Posts Tagged ‘Milt Shedd’

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.

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Nov 4, 2010

Combining Business with Sportfishing Community & Marine Resource Support — Part I

The American Fishing Tackle Company (AFTCO) is a unique business in that we spend an unusual amount of time and money on the sportfishing community and marine resource issues.  This non business involvement is part of the Shedd family legacy and AFTCO culture.  It started with my father Milt Shedd, who prior to co-founding Sea World in 1964, founded what is now known as the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute (HSWRI).  The mission of HSWRI remains to this day as it was in 1963, “To return to the sea some measure of the benefits derived from it.” Dad thought that even before they opened, Sea World should be looking for ways to give back to the marine community by forming a research institute that would allow universities, marine researchers, and other collaborators to do research work with the ocean life at Sea World.  He felt that little was known about the ocean and the creatures that live there, so in order to insure a healthy future existence of the ocean and its inhabitants, Man needed a greater understanding of that universe.

Dad and Shamu — Milt Shedd established the Shedd family legacy of using business success to support marine resource efforts

Dad applied that same logic to AFTCO when he and Mom purchased the business in 1973.  He encouraged all of us here to be involved with activities that would help add value to the ocean world.  That encouragement remains an inspiration 8 years after his passing in 2002.  As president of AFTCO, I spend over 500 hours a year providing support/leadership to various fishing communities and resource efforts.  Last week’s activities’ in Florida offered a good example of how we, here at AFTCO, continue to balance business and resource efforts.  I thought you might like to hear about what went on.

On Monday I flew from our home office in Irvine California to Florida to attend the American Sportfising Association (ASA) Summit, the sportfishing industries annual meeting.  My main involvement was as Chairman of the ASA Government Affairs Committee.  Our committee met on Tuesday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM and discussed a range of issues including Marine Protected Areas, the National Ocean Policy, Magnuson-Stevens Act Challenges, the Fishery Conservation Transition Act, South Atlantic/Gulf Councils Update, Gulf Oil Spill, Cape Hatteras National Seashore/ORV Management Plan, Lead Issues including several efforts to ban the use of lead, Lake Champlain Issues, Water4Fish/CA Delta Water Challenges,  Reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, and the KeepAmericaFishing Angler Advocacy Initiative.   During most of that day, we were joined by Eric Schwaab, the current assistant administrator for fisheries at NOAA.

Tuesday night I attended the International Gamefish Association (IGFA) Hall of Fame Induction ceremony where Yoshiro Hattori (Japan), Steve Huff, George Matthews, John Wilson (England) and Forrest Wood were inducted.  As Chairman of the IGFA Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, I am interested in the entire process from working with fellow committee members to insure the best candidates are selected, all the way up to the induction ceremony.  As the co-chair of the IGFA Fisheries and Conservation committee, I also discussed with IGFA president Rob Kramer and Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser, the new IGFA release only record by length world record category we are about to announce to the fishing world.  (Activities from last Wednesday to Saturday will be covered in our next blog.)


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