Bob is in Georgetown, South Carolina, at the Carroll Campbell Marine Complex with two special guests. Joey Ballenger and Bryan Frazier are marine biologists with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources at the Marine Center in Charleston. Today they’ll be running some tests to help keep the state’s natural resources vibrant for all to enjoy.
Folks, welcome to our show this week we’re gonna do a little something different this week on our show. We’re gonna be catching some fish, but there’s a good reason why we’re gonna do it. And we’re down in Georgetown, South Carolina, at the Carroll Campbell Marine Complex right here just across the bridge on 17 in Georgetown and I’ve got two special guests. These guys are marine biologists with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources at the Marine Center in Charleston, and on my far right over there is Joey Ballenger, and this guy in the middle here, okay, both these guys are great guys and I tell you what, Bryan Frazier, and both of ’em, just absolutely are unsung heroes. For all of you folks out there who love to saltwater fish these guys do so much for your natural resources here off the coast. All right guys, I’ve got to tell you, Joey, thank you.
Very much, okay, and Brian.
It’s an honor and a privilege to have you guys both here but, Joey let me ask you first okay, surveys, okay, not a lot of folks do this on TV, okay, yeah we’re gonna catch some fish but there’s a reason behind it, tell us why.
So, yeah, we are one of the main things we’re interested in is trying to get an idea of, a lot of people like go there and catch a lot of fish, right? We all like to catch big bull red drums, but we know that we can’t necessarily legally harvest those, so we want to see what proportion or what, how many of those might actually die from those being caught after time so we’re doing a post-release mortality study to look at what’s going on with those fish and what their fate is, so.
Okay, well Brian, okay you tell us how we’re gonna do this, okay?
‘Cause you’re the guy that winds the watch on all this kind of stuff, too.
Yes, indeed, so we have a couple different tag types that we can use to assess this. And really it’s relatively new technology but well it’s something called a pop-off satellite tag. And what that does is it, we attach it to the fish and it’ll stay on there for about 28 days, and it’s gonna record how deep it goes, the water temperature, and the light intensity, and through that, we can infer whether that fish survived or not. So, if we released that fish and it goes down to the bottom, and it goes to a depth and it just sits there at that depth after three days, that tag is gonna say, well that fish is dead, and it’s gonna pop off. But if that tag senses that that fish is down there swimming, he’s moving up and down in the water column, then we’re gonna know that fish survived, it’s gonna stay on there for 28 days and then it’s gonna pop up, and it’s gonna transmit that data to a satellite, and from our computer we can download those data and then say whether that fish lived or died.
I tell you what, technology sometimes hurts my head but are we gonna do some blood samples too?
Yeah, we’re gonna take some blood samples and we can get, relative stress of the fish through lactate and pH. So we can use that to kind of build a model for all the fish that are captured and say okay if you fight them for this long, they’re gonna get this, you know, build up this much stress, and they’re gonna be more likely to die or we could say well, you know, fight time may not matter, you know, something like using a circle hook may be more important. So we can kinda take all this, build a model, and that way we can make recommendations for anglers on how to maximize the survival of the red drum that they catch.
Well done, Joey, boom. Man, I tell you, guys I am looking so forward to this. Joey, if you would do the honors, I’m gonna put you in the seat of this brand new High Country, Chevrolet HD 2500 back here, okay in front of a Ranger boat, and let’s go fishing how ’bout that?
Sounds good, let’s go catch some fish.
Let’s do it, all right.
It’s been a great day.
We shot this at home.
Look at that, wow, let me hold that thing! Nice!
[Bob] All right, Bryan, okay you’re the fishing guy today me and Joey are just along for the ride.
Tell me how we’re fishing today, we’re gonna catch these reds.
All right, so we’re using what we really recommend for big redfish is a larger circle hook, at least eight eye.
And a lot of times, I actually use, like to use something even larger like a 10 to 12 eye.
Depending on the manufacturer, in-line circle hook, you know, we don’t want the offset ’cause those actually can can lead to higher rates of gut-hooking. A short leader.
