Friday, March 28, 2014

First grander of 2014 is taken in Kenya, of all places

Skipper Stuart Simpson with first grander of 2014 and his first grander on his boat
In the world of big-game fishing, a 1,000-pound billfish is known as a grander, and by this time of year three or four have usually already been caught. So it was with great fanfare that a 1,062-pound blue marlin—the first grander of the year—was weighed in on Friday.
But it wasn’t in Kona, Hawaii, where the first grander typically is landed. It wasn’t in Cairns, Australia, or Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean, either.
No, the distinction for the first grander of 2014 worldwide goes to…Kenya.
Yes, the African country, and that’s part of the reason for all the fanfare.
Under the direction of Captain Stuart Simpson aboard the Ol Jogi II, British angler Roger Sutherland landed only the second grander in the history of Kenyan sportfishing. The first was caught 10 years ago and weighed 1,197 pounds.
Not only that, it was the first grander for skipper Simpson and the first grander for Sutherland, who had caught only one other marlin before this one.
“I had a feeling when I first saw it that it was a grander,” Simpson said. “I had never seen one like it.”“Over the moon,” Simpson told GrindTV Outdoor in an email describing the feeling of taking the first grander of the year worldwide.
The angler, skipper, and crew “waited anxiously” as the fish followed the boat for 20 minutes, covering 2 miles.
“It was incredibly tense,” Sutherland said. “There was a flurry [by the fish in the water] as we took the flatline [with another lure close to the boat] out of the water, then nervous silence while the fish followed us.”
Once the fish took the lure, Simpson knew he’d gotten a good hook-set. Fortunately, the fish didn’t sound deep, which would have made for a much more difficult battle. As it was, the fight was a relatively quick one for a fish this size.
“The battle surprisingly took two and a half hours, with a lot of luck,” Simpson said.
A crowd of 200 was waiting for the Ol Jogi II to come into Hemingways, Watamu, resort to weigh the fish.
“I knew we had done it when it weighed in at 451 kilograms [994 pounds] with its head still on the ground,” Simpson said. “We had our fish.”
Simpson has been a skipper for 10 years and has caught more than 400 marlin, but he’s only taken a handful. This one was a special fish, and one that didn’t go to waste, as its meat was donated locally.
“I am sorry the fish had to die, but to be honest I knew the fish was big,” Simpson told GrindTV. “I’m strictly tag and release, [but] every now and again something is thrown at you, and this was a chance for myself, angler, crew, Watamu, Hemingways, Kenya, and everyone else around to put Kenya fishing back on the world map.
“This first is very important for Kenya’s tourism and to Watamu as a big-game fishing destination. We have incredibly diverse waters—a great destination for grand slams—and now we have proved once again that our big fish are still out there.”
Simpson revealed that most of the Fantasy Grand Slams (catching all the billfish species within a 24-hour outing) come from Kenya. And now we know it can be a destination for granders, too.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hammerhead shark eats out of a diver's hand in Bahamas

An experienced diver who leads shark diving tours took multiple trips and spent hours diving with hammerhead sharks in waters off Bimini Island, Bahamas, this winter before the sharks got used to his presence and became comfortable eating out of his hand.

Eli Martinez of SDM Adventures based in North Alamo, Texas, had hammerhead sharks slowly swim up to him and open their mouths to take in the fish he was offering. The scene resulted in an array of compelling photos, as you can see.
“This was my second season visiting the great hammerheads of Bimini and working with them this close,” Martinez told Caters News Agency, as reported by U.K. MailOnline. “They are very large sharks, but they are elegant predators. They don’t have a lot of interest in divers as they are so interested in the bait we are offering them.
“But you still have to respect these animals and be careful, following the obvious rules they demand.”
Hammerhead sharks can grow to 19 feet and weigh up to 1,300 pounds. Though their mouths are small in proportion to their bodies, they are equipped with rows of sharp teeth. Hammerhead sharks are known to eat fish, squid, octopus, crustacea, and other sharks, and are not considered man-eaters.

Reportedly, as of 2013, there have only been 33 known attacks by hammerhead sharks on humans, and none were fatal.
The damage man has done to the sharks, however, has been devastating, and it is one reason why Martinez is trying to change the negative views many people have about sharks by interacting with them.
“They are coveted by the shark fin trade because of their very large fins, so they have been relentlessly hunted and the global population of these sharks has suffered,” Martinez said. “Fortunately the Bahamas is a shark sanctuary and while they are in these waters they enjoy protection.”

