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Scott Bachman oral history interview

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Material Information

Title:
Scott Bachman oral history interview
Series Title:
Oculina Bank oral history project
Physical Description:
1 sound file (46 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Bachman, Scott, 1961-
Cardin, Robert, 1960-
Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Development Foundation
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
Publisher:
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Fisheries -- Florida -- Fort Pierce   ( lcsh )
Fishers -- Interviews -- Florida -- Fort Pierce   ( lcsh )
Fishery closures -- Florida -- Fort Pierce   ( lcsh )
Fishery management -- Florida -- Fort Pierce   ( lcsh )
Fishing -- Florida -- Fort Pierce   ( lcsh )
Fort Pierce (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Saint Lucie County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre:
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
Oral history interview with commercial fisherman Scott Bachman. Bachman was a fisherman for twenty-five years, from 1975 to 2004. He stopped fishing due to the increased regulations, which were making it difficult for him to earn a living. He frequently fished the Oculina Bank when it was open and is very familiar with the area, which he describes as one of the best fishing grounds. Bachman does not like the use of closed areas to fishing, since it makes fishers work twice as hard for the same product. His preferred fishery management tools are closed seasons, quotas, or trip limits, as long as they are reasonable. Bachman thinks that commercial fishing is being overregulated to the point that there will soon not be any in the state of Florida, and that the people who make the rules do not take numerous factors into consideration. In this interview, Bachman also discusses his fishing history, the types of fish he caught, and the methods he used.
Venue:
Interview conducted August 24, 2010.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Robert Cardin.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 027444419
oclc - 706092633
usfldc doi - O06-00041
usfldc handle - o6.41
System ID:
SFS0022057:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 201, University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. This oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.


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Oral history interview with commercial fisherman Scott Bachman. Bachman was a fisherman for twenty-five years, from 1975 to 2004. He stopped fishing due to the increased regulations, which were making it difficult for him to earn a living. He frequently fished the Oculina Bank when it was open and is very familiar with the area, which he describes as one of the best fishing grounds. Bachman does not like the use of closed areas to fishing, since it makes fishers work twice as hard for the same product. His preferred fishery management tools are closed seasons, quotas, or trip limits, as long as they are reasonable. Bachman thinks that commercial fishing is being overregulated to the point that there will soon not be any in the state of Florida, and that the people who make the rules do not take numerous factors into consideration. In this interview, Bachman also discusses his fishing history, the types of fish he caught, and the methods he used.
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text Robert Cardin: Hello.  This is Robert Cardin.  Today is August 24, 2010.  Im at Scott Bachmans address conducting an oral history interview for the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation project with the Fort Pierce fishermen on the Oculina Bank.  Hello, Scott.  Would you please state and spell your name and place of birth?
1
00:00:23.4
Scott Bachman: My name is Scott Bachman.  Thats S-c-o-t-t B-a-c-h-m-a-n.  Birth date is 8-8-61 [August 8, 1961].  Want birthplace?
2
00:00:36.3
RC: And birthplace.
3
00:00:37.2
SB: Birthplace: Sea Isle City, New Jersey.
4
00:00:39.8
RC: All right, Scott.  When did you move to Fort Pierce?
5
00:00:43.1
SB: Nineteen seventy-nine.
6
00:00:46.4
RC: Scott, what brought you here, do you remember?
7
00:00:47.9
SB: Family.  My mom lived in Port St. Lucie.  My stepdad had a marina in Jensen Beach.
8
00:00:55.9
RC: Scott, are you married now?
9
00:00:57.1
SB: No.  Im separated, actually divorced.
10
00:00:59.2
RC: When you were married, how old were you when you got married?
11
00:01:1.7
SB: I got married when I was twenty-six, twenty-five.  I got divorced in 2000, because I spent so much time out there fishing there wasnt anybody at home. (laughs)
12
00:01:17.1
RC: Well, when they sent you back home, the ladies didnt like it. (SB laughs) There are a lot of divorces around the (inaudible).  Its funny.  Its not funny, but its ironic.
13
00:01:26.9
SB: It happens, yeah.  Spent a lot of time away from home.
14
00:01:30.9
RC: Scott, do you have any children?
15
00:01:33.2
SB: Three daughters.
16
00:01:34.7
RC: How old are they, Scott?
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00:01:35.7
SB: Nineteen.  No, eighteen, twenty, and twenty-four.
18
00:01:45.8
RC: Scott, how bout you?  What kind of an education do you have?
19
00:01:49.3
SB: I got a high school diploma and a 100 Ton masters captains license, STCW [Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping] training, security vessel training, firefighting
20
00:02:4.4
RC: You got quite a few things on your resume, dont you?  Scott, what are your jobs now that youre not fishing?
21
00:02:10.4
SB: I work for a small tugboat company.  We do a lot of artificial reef stuff, a lot of towing to the Bahamas.  Right now, were involved with the BP oil cleanup.
22
00:02:21.8
RC: What other jobs have you done besides fishing, Scott?
23
00:02:23.9
SB: Boatyard work, fiberglass, and working on peoples boats.  All pretty much in the marine industry besides the fishing.  I fished from seventy-nine [1979] all the way up till 2004.
24
00:02:37.2
RC: Scott, do you currently own your own boat?
25
00:02:39.5
SB: Yes.  I have a twenty-five foot Wellcraft.
26
00:02:44.7
RC: Is that a commercial boat or recreational?
27
00:02:46.2
SB: Its mainly recreational, anymore.  When I built it, I built it to go cast netting, but Im forty-eight years old, and cast nets are awful heavy and hard to throw.
28
00:02:55.3
RC: (laughs) Plus, that, youre a regular guy.
29
00:02:56.4
SB: Yeah, with a regular job.  Keeps me busy, too.  Its hard to fish part-time.  You cant go out there one day a week and fish.  Its next to impossible.
30
00:03:3.8
RC: Yeah, you got to be in loop these days.  One day a week you catch em.  Now, Id like to ask you some questions about the Oculina Bank.  How familiar are you with the Oculina Bank?
31
00:03:15.0
SB: I fished it for quite a while, one end to the other.
32
00:03:21.0
RC: Why was the Oculina Bank designated as an area to protect?  Do you know that?
33
00:03:24.8
SB: The Oculina coral is pretty delicate.  Its small, brittle, staghorn, holds a lot of fish.  Theyre trying to save the deepwater grouper, I guess.  You always hear that theyre after the snowies and the other deepwater species.
34
00:03:43.4
RC: Yeah, they tie the two together, from the coral to the groupers.  Is there anything else you can tell us about the Oculina Bank?  Like, what do you know about it?  Is it a good fishing hole?
35
00:03:52.9
SB: Oh, yeah, a lot of its good.  A lot of it has no reef on it at all, all this offshore part of it.  Theres some live bottom out there, but its really not generally any reef.  All the reef is up on the edge inside of 300 feet, you know, 300 intoI dont know what inside it is, 230 or 220 or something on the inside.  And its got little rocks on the outside.  You got a long, sandy area in the middle, too.  We used to set some longline gear through there because you got the big rocks along the edge.  And inshore here, right on this eighty-degree line, just inside of iter, well, the offshore into it, theres another little reef right up there.  Shrimp boats used to drag right down the middle; lots, where they caught all them rock shrimp for years, and years, and years, just dragging down to the middle of that.