Typically, five inches is about right, and a short weight, what we want is those fish when they pick up that hook, they can’t get it down deep in their guts so we do a pretty short leader, we’re just using fluorocarbon 80-pound test.
And then braid–
Fusion hooks, Berkley Trilene, you bet man.
There you go, there you go and we’re just using chunked mullet today. If we had some fresh menhaden, that’d be a great bait as well.
You know it all depends on what you’ve got but when those big reds are eating, you know, they’re ready to go, so. Hopefully it won’t be long.
Let’s talk a little bit about the weather out here today, water temperature is about 76.5. I mean, air temperature, we’re in the 60s, thank goodness. Yep. It’s not 110.
[Bob] You know, light to no wind at all what do you think, Joey?
Looks pretty good to me, yeah. Pretty day on the water, so.
[Bryan] It’s they ought to be biting, if they’re not, blame the guide.
[Bob] There you go, okay. Gotta blame somebody. All right, fish on brother, all right man. Yeah, you’re leaving me and Joey in the dirt. Course that’s what fishing guides do.
[Bryan] Didn’t you say this was gonna be the hot rod?
I told you it was gonna be the hot rod. Oh my gosh.
Here Joey he’s resorted to me on the other side of the boat here. Baiting the hooks, what do you think brother?
I know. We’re turning into mates over here.
[Bob] Whoo. Ah, ah, has he got some shoulder behind him?
[Bryan] He’s got some pull.
[Bob] You want me to get this one out of your way?
Yeah we can–
Yeah there he goes.
Which way, oh, change.
[Bryan] I believe he’s the right kind. Let’s see if he’s big enough for a tag.
See and that’s where ah yeah, well he’s got a little bit of shoulder to him, yeah. Well folks, listen we got out here, got set up, we’ve got four rods in the water, and Joey Ballenger and Bryan Frazier with DNR. And as soon as we get this fish up, okay, if he is the right size, we’re gonna–
Oh yeah, he’s a nice one.
[Bob] Take a little sample of blood from him and they’re gonna put a tag in him. Is this thing still in your way, which way, which side you wanna go, bro?
[Bryan] I’m gonna let him decide but I think he’s gonna come on this side.
[Bob] Is he gonna come on this side?
You want me to–
Yeah if you can get that BogaGrip in his mouth, Joey.
It takes a village.
There you go.
Bring him on in.
There we go.
Oh yeah, okay, awesome.
Set the rod down now.
[Bob] All right now, talk to me what you guys are doing. First of all, you get him out of the water.
[Bryan] Yep, just got him out of the water.
Then you get some measurements.
We’ve got a minute and 59 seconds fight time on him.
Somebody remember that.
[Bryan] Joey’s gonna measure him and we’re gonna satellite tag him.
[Bob] All right.
[Joey] 834, and 685.
[Bryan] 685 is PCL?
It looks standard.
[Bob] Looks like a nice healthy fish.
Give me a total length on him.
That was 834, about–
[Bryan] Okay, 834, so, all right.
[Joey] Yep, about 33 inches.
[Bryan] All right how about a weight, and then I’ll draw some blood, then we’ll tag him.
[Joey] All right, look at that weight.
[Bryan] Well, you know we can get it at the end of it–
If you don’t have him on there.
I took him off.
This almost looks like an episode of “M.A.S.H.”.
I’m out of practice here.
[Bryan] I’m gonna turn him over just so I can get the right side on here.
And we’re gonna knock a couple scales off just so we can get this tag in here.
Why don’t we give this a rinse right here?
There we go.
He is not happy.
[Joey] So this is the sat tag right here.
[Bryan] So I take that off, all right, and then I’m gonna turn him over one more time. If you want, you can pull out the hook, Joey. And, we’re just gonna knock off–
Did you get him?
A couple scales here and just take a quick sample of blood from him. And as we said, that gives us those lactate and pH measurements.
