The bass are finally here. Not in great numbers, but at least they are here. A little more southwest winds and a little warmer weather brought the water temperature up to the high 50s and even 60 in some spots and this made it possible for bass to continue their trek northward.

Many charter boats caught keepers this week; we caught our first keeper on the Cee Jay this past Sunday. Mackerel are literally everywhere and at this point it would be really hard to not catch them. They are in all depths and from the inner harbor all the way out to the Race. There are also a lot of schoolie-sized bass in the inner harbor, especially around sunset, chasing the mackerel, which are also thick in the inner harbor.

I got to run Capt. Rich Wood’s Beth Ann last weekend on a whale watch charter and the numbers of whales were a bit thin, but there were around 10 humpbacks in the middle of Stellwagen Bank, which provided great looks as they were actively feeding.

On my way north to the whales from Provincetown we saw a ridiculous number of Mylar balloons floating on the surface. I am guessing that is because it’s both graduation season and wedding season. That made me think of an idea. What if whenever someone buys a Mylar balloon the retailer has to tell them how bad these are for the marine environment when released? And what if the seller has to stick the name and address and phone number of the buyer on the balloon before they can buy it? And the label has to be stuck with glue so strong they can’t take the label off without destroying the balloon?

Then if and when their balloon is recovered in the ocean, the buyer can be called and told where it ended up and reminded why that is so bad. It might actually help in educating the public.

The big news on the waterfront is the arrival of the brand spanking new Dolphin XI on MacMillan Wharf. She is a beautiful state-of-the-art whale watching vessel with all the latest bells and whistles for comfort and safety. She was built in Louisiana by Gulf Craft. Nearly every aluminum commercial party fishing boat and whale watching boat comes from assorted shipyards in Louisiana.

When you hear the word shipyard it conjures up visions of these massive construction operations covering many acres. The reality is these shipyards are relatively small places in the backwoods, on a bayou. I spent much time in these Louisiana shipyards when the company I was working for in Texas was building multiple aluminum cargo oil-service boats, and to watch these magnificent vessels come from such humble facilities is mind-blowing. Without question, the best aluminum welders in the U.S. come from these Louisiana shipyards. They have cemented their reputation internationally as being the best aluminum boat builders out there.

The aluminum party fishing boats built in Louisiana that I worked on in the 1970s are still in service today and still look like they did the day they were built. All of the Dolphin Fleet boats are Louisiana-built boats as well. The Dolphin XI is a far cry from the Dolphjn V I ran for Al Avellar in the early 1990s.

Seals are here everywhere now, and the white sharks can’t be far behind. This is a good time for some facts to keep things real and not let media-based hysteria be the driving force.

In the past 60 years 439 people worldwide have been killed by sharks, an average of 7.3 people per year. Meanwhile, about 1.35 million people die in car crashes every year, and it’s estimated that the annual global death toll from lightning strikes is 6,000. Conversely, humans kill 100 million sharks a year worldwide. And as of this writing, mosquitoes are still statistically the deadliest animal on the planet.