March 5 & 6, 2022 • Marriott Hotel, Quincy, MA

Speakers

Damon Sacco
Damon Sacco Captain Damon Sacco is the founder of Castafari Inc. which was established in 1998. After earning a bachelor degree at Hobart College in 1991, Damon ventured into the entertainment industry pursuing a passion in music, touring and recording two albums with the reggae/ska outfit, Iration. Damon went on to co-own and run a Best Of Boston named bowling alley/restaurant, Sacco's, located in Davis Square, Somerville Massachusetts which he sold in 2015.

Castafari Inc. is a sportfishing enterprise offering big game fishing tournaments, a winter and spring sportfishing expo/seminar series, custom offshore fishing tackle, and private sportfishing adventures. The Castafari tournament events have generated over $150,000 to help pediatric cancer and autism victims and the Boys and Girls Club of Martha's Vineyard.

Over the past 25 years, Castafari has gained recognition along the eastern seaboard, earning 1st place wins in all of the big game fishing tournaments in the northeast, two Massachusetts state records including a 183 lb. wahoo. Castafari offshore adventure has been featured on ESPN, National Geographic, Spike, Versus, CNN, ABC, CBS, The Scarborough Show, and the Today Show.

Damon is currently a pro-staff member at Shimano, Costa Del Mar, Simrad, Aftco, Milton Cat, Nomad Tackle, and Sufix Line. He is a vocal contributor to the big game fishing industry, sharing his experience and knowledge regularly. He is also a passionate advocate of fisheries management and preservation, and is a returning board member of the Stellwagen Charterboat Association.

Captain Damon is a passionate author, and has regularly contributed his work to major fishing publications such as Marlin Magazine, The Big Game Journal, Saltwater Sportsman, and On The Water Magazine. Damon is currently working on publishing an anthology of essays profiling the Castafari experience at sea.

Damon is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, and has logged over five thousand offshore hours in waters from Maine to the Bahamas, and worldwide. Damon has fished at many global destinations, including Panama, Bora Bora, The Galapagos, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, The British Virgin Islands, Belize, The Bahamas, Columbia, Mexico and right here in America.

Mark DeCabia
Mark Decabia Captain Mark has been fishing for over 30 years. His ongoing passion on the water eventually led him to a full-time career as a commercial fisherman and private boat captain. Spending about 270 days a year offshore on average for the last 15 years , Mark has earned a reputation as one of the more proficient high liners in the northeast. Mark was recently featured in "In The Bite" magazine as one of the "Top Young Guns Of Sportfishing in 2018." He is also one of the top pro staff team members for Penn Tackle, Simrad, Momoi, Costa Del Mar, and Deep Ocean Apparel.

Mark is no stranger to the tournament winner’s circle. He has secured several tournament wins, including some of the biggest sportfishing events on the east coast, including the Mid Atlantic 500, Tristate Tournament and White Marlin Open . Mark and his team secured a 1st place win in the 2019 Northeast Offshore Cup. Mark's team also caught the biggest bigeye tuna in the Montauk Canyon Challenge tournament in 2017 and again in 2018. When it comes to bigeye tuna, Mark is undoubtedly one of the best in the game, averaging around 25 per season. He has caught well over 300 bigeye tuna in the northeast canyons For over 20 years Mark has been helming top producing vessels like "Canyon Runner," "Reel Action," and is currently at the helm of the fishing vessel "Rebel."

Mark is an active owner and innovator at Broadbill Fisheries which is a Long Island New York based outfitting company specializing in offshore tackle products and boat outfitting. His products are made for the long haul and designed for the serious tournament fishermen. For more than 2 decades he has designed and built tens of thousands of spreader bars of various types and will discuss the ins and outs of these products.

Mark has also presented publicly at several other major fishing seminar events, including the Canyon built Runner Seminar series where he still presents annually. Canyon fishing has always been one of Mark's biggest passions, and he has offered to share his knowledge and fishing adventure to help connect more people with more big fish! Mark can be reached at Mark@broadbill.com.

Archie Jost
Archie Jost Captain Archie Jost grew up fishing the waters south of Long Island and Montauk NY, and has been fishing professionally and commercially for over 60 years. Archie owned and operated two very successful offshore commercial fishing vessels, the F/V Midnight Sun and F/V Sea Hunter. He fished decades in waters spanning from the Gulf of Mexico to Nova Scotia and just about everywhere in between, including waters nearly halfway across the Atlantic. The primary target species on Archie’s vessels were swordfish and tuna. Archie and his crew employed a variety of gear types including harpooning, rod & reel, long-lining, buoy fishing, and eventually green sticking. Archie also spent several years running private vessels like 46 Westmac, "Battlewagon" for the Povich family.