36
00:04:34.8
RC: Between the two humps?
37
00:04:35.5
SB: Yeah, between the two reefs, because you have that inshore stuff right when you come in here and then the rest of its right here.  Then, this was mostly just sandy bottom, falling off here.
38
00:04:46.1
RC: But you said that theyre outside of the peaks.  There was actually some live bottom that you
39
00:04:49.4
SB: There was live bottom.  It wasnt reallyyou couldnt never really mark any kind of structure, but it was always live.  Youd see the bottom liven up with all
40
00:04:56.9
RC: Did you fish it?
41
00:04:57.5
SB: Yeah, thats where wed fish and catch the grouper, in that live bottom.
42
00:05:1.1
RC: What kind of grouper would you catch?
43
00:05:2.3
SB: Snowies, yellowedge, a few grey tilefish.  Youd get a few big goldens [tilefish] in there, too, usually great, big ones.  Usually, you didnt see too many small fish inside there.  You usually saw a lot of big goldens.
44
00:05:13.4
RC: Well, I see you pointed over every inch of that map.  So, Id say thats quite a bit about it. (SB laughs) What do you think about closing the Bank to fishing and anchoring?
45
00:05:26.0
SB: Well, I didnt see all the stuff where the coral was broke up, all the pictures.  You heard about em.  Harbor Branch had em all.
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution at Florida Atlantic University conducted scientific research referenced in the Oculina Bank closure.  It is a non-profit oceanographic institution dedicated to marine and ocean research and education operated by Florida Atlantic University.
I do know that the shrimp boats did destroy a lot of bottom right up here, cause there used to be a spot where we could set right up on the end where this reef come out of the zone and them shrimp boats used to come across like this and mow right across it and run down that inside.  And they just mowed that right over.  I do know the shrimp boats did
46
00:05:52.2
RC: The satellite area is closed inside there.
47
00:05:54.1
SB: That used to be a nice, long strip come out of there for two, three miles, and you could fish it legally.  So, you would go mess with it.  That was before they extended the zone, you know, when we first started.
48
00:06:5.4
RC: Scott is pointing just north of the northwestern corner of the Oculina ECA [Experimental Closed Area].  All right.  Well, thank you.  But what is your opinion about it being closed?
49
00:06:19.0
SB: I dont like it.  I like to fish.  Theres a lot of good bottom there.  I can see it probably needs to be protected.  Maybe some of the anchoring issues, because it is deepwater and its hard to anchor in it anyway.  But as far as bottom fishing, I dont see why it should be closed.  I mean, its another natural resource of Florida, you know?
50
00:06:39.4
RC: Scott, has the closure of the Oculina Bank affected your fishing, and if so, how?
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SB: Absolutely.  I dont fish any more at all, really, because government regulations make it so hard to make a living.  That was just one thing that the whole closurethats a big zone.  And then, they told you couldnt run through it, so what are you supposed to do?  Run twenty-five or thirty miles to the south once you have a tilefish or something on it thats in the zone to get around it?  I mean, if youre fishing up heretilefishingit can be more than that.  It can be fifty miles against the tide, all the way around, to legally bring a product across the zone.  So economically, even the guys that are still fishing have that issue.  I know a lot of em dont really go around the back and they shoot across.  But every time they shoot across, they can easily get boarded and ticketed for a product in the zone.
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00:07:30.6
I got stopped one time up here.  We were drifting it for the night and I was just in the top corner.  We had tilefish on the boat, and they kept us on the boat from about two oclock in the morning till nine, or something like that.  They were on thereCoast Guard.  They said they saw a line over the water.
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00:07:44.9
RC: A line?
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00:07:46.0
SB: A line in the water, and we didnt have any lines in the water.  They couldnt find any.  They searched the boat.  They searched the whole area with a spotlight.  They kept us there for like six hours.
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00:07:51.8
RC: Oh, thought you had gear set up?
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00:07:53.6
SB: Yeah, and we were just drifting.  They ended up giving me a warning for possession of fish in the Oculina Bank, but it was tilefish, so they didnt
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00:08:3.6
RC: But you said it was two oclock in the morning; you were drifting.  What, you drifted into it?
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00:08:6.8
SB: Funny story: we were right out here, got done fishing, tilefishing right here.  And we werent catching anything.  The movie Shimshaw Redemption [sic] was on, and the TV kept going in and out, and in and out, and in and out.  So, we run to the west until we could take the boat out of gear and the TV would stay in, and thats where we drifted.  And we ended up getting up there like this, and we then we drifted just like this, and ended up right here.
59
00:08:31.7
RC: Oh, you must have drifted eighteen miles.
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00:08:33.6
SB: Sideways.  Oh, yeah, when the current runs through thereI dont know exactly how far it was, but we were fishing right out here.  And right here is where they got me, right in that corner right there.
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00:08:42.4
RC: Were you dead in the water?
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00:08:43.5
SB: Dead in the water, laying to.
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00:08:44.6
RC: Ill be darned.  Well, I guess you kind of got lucky, then, if they only gave you a warning.
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SB: Only gave me a warning, yeah, cause
65
00:08:49.9
RC: Of course, it was unlucky.  It took em nine hours to decide that.
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00:08:53.8
SB: Yeah, they let me run back offshore cause we went out here and fished and they just followed me along.  The crew stayed on the boat and it was come daylight, they were still searching and everything.  I said, Man, we need to go to start our day.
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00:09:3.9
RC: Sound like some decent guys, then.
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00:09:5.8
SB: Yeah, well, I guess.
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00:09:9.2
RC: (laughs) Could have been worse.
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00:09:9.9
SB: Could have been worse.  Didnt get sleep that night.
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00:09:11.8
RC: You said that many regulations have affected your fishing, but did the Oculina Bank itself closing, did that affect your fishing?
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00:09:22.1
SB: Sure, sure.  We couldnt shark fish.  A lot of sharks hang by the rocks.  All the shark fishing we used to do right out here and inshore, too.  You try to lay out the shark line as close to rocks as you could, cause the sharks hang around the rocks with the bait and everything else, and we caught a lot of sharks out there.
73
00:09:38.9
RC: You said as close to the
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00:09:40.3
SB: Yeah, you didnt want to run over em.  You foul up; the crabs and junk eat your bait off.  If you stayed off on the edge of it, and stayed clear of all the bottom critters, all the crabs, and all the worms, and all that crap that eat your bait off the hook cause you were bottom fishing.
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00:09:57.2
RC: So, you did put your gear on the reef, because
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00:10:0.5
SB: Not generally, no.
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00:10:1.2
RC: It was an economics thing?  It fouled gear; it broke gear?
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00:10:4.7
SB: It broke gear, fouled gear.
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00:10:4.8
RC: It cost you bait?
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00:10:6.9
SB: It cost you bait.  A lot of times, you ended those bristle worms in there, and once a bristle worm gets up on your bait, nothing will touch it.
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00:10:13.4
RC: Right.  Come up with bones on the hook, huh?
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00:10:18.3
SB: Pretty much. (RC laughs) You ever get one of those bristle worms in you?