So we can tell how he’s doing, and hopefully it’s a good sample of blood. There we go.
Yeah, you got it, okay.
[Bob] This little thing here, see folks this tag right here, little sat tag. Now, this thing will stay down for 28 days?
And then it’ll pop off–
[Bryan] All right, so Joey’s gonna get a weight on him and then we’re gonna put him back in the water.
About 10 pounds.
10 pounds, okay.
[Narrator] Coming up next, we head back to Georgetown, South Carolina for more redfish research with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine is being brought to you today by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, life’s just better outdoors. By Berkley, catch more fish with Berkley fishing products. By Ranger Boats, still building legends one at a time. By Browning Ammunition, Browning, the best there is. And by Southern Woods Plantation, voted as one of the top quail hunting destinations in America.
You got it? All right, get him, get him Bryan. Whoo, oh wow.
[Bryan] I don’t know, stingray-ish, eh.
That’s not a stingray.
Oh no, mm-hmm. Oh.
Yep, don’t see any head shaking.
Yeah, I feel a stingray.
Well you know, then we’d be batting two for two, for the DNR guys styling and profiling. Joey’s smiling.
There he goes!
Get it Joey, all right get it Joey.
[Bob] There you go, there you go. See now that’s the last one I threw out it’s the lucky one! It’s the lucky one!
[Joey] This don’t feel like a stingray.
[Bob] No this is, I know, Joey, that’s–
[Joey] Oh man, I’m standing on the wrong side of the boat.
That’s a stingray.
[Joey] Oh did we get a time?
Let me get my pliers here.
I got 11:45.
[Cameraman] I’ve got a lot of commonality–
[Bob] Folks, we’ve got a fast and furious out here, okay the guys are trying to do some research.
[Bryan] Catching good fish and bad fish.
[Bob] Yeah, but that’s okay.
They all pull.
They’re all fun.
[Bob] Just turn around and look at Joey. Now he’s styling and profiling today. I think we do!
We got a big fish.
Who’s gonna do the tag? That’s okay, ahh. Ahhh, come on fish stay with me buddy–
[Joey] Oh don’t get over here with these other ones–
Stay with me.
There he is though. That’s a nice red.
[Bryan] If we have to I’ll put this rod in the rod holder.
[Bob] Yeah let the, we’ll just let the ray, the ray’ll have to wait.
There he comes, oh yeah that’s a nice one.
[Bob] Ohh, ohh, oh no–
Come over this side, don’t go to that side.
Oh that’s a nice one, Joey, that’s a nice fish, that’s a real nice fish.
[Bob] That is.
[Bryan] I’m gonna put this guy in the rod holder.
[Bob] Do that.
[Joey] There we go, a guy coming right over here.
[Bob] Okay, you guys do your thing, I’ll talk while I’m trying to get this one in. Huh, there we go, all right. Whoo, man. I’m rockin’ and rollin’ with this Toro Beast on this Veratox.
There we go.
Oh, yeah, all right! I think I may have one right behind it.
[Joey] Right where he’s supposed to be hooked.
Yep he’s hooked right where he’s supposed to be hooked.
[Bob] Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm.
We’re gonna get that out, and Joey can set down the rod holder and–
Come on, fish.
[Bryan] Give me my hook, there we go. There we go.
[Joey] I got about two minutes and–
[Bryan] Two minutes and 44 seconds.
[Joey] Yeah that’s what I was gonna say, it’s 45 seconds.
All right guys.
All right so, Joey I’ll let you data sheet.
[Joey] Oh, you want data sheet.
[Bryan] Yeah, well I, yeah I guess. All right.
[Joey] You got a data sheet where is it?
[Bryan] Eight. Clearing things up. All right, sorry, chaos folks. 845, 988.
[Cameraman] 845, 988.
[Bryan] He wants to be down here so I’m gonna let him.
[Bob] That’s the reason I’m grunting. It’s cause, I’ve got to to go around. I have to go around.
Sorry about that.
[Bryan] We usually like it when it’s one fish at a time.
