Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ride Along Fishing Guides

I have started trying to put together a list of other guides that will ride along on your boat or a rental to teach you the basics and put you fish. To save time I am just copying their emails below:

I thought that I'd let you know that I offer the service that you mentioned on the Florida Sportsman site.
I'm based in Long Key.Thanks
Capt. Tom Duderar DOODA CHARTERS
305-664-4601 Home
419-261-6672 Cell


I do a good amount of ride alongs and set-ups on private boats.


Capt. Chris Lembo
Incognito Light Tackle Fishing
13 Whistling Duck Lane
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 304-0093

I do quite a bit of that. I think a few of them have become forum members after their trip. I do mostly the Islamorada/tavernier/ area. 305 395 1691

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Our Energy Future

By Capt. Dallas

These are exciting times. Political, economic and technological conditions have combined to create a true opportunity for advancing our energy choices. Fossil fuels price will fall back some but our vulnerability as a nation to “black” mail will drive continued alternate energy development. The “black” being black gold controlled increasingly undesirable nations.

Everyone has his or her own opinion of the right way to approach changing our energy economy. Being pragmatic, I try to look at all the options. Of all the options we have, each has benefits and each has disadvantages.

Bio-fuels are the greatest example of the conundrum we face. Alcohol fuel is made from renewable resources. It is clean burning and works with our internal combustion engines. Big benefits! Alcohol has only 75% of the energy of gasoline, it takes energy to produce, it is a solvent that reduces engine life and food/feed crops have to be diverted for it to provide a significant portion of our energy needs. Pretty big disadvantages!

The biggest disadvantage of bio-fuels is the last, competition with our food sources. Biomass is non-competitive to a point, but eventually energy producing acreage will compete win food production acreage.

Solar energy has the advantages of being clean and renewable. The disadvantages are less obvious but are there. Solar energy using photovoltaic panels has over thirty-five years of history and is only now reaching 20% efficiency in conversion. Like other electronic technologies, solar cell efficiency and prices will change dramatically. Investing billions into huge solar energy plants will be a hard sell. With a recent record of a PV cell reaching 40.3 percent efficiency, more than twice the efficiency of available mass produced cell it is a harder sell at this time.

One good thing about the new high efficiency PV cell is that solar technology is close. Since 40% is approaching maximum efficiency reducing chances that radically higher efficiencies will be available any time soon. Price reduction of the higher efficiency cells should still be a concern of energy investors.

Wind power has made great leaps in efficiency in the past twenty years. Windmills rated for five Mega Watts (MW) each are in production. These new windmills or wind-turbines if you prefer can produce energy at lower wind speeds extending their useful range. With current power outputs and useful life spans of twenty-five to thirty years they are a good investment. While wind power technology is sure to improve the cost per MW is low enough with current technology to pay for the investment. All great advantages for wind power. The disadvantages are really only two. The not in my back yard (NIMBY) mentality, that limits areas where it can be used and wind power needs wind to work. In conjunction with other power plants wind can provide a large portion of our power needs but not own its own.

Tidal and wave power, the most over looked of the alternate power sources have quietly proven themselves and are poised to be energy players. Tidal has forty years of proven reliable service at the La Rance power station in France. Wave power has less of a track record but has proven reliable in initial smaller scale tests. The advantages of tidal and wave energies is that they are very cost effective. The disadvantages are they can effect the environment and hinder shipping in some applications. Further disadvantages are that acquiring ideal lease for areas are difficult and there is only a limited selection of ideal area to be considered.

Nuclear power technology has improved over the years as well. Nuclear power’s advantages are clean, reliable, stable and cost effective power. The disadvantages are catastrophic disaster (low probability but a big concern), security and waste disposal. Due the first list disadvantage the NIMBY crowd are highly vocal.

Hydrogen, which is not really a source of energy just a medium of storing energy, has the advantages of being clean and versatile. Hydrogen can fuel a large variety of existing engines and heat sources. It is perfectly suited for fuel cells which is a much more efficient method for using this fuel. Disadvantages are it takes energy to produce, is more difficult to store and it is explosive as all hell.

Now is the fun part of this article for me! Expressing my option. Despite its disadvantages hydrogen will be the portable fuel of our future. Hydrogen is a far to efficient and clean a fuel to be ignored. Safe, reliable storage systems for hydrogen are developing rapid because of its potential. Hydrogen also will extend the useful areas for wind and tidal/wave power generation. Areas remote from civilization and electrical grids can be used to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen will also increase the overall efficiency of nuclear power plants and other manufacturing processes with waste heat. Thermolysis, a heat and chemical hydrogen manufacturing process is perfectly suited for using the waste heat of various processes.

Hydrogen stored in plentiful energy times can be used to make energy produced by wind, solar and tidal/wave stand-alone power sources. For example: in a solar home, hydrogen produced in the day will produce electricity at night through fuel cell conversion. Think of hydrogen as the near ultimate battery. While a solid-state battery would be a huge boon to mankind a gaseous/liquid state battery ain’t all that bad!