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00:10:22.1
RC: No, not in me.
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00:10:23.0
SB: Oh, man, theyll burn like men-o-war [jellyfish], easy.
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00:10:27.0
RC: Theyre digging the whole time, right?
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00:10:28.2
SB: I guess.  Its just the quills; theyre like a little caterpillar.
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00:10:33.6
RC: Yeah, some people call em sand, er, fleas that
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00:10:36.3
SB: Yeah, I dont know.  These were about this long, orange, and just looked like a caterpillar out of a treefuzzy.  And they get all up in the bait.
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00:10:44.6
RC: Well, theyre up in there trying to eat it is what theyre trying to do.
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00:10:47.5
SB: Theyre eating the bait, yeah.  But youre using the heads and everything else.  So, theyre up in the eyeballs.  A lot of times, you wont see em.  And then another thing hits the deck and, like I said, I got some on my arm before and it burns like hell, like a man-o-war.
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00:10:58.6
RC: Ill be damned.  It tries to numb you before it eats you.
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00:11:0.8
SB: Yeah, thats why the fish dont eat nothing when them things get on em.
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00:11:2.8
RC: Right, right.  Oh, you can imagine.  Its got poison, or some kind of toxin, or something.
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00:11:8.3
SB: Sure.  And that whole Oculina is covered with them things when you get up into the rocks.
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00:11:17.1
RC: So, it stopped your shark fishing.  Did you think about grouper fishing?
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00:11:20.9
SB: Oh, yeah.  We did some with bandit fishing on all the wrecks and stuff in there, sure.  Theres quite a few all the way up through the different spots.  We really didnt fish the rocks too much, but wed get off in the wrecks, the deepwater wrecks, catching the snowies.  And then, wed also longline the snowies out in the eighty-fathom stuff, all the way through from just north of Fort Pierce to Daytona, or even further than that sometimes, but thats about where the Bank stops, at Daytona, I believe.  Right, Cape Canaveral or Daytona?
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00:11:47.5
RC: Right.  Yes.  Its fifty-eight miles, I think, now.  So, you did your longline shark fishing, your longline snowy grouper fishing, your bandit snowy grouper fishing.  What else did you bandit fish?
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00:12:0.0
SB: Everything.  Now and then youd get a few porgies and stuff, a few snapper, not really too many.  We were tired most of the time.  At night, we were mainly longlining.  So, usually, thosebandit fishing was side stuff.  If the tide was running too hard, or youd get done early one afternoon and a squall would shut you down early and youd get in a little early, youd do a little bottom fishing here and there.
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00:12:23.9
RC: You guys used em for feelers, too, didnt you sometimes?
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00:12:26.6
SB: Oh, yeah, sure.  Just if you wanted to do something, yeah.
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00:12:30.1
RC: Okay, Scott, if anchoring and bottom fishing in the Oculina was not prohibited, if it would have never closed, would you fish there?
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00:12:39.6
SB: Absolutely.
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00:12:42.8
RC: And then, how and for what, I think you already explained.  Sharks, snowy groupers
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00:12:46.7
SB: Yellowedge, grey tilefish, mainly.  There werent too many goldens in there.  There was a few goldens in there.
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00:12:53.0
RC: Pinkies.
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00:12:53.8
SB: Pink porgies, snappers, a few mangroves.  It was a little deep for the mangroves.
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00:12:59.6
RC: Yeah, I talked to some pinky fishermen who said that closure basically closed down the fishery.
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00:13:3.1
SB: Oh, yeah.  You remember Ronnie Baird?
109
00:13:4.0
RC: Yeah.
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00:13:4.4
SB: He made a living for a long time from there to there catching pink porgies for a long time.
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00:13:11.3
RC: I think Billy [Baird] was
Billy Baird was also interviewed for the Oculina Bank Oral History Project.  The DOI for his interview is O6-00021.
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00:13:12.2
SB: Billy, yeah.
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00:13:13.2
RC: Well, David [Baird] did it.  Since Davids passed, I guess maybe we can refer to him.  David did quite a bit to the north, didnt he, on the snowies?
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00:13:22.0
SB: Oh, yeah.  Sure.
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00:13:24.2
RC: I was at the Cape one time and he came in with like 8,000 pounds.
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00:13:27.6
SB: Yeah, it got a little when you got up in here.  I mean, there was a few spots where theyre really big.  I know right off the CapeI dont think this one goes up far enoughthere was a few spots where wed run into some really big snowies, big bunches of justoh, thirty-pounders.
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00:13:46.0
RC: Overall, how has fishing changed since youve been fishing in the Fort Pierce area?
118
00:13:51.8
SB: Well, I dont fish too much anymore.  The fleets whittled down to next to nothing from what it was.  The guys that are fishing seem like theyre doing very well.  Of course, theyre still limited on where they can go.  I mean, the Oculina Bank is a huge area, especially out of Fort Pierce.  I mean, to get any kind of deep water you go south, and thats kind of spotty down there.  Theres not a lot of stuff.  And then the further down you get, youre so close to shore that every swinging dick thats got a boat is out there fishing that stuff, like the Pushbutton Hill and all that stuff.
119
00:14:23.2
RC: Yeah, thats the only thing equivalent to the Oculina Bank is the Pushbutton Hill.  Like you say, its hit daily.
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00:14:28.2
SB: Yeah.
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00:14:28.3
RC: Scott, you said the fleets a lot smaller.  Do you attribute that to anything?  Just regulations?
122
00:14:35.4
SB: Overregulation is the main thing.  I mean, most of the time we were still catching the fish.  I mean, we always caught fish right up till the time they closed us off.  It wasnt like we werent catching the fish.  Its just that they went into regulation after regulationnet ban.  The (inaudible) started with this, then they made it bigger.  Like the swordfishing, theyre all down to circle hooks.  Its just everything.  The whole industry is getting regulated just to death.  In Florida, almost especially, seems like they dont want commercial fishing.  You go to some of these other states; they embrace their commercial fishermen.  In Florida, it doesnt seem to want
123
00:15:16.1
RC: I was up in Hatteras [North Carolina] for a month or two this year.  It was unbelievable.  I mean I was treated with respect.
124
00:15:20.6
SB: Sure.  North Carolina, up in the Gulf [of Mexico], all through there.  Louisiana, Alabamaas soon as you get to FloridaMississippi, all them, theyre all very friendly commercial fishing states, until you get the Panhandle.  Then all they want to do is see the pearly-white beaches and condos.
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00:15:43.2
RC: Right.  Run out after a game of golf and catch some fish.  All right.  Well, Scott, I think youve already explained any law enforcement things you had to do within the Oculina Bank, so weve got that.  Now, I want to talk to you about your fishing history.  Whats your earliest memory of how old were you when started fishing?  Like, was it with your grandpa in the lake?
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SB: Grandfather had a head boat in South Jersey and my grandmother used to take us out, probably at the age of four or five.  Wed go half-day fishing, full-day fishing, catching sea bass and porgies and flounder.  Wed fish in the summertime.
127
00:16:21.1
RC: Well, that sounds like a dream for a kid, huh?
128
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SB: Oh, yeah.  I grew up on the Jersey Shore with nothing.  It was a hell of a place to grow up.  My parents had the head boat there and we had the beach.
