2017: An Excellent Season for Fishing Action
As you are counting down the days remaining in 2017 and are thinking about the coming new year, we are recalling all of the good fishing action that occurred this year. While for many this is the between season, but tuna, wahoo, and swordfish are still being caught in the northeast region of the USA. In addition, wahoo, sailfish, tuna and kingfish fishing has been productive in the southern part of the country and the Gulf of Mexico is producing tuna, wahoo, and billfish as well. Think freshly caught fish for the upcoming holidays. Fish that you can catch now. This fall was one of the warmest on record and many fish remain in their historically early fall environments. Follow ROFFS™ on social media for more details on this.
Our clients (you) had another banner year as you won 415 awards in 99 major tournaments. We never list Calcutta or daily winners, although there seemed to be more of these than ever before. These winners (and still counting) increases the 27 year (1991-2017) ROFFS™ client tally to 8329 winners!
ROFFS™ clients also won top awards in multiple tournament and seasonal club venues such as the South Carolina Governor’s Cup, North Carolina Governor’s Cup, Ocean City, MD Marlin Club Seasonal Awards, Cape May Marlin & Tuna Club Season Standings (NJ), and Mobile Big Game Fishing Club Annual Awards (AL). These and many other winning efforts are summarized on our “2017 ROFFS™ Tournament Winners” list that is available on our ROFFS™ website (http://www.roffs.com/fishing/recreational/winners/). We know there are more winners out there so please review the ROFFS™ Winners list on our website and send additions and other corrections along with pictures that you have not sent yet.
Of note, was the new IGFA Woman’s World Record Mako (6 lbs. test line) was set by angler Maureen Klause with ROFFS™ client Captain Ricky Wheeler (on “Trade In” that day) this past June.
Some seasonal tournaments continue until the end of the month so please check the winners’ list again in January, as we are sure it will get longer. We received many calls and emails of great fishing days independent of state records and tournaments. Thank you for those notes, photos, and videos, as we love to hear and see your stories. Please send more so we can post them on our website and share these with the world!
We were able to fulfill 95% of all requests for analyses this year which is an amazing achievement by our team of expert satellite fisheries oceanographers considering all the tropical storms and how challenging clouds, fog, smoke, and other atmospheric effects are when trying to study the ocean. This was accomplished due to the experience and skill of our analysts who manipulate (re-calibrate, re-navigate, and study), as well as, interpret and integrate the satellite with other oceanographic data.
ROFFS™ is now using all the functioning NOAA and European infrared satellite data (NOAA_15, 19, Metop-A, Metop-B), along with the NASA Terra and Aqua satellites and the Suomi Joint US Polar Satellite System (JPSS) with their infrared and visible ocean color (chlorophyll + dissolved colored organic matter) sensors. We are working with many other scientists and mariners on receiving additional data products to improve our analyses. In 2018, we plan on using two or three new satellites and will provide more details at a future date. We also hope to have all the NOAA and other buoys working too as we rely on them for calibration and offshore winds and waves also critical for our safety and health.
With the abundance of satellite data, as well as, other hydrographic and meteorological data we are better able to visualize and understand the ocean circulation and water mass boundary features related to fish distribution and catch success. This allows ROFFS™ to continue providing our unique, superior and comprehensive fishing oceanographic analysis, even though it is a time intensive and often a customized process. We continue developing state-of-the-science customized tools and techniques in our never tiring attempt to provide more accurate, precise, and reliable analyses.
The ROFFS™ Fishy Times newsletter continues to be a critical success after four years. This is where “all the news that smells like fish” is sent via email and focuses on subjects related to water and healthy ecosystems with an emphasis on marine fisheries, oceanography, satellite remote sensing, marine industries, policy and fun videos. The Fishy Times are archived on our website. We welcome your contributions and are amazed at the number of people who thank us for this fun and informative newsletter. We thank you for your feedback and letters to the Editor.
This has proven to be a great place for marketing products and services too as our advertisers continue to report. We have room for more advertisers and welcome your company’s advertisements and ideas. The subscriber audience continues to grow from this free newsletter. We often surprise our subscribers with bonus satellite and fishing analyses, so there is an advantage to subscribing.