One fish at a time.
I’m telling you.
Yeah, three fish at a time is a little excessive.
[Bob] That’s okay, we’ll take it. We will take it, guys.
[Bryan] We’ve got a tag, a tag in him.
We’re gonna get a little blood.
What was the length of it?
[Joey] He was–
Almost a meter.
[Bob] Oh wow. Joey, you did good, you did good. Hey guys I’m trying to get this one.
[Joey] 39 inches, close to 40 inches.
[Bob] I’m trying to get this one up, it would be nice. I’ll see if I can’t kind of hold on here just a little bit. Every time he gets a glimpse of the boat–
C’mon fish give me blood.
[Bob] It’s south time, hmm. As it headed to the–
Is yours the right kind, there we go we’ve got some blood.
[Bob] All right. Now you guys can test that blood while we’re here, right?
Yep, we’re gonna put it in a handheld blood analyzer and we’re gonna have results in about three minutes.
[Bryan] Gotta put this in here, to keep it from coagulating.
[Bob] All right well, guys I tell you what–
And this fish is going back in the water.
[Bob] All right, awesome, awesome.
There you go, good solid kick, under the given condition, oh you got a stingray too.
I do, we got two of them things on here.
Hey, hey, that’s what you get.
[Bob] That’s okay.
[Narrator] Stay tuned, on the Sportsman’s Table, we feature a true southern sandwich with a new twist. The Sportsman’s Table is brought to you by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, whether you live in South Carolina, or out of state, be sure to buy South Carolina grown meats, vegetables and fruits. Make sure your food is South Carolina certified. It’s a matter of taste.
Folks, welcome to The Sportsman’s Table this week, we’re back here with Jermaine Austin here at Deck 383 in Murrells Inlet. On the beautiful Waccamaw River, I tell you what, this is a recipe that you promised all year to do and it’s on the menu here.
Waited until the last run.
Okay, Jermaine, this one I know folks are gonna be interested in.
It’s called a Slow Roll and it’s a fried bologna sandwich.
You can never go wrong with fried bologna.
Only in South Carolina, there you go.
South Carolina certified, we’re good to go.
All right let’s do the first step, my friend.
All right, we’re gonna put a little char on the bologna here.
Okay, I gotcha.
Lay that down, oh yeah we cookin’ already.
[Bob] Ah yeah, okay.
[Jermaine] Let that cook.
[Bob] Let it render down a little bit, mm-hmm.
[Jermaine] All right Bob, this is all finished attentively this is what you want right here, see the nice char–
[Bob] Oh yeah.
[Jermaine] On the piece of the bologna here and that’s how you know you’re good to go.
[Bob] Listen, as a kid and adult I still love bologna sandwiches.
Oh, I love it, I love it.
Okay, so, what’s next?
All right we gonna put our caramelized onions on here.
[Bob] Okay, there you go.
[Jermaine] Nice caramelized onion. We’re gonna throw some chili on here, made fresh in the house.
[Bob] Oh my goodness. Oh yeah, mm-hmm.
Throw the chili on there.
[Bob] Who would’ve ever thought, huh?
Who would have ever?
Ah, roll bologna.
[Jermaine] Rolling bologna.
[Bob] No wonder they come down here to get this thing at the marina.
[Jermaine] You can’t go wrong.
[Bob] I’m telling you, Deck 383 has got it going on.
Put cheddar cheese on top of it right there.
Oh my goodness, there you go.
Then you let the cheese melt.
We can go ahead and just plate this, right on our bun over here, That comes with lettuce and tomatoes, also all South Carolina certified.
Okay, and then you’ve got a little bit of what, it looks like mac and cheese.
Mac and cheese, you got to have some mac and cheese with bologna–
That’s what I’m talking about man.
Yes sir. We’re gonna go ahead and plate this.
There you go.
Oh my goodness.
[Jermaine] And that will be your slow roll at deck 383.