129
00:16:31.1
RC: Sounds nice.
130
00:16:31.7
SB: Yeah.
131
00:16:34.3
RC: So, I guess your grandfather, what, taught you how to fish?
132
00:16:36.3
SB: Sure, pretty much.
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00:16:37.7
RC: Did you ever mate on the boat?
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00:16:39.3
SB: Absolutely, that and some of the other boats up there.  And then when I moved down here, I started swordfishing.
135
00:16:46.4
RC: Scott, how old were you when you decided to become a fisherman?  Was there a point in time that said, Im going to become a commercial fisherman?  Do you remember a point?
136
00:16:53.3
SB: I guess probably seventeen, eighteen years old, when I moved down here, started swordfishing.  Went out there and pulled my first 350 pound swordfish live on the boat, and
137
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RC: That was it.
138
00:17:2.6
SB: Oh, yeah.  You remember how swordfishing was back then?
139
00:17:5.5
RC: Oh, yeah.  When was that?  Like, the
140
00:17:7.6
SB: Seventy-nine [1979].
141
00:17:8.2
RC: Seventy-nine [1979].
142
00:17:10.2
SB: Just about the heyday.
143
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RC: Thats when you could go do a day trip out of here and
144
00:17:14.3
SB: Wed fish two days.
145
00:17:15.2
RC: You fished right outside of here, wouldnt you?
146
00:17:16.7
SB: Oh, yeah, sure.  We run out of Fort Pierce, run down like this, set out like this, run down the gear at night, spot a few fish, pick em off, haul back like this up here, then youd run down, youd do it again.  Next morning, youd end up right over here somewhere.
147
00:17:28.5
RC: Shoot right across the bank.
148
00:17:30.3
SB: Yeah, we made two-day trips.  Some of them guys went Monday, but we went ahead and stretched it to two.  We had enough box to put 3,000 or 4,000 on.
149
00:17:37.2
RC: Well, when I was a young man, I think I rememberit seems like sometimes the swordfish guys would set tilefish.
150
00:17:44.5
SB: Yeah, occasionally.  We never messed with it much.  We traveled.  When the swordfish wasnt here, we go up to north, or down to Key West.  We did a lot of traveling when we were swordfishing, following the fish around.
151
00:17:59.0
RC: When did you start fishing in Fort Pierce?  It was like eighteen.  What did you fish for?  It was the swordfish.
152
00:18:4.7
SB: Small line swordfish, yeah, till about ninety-two [1992], ninety-one [1991], and then thats when I started working for Glen Black and thats when we stated bottom longlining, mackerel fishing, and swordfishing.  We switched it up with the seasons.
153
00:18:18.6
RC: Okay.  And you described the longline swordfish.  Thats a big reel on the boat with what, rope or cable?
154
00:18:25.0
SB: Yeah, started out with rope and then we went to monofilament as the fleet progressed and the fishing methods [progressed].
155
00:18:33.8
RC: What did you all call that, a floating longline?
156
00:18:35.9
SB: A floating longpelagic longline.
157
00:18:39.7
RC: Who did you fish with there?
158
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SB: First of all was this guy, Ray Allen, a guy named John Simmons.  I think Bill Silcox owned the boat.
159
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RC: Who owned the boats?
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SB: Bill Silcox, I think, Ray Allen.
161
00:18:51.7
RC: Silcox, how do you spell that?  S-i-l
162
00:18:54.0
SB: S-i-l.  Its like a c-o-x, I guess?
163
00:18:55.6
RC: So, Silcox.  Okay.
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SB: Yeah, Silcox.  George the Greek, I fished with him for a while.
165
00:19:2.5
RC: How were you related to these people, just friends, boss and friends?
166
00:19:5.7
SB: Just friends, yeah, and bosses and stuff, yeah.
167
00:19:7.0
RC: What was the length of that first boat?  Do you remember?
168
00:19:8.6
SB: Forty-five foot.
169
00:19:10.3
RC: Was it a number?
170
00:19:11.3
SB: No.  It was an old wood Harpers Island boat with a big, flared-out back.
171
00:19:15.7
RC: Oh, okay.
172
00:19:17.1
SB: Little doghouse up on the front.  Come out of there around Marathon.  They trapped and mackerel fished it back there.
173
00:19:26.2
RC: When you started fishing with the swordfish, it was basically out of Fort Pierce?
174
00:19:29.3
SB: Fort Pierce, yeah.  Went to Key West.  That was about as far wed go on that boat.  We didnt travel far too north on that boat.  We stayed close to shore.
175
00:19:37.6
RC: You showed me how went out south of the Oculina Bank and you came in.  What depths out here were you swordfishing?  Do you know?
176
00:19:43.5
SB: Usually, the east side, pretty much.  Wed goof course, there was another line out there you used to cross, but anywhere from 100 fathoms on out.  It seemed like you got up inside close to 100 fathoms, you caught a lot of smaller fish.  You get on off into the tide and then on the east side of the tide is where the bigger fish (inaudible).
177
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RC: East side of the [Gulf] Stream?
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00:20:4.0
SB: Yeah.
179
00:20:4.6
RC: During what months of the year did do that?  Was that like a twelve month a year job?
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00:20:7.1
SB: Oh, yeah, all year round.  Like I said, wed go here, down to Key West in the wintertime and then back up through here in the spring and summer.  And then, we started getting on bigger boats after that. And then, like I said, it was like 1981, I got on the Cachalot.  That was a fifty-foot boat, had a lot moreit was full of accommodations.  We took that all the way to New Jersey.
181
00:20:26.7
RC: Well, this first little forty-five footer, what was it?  Youd do two-day trips?
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SB: Two days, yeah.
183
00:20:32.5
RC: What was your average catch on those two-day trips?
184
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SB: Usually 4,000 or 5,000.
185
00:20:38.2
RC: Where did you all sell those fish at the time?
186
00:20:40.2
SB: D&D Fish House.
187
00:20:43.5
RC: Now, I got to turn the tape.
188
00:20:45.9
SB: D&D is not even there anymore.  Now its water.
189
00:20:46.7
RC: Oh, a lot of places have closed since back in the day.
190
00:20:51.4
RC: How many years did you fish on the forty-five footer, like three years?
191
00:20:55.4
SB: Couple years, probably, on with Ray Allen.  Then we go on a boat called the Cachalot with the same guy, the same captain.
192
00:21:4.1
RC: And then you were back to longlining?
193
00:21:7.3
SB: Still longlining, yeah, on the Cachalot.   Just a little bigger boat, little more comfort; we could travel a little bit.  We went as far as New Jersey, fishing the canyons up there.
194
00:21:14.5
RC: What was the name of that boat?
195
00:21:15.4
SB: Cachalot.  C-a-c-h-a-l-o-t.  Male sperm whale.
196
00:21:21.2
RC: Huh?
197
00:21:23.1
SB: Its a male sperm whale.  Its not Catch a Lot.  C-a-c-h-a-l-o-t.  Its Cachalot.
198
00:21:29.1
RC: Okay.  I got you now.  That was a fifty-footer?
199
00:21:31.8
SB: Yeah, fifty-three.  It was one of those Mings, like the Wild Turkey and couple of other boats like it.
