The Sportfishing Conservancy and Sanctuary Classic - Late August, Back from the Road

The Sportfishing Conservancy has a couple of engaging projects going on this summer, the kind that require fairly constant attention.  Our (National Marine) Sanctuary Classic, fishing and photo contest is starting to wind down, although Classic action is far from over.  I’ve spent the last 2 weeks on the east coast helping to prepare for the Sanctuary Classic awards ceremony where we will give away 4 “Guy Harvey” scholarships for the best kids fishing pictures that demonstrate family fishing values, kids fishing and good conservation.  Guy has come on board with the Classic and we are grateful for his support and very proud to have him as a partner.  Scholarship winners will be announced our awards ceremony set for September 13 at the Florida Gulf Coast Center For Fishing in Largo, Florida.  Our host at this incredible location is Jim Simons.  You may know Jim from his role running the International Billfish competitions, including the Bisbee and other high-end tournaments.  We are honored to partner with Jim.  We hope to have some great video of the event and location to share with you.

In addition to lining out our awards ceremony, we were also busy in Savannah Georgia.  Savannah is home the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary headquarters and Sanctuary Superintendent, George Sedberry and was center stage for the Sanctuary Classic promotional video tailored to that venue.  With George’s help we were able to shoot a great introduction to the Gray’s Reef Sanctuary, complete with local anglers and fishing guides talking about the wonderful resources and great fishing opportunities there off the coast.  The video is definitely cool, but it only tells a slice of the story.  Cathy Sakas from George’s staff set up interviews with the local fishing community and the folks there were awesome.  A Georgia downpour (and I do mean DOWNPOUR) put our initial interview with Captain Judy Helmay on hold, but it gave us a chance to spent time with her and get some absolutely incredible stories about everything from fishing to let us say ‘local color.’  Captain Judy’s local color has the makings of a full-length motion picture from her “daddy’s” historic rendezvous’ with Al Capone all the way to other family connections linked to jets hijacked to Cuba.   You can see Captain Judy in our Gray’s Reef Sanctuary video at  As a matter of fact, there are a number of incredible stories on all of our Classic videos – and while you’re at it, please check out our other Sanctuary Classic fishing video including Monterey Bay, Channel Islands, and the Florida Keys.




Department of Fish & wildlife