Our energy future will require various sources and responsible application to maintain a healthy economy and meet our goal of energy independence. These are the most exciting times of our energy lives.

Sources: www.wikipedia.com

Just for Something a Little Different

As a charter captain and avid fisherman alternate fuels and power plants for the boating industry is a major consideration. Since Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV) will probably rule the roads, what about the waterways?

Boats have different power needs that cars. A boat run at or near maximum horsepower anytime they are running, cars can coast a bit using gearing. Also boats live and work in a far more inhospitable environment than cars. Electricity and salty, high humidity environments don’t play well together.

This makes using electric power propulsion systems in boat a little more complicated but not impractical. So to continue my optimistic green power theme I would like to present my concept boat of the future.

The boat is based on a 26 foot Panga style hull design, as this style hull is very energy efficient. Pangas can be inboard or outboard powered. To simplify design let’s use an outboard configuration.

The power plant for the concept boat is in two parts, the fuel cell and the electric power motor. To equalize weight load distribution, the fuel cell will be mounted forward to offset the aft engine weight.

For the outboard motor a 90-horsepower Mercury midsection and lower unit is used (Mercury just to keep it made in America as much as possible). The internal combustion engine is replaced with a 125KW electric motor weighing just over 100-pounds. So the net weight of the aft portion of the power plant is roughly the same as normal outboard motor. To have the roughly the same performance as a typical gasoline powered Panga twin engines will be installed.

This electric motor was selected for its lightweight, compact size and high efficiency. The motor is water-cooled allowing for complete sealing of the motor for protection against the marine environment. Adaptation to the outboard midsection should be simple and the power head portion would have a much lower profile. (See http://www.premag.com/products/autod.htm)

The fuel cell adds about 460 pounds to the concept boat. A considerable amount of added weight, but much less than you were probably expecting. The fuel cell selected has maximum continuous output of 210KW (based on estimates using modified stacked Honda V flow fuel cells, weight estimates may be a little low see http://www.nuvera.com/markets/androm.php).

Fuel storage will have to be liquid hydrogen to provide acceptable range in a reasonable space. With the increase efficiency of the fuel cell/electric power plant and the higher energy content of hydrogen, the fuel storage space requirement is rough the same as for gasoline.

Allowing for fuel tank insulation and the added weight of the fuel cell, the boat deck height should be raised approximately 2 inches. If not the boat would tend to be wet footed. If you are designing a concept boat may as well make it comfortable.

Now for the good part, performance! With a continuous 210KW output equal to approximately 160 horsepower at the prop, the FCV Panga should cruise at a respectable 24 knots. Fuel efficiency would be on the order of 6 miles per gallon in gasoline equivalent terms. Not bad at all!

With newer fuel cell designs that are increasing efficiency and reducing weight, even better performance can be expected in the not so distant future. Safety considerations using hydrogen are of course a major concern. So I won’t be building this concept boat this weekend. Still the fuel cell powered small fishing boat doesn’t seem as for off in the future as it did just a few years ago.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Red Fish Camp Chowder

If you would like to copy this or any other article on this site feel free. If you really like it, think about making a small donation. Some people like to copy some of my stuff and put it on their own blog or website. Not a problem but please use my pen name captdallas2 and link back to my blog if you can. If you have any great fish recipes you would like to share, feel free to submit it as a comment. Leave your blog link if you like. I don't recommend leaving you email address.

Enjoy and Tight lines,

This is great cooked outdoors or in.

8-oz diced salt pork
2-pounds fish fillets (normally redfish, but snapper works too.)
1-cup each diced onions, bell pepper and celery.
2-cans crushed tomatoes
1-regular size bottle ketchup
¼ cup flour
about ½ a can of tomato paste I forget this some times and it’s still good
Cayenne pepper- I use about a teaspoon for a hint, some guy like a lot more!

In a cast iron Dutch oven, or a just a big pot if you’re indoors, render the salt pork over medium-high heat. When the pork is crispy brown, there should be about a ¼ cup of fat in the pot. Add the same amount of flour and make a rue. You do this by stirring the flour and oil (pork fat in this case), making a paste that you cook until the flour toasts to the color you like. Adding a little flour or oil may be required to get the paste right. I like a dark blonde rue not quite penny colored, for this chowder. Add the diced veggies, one teaspoon each cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper and sauté until onions are translucent. Add both cans of tomatoes and ½ bottle of the ketchup. Simmer covered for 30 minutes stirring occasionally and checking to make sure it’s not going dry. Cooking outside, I normally have to pour in some beer from time to time. So a can of beer should actually be in the recipe. After 30 minutes, you may need the rest of the ketchup and tomato paste. It should be fairly thick for a soup but a bit thin for a stew. If it looks thin add the ketchup and tomato paste, if it looks too thick, more beer. This is the time to taste and adjust your seasoning. Then add the seasoned fish, (salt and pepper) and simmer until the fillets start breaking up while you stir. With your spoon, break the fillets into bite size pieces and you are done! The whole process can take 45 minutes over an hour, so make sure you have plenty of beer on ice.