200
00:21:40.0
RC: For longline fishing, then?
201
00:21:42.1
SB: Uh-huh.
202
00:21:43.3
RC: How long were your trips then?
203
00:21:45.1
SB: We ended up starting to make longer trips as yearsback up into the mid-eighties [1980s], we were up to five days, probably.  And then, those kept getting longer and longer as theyou started traveling further and further.
204
00:22:0.9
RC: This is when you would travel all the way to the Keys?  How far up north would you fish?
205
00:22:4.8
SB: Through the canyons, New York, New Jersey.  I think the furthest Ive ever been up is Block Canyon, about the furthest canyon I ever fished.
206
00:22:13.2
RC: Were you running those fish all the way back to Fort Pierce?
207
00:22:15.3
SB: No, no.  Wed go up into wherever we were at.  I think when we went fishing up there at Point Pleasant, we went to Cape May [New Jersey] sometimes, Morehead City [North Carolina], Ocracoke [North Carolina].
208
00:22:27.8
RC: What would those trips land?  What would be your average catch?
209
00:22:32.5
SB: It just depends.  Some of them trips we had close to 10,000 pounds.  Its about the max haul the boat could hold.  We got into the big eyes up there a couple times and they were huge, huge big eyes, 200 pounders.
210
00:22:46.3
RC: Yeah, a friend of mine just came in the other day with 140 boxes.  But he felt like he was the luckiest boat there up there.  He comes out of Hatteras.  I guess hes got overfish about eighty miles to the north.
211
00:22:58.9
SB: Whats chunking?
212
00:22:59.8
RC: No, hes actually setting gear.
213
00:23:2.7
SB: Longline.
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00:23:3.4
RC: Yeah.  Its twenty boxes.  Well, thats not part of this.  Lets go away here. (laughs) It sounds like theres still some good fishing up there.
215
00:23:11.7
SB: Oh, yeah.
216
00:23:12.3
RC: Anyway, then you did the longlining ondid you go on other boats, several different boats?
217
00:23:20.1
SB: Sure, sure.  Went on the Proud Mary II, Proud Mary I, Wild Turkey.
218
00:23:29.1
RC: So, that took you up to the early nineties [1990s], you said?
219
00:23:32.0
SB: Yeah.
220
00:23:34.8
RC: At what point were you doing the snowy fishing and the shark fishing?
221
00:23:38.3
SB: From 1990 till 2004.
222
00:23:42.2
RC: In ninety [1990], what did you fish for?  The combination of
223
00:23:45.8
SB: Tilefish, shark fishing.  We hit the two seasons, cause you had the January season and then you had the July season.  So, we hit both of those and then, in between, wed tilefish and snowy fish.  Wed go shark fishing at night and we fished mainly, like I said, just offshore stuff.  So, wed make a shark set, get done shark fishing for the day.  If you didnt have a limit, youd make either a tilefish set, or youd set a snowy set, or something to just kill the day instead of just laying there.  Youd fish some kind of gear.  So, you were really (inaudible) all the time.
224
00:24:14.5
RC: Right.  That was right outside the Bank there?
225
00:24:17.3
SB: All the way up through here, we had spots, different spots wed hit.  If we were up this way, yeah, depending on the time of the year, where we were at, what the tide was doing, what we had been catching.  Yeah, youd either go tilefishing for the set, or youd make a snowy set in here, or youd mess around in here on the bottom, do some bandit fishing on the reefs.
226
00:24:33.9
RC: Would it matter if was asome people said hard tides kept em inshore sometimes.
227
00:24:38.5
SB: Oh, yeah, absolutely, if the tide was running real hard.  Its tough watching the fish float away, cause you know how longlining is.  When youre fishing with the tide, youd lose a fish, and they float away, and you canthard to go get em, because you lose that many more, and it ends upif its close, you can go get em.
228
00:24:54.7
RC: So on days it was a hard tide that might make you make the decision to snowy fish?
229
00:24:58.2
SB: Absolutely.
230
00:24:58.8
RC: So, we were longlining and shark fishing in here.  Was that with a cable or mono or rope?
231
00:25:9.4
SB: Both cable or mono.
232
00:25:10.5
RC: Cable or mono.
233
00:25:12.0
SB: If the tide was running slack, we had both on the boat; youd set the mono.  But as soon as you had any kind of current, you pretty much had to go with the cable, because you would just beak it off too much, especially in the deeper water.  If we were up inshorebecause wed would fish sharks up in here, too.
234
00:25:26.3
TH: (inaudible)
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00:25:28.3
SB: Well, wed definitely use a mono in there.  Still put em on the bottom cause sharks are bottom feeders except for maybe a black tip.  Theyll hit it on the way down.  But, generally, most sharks are bottom feeders.
236
00:25:42.1
RC: So, when you were longlining the sharks, you were using either cable or rope.  In the Bank there, you using ten-foot leaders or hundred-foot leaders?
237
00:25:49.1
SB: Ten-foot, probably, for the sharks, and probably like a four-foot leader for the grouper and stuff.
238
00:25:55.1
RC: What kind of bait would you use for the sharks?
239
00:25:56.9
SB: Whatever we had: small tilefish, little puppy sharks, embryos, whatever we had.  Sometimes wed buy bait.  Wedmackerel, skates, just whatever was really available.
240
00:26:12.6
RC: Just economics.  Whatever was a low price that day.
241
00:26:17.9
SB: We did carrywe had a little power roller on the Kelly.  We did carry a little string, 300 yards of stab net, and sometimes wed go up in the shallow water and catch junk bait, whatever we could catch.  Little black shark nose [blacknose shark], is that what they are, the ones with the white spots?
242
00:26:34.2
RC: Right.
243
00:26:34.9
SB: They are real good bait, the smaller ones.  It stays on the hook.  You pretty much fish it all night long if you put a little puppy shark on there.
244
00:26:41.0
RC: Right.  Skin keeps it on the hook good.  Did you ever buy squid or anything?
245
00:26:49.8
SB: Yeah, for tilefishing and the grouper, sure.  We used a lot of squid.
246
00:26:54.0
RC: But not in shallow with the sharks?
247
00:26:57.0
SB: Not generally with the shark fishing, no.  It wouldnt stay on the hook long enough.  Its a soft bait and their bottom time was like fifteen minutes, Id say, tops, with some squid on there.  Especially, the further in you get, you get more critters, more crabs, moreall that little bait fish
248
00:27:11.4
RC:  Pickers.
249
00:27:12.1
SB: all that stuff just picks you clean.
250
00:27:15.6
RC: Very interesting there.  So, youre in ninety [1990] when you started the tilefishing and snowy fishing, what kind of boat were you on then?  Which boat?
251
00:27:25.5
SB: Fifty-two-foot Monroe was the make.  Its called the Kelly Marie.  It had a 10,000-pound fish hold.  It was a nice boat.
252
00:27:34.7
RC: Youre answering so many of my questions at one time.  Im trying to catch up with you here. (SB laughs) Who owned the Kelly Marie?
253
00:27:45.2
SB: Inlet Fisheries, Glen Black.
254
00:27:47.0
RC: How were you related to Glen Black?
255
00:27:48.9
SB: Just worked for him.
