Why is PTTS given a preference to the tarpon fishery in the pass?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member RexLan's Avatar
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    Why is PTTS given a preference to the tarpon fishery in the pass?

    This is puzzling to me. I read in "the other threads" that the fish cops will be giving citations to anyone interfering with the PTTS fishing ... maybe I got that wrong but I don't think so.

    It seems to me, based only on the reading, that the PTTS stuff effectively precludes anyone else not engaged with the tournament from fishing period. Since this isn't just a one-off day thing, my conclusion is that the PTTS folks are actually interfering with everyone else wanting to fish who should have an equal right to fish the same water and at the same time.

    Question: Does the state issue the PTTS an exclusive use permit? If no, it seems that the fish cops and FWC aren't doing their job by allowing that circus to go on. If they are granting PTTS an exclusive use permit then there must be an enabling authorization and that is what needs to be corrected.

    Disclaimer: I have never fished tarpon and probably never will. I have no dog in this fight either way other than what is right for the fishery and fair to the folks who live here, which includes many of the PTTS participants I assume. The pictures I have seen are a pitiful example of fishing and just a plain mess ... I can't imaging why the fish cops and/or FWC allow the behavior, especially if they are willing to writ citations for others wanting to fish.

    I have to be missing the big picture or something else ... this looks to be suspicious on the surface.
    Port Charlotte, Florida

  2. #2
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    Rex, I am not sure either, but there has been some sort of fued between two groups of tarpon tournament fishing captains. The ruling may be there to discourage any intentional interference. Kinda like the laws that some states have to prohibit the "PETA" activists from following/harassing hunters during the hunting seasons. It's a shame we have to implement laws to dictate what should be common sense.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tarponator's Avatar
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    Rex,

    I am not aware of any instances of the FWC writing tickets to those who fish in and around the PTTS. I read that in the other thread, and frankly, I think someone took the FWC officer out of context.

    That said, you make a very good point about equal access, and how the way the jig/PTTS boats exclude others from fishing in their own chosen way.

    Some have suggested implementing a 50' or 100' rule whereas other boats would be forbidden from getting too close. This would, I believe, essentially equal the playing field.

    Chico said it right when he said "it's a shame we have to implement laws to dictate what should be common sense", but unfortunately the influence of the almighty dollar causes some to do things they otherwise would not.

    Sad, really.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RexLan's Avatar
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    Perhaps the FWC folks were taken out of context then ... just seems to me that if I wanted to enjoy the same fishery that I would effectively be prevented from doing so. That being the case then I see it as "others" interfering with me.

    The spacing is a good idea but likely unenforceable ... fortunately, I don't have a dog in the hunt so it does not affect me.
    Port Charlotte, Florida

  5. #5
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    I am not aware of any instances of the FWC writing tickets to those who fish in and around the PTTS. I read that in the other thread, and frankly, I think someone took the FWC officer out of context.
    I am the one who said it. I asked an officer point blank what would happen if a bunch of boats drifted around in the pass and drifted lines. He said their orders were to write tickets to any protesters (don't remember if he said "protesters" or anyone interfering) even it looks like they are fishing. I don't know if he really would have or not. No one was protesting that day. It a week or two before the STT protest. Even on the protest day, the protesters were on the sidelines and not in the fishing action.
    Last edited by Capt. Scott Hughes; 12-22-2012 at 04:06 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RexLan's Avatar
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    Well that seems to imply that the FWC is giving the PTTS a preference to the fishery and illegally I might add.

    That would certainly be the line to focus on because, as said, the PTTS activity effectively interferes with everyone else's access to the fishery. It may be well worth getting one of those citations and automatically gain status in court with it.

    Deliberately interfering with another boat/party deserves a citation for sure, no matter who it is. But, excluding almost everyone else because of the PTTS activity is equally as bad and deserves a similar sanction.
    Port Charlotte, Florida

  7. #7
    Senior Member Gary S. Colecchio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexLan View Post
    Well that seems to imply that the FWC is giving the PTTS a preference to the fishery and illegally I might add...as said, the PTTS activity effectively interferes with everyone else's access to the fishery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. Scott Hughes View Post
    He said their orders were to write tickets to any protesters (don't remember if he said "protesters" or anyone interfering)


    379.105 Harassment of hunters, trappers, or fishers.—

    (1) A person may not intentionally, within a publicly or privately owned wildlife management or fish management area or on any state-owned water body:

    (a) Interfere with or attempt to prevent the lawful taking of fish, game, or nongame animals by another.

    (b) Attempt to disturb fish, game, or nongame animals or attempt to affect their behavior with the intent to prevent their lawful taking by another.


    (2) Any person who violates this section commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401.
    Last edited by Gary S. Colecchio; 12-22-2012 at 04:43 PM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Tarponator's Avatar
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    So, Gary, if I'm fishing a pod of tarpon all by myself with a spinning rod and an unweighted crab, and the group of jig boats sees the fish I'm fishing and run over my lines and crowd around me stopping me from being able to cast and driving the fish to the bottom, are they not "interfering with [my] lawful taking of fish".

    It seems to me they are, but I'm interested in your (and others') perspective.

  9. #9
    Senior Member RexLan's Avatar
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    The PTTS activity is certainly intentional but I would suspect it is not aimed at interfering with others ... just excluding non-participants, which I would personally consider interfering. Additionally, the activity is so obnoxious on it's face that it is virtually impossible for an average person to escape it. This effectively excludes all others from the fishery and apparently FWC is sanctioning the activity .... giving it a preference. Does not seem right and I suspect there is no enabling authorization to do so or allow it to happen. There would be my challenge to the situation ... not the methods to catch the fish.

    It certainly appears, based on what I've seen and read, that the FWC is not interested in correcting the situation OR actually interested in the fishery. Possibly some big players and a lot of background politics involved? If the FWC patrol guys are given orders to ticket "protesters or those who appear to be interfering" then that is almost proof of the preference being given to PTTS.

    I saw our Alaska King Salmon fishery destroyed in 25 years because of granting a select group a preference politically. The final result has been a poor fishery for 10 years and no fishery at all for the past 3 years and it may very well never recover. I do not know if the Tarpon are similarly impacted or not.
    Last edited by RexLan; 12-22-2012 at 05:40 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gary S. Colecchio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarponator View Post
    So, Gary, if I'm fishing a pod of tarpon all by myself with a spinning rod and an unweighted crab, and the group of jig boats sees the fish I'm fishing and run over my lines and crowd around me stopping me from being able to cast and driving the fish to the bottom, are they not "interfering with [my] lawful taking of fish".

    It seems to me they are, but I'm interested in your (and others') perspective.
    The statute says that no one can intentionally interfere with someone engaged in fishing.

    My personal view is that the intention of this statute was to prevent anyone stopping anyone else from commercially harvesting fish by intentionally running over fishing lines or trap lines or releasing fish in a trap. To my knowledge it has never been tried in a dispute between recreational fishing or fishermen disputing access to a fishing spot.

    It is clear that intentionally and willfully trying to prevent someone from catching a fish is a misdemeanor.

    It seems to me that someone who believes that they were prevented from catching a fish by someone who didn't want them to would have to have that substantiated by a law enforcement officer as a witness, otherwise it would be one person's word against the other. I certainly would not pursue enforcement action based upon that, and I don't think a state's attorney would either (if I can't win, I won't play )

    Again , as someone who has been charged with regulatory law enforcement, I can say and without prejudice, that fishing in one method does not prevent other people from fishing as uncomfortable as it may be.

    The effect of this statute would seem to prevent anyone from interfering with a tournament, which , if the FWCLEO said it at all, would make sense.

    Perhaps someone like Rex would like to attempt to apply it to PTTS as a test?

    It would certainly add to the drama.
    Last edited by Gary S. Colecchio; 12-22-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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