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Pete Thomas
Solana Beach, California
Former Los Angeles Times outdoors reporter; now writes for this website, GrindTv.com and Yahoo homepage
Interests: Outdoor activities, reading, good food, beer and wine
Recent Activity
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Bluefin tuna are off-limits to anglers in Mexico, but large schools of the powerful tuna have moved into Southern California waters, and one behemoth landed this week weighed 124.5 pounds. The bluefin was caught by Tim Smith between the 181 and 209 banks, southeast of Catalina, aboard Capt. Larry Hartmann’s Discovery, a 30-foot Grady White. Hartmann, 51, said the area teemed with bluefin that were leaping and looked so large from a distance that he thought they were common dolphins. The group aboard Discovery had been kelp paddy-hopping, and had boated five yellowtail to about 25 pounds when “all hell... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Video has surfaced showing a fairly large marlin beaching itself at Rincon, Puerto Rico, and then thrashing around in the surf for the next several minutes. This is rare behavior for marlin, which reside in pelagic waters and are almost never spotted close to shore. It's not known whether the marlin had previously been hooked, or whether it was sick. “What kind of shark is that?” someone close to the videographer asks, when the billfish first comes into view. “Oh… whoa! Holy crap! Is that a shark?… That’s crazy. It’s a marlin!” It was identified as a blue marlin in... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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A humpback whale off British Columbia apparently enjoys blowing its stinky whale breath onto whale watchers. The accompanying video shows a 35-foot whale appropriately nicknamed “Windy” directing four blows toward six passengers aboard Legacy, a 30-foot charter boat that operates around the San Juan Islands. One of Windy’s gusts was so powerful that it blew the camera off a selfie-stick, and the camera fell into the sea. Windy the humpback whale breaches as if to say goodbye; photo by Heather MacIntyre/Legacy Charters Said naturalist Heather MacIntyre: “And as we laughed and yelled with joy, she seemed to take great enjoyment... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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A whale shark recently decided to nudge and loiter around a charter boat for four-plus hours off Australia’s Northern Territory, so of course one of the crew was compelled to jump in and ride the critter. The nighttime encounter occurred 100 miles west of Darwin, and at one point the whale shark, which was feeding with its mouth open, bumped into a 15-foot tender tied to the mother ship. “He ain’t real smart. Lucky he’s pretty,” one of the men can be heard saying in the accompanying footage. The boat was from Cannon Charters and the commentary is from Benny... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Surfers can cut lots of time off their paddle-outs if they venture onto the rocks and jump off closer to the lineup. But it can be a tricky, embarrassing, and even painful experience when the ocean is not given the respect it demands. The accompanying footage, captured at Manly Beach, Australia, has gone viral since it was posted to Facebook this week by Peter Matthews. It shows a young surfer attempting the precarious rock jump and failing badly as people watch and commentate from behind the camera. The surfer fails to make it over the first wave, which washes him... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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A 65-year-old woman died Wednesday morning on Maui after being bitten by a shark near Makena State Park. The attack occurred at a spot called “Dumps,” according to KHON 2. This is the same area where two attacks occurred in 2013, one of them involving a kayak angler and resulting in a fatality. That year, at least seven attacks–two of them fatal–were reported off Maui. The 65-year-old Kihei woman had become separated from two friends. She was pulled from the water by snorkelers but was unresponsive, and efforts by paramedics to revive the victim were unsuccessful. The incident occurred sometime... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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It has been a tough year for California sea lion pups, which have struggled to find food and have been delivered to care facilities by the hundreds. But only one that we know of has ended up in the back of a police car, having been picked up recently for its own safety after being discovered a quarter-mile from shore on Highway 1 near Forth Bragg, in Northern California. “Due to the darkness and the dense fog the animal was very difficult to see and would have certainly been struck by a vehicle if the deputies had not stopped,” reads... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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The surfing lineup will become far more distinguished-looking if a new wetsuit developed by Quiksilver becomes the latest fashion craze–because the new wetsuit is an actual suit. Or, depending on one’s taste, a tuxedo. Quiksilver is testing the market for these stylish “True Wetsuits,” which are made of thin neoprene but resemble fashionable business and party attire, in Japan. The reasoning is obvious. Surfers hitting their favorite spots after work often miss out on dozens of waves in the time it takes to change from their clothes into their wetsuits. Reads part of a translated press release: “It is possible... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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As a longtime angler, Dennis Tilden knows that the quicker a fish is prepared after it’s caught, the fresher it will taste. But Tilden, who reeled in a 32-pound Mexican barracuda recently while fishing off Costa Rica, did not know until dinner was being served that he'd be eating a potential world-record catch. The International Game Fish Association lists as the all-tackle record a 28-pound 6-ounce barracuda caught off Panama in 2010. Tilden’s barracuda, caught during a tournament out of Crocodile Bay Resort on the Osa Peninsula, was weighed briefly before its head was removed for a soup. It’s flesh... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Daniel Joline said his recent encounter with a mother and baby gray whale in the kelp off the Palos Verdes Peninsula was so bizarre and surprising that it almost seemed unreal. Joline was spearfishing with a friend when he peered down and spotted the whales swimming slowly through the amber forest. The moment Joline realized what they were, he forgot all about the hunt and swam down and gently stroked the whale calf. "Out of the corner of my eye I see this big mass moving towards me,” he told KPCC. “At first, my brain was like, 'OK, it's a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Image by Amanda Curtis via Twitter Amanda Curtis is hoping to find not one, but four pots of gold after spotting and photographing a rare quadruple rainbow Tuesday morning in Glen Cove, New York. Curtis tweeted the image, captured at the Long Island Rail Road Station, after a storm had passed through the area. The tweet reads: "Quadruple #Rainbow at #glencove ny @LIRR station. Today will be 4 pots of #gold #lucky #chasetherainbow #aprilshowers." As of Tuesday afternoon, the tweet was retweeted nearly 500 times, and the image was being widely shared by mainstream news outlets. Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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New species of glass frog; photos are courtesy of Brian Kubicki A new species of glass frog–a tiny green critter so translucent that its organs are visible from its underside–has been discovered in the forested mountains of eastern Costa Rica. The recent discovery, a surprise given the extensive research conducted in the region during the past century, was announced recently in the taxonomy journal Zootaxa. Hyalinobatrachium dianae was named by its discoverer, Brian Kubicki, after his mother, Janet Diana Kubicki, because of her support of her son’s interest in science and nature. The name also is in reference to the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Marlin fishing is picking up in the East Cape region of the Sea of Cortez, but the big news is a phenomenal thresher shark bite occurring at the marlin grounds. Thresher sharks are not new to the area, especially in the spring, but catches typically are very sporadic. John Ireland, who owns Rancho Leonero Resort, said the sharks are concentrated off the town of La Ribera and being caught consistently by anglers fishing for marlin. “The best thresher fishing ever on the East Cape,” Ireland stated Sunday in his weekly report, adding that the ratio for hookups is about one... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Tori Hester marvels at the fish tornado; photo by ©Jeff Hester By Pete Thomas/GrindTv Jeff Hester was diving recently at Cabo Pulmo in the Sea of Cortez when he encountered a rare event described as a fish tornado. Thousands of jacks had schooled tightly together and the massive “meatball” was spinning like a twister, leaving Jeff and his wife Tori “awestruck.” The honeymooners were on their first trip to the renowned dive site, 60 miles north of Cabo San Lucas at Baja California’s tip. The image was featured this week by National Geographic as its “Photo of the Day,” under... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas/GrindTv Coyotes are rarely encountered in big cities, so when one of the canine predators was spotted roaming the roof of a bar on Monday in Queens, New York, people became very curious. Image courtesy of Caitlin Cahill, via the New York Post “Maybe it was thirsty,” wrote Doyle Murphy of the New York Post. “I think it’s a first for most of us,” Laura Supper says in the CBS video news report atop this post. “There’s not too many coyotes here in New York, but as they say, anything is possible.” The coyote was first spotted by... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas/GrindTv Visitors to Alaska marvel at the vastness of the wilderness, the breathtaking scenery, and bountiful wildlife. But each spring and summer, a natural phenomenon known merely as the bore tide along Turnagain Arm, on the Cook Inlet south of Anchorage, becomes an attraction that’s dazzling in its own right. The accompanying footage, captured earlier this week by Alex Ede and shared by the Alaska Dispatch News, reveals the surreal beauty of the tidal bore, featuring paddleboarders enjoying their rides while surrounded by snow-streaked slopes. Video screen grab A tidal bore occurs when the leading edge of an... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas/GrindTv Ben Stack was admiring the fighting spirit of a small threadfin he had hooked while fishing recently off the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia, when suddenly there was a snag. Stack thought the fish had dashed for cover under a log, so he continued to pull and reel, hoping to dislodge the log and claim his prize. Finally, he began to gain line. Feeling victorious, he leaned over the rail and prepared to reach into the murky water and grab the log and his fish, only to spot a large crocodile with its jaws clamped on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas/GrindTv Giant manta rays are revered by divers, who find their presence soothing because they’re so gentle, and soar through the ocean with such grace. But during a recent expedition to a remote area off Peru, Josh Stewart was surprised to find himself being tucked into the winged fins of a 15-foot manta and somersaulted during a brief encounter that may be the first of its kind. “In all my years of filming and interacting with manta rays, I have never witnessed such an extraordinary interaction between a manta ray and a swimmer,” Shawn Heinrichs, a renowned photographer... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas/GrindTv There are divers who say they like to swim freely with large sharks to dispel perceptions that sharks are blood-thirsty predators, and there are divers who counter that these people are mostly thrill-seeking showoffs who are risking their lives and not doing sharks any favors. The two sides can debate all they want, but the photographer in the accompanying footage, even if the shark was only investigating a potential meal, did come very close to losing his head to the shark. At the very least, were it not for his cat-like reflexes, it seems as if he... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Generic Cabo San Lucas breaching whale photo is courtesy of ©Frankie Grant By Pete Thomas/GrindTv A Canadian tourist was killed Wednesday off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, after a breaching whale landed on the boat she was aboard as it was returning from a snorkeling trip in the Sea of Cortez. Several other passengers were injured during the freak accident, which occurred at about noon, as the inflatable boat was returning from Santa Maria Bay, a popular dive spot near Baja California’s tip. Details were scarce late Wednesday but the victim has been identified as Jeniffer Karren, 35, of Calgary. Six... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas/GrindTv Florida’s Gulf Coast–the Panama City Beach area in particular–is fast becoming famous as a shore-based fishing destination for catching large sharks. Last week the rare catch (and release) of a great white shark generated headlines, and only days later the controversial catch and kill of a 600-pound mako shark began to make the news and circulate via social media. “10-foot mako shark tonight! We will be eating good for awhile!” reads a March 6 Facebook photo post by a group called Off the Beach Shark Fishing Trips. The rare beach catch, involving an incredibly powerful pelagic shark... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Shaggy is weary and underweight, but said to be doing well By Pete Thomas/GrindTv After Shaggy the stray dog was captured last Thursday, after eluding capture for eight months in Michigan, many people wrote emails and social media comments asking about his health. Remarkably, after sleeping in ditches and wherever he could find cover, much of the time during severely cold winter months, Shaggy has been given a clean bill. “He’s in surprisingly good shape,” said Melissa Borden, who runs a care facility for feral dogs called The Devoted Barn. “He’s about 30 pounds underweight, and his fur is matted,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Shaggy pre-capture; photo by Steve Zaagman/WZZM News By Pete Thomas/GrindTv A large brown dog that had eluded capture in Michigan for seven months, winning the hearts of thousands, has finally been caught. The abandoned Newfoundland, nicknamed Shaggy, had roamed Grand Rapids neighborhoods visibly, often in close proximity to people walking their pet dogs, but would not allow himself to be captured despite attempts with net guns and tranquilizers. Shaggy in a cage, en route to a rehab facility; photo by Ella Stubbert However, Shaggy recently began to hang out in front of a nearby suburban home owned by Jim and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas/GrindTv Night divers off Hawaii’s Kona coast last weekend marveled not only at the giant mantas they had planned on viewing, but a critically endangered monk seal that interacted with the mantas and the divers for two nights. It was magical experience from a purely aesthetic standpoint, given the gracefulness of the mantas as they soared in and out of the lights feeding on plankton, and the surprise appearance of an agile and curious seal. But it was remarkable, also, because Hawaiian monk seals are critically endangered, numbering only 1,100. They're the most endangered mammal in the United... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas/GrindTv A great white shark landed Sunday near Panama City, Florida, might be the first white shark caught from the beach in the Gulf of Mexico. The juvenile white shark, measuring almost 10 feet, was caught by Derrick Keeny of a club called Dark Side Sharkers. They tagged the shark and, after posing for the accompanying images, released the predator, which they reported on the tag submission to be in “excellent” condition. “No doubt a once-in-a-lifetime catch,” Dark Side Sharkers posted Monday on Facebook. Great white sharks are rarely caught from the beach anywhere in the world. They’re... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at Pete Thomas Outdoors