256
00:27:51.2
RC: He was your boss?
257
00:27:52.6
SB: My boss, yeah.
258
00:27:53.6
RC: Boat owner?
259
00:27:55.5
SB: Boat owner.
260
00:27:56.4
RC: Was he active in the
261
00:27:57.2
SB: Oh, yeah.  He actually fished a boatmackerel fishingfor the first couple years I was on there until he pretty much retired.  And he owned the fish house, of course.  He was very active in it.
262
00:28:8.4
RC: Yeah, I remember.  Id see you all talking quite often.  He really got into it, didnt he?
263
00:28:12.2
SB: Oh, yeah, he was very active in it.  It was his life, you know?  He built a very successful business, still in business today.
264
00:28:25.9
RC: I think youve already described when you went fishing for the tilefish.  You did real good there.  So, we got depths.  You fished there; you caught your bait in forty or fifty feet.  You set sharks in eighty, ninety, a hundred feet
265
00:28:39.1
SB: All the way out.
266
00:28:41.1
RC: All the way out todid you ever set em outside the Bank?
267
00:28:43.8
SB: Occasionally.  You didnt get too much outside of 100 fathoms.  We just didnt catch many sharks out there, and if you did, it would be those weird kind of shark, not really the ones you wanted.
268
00:28:54.7
RC: Right.  Well, you all kind of developed the bottom longline fishery, didnt you?
269
00:28:58.7
SB: We did a lot of it, yeah.  We changed it a lot.
270
00:29:3.0
RC: It started around here.
271
00:29:4.0
SB: Yeah, we changed it a lot, too.
272
00:29:6.1
RC: The cablewere the guys up north using the cable?
273
00:29:8.5
SB: Yeah, they were using the galvanized cable up there.  It didnt last as long.  We went all to stainless.  And what we did is we started fishing with the tide, and thats increased our production, tremendously.  Instead of hauling against it, we started with the buoy
274
00:29:19.9
RC: Turned around.
275
00:29:22.3
SB: and started fishing with Joe, and that hole is Joes fishing now with the buoys
276
00:29:24.7
RC: Turn backs.
277
00:29:25.5
SB: Yeah.
278
00:29:26.6
RC: Er, he doesnt turn back on it, he goes and gets it
279
00:29:28.4
SB: Gets the other end, yeah.  Just depends on what the tides doing.  Anything less than two knots, you dont have to mess with that too much.  But out here, most of the time you have more than two knots of tide.
280
00:29:39.0
RC: Were supposed to be talking aboutIll tell you, one time this year it was 5.4 knots and Joeys just sitting there humming away on it.
281
00:29:46.7
SB: Once you break it free and start going with it, you just peel it back, man, fast as you can get it.  When you first see that buoy floating there, you go, Oh, my God, how am I going to grab that, cause the waters racing over it and it
282
00:29:57.6
RC: Sixty-inch (inaudible).
283
00:29:59.5
SB: Yeah.
284
00:30:1.9
RC: Its pretty amazing how you guys can handle that kind of condition.  All right.  Let me get caught up again.  How long were youryou described shark fishing trips, then during the day you would bottom fish and then maybe set sharks again.  So, how long would a trip last?  It depended on what you caught?
285
00:30:22.3
SB: Yeah.
286
00:30:23.4
RC: If you had to average, what would you say?
287
00:30:25.5
SB: Shark fishing, one, two days usually.  Sometimes they would stretch to three or four if you werent catching nothing, cause you were on a 4,000-pound limit.
288
00:30:37.6
RC: Did you ever do the tilefish, snowy fishing in drift?
289
00:30:40.6
SB: Yeah, sure.
290
00:30:41.6
RC: When sharks was closed, you said that you wouldwhat would a tilefish, snowy fish trip last?
291
00:30:44.8
SB: Usually four days.  Then again, you had a quota there, too.  I think the quota was 4,000 on the tilefish.
292
00:30:52.4
RC: And 2500 on the snowies.
293
00:30:54.0
SB: Yeah, and usually we didnt comewed have both.  So, we usually wouldnt have too many more snowies to worry about, but more tilefish.
294
00:31:2.2
RC: We see these days managers are talking about the snowies being a by-catch, but tilefishing, I dont believe thats the case.  Didnt you kind of target one or the other?
295
00:31:10.6
SB: Yeah.
296
00:31:11.8
RC: Just because you landed on the trip didnt
297
00:31:12.6
SB: Right.  You would catchthey both have stuff in the same area.  All through this mud where the tilefish is, theres little wrecks, theres little chunks of rock, theres old refrigerators the shrimp boats threw overboard, and every one of them little things will hold a couple of snowy grouper.  It doesnt take much to hold a snowy grouper.
298
00:31:28.7
RC: But just as you could learn where those things are at, you could also learn to stay away from em.
299
00:31:31.9
SB: Oh, sure.  But thats where we used to the snowies along with the tilefish.  When youre targeting the snowies, you went up inshore.  And like I said, the only tilefish you usually catch in there would be a real big, jumbo golden or a (inaudible).
300
00:31:46.1
RC: Hunting something to eat, huh?
301
00:31:46.9
SB: Yeah, we usually didnt see any of the smalls or the medium.  The bulkthe body of the fish was never in there.
302
00:31:51.5
RC:  Right.  How much was an average trip?  Lets say, first off, the combination of shark, and groupers, and tilefish trips that were made.
303
00:32:2.9
SB: Well, you tried to limit out on sharks.  Youd have 4,000 sharks, and then usually youd have anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 or 4,000 pounds tilefish or grouper, depending on what you were doing.
304
00:32:14.0
RC: Thats a pretty good haul.
305
00:32:14.8
SB: Yeah.
306
00:32:16.3
RC: All thats right there in that Bank, huh?
307
00:32:17.9
SB: Oh, yeah.
308
00:32:20.8
RC: (laughs) So, youre talking
309
00:32:21.6
SB: The tilefish would be just offshore, but yeah.
310
00:32:24.0
RC: Youre talking basically 2,000 pounds a day, is what youre talking?
311
00:32:26.8
SB: And more, sometimes.  I mean, thered be days where wed limit out in one night on the sharks right there, a lot of times in this sixty-foot fathom stuff up through here.  Those sandbars would stack right up in there, especially like in the end of January, February, March.  I mean, wed spank em all up through here.  I mean, several boats from Daytona would come down here and wed all start setting right out through here.
312
00:32:48.2
RC: And before, when we were talking about you setting close to the rocksthat was on the 0.80.  Now, youre out here?
313
00:32:54.1
SB: Yeah.  Well, those are different rocks out there.  Thats not the real tall bottom in there.  Thats more like a ledge, runs down.  I mean, theres little bit of high stuff.  Most of your high stuffs here in like 250, 240 feet of water.  Thats where all the big, high stuff is.  You can see all
314
00:33:8.4
RC: But when youre talking about shark fishing here, youve described both the
315
00:33:11.0
SB: Both sides, yeah.  Wed fish both sides.
316
00:33:11.9
RC: West of the peaks and your (inaudible) east of the peaks.