Archie’s fishing prowess gained him a spot on the Discovery Channel's TV show "Swords" in 2007-2008 where he fished alongside famed swordfish captain/author, Linda Greenlaw. They spent their fishing seasons long-lining up and down the Eastern Seaboard and Grand Banks on the fishing vessel Seahawk.

Archie's unabated passion for fishing manifested a variety of other ocean related interests. He gained his pilot’s license, and spent many days spotting tuna and swordfish for harpooning vessels working in the northeast. Archie also became an accomplished scrimshaw artist, and was one of the first to do it on the bill of a swordfish. Archie even fished and helped organize the very first Hemmingway tournament in Cuba held back in 1979.

Archie has always been an active supporter and advocate of marine-life preservation. He served on the board of the infamous Ocean Research Foundation (OKEANOS) for 17 years actively studying the feeding patterns of mammals and fish. He eventually became the board’s president. Archie’s scientific knowledge and experience has always played an integral role in the way he pursues fish, and his catch successes have earned him a reputation as being one the best on the east coast. Consequently he was chosen and hired by NOAA to assist them with their 5 year fisheries preservation plan, the "Deep Water Horizon Restoration Project." Archie is currently working with NOAA on the introduction and implementation of alternative fishing methods to commercial fishing such as deep dropping, buoy fishing, and green sticking.

When the weather and schedule allows, Archie continues to fish on his private boat in Stuart Florida.

Bryan and Taylor Sears
Bryan and Taylor Sears Captains Bryan and Taylor Sears have been fishing the inshore and offshore waters of New England for over 20 years. They grew up together on the South Shore of Massachusetts, fishing the North River for striped bass and quickly graduated to offshore fishing at a very young age. Bryan and Taylor both attended Massachusetts Maritime Academy where they became USCG licensed captains as well as received degrees in Emergency Management and Facilities Engineering, respectively. They have captained and mated on many boats throughout the Northeast, but most of Sears brothers' time is spent running their family owned/operated charter fleet, Mass Bay Guides, along with their father Capt. Greg Sears. Mass Bay Guides runs an average of 200 trips a season, focusing their offshore efforts primarily on bluefin tuna in and around the waters of Stellwagen Bank. This operation has earned it's way to being one of the most successful sportfishing charter businesses in the northeast. Their biggest Stellwagen giant weighed 1056 pounds. They brought 54 giant tuna to the boat in the 2019 season.

Bryan and Taylor's experience in the offshore fishing industry stems well beyond the waters of New England. They have both been anglers, mates, and captains in many different locations across the globe including Costa Rica, Cabo San Lucas, many areas of Florida, and Prince Edward Island.

Bryan and Taylor's offshore fishing experience also involves the canyon game of the Northeast. Collectively they have secured spots on the leaderboard in over 10 bluewater tournaments within the last 8 years including the Oak Bluffs Bluewater Classic, The Nantucket Big Game Battle, The Northeast Offshore Cup, and the Canadian International Tuna Cup.

The Sears brothers offer their freelance services through their own company, "SeaBros." When not found fishing on Stellwagen Bank or Mass Bay, you can find them running all-inclusive fishing trips to Prince Edward Island Canada, the Gulf Coast of Florida, transporting vessels up and down the East Coast, guiding, outfitting boats, and offering seminars and workshops in the New England area.

John Bunar
John Bunar

Captain John Bunar has been fishing the offshore waters of the northeast for over 35 years. At the age of 9, John cut his teeth as a mate on a local charter boat in Sesuit Harbor. He has since earned a reputation as being one of Stellwagon Bank's most proficient bluefin tuna highliners. From June to November, John spends most of his time chasing fish from Maine to Cape Cod. Owning and operating a sportfishing charter company based in Plymouth Massachusetts, John has successfully connected his clients to hundreds of giant bluefin tuna.

John is a 29 year USCG captain, and former member of the Yamaha National Fishing Team. He also hosted the Massachusetts Fishing Report show during it's entirety. John has also spoken publicly at a variety of New England fishing seminar and trade shows.

Being on the water almost every day of the week, Capt. John has pioneered a variety of techniques that have increased his odds at catching fish. Whether it's where, how, or when to catch bait...what bait works when and where...when to anchor..when to drift, or even when to use a kite, John has mastered all of the above. More importantly, he is offering to share his knowledge and expertise with other fishermen, and will be helping to kick things off on Saturday April 1st at the 2017 Castafari Seminar. If you're a bluefin tuna enthusiast, and you fish Stellwagon, this is one you don't want to miss.

