Posts Tagged ‘Bill Shedd’

Nov 16, 2012


Four years ago, I received a phone call from Jack McCulloch (McCulloch’s Wide Shoes) who said he had linked up with a group called Soles4Souls, an organization started by two Alabama brothers. Their mission is to pass out shoes to people who need them, and since 2005 had given away over 16,000,000 pairs. They were putting together a program to pass out shoes to folks in the East Cape of Mexico, and they were looking for T-shirts to go along with the shoes. Timing is everything as we had recently counted in over 5,000 second Guy Harvey T-shirts. The Guy Harvey brand is very picky about quality, so what would be a first quality product in many lines, becomes a second with Guy Harvey, as even the very slightest flaw is tossed into the second group.

Families waited in line from 1:00 a.m.for the 7:00 a.m. start time

Needless to say, he Guy Harvey T-shirts were a big hit in Los Barriles, a small fishing village about 50 miles south of La Paz. In the last four years, we at AFTCO, have donated over 16,000 Guy Harvey T-shirts to our Mexican friends to the south. Last year, daughter Christie went down to help pass out the shirts. She came back with such heart-warming stories of the event that this year we decided to make it a family trip.

After receiving a pair of shoes, people wait in line for a Guy Harvey T-shirt

Wife, Jill and I joined Christie for this year’s event, and it goes without saying that we will be back next year. Who would not want to return? It takes place at Palmas De Cortez, the premier fishing resort on the East Cape of Mexico where you only have to go a short distance offshore to find Dorado, Yellowfin tuna, marlin and more. We arrived a day early to insure a chance to check out this awesome offshore fishery. The next day we went to the distribution site at 5:00 AM. The first thing that struck me was that several thousand people were already in line for the 7:00 AM start time. Many had been there with their children since 1:00 AM.

Bill Shedd hands out Guy Harvey T-Shirts as Jill Shedd waits to send people to next station and Christie Shedd passes on next shirt

This boy can't wait to get home and try on his new tuna shirt

The next thing that struck me was how well organized the event was. Imagine over 3,000 people having their feet measured and fitted with the proper size shoe. Seasoned shoe industry professionals, from several different shoe companies, joined forces under Jack’s leadership to insure the operation was a well-oiled machine and that everybody left with a smile. To see the faces of the moms and the kids as you handed them a Guy Harvey T-shirt was priceless. Yes, we will be back next year!

– Bill Shedd


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Aug 28, 2012

John Lo Gioco Proves One Angler Can Make a Difference

Most every saltwater fisherman knows of the positive impact that Guy Harvey has made on behalf of the marine resource and the ocean angler. But not everybody can be Guy Harvey. In this increasingly complex world, we often wonder if one individual angler can make a meaningful difference. The answer is yes, and for proof we need look no further than John Lo Gioco. John is a New Jersey angler who loves to fish for tuna. He became concerned that more information is needed about this awesome fish, so he decided to do something about it. In 2012 he created the Atlantic Tuna Tagging Project that provides tools and information for captains and anglers who tag tuna.

John’s passion was obvious and his plan solid, so early on, AFTCO and Guy Harvey, were more than happy to support John with is effort. We provided his Atlantic Tuna Project, Guy Harvey Tuna Collage T-shirts to be given out to anglers joining his effort. I talked with John about some of the issues we dealt with in past programs, including Tag A Tuna For Tomorrow and the AFTCO TAG FLAG Program, and we gladly supported him in other ways. In 2011, the Atlantic Tuna Project was responsible for tagging 144 Bluefin, 35 Yellowfin, and 4 swordfish in the Atlantic, and 56 Yellowfin in the Pacific. Tagging results are expected to be even better in 2012, and I know the recapture below put a big smile on John’s face. Congratulations and thank you John for making a difference. More information can found at .



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Dec 28, 2011

Fishing Ban Extended at One of the Last Spawning Areas for the Nassau Grouper

Discussion about and awareness of Marine Protect Areas (MPA) continues to increase.  Much focus has been put on irrational and ill-advised  MPA’s like in those along the California coast, the Outer banks of N.C. or Biscayne Bay, FL. In those cases, politics, rather than science or rational thought, drove the agenda.  AFTCO has and will continue to speak out and fight against such ill-advised MPA’s.