317
00:33:16.2
SB: East of the peaks, wed get mainly sandbars.  Thats about all wed catch out there.  In here, wed get a mix of stuff.  Youd get some lemon sharks, youd get some bull sharks, youd get somea little bit of everything up in here.  But yeah, we fished in here, the thirty-fathom stuff.  And then again, youd try to stay off the rocks.  I stayed a few times up through the middle of it and usually were usually never on the great big sets, the sand through the middle.  Like I said, you wanted to stay off the rocks as best you could.  You might bounce over em here or there to get on one side or the other.  But you didnt generally put your line right on the rocks, because you would lose it.
318
00:33:48.7
RC: But the sharks would come to you?
319
00:33:50.0
SB: Oh, yeah.  Well, the sharks run on the edge.  Theyre not on the rocks.  Theyre all around it.
320
00:33:53.8
RC: Right.  Well, they hang off of it.  I think theyve shown that the shark wont hang, wont eat, wont stay in the kitchen, you know?  Theyll leave and then come back to the reef and then go out to the sands.  So, youre (inaudible).
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00:34:6.5
SB: Mm-hm.
322
00:34:7.8
RC: Now I would assume your set on the Kelly Marie was on the catch on Inlet Fisheries?  Is that correct?
323
00:34:12.0
SB: Yep.
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00:34:14.2
RC: For how many years did you do that, Scott?
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00:34:16.8
SB: From, say, ninety [1990], to 2004: fourteen years.
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00:34:22.7
RC: On the Kelly?
327
00:34:23.7
SB: Yeah.  I did some on the others.
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00:34:25.4
RC: Sure it was aught-four [2004]?
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00:34:24.9
SB: About 2004, yeah.
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00:34:27.7
RC: I thought it was 2002 they shut it down?
331
00:34:30.0
SB: No, 2004.
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00:34:31.0
RC: Two thousand four, okay.  Excuse me. (laughs)
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00:34:34.8
SB: They had us on a quota and all the years before that, we were fishing till like April, the middle of April.  And thats the year they closed us off, on February 14.
334
00:34:45.6
RC: Okay.  Now, weve been talking about actually fishing in the Oculina Bank.  When did that stop?
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00:34:52.2
SB: Nineteen ninety-four.
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00:34:56.4
RC: In ninety-four [1994], okay.  So, youre describing these big catches from ninety [1990] to ninety-four [1994], and you fished for another ten years.  Was there a difference in the level of your catch once you were pushed out of the Oculina Bank?
337
00:35:8.4
SB: Yeah, it slowly got worse, sure.  There was not as much fishing around.  We tried to fish down here in the sands right on the south side for the sharks.  I mean, youd get a few, but the thing here used to move up with em.  You had all this area and you
338
00:35:21.0
RC: Follow the fish.
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00:35:21.6
SB: and youd follow the fish as the bunch was moving and youd go right on up.  So, Id say it made a difference.  It made a big difference, yeah.
340
00:35:26.4
RC: Big difference.
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00:35:27.0
SB: Yeah.
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00:35:30.5
RC: Then in ninety-four [1994] when that quit, you just described what you moved on to next.  You tried to fish outside the Oculina Bank, and that was after aught-four [2004]?
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00:35:37.9
SB: And wed push this line right here to the limit on the shark fishing.  Wed still shark fish out through here.
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00:35:44.4
RC: Just lay it right down on the
345
00:35:45.7
SB: Yeah, outside.  Like I said, youd push it to the limit.
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00:35:48.5
RC: Hundred and one fathoms?
347
00:35:50.2
SB: Well, actually, we were pushing over the original zone, because at first, they didnt enforce any of this offshore stuff.  It was just right in here (taps) and we were still fishing out here.  I dont know exactly when we stopped, to tell you the truth, but wed stay out offshore of the line.
348
00:36:8.2
RC: Right, the ECA line.
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00:36:10.7
SB: Right.
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00:36:11.8
RC: This is the ECA, and then the HAPC [Habitat Area of Particular Concern] goes out to 100 fathoms.
351
00:36:17.2
SB: Right.
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00:36:19.1
RC: All right.  Interesting.  So, now were in 2004 when you stopped fishing the Kelly Marie.  What did you do next, Scott?  Is that when you
353
00:36:27.3
SB: (inaudible) and then I started working for the (inaudible) tugboat.
354
00:36:29.8
RC: Oh, youve been there that long?
355
00:36:30.7
SB: Yep.
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00:36:31.4
RC: Well, good for you.  I guess that brings us currently on your actual history.  So, that puts us atScott, finally, Id like to talk about how your fishing has changed over time in regards to the Oculina Bank.  Since eighty-four [1984], several changes have been made in regulations of the Oculina Bank.  Id like to know if any of these regulations affected your fishing, and if so, how?  Okay, in 1994, this part (taps) of the Oculina Bank was described as the ECA and that quit bottom fishing.  I think youve been pretty clear, but how did it affect you?  It stopped you from bottom fishing?
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00:37:12.2
SB: Yeah.  Theyd throw you in jail on there.
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00:37:14.0
RC: (laughs) In ninety-six [1996], they extended it all the way up
359
00:37:20.9
SB: And out, right?
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00:37:22.0
RC: Yes, all the way up and out.  Well, no.  It was extended out in ninety-four [1994]yeah, youre right.  In ninety-six [1996] it went all the way up and it extended out.  So, how did that affect you?  Thats when it shut you down?
361
00:37:36.0
SB: Sure.  (inaudible) for grouper fishing.
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00:37:37.4
RC: Fish on that line?
363
00:37:37.7
SB: Yeah, we stopped pretty much until we got up to the north.  Wed still catch a few up past it.  But down here, like we were talking before, the only place is by Pushbutton Hill, couple little wrecks out here.  But, generally speaking, we pretty much were done with this grouper fishing.  We still tilefished and we always pushed the limit crossing the zone with product on the boat.  I mean, we did it.  Theres no question about it.  I mean, over and over and over, but you cant hardly fish out here and expect us to run.  You looked at the map; it doesnt look like that much.  You go like this one here, but you remember theres
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00:38:9.8
RC: Yeah, youre turning into the Gulf Stream.
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00:38:11.0
SB: four knots of tide you got to go around, and if you go this way, yeah, you go this way fast, but then youre wayit was crazy.  So yeah, we pushed it.  And Im still sure them guys are pushing that.
366
00:38:22.5
RC: I was right here on this little wreck.  You probably know the wreck at 500 here, (taps) and a squall came through three or four years ago, northwest, and it was too rough.  You know?  The big six, eight-foot seas breaking; the tide was making em stand up and I couldnt hardly even drive into it, and I ended up doing (laughs)I mean, it was a nightmare.  Im out there in a little open fishing boat catching some snowies.
367
00:38:48.0
SB: I mean, they make these laws and zones and rules and stuff, and they dont ever take into consideration the effectsthat kind of effect on it, you know?  I mean, its easy for somebody to sit there and draw these lines all over this chart and say you cant fish there.  Its another thing entirely to have to deal with it.
368
00:39:6.6
RC: Well, Scott, were getting to the end of our thing here.  We got a couple more questions here.  The designation of Marine Protected Areas islike closed areas to no fishingis being used more and more frequently as a management tool.  What do you think of these types of closures, the Marine Protected Areas?
