Observations on the PTTS protest over the past few days...

Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
Notes from the past few days.

McLaughlin and his non-member members of Save the Tarpon, which according to him is not an organized organization but a group of concerned citizen activists not affiliated with any other organization or business are not opposed to jig fishing per se.

Yet photos and comments and names posted on their web sites and others indicate more ties to the people and businesses who have historically opposed jig fishing in the past.

This video from their site features Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association members explaining the “unethical” practices and harm of jig fishing, which they claim is a snagging device. Note the demonstration is with a J Hook, where jigs incorporate circle hooks designed to catch fish only in the mouth.

Boca Beacon’s banner of June 15 ( two days before the protest) presents McLaughlin as a heroic tarpon expert, in keeping with their lean towards their advertisers: BGFGA business and not fact checking any of the claims and taking material ver batim directly from their web site. And never calling into question his participation in PTTS for the past several years.
http://bocabeacon.com/

McLaughlin himself wrongly accuses Josh Olive of Waterlines magazine of being " A Disgrace to Journalism and Conservation" because a wrapped boat bearing the name was seen in the area, which was not a PTTS particpant. Although this was acknowldged as being false, the accusation remains on the site. http://savethetarpon.com/josh-olive-waterline-magazine/ The accustation is that Olive is pandering to PTTS sponsor and advertser, Ingman Marine.

The "peaceful" protest was not peaceful at all and not intended to be. It was designed to obstruct the peaceful tournament, by the non-membership blocking access to the scales with their bodies and boats.
weighboat.jpg

bgfga-boats.jpg



And whose boats were these? “Traditional live bait” guides known for their long running battle with jig fishermen. While McLaughlin himself takes great care to distance himself from the traditional guides , he participated as photo documenter and radio operator, broadcasting on the same frequency as the tournament perched atop past BGFGA president and director’s Van Hubbards boat:

Mclaughlin.jpg

Witnesses report an alledged collision between this boat and PTTS particpant, Black Jack Media. The same kind of dangerous behavior by PTTS captains condemned by his group.

BGFGA2.jpg

BGFGA1.jpg


Still claiming no association with any members of this group and that he is not against jig fishing, the small plane trailing a banner proclaiming “SAVE BOCA GRANDE PASS TARPON NO JIGS “ was featured on their face book page.

banner.jpg

Its obvious to anyone watching this peaceful protest that Save the Tarpon is supported and particpated in mostly by BGFGA membership and presented as a grass roots movement by concerned fishing guides who have suddenly seen the light and cast away their unethical practices in favor of traditional methods. Which is something we have seen before by members of the BGFGA in the past. After all, the jig was invented by their members, and then renounced in the same way these former PTTS competitors are now.

STT has done its best, (not really ) to mask their affiliation with BGFGA. The truth is that they are really one in the same. The people are the same, the protesters are the same and the banner flying overhead was theirs. The protesting boats are theirs.

There is no other conculsion to draw other than this movement is being employed as the latest tool in BGFGA’s arsenal, complete with the same tired rhetoric, bad science, innuendo, personal attacks and very transparent motives they have employed in the past in public hearings, the press, lawsuits and now social media designed to rid BGP of jig fishing.

It was only a matter of time, really.
"If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

"Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

"All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
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Replies

  • Accurate TwrsAccurate Twrs Posts: 1,992 Officer
    The Professional Tarpon Tourney Series has the most humane techniques that can be used... Those opposed are the sick wakos turning their attention when they have nothing else left to do. Seems a lot of money went into their attack on the PTTS.. On the water fire extinguishers are the most effective deterrent for these people..
    They do not cause damage and not considered a weapon.. And throw some nasty baits in their boats...
    I'll be sending a nice nasty e-mail to their website...
    Well... I didn't vote for him, So it must have been you... Thanks a lot A$$-hole..
  • superdupersuperduper Posts: 1,913 Officer
    very interesting. i can agree with these people.
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 278 Deckhand
    i honestly dont see ho the protesters blocking the scales with their bodies is an "non-peaceful" form of protest. also the form of jig fishing even with circle hook is still a snagging method. the fish do not actually bite the jig it just gets caught in their mouth. this form of fishing is like fishing for spawning salmon where you try to get the line to go into their mouth, which is open for breathing, and then pulling the hook into their mouths. i dont have a huge issue with the jig use except that it is too easy. it doesn't take that much skill. but i do have a problem with the tournament. the tournament has gotten too big, they should run it where they dont bring the fish in to weigh but make it just a release tournament. also they should run the tournament every 4 years or so because it messes with the tarpon too much and they are starting to change their migration routes and behaviors.
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    Ok... I watched the video, and I can understand where there would be some concern.

    It's Tarpon....We know a little about them here in the Keys and would hardly consider Boca Grand the "Tarpon Capitol of the World", but that's a different thread. :wink

    Seems to me that there should be a "no snagging" rule to apply. Why not just get a big weighted treble hook? I don't know anything about the method (lest I say "style") of jigging, but I would like to think that you catch some in the mouth. I know that that jigging thing wouldn't work here, at least I don't think it would.

    Not to say that we can't catch them slow trolling a dead ballyhoo, drifting shrimp trash, casting lures or using live baits. I'm sure those methods would work up there too.

    IMHO...the PTTS is a made for TV tourney and it's main goal is to make money...something it seems to be doing as far as I can tell.

    I think that reaching out to FWC or any governing body to push to outlaw a particular "jig" used in a fishery where there is no stress (Tarpon stocks seem to be doing fine) is going to be a tough row to hoe.

    I found it interesting about the mortality issue concerning the floating fish or dead ones washing up on the beach. I'd be interested in knowing how many are lost to sharks (and I know it happens) over the course of a weekend.

    If the concern is for the tarpon themselves, and since it is believed the area somehow plays into their spawning (pre or post), maybe you should ask to have the pass closed to fishing for the Tarpon, and I know that will never happen. :wink

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    This is a tarpon jig as employed in the PTTS.

    tarpon_series33_lrg.jpg

    This is a jig rigged with a J hook in the STT video.

    breakaway.gif

    This is what you suggest:

    HOMZW30401180.jpg

    To me the difference is pretty clear.

    Try snagging somthing with the circle hook version.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • Accurate TwrsAccurate Twrs Posts: 1,992 Officer
    Yes there are concerns... I'm more interested in the validity of their video... Dead Tarpon can be manipulated in any fashion to give the appearance of out and out slaughter.
    Bearing in mind there many other novice anglers that fish Boca Grand. But your up against a vicious group of tree huger types just waiting to pounce like an animal if provoked. Looking to point a finger at fisherman in general and label us as criminals... I would start in some way to remove these people on the water any way you can...
    Otherwise they will win... The non- aggressive approach doesn't work with these people. Make a stand !!
    Look at the tactics they have used so far....
    Well... I didn't vote for him, So it must have been you... Thanks a lot A$$-hole..
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    This is what you suggest:

    HOMZW30401180.jpg

    Slow your roll there Cappy. I'm not suggesting anything. I was simply pointing out that if your are going to snag...do it with a vengence! :grin

    Keep in mind that I also said that I know nothing about that method of fishing. :wink

    There are several things that I could point out that would be better done differently with the PTTS, IMO, but I'm not gonna waste my time writing them out. Last time I checked, I don't write any checks to cover their bills.

    So you are for using the Jigs when used with circle hooks? Opposed to the "J" hook rigged jigs?

    Which side of this fight are you on?

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    I'm on the pot stirring side, of course, Rob.

    There is so much misinformation, disinformation, political intrigue, bold faced lying, threats of violence, lawsuits, bad science, political agenda, economic protectionism, class warfare, public access to public lands and greed and fear and loathing to make for an interesting story at the least.

    I don't fish with jigs.

    I don't fish in the circus of the Boca Grande pass.

    I don't kill fish.

    I don't take them out of the water.

    I subscribe to two things, good science as a basis for rulemaking and the rule of law.

    I am arrogant in those pursuits. I am not arrogant enough to demand that everyone fish the way I do.

    I do not like the PTTS format, but as long as PTTS does not intentionally kill the fish that they have attached kill tags to, I cannot object.

    Now can they be less harmful to the fish? Of course and I'd personally like to see that improve, by employing shorter fight time requirements, shorter transportation times, oxygen to revival modifying the event hours . or even better eliminating the weighing in favor of counting the number of fish caught, which is more a measure of prowess and skill as far as I'm concerned.

    But this Guides association will not rest until the jig and those who employ it are driven from the pass. That is what this is all about. And I'm out on that.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • ScottKScottK Posts: 214 Officer
    A very good summation Gary. And you're dead on with this.
    But this Guides association will not rest until the jig and those who employ it are driven from the pass. That is what this is all about. And I'm out on that.
  • BColleyBColley Posts: 419 Officer
    "Try snagging somthing with the circle hook version".

    Gary,

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but I have read just about every post on the multiple threads started on this in this section as well as the Southwest region. You have posted on every single one of implying you cannot snag a tarpon with a circle hook. Wrong! In its purest sense you are not supposed to be able to snag or gut hook a fish with a circle hook. However where there is a will there is a way. Its widely known that "offsetting" the circle hook will cause all these things. Yes, most of the time it will hook the fish in the corner of the mouth but if that hook hits the "clipper" it will snag that as well. Once again I don't have any experience in fishing for tarpon in this manner but that is common sense.

    In my opinion the tournament should be reduced in size, and Shelly should be topless!
    JBC

    Chaos Tarpon Bay
    Ocean Master 31
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    I'm on the pot stirring side, of course, Rob.....But this Guides association will not rest until the jig and those who employ it are driven from the pass. That is what this is all about. And I'm out on that.

    Gotcha....Since I just walked into the kitchen, it's hard for me to tell who's hands are on the spoon. :wink

    I'd thing that a C&R format would be best. Throw in some line class requirements and party on! :grin

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    Offset cricle hooks are prohibited.

    All the photos of "snagged" fish, are J hooks. FWRI studies showed no differences in hook location outside the mouth between configurations of j hooks used in live baiting and jig fishing, although there was no reference to jigs being circle hooks.

    Mybe the jig fishermen are using j hooks or offsets. I don't know.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • ScottKScottK Posts: 214 Officer
    I can't speak for everyone, but the guys I fish with are using 7/0 or 8/0 Gamakatsu Octopus circles, straight out of the package. Never considered trying to offset them.
  • tankardtankard Posts: 6,201 Admiral
    The whole thing is ridiculous. To me, it defeats a lot of what fishing is about, which is relaxation and solitude. (oh, and meat, too)

    I can't imagine living there and having to navigate between all those screaming idiots just because I want to get the hell away from them offshore.

    It's especially rich when the loudmouth host of the show biiiatches about "Those recreational boats" interfering with the tournament "pros".

    Eff off they have as much right to be there as you, Mr. Gastric Bypass. What are you, commercial fishermen?

    GMAFB
  • Accurate TwrsAccurate Twrs Posts: 1,992 Officer
    Bare in mind if these people win their objective in this arena it will open the door to the end of all fishing as we know it... I agree with Gary wholeheartedly.
    You can try the legal way if you must... whatever works... But these people are loaded for bear. If one does not take a very aggressive approach.
    It will be the end of sport fishing sure as I'm posting here...
    I especially don't care for all the captains that participated in the video... Little do they know they will be without a job when the chit hits the fan...
    You can pretty much take your rods and make wall hangers out of them...
    Well... I didn't vote for him, So it must have been you... Thanks a lot A$$-hole..
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    tankard wrote: »

    Eff off they have as much right to be there as you, Mr. Gastric Bypass. What are you, commercial fishermen?

    GMAFB


    Mercurio had gastric bypass surgery?
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • tankardtankard Posts: 6,201 Admiral
    I don't know, looks like he lost a bunch of lbs. somehow.

    Could I be sued for slander/libel?
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    He did lose a lot of weight and he looks much better I think. Not that I'm that way or anything. I dont think that he was that fat to need one.

    I think that he has bigger worries than wonderings on a fishing BBS about his weight loss methods. You are safe.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 278 Deckhand
    in my opinion snagging a fish is hooking it without it biting or trying to eat your bait or lure. with the jig method even when using non offset circle hooks the just rely on the line getting caught in the fishes mouth where they then pull the hook into its mouth.
  • SeeingRedSeeingRed Posts: 312 Officer
    He did lose a lot of weight and he looks much better I think. Not that I'm that way or anything.


    Lol no one is worried youre that way. Even if you think we are. Thats not the first time I've seen you say that lol.
    Sent from my VM670 using Tapatalk 2
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    in my opinion snagging a fish is hooking it without it biting or trying to eat your bait or lure. with the jig method even when using non offset circle hooks the just rely on the line getting caught in the fishes mouth where they then pull the hook into its mouth.

    Thank you for your opinion which by definition FWC does not agree.

    (3) “Snagging” or “snatch hooking” means the intentional catch of a fish by any device intended to impale or hook the fish by any part of its body other than the mouth.

    Circle hooks are designed specifically to intentionally hook a fish in the mouth.

    Intentional
    is the key term. Circle hooks are not recognised as readily employable as an intentional snagging device. In fact state law requires their use for any reef fishing emloying bait to prevent it.

    Also it cannot be proven with any certainty at all that happens as was demonstrated in the 2004 FWRI study.And they have offered a further opinion when that study was challenged by BGFGA:
    http://myfwc.com/media/310544/EO_10_01_BocaGrande.pdf
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 278 Deckhand
    it may not be considered snagging by law but it accomplishes the same thing and thats catching a fish that does not want to be caught. (i know, no fish wants to be caught but you know what i mean). i one thing these guys are trying to argue is that this is snagging and should be outlawed therefore. now i dont really care about it being outlawed because it doesn't really harm the fish any more than regular fishing techniques but i think the tournament has some issues that it needs to workout. one of those things i think that needs to be changed is not allowing the use of these jigs because i think it kind of defeats the purpose of tournament fishing and thats for the anglers with the most skill to win. also i like the idea of have a limit on the amount of boats that can compete per year.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    It seems our old friend , Gary Dutery ( late of the BGFGA supportive Boca Beacon) agrees with you and not with Florida. Surprise!

    Florida Fish & Wildlife and Tarpon snagging
    COMMENTARY: It’s time for the FWC to tell the truth about its flawed tarpon study
    March 5, 2010 Commentary, S

    read the whole article

    BY GARY DUTERY - During the 2002-2004 tarpon fishing seasons, researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission conducted a tarpon mortality study in Boca Grande Pass.

    This study has been used and abused by the jig fishing community to create an invented validation of the drive-by carnage they and their motorized surfboards have left in their wake as another tarpon season approaches.

    It’s a complicated issue. But let’s see if we can make it simple. So simple that the jig guides and the FWC might see what’s really going on. The rest of you can tag along for the ride.

    The Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association has petitioned the courts and the FWC to have the tarpon jig recognized as a snagging device. The argument is simple. The jig, and the techniques used to fish the jig, are designed to snag tarpon. Whether intentionally or inadvertently. It doesn’t matter. Not to us. And certainly not to the tarpon.

    Snagging tarpon is, by FWC regulation, illegal. Because the jig is a snagging device, the guides argue, those who use it – regardless of their intentions – are illegally snagging tarpon.

    Most proponents of the tarpon jig see the device as an alternative method of fishing Boca Grande Pass. They do not see it as a snagging device. We know they do not set out to snag tarpon. Most of them. But this is what is happening. And an objective look at the FWC study – a project that began with what we thought were the best of intentions but collapsed under pressure from the jig community – should lead most, if not all, jig proponents to take a really good, hard, second look at what they are doing to one of Florida’s most valuable fisheries.

    Mr. Dutery it appears writes better than he can read.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    it may not be considered snagging by law but it accomplishes the same thing and thats catching a fish that does not want to be caught. (i know, no fish wants to be caught but you know what i mean)

    As I have said, we only have two things to act upon, good science and rule of law.

    There is no science at all to consider jigs snagging devices and the law makes that clear, therefore there is no argument whether you agree with it in your opinion or not.

    The other things that you suggest are beyond the scope of law making. Florida makers (FWC) will not seek to manage rude behavior by fishermen as stated recently by Chairman Barco and they shouldn't.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 278 Deckhand
    yes it is true that there isnt much law to make these jigs illegal but i think thats what these people are trying to accomplish is to have a law made that would make it illegal. again i dont really care if the jig fishing becomes outlawed but the group could use their protest to pressure the tournament to change their rules and i think thats what they should be doing.
  • beargonefishinbeargonefishin Posts: 64 Deckhand
    That's what they're trying to do. PTTS claims they are an all release tournament, (everyone else says it's a turf war, which as long as this has been going on it is hard not to blame them...the boy that cried wolf comes to mind) but they are killing fish due to improper handling techniques, maybe unintentionally, and with legal kill tags...but don't try and hide behind a catch and release conservation stance when the opposite is the case. And they are snagging fish, but Gary will tell you "by Florida law you can't snag a fish with a circle hook blah blah bla blah" when they are doing exactly just that. Ever watched the PTTS? The jigs are all over the sides of their heads. These anglers call themselves the best tarpon fishermen in the world, when in reality the only way they can catch em is if there is a thousand in a wad stacked up on top of one another....that ain't angling where I'm from.

    Say the jigs did go away. The guides aren't going anywhere. They will fish a different method, so the argument that no more jigs will run out of towners away doesn't really hold any weight. They will still come in droves to catch tarpon in BGP.

    Save the effort Gary, my mind is made up. I know the law, and I know nothing is happening, but you also know what is going on out there is Bull$h@&!
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    I know that I am not so arrogant to force my preferred method of fishing ( which isn't the PTTS style) or view of "fish ethics" upon anyone or any organization that I don't personally agree with. The only thing I can and will insist upon is that fisheries regulations be based upon sound defensible science and enforced reasonably under the law.

    Neither have been breached by this tournament. All claims (by BGFGA) otherwise have not withstood examination, scientific study and legal challenge.

    I don't subscribe to adolescent and meaningless petitions, and boycotts and "peaceful" protests intended to obstruct tournaments or fishing events, damage those organizers financially or cause irreparable divisiveness and hostility between recreational user groups.

    Instead I would hope to displace the emotion with reason and substitute animosity with creative and innovative solutions. But that is not the intention of the assault on jig fishermen in Boca Grande Pass by the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association, or their newly created front “movement” Save the Tarpon. They will not rest until all jigs and their fishermen leave, and they have their exclusive rights to fish under their own “rules” that they have published as law for over 20 years in the Boca Beacon.

    I'm not going to change any of that. It is in their blood stream like a virus. It will not end until someone gets hurt. Ultimately and if BTT gets their way there will be federal intervention in claiming tarpon as a listed species, and it's management ( as they are advancing with permit) will preclude sport fishing during spawning aggregations. And that aggregation is most popularly known as being in Boca Grande Pass.

    BGFGA and STT better be careful what they wish for, as they may well become their own victims.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • RaymoRaymo Posts: 204 Deckhand
    Only thing that bothers me about the PTTS is that they lip gaff every fish and drag it to the scales...Tarpon are a suction feeder...this damages that ability to suction feed...from what I have been told at least...
  • gatormarkgatormark Posts: 2,240 Officer
    Gary, the circle hook rig you showed, is the jig attached with tie wraps so it breaks away? is that what the PTTS crews are useing? breakaway jigs? Also, lets face it, the jig fisherman are specialists at " short drifting" and always have been. **** people off? you bet it does and the place has turned into a circus. Cut your drift short short on one of the keys bridges and you will git beeatched out quickly. I knew this would blow up some day, Mercurio and his buds turning this into a " for profit only" party. He does make money ya know, this is not for funsies.
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,095 Admiral
    The hypocrisies! :willynilly

    Sure has been a popular way of handling things these days.

    Thanks Gary.
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