Tommy Howd
Tommy Howd

Captain Tommy Howd brings 25 years of fishing experience, spanning from the offshore waters of Maine, Florida, the Bahamas, and all the way to the Galapagos Islands. While earning a bachelors degree from Connecticut College in 2011, Tommy began his professional fishing career working for an offshore charter fishing operation in Newport, Rhode Island. His mating experience eventually landed him a spot with the “Canyon Runner” operation, fishing alongside captains Mark Decabia and Mark Deblasio. After several years working in the cockpit as a professional mate, Tommy eventually earned his USCG Captains license, and began running and captaining his family's vessel "Tokatomist," a 61 Ritchie Howell. Over the passed several years, the "Tokatomist" crew has garnered continued northeast tournament success, including a 140 lb. daytime swordfish caught on conventional tackle in the 2016 OBBC. Over 40 day time swordfish were brought to the deck of the "Tokatomist" with Tommy at the helm, including three fish over 300 pounds! Captain Tom Howd has earned a reputation as being a swordfish magnet. He has caught big swordfish every season, including a 300 plus pound fish in 2017. There isn't a more successful swordfishing operation in the northeast, and Tommy will be sharing his knowledge and ideas at this year's Castafari seminar!

Jack Sprengel (East Coast Charters/ RonZ Lures LLC)
Captain Jack Sprengel Captain Sprengel is a Freestyle Outdoor Guide with over 20 years of Regional and international sport fishing experience. His connection to the sport fishing community stems from both experience on the water from a variety of platforms as well as in the tackle manufacturing and even retail facets of the sport. Captain Jack is a progressive member of New England’s Sport Fishing Community. He is a Freelance Outdoor Writer/Photographer and Published Author. His work is frequently seen in publications like "Saltwater Sportsman," "Sport Fishing Magazine", "Big Game Journal" and "On the Water" Magazines as well as many more. He is also an avid contributor to Internet publications like Fishtrack.com, Roffers and "On the Water's" fishing reports. A Multi-Species Enthusiast; He has traveled to many regions in search of trophy or more exotic game fish. Learning from its earlier development with the introduction of modern braided line systems, the captain now specializes in Offshore and Reef Style Jigging and Casting for large pelagic and tropical species with top water lures and jigs. The captain has fished and placed "in the money" as a crew member or at the helm in several Atlantic based big game Sportfishing tournaments, targeting everything from inshore species to larger offshore species like tunas and large billfish. Additionally, Jack has made numerous appearances on both New England based and major television networks, sharing his passion for the north east Sportfishing opportunities and techniques.

Jack has headed the Sport Fishing Presence at the Rhode Island Boat show for both the Newport Yachting Group and the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association as well as consulted and assisted in the layout and design of some northeast sport fishing boat brands. He has worked regionally as a guest speaker for the Big Game Bash, The Castafari Offshore Seminar Series as well as headlining for Bass Pro Shops Big Fish Weekend and Spring Classic. He has given hundreds of cutting edge audio/video Sportfishing Lectures across the Northeast. For the last 3 years Capt. Sprengel was selected to be an instructor at the National Saltwater Seminar Series for George Poveromo. In addition to his published works and outdoor guiding career, Capt Jack is also one of the two men at the helm of the RonZ Lures brand and an active member of Team Shimano's U.S. and Japanese based operations.

Mike Hogan
Captain Mike Hogan Hogy Lure Company was founded by Capt. Mike Hogan who designed each product in the field. Capt. Mike has fished all over the country and has developed products and techniques along the way, all with big fish in mind.

The company was started in 2004 when Capt. Mike left his office job in Boston and moved back to Cape Cod in order to get closer to fishing. He began running inshore and offshore charters again, focusing on trophy class fishing. He doesn't use live or dead bait, so he found himself needing baits for very specific situations to compete with live bait anglers. As a result, he saw a demand for large-style soft baits that mimicked the larger baits he was trying to imitate. Capt. Mike spent many months working on the special blend of soft plastic and finally came up with the current plastic blend that Hogy Lure Company uses today. He immediately saw how effective large soft baits were both inshore and off-shore. Never intending to bring the new lures to market, Capt. Mike used them on his charters and gave them to his friends who referred to them as “Hogy's”

Capt. Mike's first experience selling Hogy Lures was at a sportsman show in Massachusetts. He remembered the mountain of soft baits he had on the table at a time when he didn't even have packaging. Much to his great pleasure, he sold out by early afternoon the first day. The same thing happened at the following show in Rhode Island. It was then that he knew he was on to something. In 2005, Hogy Lure Company was incorporated and later filed for a patent finally received in 2009. Hogy Tackle continued onward to become one of the most reputable and widely known lure companies on the east coast.

John Galvin
John Galvin Captain John Galvin has earned over 15 years of professional world wide offshore fishing experience. John has logged over 40,000 nautical miles on the sea spanning from the Canadian Maritimes and New England all the way down the east coast to Florida, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexico, and Costa Rica. He has spent time either in the cockpit or at the helm of successful operations in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.

John has been in the fishing industry since he was 15 years old beginning his fishing career at Eastman's Sport and Tackle in Falmouth, Mass. While earning a bachelors degree at Salve Regina University in 2005, John obtained his USCG captains license and has since worked aboard several reputable sportfishing vessels in Cape Cod, including a 4-year run on the Castafari (2007-2011).

After working on the Castafari, John furthered his fishing exploits at the helm of the Mulberry Canyon, a 40 foot Cabo. For 5 seasons John successfully ran this sportfishing operation based in Falmouth, Massachusetts, fishing the Northeast Canyons and waters east of Chatham. The Mulberry Canyon crew earned several tournament wins, including 11 top 3 spots and two 1st place finishes. John then became a member of the world known Jaruco Sportfishing Team, operating in New England in the summers and Costa Rica in the winters. In 2017 John took a job helming the 76-foot Viking "Blondie" and its 32Z SeaVee tender operating from Montauk NY in the summer and Miami/Bahamas in the winter.

In 2019, John departed from the Blondie to be closer to home operating the El Diablo operation out of Nantucket and Miami Beach. Currently they are building a new 72 Viking to relocate their 68 alongside their 41 Valhalla and 20 Maritime Skiff.

John continues to work in the tackle industry as a brand ambassador and adviser to numerous manufacturers such as Offshore Innovations/POON Harpoons, Canyon Gear Lures. John has also earned a pro-staff position at Costa Del Mar. His writing, photography, and likeness have been featured on the pages of Big Game Journal, Sport Fishing Magazine, In the Bite, On the Water, Marlin Magazine and FishTrack.com. He has also been featured on Sportfishing Television and On The Water TV. John may be reached via email at gailmariefisheriesllc@gmail.com

Matt Perachio
Matt Perachio Captain Matt Perachio is a well accomplished USCG licensed captain with over 25 years of both inshore and offshore fishing experience. He grew up fishing the waters around outer Cape Cod, and his fishing passion and determination led him to a professional career on the water. Matt currently owns and runs a thriving sportfishing service, Tighten Up Charters based in Truro Massachusetts. His specialty includes light tackle techniques for Bluefin Tuna, Striped Bass, Cod and Bluefish. He is on the pro-staff for BKK Hooks who will be at the seminar. Matt has also been featured on the cover of On The Water Magazine several times as well as OTW videos. He is well known for his relentless work ethic, unique sixth sense in locating fish, and going the extra mile to get the job done.

Mike Pierdinock
Mike Pierdinock

Captain Mike Pierdinock has been an avid angler for most of his life. He has fished in both the Atlantic and Pacific ocean, focusing his efforts in waters from New England to Florida and Central America. Mike is an USCG captain, and operates the charter vessel "Perseverance" fishing Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound and distant waters south of Martha's Vineyard. Mike specializes in the pursuit of tuna, sharks and groundfish. More info on his charter business can be viewed at www.cpfcharters.com.

Captain Mike is also a leading advocate for the northeast rod and reel fishery. He is very active on various fishery related commissions, committees, and advisory panels serving as a fishery advocate for the recreational and charter boat/for hire community. He is presently serving as the U.S. representative on the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Advisory Committee and has served as a U.S. Delegate at the annual ICCAT meetings; Massachusetts Marine Fishery Advisory Commission, Vice Chairman; National Marine Fishery Service, Atlantic Highly Migratory Species, Advisory Panel; and the New England Fishery Management Council, Recreational Advisory Panel. Captain Mike is the Massachusetts Chairman of the Recreational Fishing Alliance and is also on the Board of Directors of the Stellwagen Bank Charter Boat Association. Mike actively participates in fishery management issues that impact charter boat/head-boat captains and recreational anglers, and will be presenting details on the history and present management of the bluefin tuna fishery at the 2020 Castafari Big Game Fishing Seminar.

Captain Mike Pierdinock has made presentations at fishing seminars and shows throughout New England. He is a contributing author for the Marlin magazine. He periodically appears on Capt. Lou’s Nautical Talk radio show (WATD 95.9 FM) discussing the latest fishery management issues that impact charter boat/headboat captains and recreational anglers.