Serve over a bed of white rice and have some pepper vinegar on the table. Some fresh biscuits with butter makes a great side. We don’t garnish when we cook out doors.

Capt. Dallas

Pepper vinegar: Take a clean 6 ½ ounce coke bottle and stuff it full on whole hot peppers. The Datil peppers are my favorite. Then fill the bottle with white vinegar. Put one of those plastic coke caps on the bottle a let it sit in the fridge a few months. As you use the vinegar, add a little more to the bottle from time to time. Keeps for a century or two.

Creamy Fish Chowder

Hearty and delicious

2-pounds diced red potatoes with the skin on
1-pound fresh fish fillets coarsely diced
1 1/2-quart milk
1-cup grated pepper jack cheese
3-table spoons butter
¼ cup finely diced fresh basil

Boil dice potatoes in salted boiling water until fork tender. In large pot slowly heat milk to avoid scalding then add cheese and stir until cheese is well blended. Add potatoes, fish, basil and butter to cheesy milk sauce. Simmer for five minutes until fish is cooked but still firm. Salt and pepper to taste. A sprinkle of Paprika and a few oyster crackers is all the garnish you need.

Variation: Use half potatoes and half Yucca root. Tasty!

Capt. Dallas

Easy crab and pasta salad

The imitation crabmeat is great for making this great simple salad.

1-8oz package imitation crabmeat
1-8oz box of tricolor rotinni pasta
1-8oz package frozen peas and dice carrots
1-cup honey mustard dressing

Cook pasta in large pot full of salted boiling water per directions. Add frozen veggies at the end and remove from heat. Let the pasta and veggies stand for a few minutes while you crumble the crabmeat in a large bowl. Strain pasta and veggies and put in the bowl with crabmeat and add the dressing. Mix well, chill and serve. This is not only a good starter salad it is a full meal at our house.

Capt. Dallas

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fishing the Florida Keys - Sailfish Basics

Fishing for sailfish is a pretty big thing this time of year in the Florida Keys. Sails normally run November through April. The peak time will vary some each year and some years are much better than others. It is still pretty much world class fishing every year. A charter having four to six shots a day is a good average. Most of the sailfish are caught on live bait, Pilchards, ballyhoo, goggle eyes and other, in that order. Dead bait trolling and lures will produce, but not as well as the live bait.

More and more captains employ drift fishing with live chumming as their preferred method. Kite fishing is used by a few, but isn’t very effective if you have not found the fish. I prefer to mix it up, running and gunning a while to locate bait and sails, then live baitfish for them. Sight casting to the fish is really what I like once the fish are found, but drifting in a good area loaded with bait is what happens most of the time.

While a bait tank full of Pilchards or ballyhoo is preferred, sometimes you have to go with what you have. Blue runners, pinfish, yellowtail snapper and even needlefish have produced sails for me.

Rigging for sails is pretty much like rigging for tarpon. On the spinners I have 5 to 8 feet of double line and 6 to 8 feet of monofilament leader. Normally fifty to sixty pound leader is all I use and fluorocarbon isn't a big deal with me. The hook is a 5/0 to 7/0 J or a 6/0 to 9/0 new type circle; it depends on my bait, mate and my customers. With Pilchards or any live bait other than ballyhoo, just hook them in the nostrils. With ballyhoo, I hook them in the upper lip and use a short piece of copper rigging wire to wrap the bill and hook shank. Blue runners are tough to fish because at the first sign of a sail they try to climb back in the live well. This means I will use a balloon about six in front of the blue runners. This makes them look a little more stupid and I can keep an eye on them. Having a bait look stupid isn’t a bad thing. Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory explains the reason. Stupid or defective critters are removed from the gene pool quickly.

For conventional rods, I use the wind on leader setup described in the six basic knots posting. I use the conventional a lot of the time when I have rookie anglers and no mate. I teach anglers how to let the bait on the conventional tackle out and drive the boat in front of the fish. This also works on regular drift fishing. I really like having my customers fight big sails on light spinning outfits. Catching an 80-pound sail on ten or twelve pound test is a hoot that you can brag about later. The tournament guys use 30 pound on their spinners and thirty to fifty pound on their conventional rods to rack up numbers. That’s fine, I know how to do that too, I just prefer the light tackle and the shorter leaders. Who was it that said its not destination, it’s the journey. That’s fishing and me.

Finding the fish is the fun part for me. I’m looking for birds working, bait sprays, black trash bags in the water (that’s what a sailfish looks like swimming in the water) and free jumpers. Free jumping sails are neat to see, but you rarely get one in your lines. That said you have to check them out anyway. Come on! You got a shot right!

Best depths to hunt for sailfish in the winter is 100 to 300 feet. They can be on the reef or all the way past the ledge. Whether you need to run to alligator light or the Sambos is your guess. I normally work from Bonefish towers to Bahai Honda. Well, once I ran to American shoal and did pretty well. It’s all fishing and sailfish are a very worthy adversary. If you have never tried it, get off your dead butt and give it a go!

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas