Archive for July 2013

MOJO wins 1st Annual 2013 Gulf Cup

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Mojo Wins First Annual Gulf Cup
Bragging Rights, Perpetual Trophy to Remain in Texas for One Year!!

Palm Beach, FL—For most Americans, the Fourth of July holiday weekend is a summertime rite of passage: family cookouts, fireworks and good friends. For the team fishing on the 58-foot Sculley, Mojo, it’s also one for the record books, as they were named the winners of the first annual Gulf Cup Fourth of July Blue Marlin Shootout. Modeled after the World Cup, teams from across the Gulf of Mexico could enter and fish for eight hours in their time zone for a shot at some big bucks (the prize money would go to the biggest qualifying blue marlin, winner take all) as well as bragging rights to see which state would stake a claim for the event’s perpetual trophy.

The Mojo, owned by Will Lett and captained by Brian Phillips, hooked up late in the day in a move that was almost anticlimactic. Another boat, Jon Gonsoulin’s Done Deal, had hooked a good-sized blue marlin earlier in the day and had fought the beast through the afternoon before reporting that its’ measurement was just two inches too short (Gulf Cup rules state that the minimum short length for qualifying blue marlin is 110 inches; the Done Deal’s marlin taped out at just 108 inches from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail). That’s when Phillips on the Mojo called in a crashing strike on a trolled artificial lure in the mid-afternoon—they were hooked up! A short while later came another relay call that they had boated the marlin, which had a short length of 110.5 inches and a 60-inch girth. However, they had about five hours’ running time to the scales in Port Aransas, Texas.

Upon arrival it was clear they had landed a very respectable blue marlin. As the weighmaster at Fisherman’s Wharf carefully raised the fish from the cockpit, the digital readout settled on 501 pounds even. As the July 4th fireworks exploded in the night sky, the team celebrated a hard-fought victory.

The following day, Tournament Director Robert “Fly” Navarro arrived from the event’s temporary base in New Orleans to present Lett and the rest of the Mojo team a check for $14,400. Perhaps even more important, he also presented the Fisherman’s Wharf weigh station a custom perpetual trophy from marine artist David Wirth, officially giving Port Aransas and the state of Texas bragging rights as being home to the largest blue marlin caught on the Fourth of July in the Gulf of Mexico for one year.

“We had an absolutely incredible event this year,” Navarro reported. “We were very unlucky with the weather—there was a large trough of low pressure that caused high winds and seas in the eastern half of the Gulf and forced most of the boats in the fleet to cancel until next year, but those who did fish in the western Gulf found reasonably calm seas and great fishing. Now we’ll go to work on promoting this event year-round and we’ll be ready with an even bigger and better tournament for the Fourth of July, 2014.”

Navarro related that the tournament’s Facebook page, up for less than 12 months, had attracted over 12,000 followers, many of whom could witness the action in near real-time thanks to the constant updates from the tournament staff. “While the Done Deal was fighting their fish, they were close enough to some of the oil and natural gas rigs in the Gulf that they had cell phone service,” he said, “so they were able to send us photos and text messages for the Facebook page, which was incredibly popular.”

For more information on The Gulf Cup Fourth of July Blue Marlin Shootout, visit www.thegulfcup.com.

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Fishtrack Official Forecast

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Updated: Tuesday July 2, 2013

BRIEF OVERVIEW: A broad trough of low pressure is expected to drift west across the Gulf for the July 4th Gulf Cup. This will set up moderate to fresh S/SE winds and unsettled weather over portions of the east and central Gulf for the event. Much lighter and more variable winds are forecast over the western Gulf.

DETAILED ANALYSIS: The Fishtrack/Buoyweather meteorology team continues to watch an area of unsettled weather over the eastern Gulf associated with low-pressure troughing both at the surface and aloft.

We expect broad surface troughing to drift W over the Gulf through the day of the Gulf Cup. As a result, moderate to strong S to SE winds and the main shower/thunderstorm activity will shift W over the Central Gulf. Contestants leaving out of areas between Panama City, FL and Venice, LA should monitor detailed forecasts on Buoyweather.com to see how this may impact local conditions. Generally speaking, an area of 15-25kt S/SE winds and 5-7ft seas is expected over portions of the region between the Yucatan Peninsula and the Florida Panhandle. The potential for higher winds/seas also exists over this region in areas of enhanced shower and thunderstorm activity. In addition, some of the computer models are indicating even stronger winds/seas over the North Central Gulf along with a closed surface low pressure system early Thursday – so please stay tuned for tomorrow’s update for further information.

Elsewhere, tamer conditions are currently forecast both well to the east and especially west of the above area over the Central Gulf. Much tamer winds/seas are likely for the far NW Gulf as a decaying frontal boundary leaves light NE to variable winds over the region and seas mainly less than 3ft. Please visit buoyweather.com for detailed point forecasts.

TROPICAL OUTLOOK: The above-mentioned unsettled weather over the eastern Gulf is non-tropical in nature. Regardless of its classification, contestants should continue to monitor its evolution as it will likely lead to areas of enhanced S winds/seas and showers/thunderstorms south of the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi, and SE Louisiana. Otherwise, the tropics are quiet at this time.

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Figure 2. Mean sea level pressure, winds, and precipitation for the morning of July 4. This is from the GFS model, which is showing a more pronounced low-pressure area nearing Mobile, Alabama along with stronger SE/S winds. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update for further info, as there are some differences in the models at this time.

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Figure 3. MODIS AQUA Chlorophyll image taken yesterday (07/01/2013) showing clear water (blue) and dirty/mixed water inshore and south of the Mississippi river delta.

Fish Track Official forecast

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Updated: Monday July 1, 2013

BRIEF OVERVIEW: Unsettled weather and gusty winds are currently over the eastern half of the Gulf associated with a broad trough of low pressure. This activity is expected to drift west into the Central Gulf through July 4. A weak front is over the NW Gulf and is expected to drift NW and weaken through the Gulf Cup. This pattern is expected to lead to moderate to fresh SE/S winds over the Eastern Gulf with lighter and more variable winds for the W and NW Gulf on July 4.

DETAILED ANALYSIS: The main item the Buoyweather/Fishtrack meteorology team is currently watching is the area of unsettled weather impacting the Gulf waters east of 87W. Widespread showers and thunderstorms are over this region along with gusty S to SW winds. This activity is primarily associated with an upper level trough of low pressure extending south from the Tennessee River Valley, which is supporting both a weak surface front over the NW Gulf and a surface trough over the NE Gulf.

We expect surface troughing to drift W through the day of the Gulf Cup. As a result, moderate to fresh S winds and the main shower/thunderstorm activity will also shift W over the Central Gulf. Contestants leaving out of areas between Pensacola, FL and Venice, LA should monitor detailed forecasts on Buoyweather.com to see how this may impact local conditions. Generally speaking, an area of 15-25kt S/SE and 5-7ft seas winds is expected over portions of the region between the Yucatan Peninsula and Central Gulf Coast/western Florida Panhandle. The potential for higher winds/seas also exists over this region in areas of enhanced shower and thunderstorm activity.

Elsewhere, tamer conditions are currently forecast both well to the east and especially west of the above area over the Central Gulf. Much tamer winds/seas are forecast for the far NW Gulf as a decaying frontal boundary leaves light NE to variable winds over the region and seas mainly less than 3ft. Please visit buoyweather.com for detailed point forecasts.

TROPICAL OUTLOOK: The above-mentioned unsettled weather over the Gulf is non-tropical in nature. Regardless of its classification, contestants should continue to monitor its evolution as it will likely lead to areas of enhanced S winds/seas and showers/thunderstorms. Otherwise, the tropics are quiet at this time.

Figure 1. Visible satellite image from Monday afternoon.

Figure 2. Wave height forecast for the morning of the Gulf Cup showing enhanced seas north of the Yucatan Peninsula, with lower seas over the SE and NW Gulf.

Figure 3. AVHRR SST chart from Fishtrack with Sea Surface Height altimetry contours overlaid.

Prepared by Mark Willis and the Buoyweather/Fishtrack Forecast Team

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Robert "Fly" Navarro
Fly@TheGulfCup.com
561-310-9214
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