4.6 percent, it was almost double the program's annual rate," says Hammond. Other observations:

■ Top-tagging private boat: the Kiflin Time II out of Marathon, Florida, for the fourth year in a row. Capt. Don Gates and

Bull Dolphin Images

The recapture of a big bull dolphin bearing a spaghetti tag from the Dolphinfish Research Program can yield a world of information.

crew tagged 311 dolphin — the bulk of those in June.

  • The most dolphin tagged in a single day on one boat: 71. The boat was the Killin Time II; the day, June 10.
  • The day when anglers tagged the most dolphin: June 13. Anglers fishing in the Bahamas and off Florida and South Carolina tagged and released 83 dolphinfish.
  • Total number of boats reporting tagged dolphin in 2009: 74.
  • Total number of boats tagging 20 or more dolphin in 2009:13.
  • Most northerly tag: Montauk, New York, by Capt. Billy Mclntyre on the Shady Lady.
  • Top tagging charter boat: Bouncer's Dusky out of Miami, skippered by Capt. Bouncer Smith.
  • Number of dolphin tagged by one angler: 61, earning Dave Wilson — fishing on his boat, the Knot Yet, out of Andros Island in the



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Bahamas, the program's Top Angler award.

• Perhaps not surprisingly, the boat generating the most recaptures in 2009: Gates' Killin Time II. In all, 20 dolphin tagged by the boat were reported after their capture last year.

For a closer look at dolphin tagging, see the related feature on page 70 of this issue.

Unprecedented Permit-Taqginq Program Under Way

Solid scientific information about permit has been about as elusive as the prized species itself when pursued by trophy flats anglers. That may change in coming years thanks to the efforts of the Bonefish Tarpon Trust (BTT) and sunglasses manufacturer Costa Del Mar.

Their goal: to tag more than 6,000 permit around Florida in wrwiw.berkley- fishing, dodi

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