The above poor examples does not mean that all MPA’s are bad.  Today’s blog is about a different type of MPA, one that is reasonable, supported by sound science, and a good example of how conservationists, and sportfishermen can work together on behalf of the marine resource.  This MPA will allow the Cayman Islands to continue to protect their Nassau grouper spawning aggregation site.  We applaud Guy Harvey and all who supported him in this effort.

 – Bill Shedd   

Dr. Guy Harvey Applauds Decision But Says More Needs to Be Done

GEORGE TOWN, GRAND CAYMAN—DECEMBER 16, 2011— A groundswell of public support generated by Guy Harvey’s latest film The Mystery of the Grouper Moon has prompted the Marine Conservation Board of the Cayman Islands to extend a ban on fishing the Nassau grouper spawning aggregation site near Little Cayman.

The Board, this week, voted to extend the current moratorium another eight years after reviewing extensive research conducted by REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) and Oregon State University and a public education campaign supported by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE). The existing ban, in place since 2003, was due to expire at the end of the year. The penalty for catching Nassau grouper in a spawning aggregation site between November and March is up to one year in prison or up to $500,000 in fines.

“The Cayman Islands are celebrating the 25 anniversary since the formation of the first marine park here, so it is fitting that such a strong conservation effort has been made by the MCB and that common sense has prevailed,” said Dr. Harvey.

In filming the research work being conducted by REEF, Guy Harvey and award-winning filmmaker George Schellenger created a compelling and informative 45-minute documentary—The Mystery of the Grouper Moon. The film’s purpose was to document the research and make the results available in layman’s language to the residents of the Cayman Islands. The documentary was shot entirely in the Cayman Islands and was supported by REEF and the DOE. The GHOF also supported the education campaign with custom artwork.

More work needs to be done, according to Dr. Harvey, who makes his home in the Cayman Islands.

“We are all very glad that the Marine Conservation Board has acted positively on the research conducted by REEF and the DOE, as the science clearly shows the recovery of Nassau groupers has not been as successful as expected,” said Dr. Harvey. “This is because fishing for this species still continues during the spawning season, but outside of the protected spawning aggregation sites.”

The Nassau grouper population, according to Dr. Harvey, has maintained equilibrium and has not grown appreciably. Harvey says the next step is for the Ministry of the Environment to legislate protection of Nassau grouper throughout its range during spawning season, between November 1 and March 31.

“This would be similar to the protection enjoyed by conch and lobster populations which remain healthy in the Cayman Islands, but are fished for only during short seasons each year,” he said. “Also the minimum catch size of the Nassau grouper needs to be extended from 12 inches to 24 inches. It is good fishery management to let fish reproduce before they are harvested. A 12 inch fish is immature.”

An added advantage to keeping groupers at a healthy population is that they can serve as a natural culling force on the invasive, non-native lionfish, which are annihilating several species of juvenile reef fish throughout the Caribbean.

“Local fishermen need to realize that these conservation measures will benefit all user groups in the years to come,” Dr. Harvey concluded. “Once the Nassau grouper population recovers it can then be managed and fished within the restrictions of new catch limits, but the spawning brood stock must be protected forever.”

For a complete list of our other featured blog posts and to see the full line of Guy Harvey Sportswear, please visit:

Oct 7, 2011

Removing Offshore Oil Rigs Can Harm the Marine Resource

Masses of Dead Red Snapper shows the result of rushing to remove offshore oil rigs by using dynamite

Last week on this blog we reprinted an excellent report from Doug Olander, editor of Sport Fishing Magazine, entitled “Stop the Plan to Destroy Our Gulf’s Living Coral Reefs” and the attached photo is a follow up to that blog.

Sportfishermen appreciate the habitat value provided by offshore oil rigs.  We think it is important to understand and evaluate the importance of this habitat prior to removing the rig once the oil beneath it has been extracted.  Some in the extreme environmental community are so blinded by their dislike for the oil industry that they push to have this important habitat removed without consideration of its potential future habitat value as an artificial reef site. They call it junk on the bottom of the ocean, while the fish and other ocean life call it home.