The great hammerhead sharks are an endangered species and protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival, Martinez explained.
“It is truly a privilege to spend time in the water with these animals and an honor to be able to share them with the world to show how amazing and beautiful they truly are.”
Photos courtesy of Caters

Originally posted on GrindTV Outdoor 

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Shark attack defended by diver with pole spear in Caribbean Sea

A diver off the Cayman Islands in the western Caribbean Sea was suddenly forced to fend off a shark attack with the pole spear he had been using to cull the area of the invasive and destructive lionfish. A Caribbean reef shark came out of nowhere, scaring the bejesus out of diver Jason Dimitri, who had just speared a lionfish in about 70 feet of water. Watch as the normally shy reef shark attacks Dimitri, who does a commendable job in defending himself:

Reef sharks are usually indifferent around divers, but they are known to become aggressive when food is present, which describes the circumstances of the shark attack on Dimitri.
“I want to make it clear that I am hunting lionfish to help protect the reef from the destruction that they cause,” Dimitri noted. “The shark was acting in his natural environment. I have no ill will toward him and will get back in the water and continue to protect the reef for future generations.”
And he will continue to protect himself in case of other shark attacks by reef sharks.
Caribbean reef sharks are common in the Caribbean Sea and are typically 6 to 8 feet in length, but can grow to 10 feet. According to the latest findings of the International Shark Attack File, there have been 27 shark attacks attributed to the Caribbean reef shark, four of them unprovoked, none fatal. Make that five unprovoked attacks.
Dimitri remains undeterred.
“In no way did this encounter discourage me from getting back into the water,” he said.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Unlucky cyclist gets lucky landing on mattress

A security camera caught one of the more bizarre occurrences you’ll ever see, and it involves a pickup truck, a flying mattress and a bicyclist. A cyclist was swept off his bike after a pickup truck passed him too closely on the side of a road. But the cyclist avoided catastrophe when he made a soft landing…on a mattress that fell from the truck. At first glance, it appears that he was struck by the truck, but in reality, the mattress flew out of the truck bed, causing the cyclist to be knocked off his bike. Watch the incredible–and improbable–scene unfold:

We don’t have much information about the incident, not that much is needed. The cyclist was unlucky to be taken out by a mattress, but lucky the mattress gave him a perfectly timed soft landing.
By certain comments, we can presume the incident happened somewhere in Brazil where one commenter jokingly said this type of thing is “normal.” And we know it occurred on Monday based on the timestamped video. We can also safely assume that the odds of this happening are quite long.
“It’s astonishing,” said Timothy, a commenter on Reddit. “You could crash a billion mattress-carrying pickups into a billion cyclists for a billion years and not have this happen. A team of stuntmen and special effects people probably couldn’t reproduce this on the first try. ‘MythBusters’ would bust this myth if there wasn’t video.”

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Stunt driver lucky to survive horrific crash in which car flips multiple times

First, it must be stated upfront that freestyle stunt driver and rally car champion Guerlain Chicherit is OK and was joking on Facebook about his need for a new race suit after what happened to him Tuesday morning in Tignes, France. Chicherit was practicing for his attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest jump in a four-wheel vehicle, currently held by Tanner Foust at 332 feet. But his modified Mini nose-dived on the landing ramp and, well, it appears that he set a world record for the amount of flips in a car. The spectacular crash was caught on video:

Emergency personnel were on the scene and immediately transported Chicherit to a hospital. Luckily, the stunt driver was only “slightly injured,” according to his Facebook page.
The statement reads: “Guerlain is doing good and has already reviewed video footage of the jump to see what went wrong. He got out of the car himself, slightly injured, and will now get a precautionary MRI to check that everything is fine.”
Later on Tuesday, Chicherit wrote: “Cheers everybody!!! Thanks a lot for all your support!!! I have to stay [in] the hospital for the night just for safety, I’m all OK!!!
“’Success is not final, failure isn’t fatal: it’s the courage to continue that counts.’ [Winston] Churchill.”
Which might be another way of saying the stunt driver will give it another try once he’s able. Chicherit was (is?) hoping to jump a world-record 360 feet in his car.

Originally posted on GrindTV Outdoor 

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