369
00:39:28.4
SB: Im not all that up on em.  Thats where fish are.  Theres another map thatsclose it down all together.  Give us a season, a zone, a quota, or whatever.  But the whole closing the best fishing ground, now that doesnt make any sense.  It makes you work twice as hard for the same product.  You got to go to all these places and fish.  It doesnt make any sense to me.
370
00:39:52.5
RC: Scott, this my own personal question: Ive heard you talk fishing from Key West up past New York, and you keep pointing right here and say, The best fishing grounds.  Are you actually referring to the Oculina Bank?
371
00:40:3.7
SB: Oh, yeah, sure.  Youve seen the bottom.  Its impressive.  Youre talking about 150, 200-foot steeples, one after another, after another, after another, after another, after another.  I mean, Ill show you in this book right here.  I got every one labeled in there from here to here.  How many is there, a hundred?
372
00:40:18.8
RC: Quite a few.
373
00:40:19.8
SB: Quite a few, maybe not a hundred.  Id say theres fifty or sixty.  Then it breaks up a little bit, and then up here around the 500 line it starts again and goes clear up quite a ways.  Thats a very impressive bottom.  Its up and down.  Its live.  I mean, you look all over and its loaded with fish.
374
00:40:36.8
RC: Its just impressive that of all the places you fished, thats your favorite one.  Excuse me
375
00:40:41.9
SB: Well, the longlining with swordfishing, youre not really bottom fishing much.  Say youre fishing currents and eddies, its totally fishing.  So, most of my bottom fishing is from here to the Carolinas.
376
00:40:52.8
RC: Yeah, but as a boat captain, Im sure youre in the cabin looking at the scope all the time?
377
00:40:56.6
SB: Oh, absolutely.  Oh, yeah, like I said, this is very impressive bottom.
378
00:40:58.2
RC: Yeah, when you run across that it
379
00:41:0.8
SB: Oh, yeah, you go, Oh, my God.
380
00:41:2.2
RC: pokes you in the eyes, I noticed.
381
00:41:2.9
SB: Sure, yeah.  And theres so much of it.  I mean, its liketheres way more than fifty-eight miles of it.  I mean, it goesSt. Augustine.  I know it goes past Daytona, gets a little sporadic.
382
00:41:14.6
RC: It breaks up a lot and spreads out.
383
00:41:16.1
SB: Yeah.
384
00:41:17.9
RC: I think theres more of the Gulf Stream tide in this south end than anywhere else.  I think Fort Pierce alone is justoh, Im gonna shut up what I think.  Its your interview. (both laugh) So, you dont like the closed areas so much.  What type of management tools do you think would work better?  Which do you prefer, like quotas, limits, seasons?
385
00:41:45.9
SB: Seasons.
386
00:41:47.0
RC: Seasons.
387
00:41:48.9
SB: Quotas.  Quotas are good, too, I guess.
388
00:41:52.1
RC: Dont let you catch too much; tell you when to catch em.  Okay.  Thinking ahead to the future
389
00:41:59.5
SB: And the season things can go against you, too, sometimes, cause
390
00:42:3.5
RC: Different areas.
391
00:42:4.4
SB: Yeah, I mean, theyll close you down at the worst possible time when the fish are running.  Like, if you were to close the mackerel out here between November and February
392
00:42:12.9
RC: Then that puts Florida in the picture.
393
00:42:14.6
SB: Yeah, I mean, thats no mackerel.  Im just using mackerel for instance, cause thats when theyre here.
394
00:42:18.9
RC: Well, thats where quotas come in.  You cant say you want to catch 100,000 pounds in Florida, and 100,000so, youre using the both together as a good tool.
395
00:42:29.1
SB: Maybe a little bit of gear restriction.  Im all for thatlengths.
396
00:42:32.7
RC: How bout trip limits?
397
00:42:35.1
SB: Trip limits, sure, as long as theyre reasonable where you still make money with them.  I mean, you dont want to put a 2,000 pound trip limit on a boat, a fifty, sixty foot boat that cant even pay its fuel bill with that.  I mean, theres a lot of things that they got to take into consideration when they make these laws, and I dont think they do a very good job of it.
398
00:42:53.7
RC: Maybe its whos there voicing their opinion is who they listen to?
399
00:42:57.0
SB: Well, yeah.
400
00:42:59.3
RC: It seems that fishermen go to management meetings and theyre all upset.  They yell and scream and they feel like theyve done their part, and they dont keep driving it where theres some of these other organizations are at every meeting, driving their point in.  But gosh, youre making me discuss this.  Im supposed to be interviewing you. (both laugh) Excuse me.
401
00:43:21.6
Thinking ahead to the future, what do you think fishing in Fort Pierce will be like in another ten years?
402
00:43:28.5
SB: Probably wont be much commercial fishing, I dont think.
403
00:43:35.7
RC: Thank you for sharing your fishing history with us, and were about done here.  Is there anything you wanted to add?  Do you think you covered it?
404
00:43:42.0
SB: We covered most everything.  I mean, overregulations putting us all out of business.  Florida doesnt want the commercial fishermen, and thats pretty much the size of it.  Five or six million recreation guys have more clout thanhow many is there, a few thousand?
405
00:43:58.2
RC: While youre fishing, theyre at the meeting. (laughs)  I want to back up here.  You said that the fleet size has gotten smaller, but the guys that are still in are still doing pretty good?
406
00:44:10.0
SB: Yeah, seem like it.
407
00:44:12.9
RC: What made you sayI mean, can you attribute the fleet size shrinking to anything?  This is my personal question.
408
00:44:21.0
SB: I would say a combination of all of it.  Some of these fisheries, the fleet did get pretty big and they fished the different fisheries pretty hard.  Swordfishing is a perfect example.  That was like a 350 boat fleet at one time.  Now its down to seventy, and theyre catching decent fish.  Theyre making decent money.
409
00:44:40.3
RC: Is that outside of regulations, or is that inside of what capitalization does?
410
00:44:45.0
SB: Id say both economics and overregulation.  I mean, because, hell, they closed all this off.  When I swordfished, all this was opened up all the way outeverything.  They didnt have any closed areas.
411
00:44:54.5
RC: Well, our area down here was kind of a seasonal thing though, wasnt it?
412
00:44:57.2
SB: Yeah, through this spring and summer, we would pound it out inshore, catch another small fish, and then wed just started going further and further.  Through the spring here is the best.  The guys that are still fishing out of here, theyre traveling a lot.  They got to go 100 miles or something up the northeast and then
413
00:45:14.4
RC: Before they would even start.
414
00:45:16.8
SB: Yeah.
415
00:45:19.3
RC: So, the closed area for swordfish, that fleet got smaller.  How bout the snowy grouper?
416
00:45:27.1
SB: Same thing, regulations.  They cant catch em at all.
417
00:45:31.3
RC: So, would you attribute the grouper [and] snapper fleet to being smaller in our area to regulations?
418
00:45:35.2
SB: Yes, regulations.
419
00:45:36.9
RC: Like this Oculina Bank right now.  All right, Scott, is there anything else?  If not, well conclude the interview.
420
00:45:42.8
SB: No, I think thats about it.  Yeah, I think we covered it all, dont you think?
421
00:45:45.7
RC: All right, well cut it off.