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Sunday, October 10, 2010
Updated: October 15, 5:00 PM ET
Blog: The Horizon Effect

By Steve Bowman


Pleasant surprise

By Andy Crawford

OK, so I admit it. I was one of those fearing the worst when the BP Deepwater Horizon exploded and began pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico. I just couldn't imagine how there could be so much raw crude out there without seeing fish die-offs and fragile Louisiana marshes destroyed.

I was wrong. So wrong.



Slaying the Tuna

By Steve Bowman

I spent the day more than 50 miles off shore, running from oil rig to oil rig and more or less slaying the tuna.

The oil rigs that are producing are up and running. The rigs that are drilling are like a ghost town. Add to that the rigs that still haven't recovered from Katrina and Ike and there are tons of places to drop a line.

There's something like 5,800 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of them are simply amazing. The boat I was on caught somewhere this side of 300 pounds of tuna. And we released most of that

In short, some parts of the Gulf are in great shape.

But there is a feeling around here that they are almost waiting for the other shoe to fall. That other shoe would be in the form of what else is in store with the oil that is spilled. [READ MORE]


Marsh Madness

By Steve Bowman

This trip to the Louisiana Marsh revolves around an annual get together of industry leaders and outdoor writers.

It's known as Marsh Madness and it's in its 12th year. There are about 40 or more of us spilling out into the marsh and to the oil rigs everyday.

All of them are coming back with phenomenal reports of fish catches from everything from tuna to redfish to trout and my personal favorite cobia.

This area of the world is obviously hot in terms of fishing and there has been very little talk about the oil. It's funny how good fishing can do that.

Keeping with the madness part of Marsh Madness, anytime you get outdoor writers and industry folks together on fishing trips there is bound to be some "what in the world is he thinking" moments. [READ MORE]


Damage Hard to Find

By Steve Bowman

I spent most of the day running around the marsh with Paul Rossi of Skeeter Boats. Both of us have limited experience in the marsh.

We're not green, having put in several hours around the Venice area, we're just not familiar with every nook and cranny. That takes years of experience. As a result, and despite years of roaming around here some, we got lost, or better put, turned around.

The trip took us down several of the passes and canals around the Venice area. While we were hunting redfish, I was still keeping an eye out for oil damage. After burning about 40 gallons of gasoline, we caught several redfish. (Enough for me to add several dinners to my freezer.) But we never once saw any oil damage.

Obviously, we weren't just riding around and looking for it. But we covered enough miles that if it were prevalent, we would have seen it. [READ MORE]


Reports Are Good

By Steve Bowman

I haven't been in Venice very long and it's already evident the folks in these parts are excited about their fishing.

The thing they are burdened with is getting folks outside the area excited about their fishing.

"As we all know, the fishing is just as good or better than it's ever been,'' said Mark Hilzm with the Louisiana Sportsman. "But the perception is things are terrible down here.

"People think there is oil covering all our shrimp, covering all our crabs, covering all our redfish. They think that our yards are covered with oil."

That is a total misconception. I haven't been fishing yet, but I'm here with several leaders in the industry from manufacturers to outdoor writers. It's an annual trip for everyone in attendance known as Marsh Madness. Some of these guys have showed up early, and the redfishing in the marsh is on fire. [READ MORE]


The Horizon Effect

By Steve Bowman

Go back and look at newsreels for 2010 and the story of the year revolved around the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

It will be that way forever.

The nation and most of the world counted down the days until the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico was stemmed. It took a total of 87 days. And during that time this area of Louisiana was at the top of every newscast and newspaper.

Since that 87th day news on the oil spill and its impacts have been sparse. [READ MORE]