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

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gary S. Colecchio's Avatar
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    Observations on the PTTS protest over the past few days...

    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.






    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:



    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.






    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.



    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.
    Last edited by Gary S. Colecchio; 06-19-2012 at 10:25 AM.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

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  2. #2
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    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...

  3. #3
    Senior Member superduper's Avatar
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    very interesting. i can agree with these people.

  4. #4
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    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.

  5. #5
    Moderator Got TA Go's Avatar
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    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.

    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.

    Rob
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Gary S. Colecchio's Avatar
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    This is a tarpon jig as employed in the PTTS.



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



    This is what you suggest:



    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

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    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....

  8. #8
    Moderator Got TA Go's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary S. Colecchio View Post
    This is what you suggest:

    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!

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

    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
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Gary S. Colecchio's Avatar
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    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

  10. #10
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    A very good summation Gary. And you're dead on with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary S. Colecchio View Post
    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.

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