There you go. Folks, that’s another great recipe here. Log on to CertifiedSCgrown.com and see what’s fresh on the menu. Log on and come on down to Murrells Inlet and Wacca Wache Marina down here at Deck 383 and Jermaine and all of his staff. I’ll tell you what, they have a great menu for you. Come on down and enjoy this beautiful sight behind us, this deck, the water, you name it. Right here on The Sportsman’s Table, another great recipe, we’ll see you next week. To find out more information on food that’s fresher and tastier, go online at CertifiedSCgrown.com Buy certified South Carolina grown products, it’s a matter of taste. Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine is being brought to you today by Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine. By the South Carolina Agriculture Department, it’s a matter of taste. By Browning, Browning, the best there is. By South Carolina Embroidery and Screenprinting, and by the Wacca Wache Marina and Deck 383, located on the Waccamaw River in Murrells Inlet South Carolina.
Well folks listen, I want the guys to give you the results of the blood tests for the big redfish that Joey caught and then we want to talk about the salinity of the conditions out here where these fish are living, and both these guys have got the results so I think it’s worthy of taking time. Let’s tell them first cause you know, this research is so valuable to the fishery out here. Everybody that fishes and loves it, okay, they need to know why we do this and why you guys are doing it, and its for the health of the fish that we love to catch.
That’s what we’re out here for, that’s the mission of DNR, you know.
Yeah, exactly, yeah.
Yeah, so based on the blood, it appears that fish wasn’t really that stressed out ’cause his lactate level was really low, and the pH wasn’t high so you know and the fish swam away great, you know I’d say that fish is probably gonna survive–
You know sometimes though when they’re struggling after recovering, a shark will come along and hit him and we can find out through that tag as well but you know that fish isn’t likely dying as a result of being captured so, you know the fight time was pretty quick and we handled them quick and got them back in the water quick so, you know that fish is probably gonna make it.
All right, and on the water side of things, so what we’re looking at is trying to figure out how salty the water is, so right now it’s about 36.2 parts per thousand, which is about full strength sea water that’s about as high as it ever gets.
Well, let me ask you now with the lack of rain that we’ve had here in the southeast, and the fresh water coming in here which, you know gosh it seems like fresh water it flows into Georgetown in this area. Does that make a difference?
That does make a difference, so right now even up at the head of the Winyah Bay it’s pretty salty much further inland than what we would expect.
Now would that make it better fishing or worse? Is it hard to say?
It’s hard to say, a lot of times when there’s a lot of fresh water coming down the river like a month ago, we’re sitting out here in the jetties at Winyah Bay, and a month ago, it was zero parts per thousand. So fresh water on the surface–
And it was still salty on the bottom so there’s a big wedge, but that’ll concentrate the fish and it’ll actually make it better fishing because the fish aren’t moving as far up, they have less territory up the bay to go, so that concentrates them down here so that you know, if you do have a lot of fresh water running out, that can certainly improve the fishing by concentrating them in an area.
Well, you know, Joey I am so glad that Bryan took us fishing today, okay.
He was the guide for us today wasn’t he? He did a great job.
Well, I tell you, Bryan Frazier, Joey Ballenger, I just tell you it’s just been a great trip today and it’s just been so wonderful having you guys out on the boat and I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done–
Oh, fish on, fish on! There we go, oh.
Let me get my rod, okay.
Is it still on there?
I think so.
That’s the way.
Well, again I’ve gotta say thank you so much to Joey Ballenger and Bryan–
Oh we lost him.
Aw, it came off.
We’ll catch more fish next time, but folks listen, check out DNR’s website go down to the marine center and see what great things they do. I tell you, they’re unsung heroes for everybody that fishes in saltwater, these two guys here and all of the great staff down there in Charleston. They make it possible for your natural resources right here on this beautiful coast of South Carolina. Joey, thank you man–
Thanks for having us on. It was a pleasure.
Thank you Bryan.
Thank you guys. As I like to say each and every week, the outdoors is my passion and I want it to be yours too. We’ll see you next time.