Dr. Walt Golet
Dr. Walt Golet

Dr. Walt Golet is a research professor and scientist at the University Of Maine and Gulf Of Maine Research Institute. Walter completed his graduate research and a Postdoc on Atlantic bluefin tuna at the University of New Hampshire. He then became a professor at the University of Maine in 2015. where he currently resides and teaches. The majority of Walt’s work focuses on understanding the age, growth, migration, reproduction, stock structure, and forging ecology for highly migratory fish in the Atlantic. Walter's primary objective is to improve estimates of stock status in hopes to maintain/improve fishing opportunities for commercial and recreational fishermen. In addition to his research, Walt holds one of four academic positions on NOAA’s Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel which is tasked with domestic management and policy of HMS species. He also serves as a technical advisor on the ICCAT Advisory Committee’s Atlantic bluefin tuna working group. His current research projects include work on Atlantic bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, broadbill swordfish and marlin. Walt will be sharing his knowledge and research on the local northeast giant tuna population and migration at the Castafari Seminar.

Dr. Jeff Kneebone
Jeff Kneebone

Dr. Jeff Kneebone is an Associate Research Scientist at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium. He holds a Masters degree from the University of New Hampshire and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and has been conducting research on a wide variety of fish species in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans for the past 15 years. His research focuses on numerous aspects of fish biology, ecology, and physiology, and is largely conducted in partnership with the commercial and recreational fishing communities. Through his research, he hopes to generate data that can improve fishery management and sustainability, particularly for highly migratory species. Jeff's current research focuses on a wide variety of marine fishes including sand tiger sharks, common thresher sharks, black sea bass, yellowfin tuna and Pacific bluefin tuna. He is also an avid fishermen and spends much of his free time on the water, primarily targeting tautog, sharks, and tuna. Jeff is currently working on a post catch mortality study on yellowfin tuna. He and his team are actively tagging northeast yellowfin tuna, aiming to better understand their migratory patterns and offshore ecosystems. Jeff will be presenting his research at the Castafari Big Game Seminar.

Peter Bacon and Shamus Mara
Peter Bacon
Chris Young

Captain Peter Bacon and Captain Shamus Mara of Big Game Sport Fishing, have been fishing the Southern New England waters from Rhode Island to the Florida Keys and the Bahamas for 20+ years. Best known as owner / operators of Rhode Island’s Premiere Charter Boat Fleet Big Game Sport Fishing and the originators of The Fluke Til Ya Puke Fishing Tournament. Pete and Shamus have a true passion for the thrill of the hunt, love putting their clients on fish, and use a number of techniques targeting all of the inshore and offshore species this world class fishery has to offer. Combined they spend over 110 days offshore every year. The Big Game crew was recently named 2017 Charter Captains of year by Sport Fishing Magazine. They've also been featured in On The Water Magazine, The Fisherman Magazine and Coastal Angler Magazine. Pete and Shamus have spoken and given seminars at fishing shows and clubs throughout New England, New York and New Jersey, as well as at the Castafari Big Game Seminar. Pete and Shamus have a competitive spirit and have earned a reputation as proven fish raisers. They take great pride in making sure that their clients have a memorable fishing experience of a lifetime.


Tony DuBeck
Tony Dubeck

Tony DuBeck has been working at PENN Fishing Tackle for 15 years. His posts at Penn have ranged from Quality Inspection, Assembly Team Lead, Repair Technician to now Parts and Service Manager. Tony's knowledge of PENN reels is vast. He is widely familiar and experienced with all reels ranging from small spinning outfits to big game conventional outfits. Tony has the ability to determine a faulty reel by feel, and can usually determine what is causing the problem without disassembling. In Tony's current role with PENN he manages a Parts and Service Team of 12 technicians. He will be at the show both days, and will be happy to work with people on an individual basis at his booth.


Crista Bank
Crista Bank

As Fisheries Liaison for Vineyard Wind, Crista Bank leads communications with members of the fishing industry. Most recently, she worked as a fisheries biologist at the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. At SMAST, Crista conducted collaborative research with commercial fishermen studying cod, monkfish, and halibut. Previously, she served on the Schooner Ernestina, the only surviving 19th century Gloucester-built fishing schooner and one of two remaining examples of the Fredonia-style schooners, where she earned her 100-ton United States Coast Guard Captain’s license. Bank also worked onboard traditional sailing vessels across the world, including journeys to the Indian and Atlantic oceans. She started her career teaching marine science at outdoor experiential education programs in New England, Southern California, and the Florida Keys. Crista earned a bachelor's degree in Marine Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and a Master's degree in Fisheries Oceanography from U Mass Dartmouth's School for Marine Science and Technology.