Our web site (www.roffs.com) was improved again in 2017 and we already have plans to enhance its organization, look, and ease of finding the information, as well as, ordering analyses in early 2018. In our ongoing efforts to keep our price increases at a minimum, we instituted banner advertisements on our website and analyses for the last two years. Based on your feedback this was well received and many liked the opportunity to reach our very exclusive audience.
While we enjoy talking with our clients, many people purchase and download our analyses directly on our website. This helps our late night clients who decide to fish after we close the ROFFS™ office. Analyses of our client’s purchasing patterns indicate that 65% of our clients are using GPS (Latitude – Longitude). However, it seems that there still are plenty of LORAN holdouts out there and we will continue to service this group unlike other “services”.
We continue to provide analyses for Cuba and the Dominican Republic (based on demand). Please provide additional comments on all of our charts, areas covered, and products which you would like to see us provide special attention. Our team is already working on improving the bottom topography for our analysis oceanographic charts for the 2018 season. We are developing new products that integrate other oceanographic data derived from public and private sources into our fishing forecasting analyses. Please send updated information on new wrecks, oil & gas platforms, and changes in the bottom structure.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, BOAT SHOWS, AND SEMINARS
ROFFS™ remains active in the international scientific community. We continue to make advances with our NASA, NOAA and colleagues from academia, industry and non-governmental organizations that include, but not limited to, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Atlantic Meteorological and Atmospheric Laboratories (AOML), the International Commission on the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as well as, with several regional fisheries management councils (e.g. Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf, Caribbean). We are continuing our work with NASA’s Biodiversity and Ecological Modeling Science Team, Ocean Color Science Team, NOAA’s Sea Surface Temperature Team, and the European Space Agency Colour Project. We just received notice that our new project “Monitoring of the Hurricane Harvey Plume in the Gulf of Mexico,” was approved by NASA. This research is of high significance and likely to have a long-lasting impact due to the increased understanding of such events on the short-term and long-term impacts of tropical events on the fauna and flora in the Northwest Gulf of Mexico, along with the transport and fate of the polluted water offshore.
Overall, our main goal with research is to advance the science of satellite remote sensing and fisheries oceanography to benefit society. During this past year we continued to work with our NASA-NOAA marine biodiversity observation network (MBON) research partners and are still working with Atlantic mackerel and environmental variability with researchers from the University of Delaware, Rutgers University, and the Garden State Seafood Association. We continued our research efforts related to tarpon migration and bonefish spawning with the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT), Florida Institute of Technology, and the North Carolina State University. We remain engaged with the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and remain productive members of the coastal ocean observing regional associations (e.g. SECOORA, GCOOS, CARICOOS, and MARACOOS). We also are part of the various animal telemetry networks in trying to understand the behavior of fish.
In 2018, we hope to see you at boat shows and seminars. We will be exhibiting at the Miami (FL) International Boat Show’s February 15-19 (booth #D306 in the sport fishing tent) and the Atlantic City (NJ) International Powerboat Show February 28 – March 04 (booth #319).
ROFFS™ would like your advice on other boat shows that you think we should consider. Again this coming year we will be part of the excellent Saltwater Sportsman Magazine National Seminar Series team. Unfortunately, I have too many conflicts in my schedule to do more of these fun and educational seminars, but we are preparing slides and other materials (including free gift certificates) for every show. Again, I will be lecturer at the educational Castafari Offshore Fishing Seminar weekend, Feb. 10-11 in Quincy, MA. If you have not been to any of these seminars, we strongly recommend that you attend.
Our seminar schedule has not been finalized yet, but we would be happy to travel and present an educational, exciting and fun seminar at your fishing club on the effects of the ocean conditions on the distribution and catchability of marlin, tuna, sharks, mahi, wahoo and kingfish or other research subjects. Please call if you are interested in hosting a seminar.
We are grateful for the opportunity that you give us to demonstrate that ROFFS™ will put you on the fish based on good science and experience. We know that every fishing trip is important. We plan on satisfying your fishing needs again in 2018.
Thank you for your support and we hope you have a Happy Holiday Season and a healthy, happy, and successful New Year!
Mitchell A. Roffer, Ph.D.