Since 1995, AFTCO, starting with our former Chairman Milt Shedd, has been working in California to help create a Rig-To-Reefs program.  The goal of this program was to evaluate habitat value of an offshore oil rig before it was removed.  If it was determined to be a net positive to the marine resource, the underwater portion of that rig would left in place as a life producing artificial reef. The photo shows the obvious damage that canbe caused by removal of an offshore oil rig. But what about the unseen loss? What about the vast quantities of marine life and habitat that is destroyed sight unseen?  Converting off shore rigs to artificial reefs can be a valuable tool in our collective efforts to look after the ocean resource.


For a complete list of our other featured blog posts and to see the full line of Guy Harvey Sportswear,
please visit:

Aug 4, 2011

Fish Story 2

All of us, who have spent any amount of time on the water, have seen or at least heard some awesome fishing stories.  One of the features we will now add to this blogsite is to utilize it in sharing some of our stories with you and to provide a forum for you to share your stories with us and the many readers of this blogsite.    

My best fishing story is one that I was lucky enough to be a part of. It took place in Panama in 2009 when Guy swam down with my line and connected it to an already hooked up 1200 plus pound black marlin so we could get the fish tagged with a satellite tag.  To read about this “Ultimate Fish Story” click here  , and to see it on video click here.  While this adventure with Guy will likely remain my most memorable fishing story, prior to this amazing event, the best fishing story I had ever heard was told to me by my father.

The story was about longtime family friend, Bobby Tidwell, catching his first marlin in Cabo San Lucas Mexico in 1956.  Herb Bell of Packard Bell fame, owned the 100 foot Five Bells, named after the five Bell brothers, including the boat’s captain/ brother, Willard.   As one of the very first boats to fish the waters of Cabo, the Five Bells played an important role in discovering this fishing paradise.  Herb would invite friends to join him on fishing trips to waters of the East Cape and Cabo San Lucas.  He needed talent on the boat to help ensure fishing success for his friends, and invited my dad Milt Shedd to join him in that role. During the trip to Cabo in 1956, Bobby Tidwell joined the group.  An accomplished diver and expert angler, Bobby had yet to catch a marlin and was determined to do so.  While trolling, Bobby hooked up to a striped marlin and when a second rod went off, dad grabbed the rod thinking they had a double.   As both lines quickly came together, dad realized it was not a double hookup, but that one hungry marlin had eaten both baits.  With the Five Bells now stopped, the fish ran towards the bow.  Both dad and Bobby followed the fish and, when about the middle of the boat, the fish turned and ran directly under the boat and came up jumping on the other side.

Knowing there was no way to get to the bow to clear the line to the other side, dad  tightened down the drag to break the fish off.  To his amazement, he turned to Bobby just as he was diving overboard shouting “I am going to catch this fish.”   Bobby is one of the most determined men I have ever known, but this was crazy.  He dove overboard with rod and reel in hand, swam down to clear the considerable draft of the large boat and came up on the other side.  Luckily, the marlin did not sound and was jumping toward the horizon.  Bobby was being pulled behind the marlin, much like a water skier as the ski boat slowly moves away before accelerating to pop the skier out of the water.  The other guys on deck looked down in amazement as Bobby yelled back to launch the skiff, which dad was already in the process of doing.  The skiff was launched and Bobby Tidwell caught his first marlin.  When asked later why he did it, Bobby simply replied “It was the only thing I could do to make sure I caught that fish.”   

Bobby Tidwell passed away last year.  While many people in Orange County, CA will remember him as the guy who gave the Children’s Hospital of Orange County  (CHOC) $30 million dollars in his will, I will remember him for the amazing fishing story witnessed and told to me by my dad when I was just a young kid.

If you have an unusual fishing story send it to me, Bill Shedd, at so we can share it here on this blogsite for others to enjoy.

For a complete list of our other featured blog posts and to see the full line of Guy Harvey Sportswear, please visit: