FWC to ban jig fishing in BGP

Yesterday, I know the FWC approved, unanimously, to move bonefish and tarpon to catch-and-release only (details below)....

Today, I heard a rumor that the FWC banned the jig from BGP.

Has anyone heard anything officially?

Here's the announcement on yesterday's meetings:

_________________________________________________________________________________

For immediate release: April 17, 2013

Contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943

Proposal would make tarpon, bonefish catch-and-release only

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its April 17 meeting near Tallahassee, moved forward unanimously with a proposal to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries.

The tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only proposal includes the following potential changes for management in state and federal waters off Florida:

o Eliminating all harvest of tarpon with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an IGFA record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.
o Keeping the tarpon tag price at $50 per tag but limiting them to one tag per person, per year.
o Modifying the tarpon tag program, including reporting requirements and shifting the start and end date for when the tarpon tag is valid.
o Discontinuing the bonefish tournament exemption permit that allows tournament anglers to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.

The proposal will be brought back before the Commission for a final public hearing at its June meeting in Lakeland.

In a separate discussion, the Commission also reviewed how gear is being used for the tarpon fishery in Boca Grande Pass. The Commission directed staff to re-examine the definition of snagging and redefine what gear can be used in the Pass. This issue will likely be brought before the Commission at the June meeting as a draft proposal.


_________________________________________________________________________________

Here is a link to the presentation made to the FWC:

http://www.myfwc.com/media/2520558/4B4TarponBonefish_Presentation.pdf

And here's the overall agenda for the meeting:

http://www.myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/2013/april/17/agenda/

_________________________________________________________________________________

On a related note, the above provisions would effectively end the PTTS weigh-ins, as the only way a tarpon tag could be used would be in pursuit of an IGFA record.
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Replies

  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman Posts: 887 Officer
    :Popcorn
  • doubledupdoubledup Posts: 235 Officer
    You will still be able to fish with jigs, just not jigs that lead with the hook. Nothing will change this tarpon season.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,273 AG
    If the rule concerning the use of a tag for only IGFA record purposes goes through, quite a bit will change, at least as far as the PTTS is concerned.

    That said, what's the difference between a "jig" and a jig "that leads with the hook"? What have you heard?
  • CaptainBlyCaptainBly Posts: 1,886 Captain
    Not to support the PTTS but the rules, at least those discussed in the meeting in St. Pete, will allow boat side length and girth measurement. Since the PTTS has already switched to that to determine their "winner", it will have no effect on the PTTS. Again, I have no issue with all tournaments going away altogether. I don't support them, could care a less about them. But I don't believe this rule change will have any effect on the PTTS at all. The sponsor assault will do more damage I would think. If there are tournaments, most releases should win, period, the fact that you were lucky enough to get the biggest fish is just that, luck.

    They also didn't really define what pursuing a record meant or how that would be determined. I could catch a tarpon and put a tag in it and say I want to pursue a record even though I know it is not even close to a record fish. So lot of loopholes in that. The one tag thing per year is interesting. Don't really understand that one other than the fact that this is clearly meant to stop the PTTS and the captains that are participating in that.

    Again, I will state, I have no issue with this rule change, it does not affect me one iota. The problem I have is that they have once again pushed through rules with absolutely zero merit or proof of need. They have also pushed through rules for an area of water 1 mile by one mile. For the entire STATE. Someone with some deep pockets or great oral skills has gotten their input to the upper echelon of the FWC. Again, just really scary to me. Seriously, what is next? If they can put this bunch of BS together from February to April and slam it down our throats, there is no end to what they could do in limiting us access to our fisheries. This is not purely a tarpon issue. They have just shown that they will willingly limit your ability to catch fish on a whim with no evidence of any kind that it is truly needed to protect the species.

    Sorry, just scary to me and we opened the door for this and allowed it to happen.
    In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    doubledup wrote: »
    You will still be able to fish with jigs, just not jigs that lead with the hook. Nothing will change this tarpon season.

    So this means we’ll see more Bait Busters, Swimming Mullets and 6-8” shad tails?

    Many will agree, your "Hook Up" ratio will substantially decrease if Jiggers were forced to fish with "Traditional" style jigs, led by the head. In less than one season, your "Non-Believers" will be forced to fish using different methods, after realizing Traditional Style Jigs just don’t work in the Pass as well (Anywhere near) as Bait.

    During the transition, we’ll see an initial increase Beach/Harbor/Sound Traffic. Eventually, that should taper off. There will be more order in the Pass. Many out of town Recs and Guides will choose to fish the Beaches, Passes and Bays in their own home towns, after realizing they can do as well fishing their own back yard, without the expense of travel & lodging, time away from family, etc. Finally, there will be a thinning of the crowds (Thank God). The Tarpon will less molested and will be much happier in the mornings. Naturally, we’ll also see less afternoon Traffic and finally, those that can only fish Sat & Sun, will also have a chance to share our fishery, without the presence of the PTTS Clan, who have claimed ownerships to BG Pass every weekend.

    This results in nothing but good things for the Tarpon and our fishery. Hopefully this Law sticks and MOST IMPORTANTLY, FWC Bans the use of any Jig, which is not led by a weight.

    CaptainBly wrote: »
    The sponsor assault will do more damage I would think

    Without sponsors, this or any tournament does not exist.
    CaptainBly wrote: »
    Again, I will state, I have no issue with this rule change, it does not affect me one iota. The problem I have is that they have once again pushed through rules with absolutely zero merit or proof of need. They have also pushed through rules for an area of water 1 mile by one mile. For the entire STATE. Someone with some deep pockets or great oral skills has gotten their input to the upper echelon of the FWC. Again, just really scary to me. Seriously, what is next? If they can put this bunch of BS together from February to April and slam it down our throats, there is no end to what they could do in limiting us access to our fisheries. This is not purely a tarpon issue. They have just shown that they will willingly limit your ability to catch fish on a whim with no evidence of any kind that it is truly needed to protect the species

    I assume you are referring to C&R Only? I agree with you. Perhaps the research is light, and this move sparked by influential oppositions with a serious agenda. Without banning the use of Jigs, it almost seems like nothing more than a tease/insult to those that really want change in BGP. Perhaps this step is intended as a preface of what’s to follow. Everyone who truly cares about the BGP Tarpon and Local Fishery knows, a major change is due. Either way, the proposal helps the Tarpon.

    Now it’s time to focus on eliminating the Jig, which is the main problem as I see it.
  • doubledupdoubledup Posts: 235 Officer
    capeangler wrote: »
    So this means we’ll see more Bait Busters, Swimming Mullets and 6-8” shad tails?

    Many will agree, your "Hook Up" ratio will substantially decrease if Jiggers were forced to fish with "Traditional" style jigs, led by the head. In less than one season, your "Non-Believers" will be forced to fish using different methods, after realizing Traditional Style Jigs just don’t work in the Pass as well (Anywhere near) as Bait.

    During the transition, we’ll see an initial increase Beach/Harbor/Sound Traffic. Eventually, that should taper off. There will be more order in the Pass. Many out of town Recs and Guides will choose to fish the Beaches, Passes and Bays in their own home towns, after realizing they can do as well fishing their own back yard, without the expense of travel & lodging, time away from family, etc. Finally, there will be a thinning of the crowds (Thank God). The Tarpon will less molested and will be much happier in the mornings. Naturally, we’ll also see less afternoon Traffic and finally, those that can only fish Sat & Sun, will also have a chance to share our fishery, without the presence of the PTTS Clan, who have claimed ownerships to BG Pass every weekend.

    This results in nothing but good things for the Tarpon and our fishery. Hopefully this Law sticks and MOST IMPORTANTLY, FWC Bans the use of any Jig, which is not led by a weight.




    Without sponsors, this or any tournament does not exist.



    I assume you are referring to C&R Only? I agree with you. Perhaps the research is light, and this move sparked by influential oppositions with a serious agenda. Without banning the use of Jigs, it almost seems like nothing more than a tease/insult to those that really want change in BGP. Perhaps this step is intended as a preface of what’s to follow. Everyone who truly cares about the BGP Tarpon and Local Fishery knows, a major change is due. Either way, the proposal helps the Tarpon.

    Now it’s time to focus on eliminating the Jig, which is the main problem as I see it.

    I agree with everything you said for the most part. This sounds like it will happen and happen quick. I do not see how anyone can defend the jig, there are years of pictures and videos of tarpon snagged in the throat, eyeball, belly and face. The commission knows the 2004 study has many holes in it. I would say that there are maybe 30 hard core jig guys around, they are way out numbered by their opposition which includes ex jig fisherman. I have seen this in the works for some time while on the water. Tarpon were acting different every year when the jig fleet fished them. The diffrence with this go around is that jig fisherman are in the minority.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,273 AG
    Do you really think that banning the jig will significantly affect the fishing pressure on the tarpon in BGP? If so, why?

    Because while I want to believe what you've predicted, I simply don't. It seems to me all that will happen is a change in the methods of the fishermen, both recreational and professional, fishing for them. Most all of the guides know how to (and will continue to) fish with live bait and I would expect them to leverage fishing in "the tarpon capital of the world" and using their existing customer bases to continue to do so. And the BGFGA will be out there first thing again too. Let's also not forget it's much easier to just drive to the pass first thing than actually have to go hunt for tarpon. I just don't see it making that much difference, personally, but admittedly neither of us have a crystal ball. But I strongly suspect that people will still short drift, the BGFGA will continue to ignore their own rules, and there will still be 50 or more boats there every morning, this time with different baits on the end of their line and a bit more space between boats.

    Getting past that... What will be very interesting, to me, will be to watch how the tarpon behave going forward. Will they continue to leave the pass in the mornings, the behavior many have attributed to the pressure the jiggers put on them, or will they go back to their old habits?

    I'll bet the tarpon continue to scatter and the fishery will continue to deteriorate due to the overall fishing pressure. I hope I'm wrong, but I've watched it happen at the bridges. I've watched it happen to Egmont, where the fish have many more options and were never jigged. To be candid, I'm surprised it's taken this long for the change in behavior in BGP. Tarpon may be hundreds of millions of years old, but they are hardly stupid, and they don't like running boats or fishing pressure, and I don't see this latest round of regulations making much difference at all in these underlying stresses. Again, I hope I'm wrong.

    But if I'm not wrong, and the pressure continues to change their behavior, I do wonder where the finger will get pointed next.

    Take care...Mike
  • doubledupdoubledup Posts: 235 Officer
    Tarponator wrote: »
    Do you really think that banning the jig will significantly affect the fishing pressure on the tarpon in BGP? If so, why?

    Because while I want to believe what you've predicted, I simply don't. It seems to me all that will happen is a change in the methods of the fishermen, both recreational and professional, fishing for them. Most all of the guides know how to (and will continue to) fish with live bait and I would expect them to leverage fishing in "the tarpon capital of the world" and using their existing customer bases and to continue to do so. Let's also not forget it's much easier to just drive to the pass first thing than actually have to go hunt for tarpon. I just don't see it making that much difference, personally, but admittedly neither of us have a crystal ball. But people will still short drift, the BGFGA will continue to ignore their own rules, and there will still be 50 or more boats there every morning, this time with different baits on the end of their line and a bit more space between boats.

    Getting past that... What will be very interesting, to me, will be to watch how the tarpon behave going forward. Will they continue to leave the pass in the mornings, the behavior many have attributed to the pressure the jiggers put on them, or will they go back to their old habits?

    I'll bet the tarpon continue to scatter and the fishery will continue to deteriorate due to the overall fishing pressure. I hope I'm wrong.

    Take care...Mike

    Mike, I will give you my honest opinion:

    Do you really think that banning the jig will significantly affect the fishing pressure on the tarpon in BGP? If so, why?

    Yes I do. What I have seen over the last 7 years specifically is that the number of jig boats has been on the increase even while every year there are a few boats that stop jig fishing. Jig fishing in BGP is a very specific type of fishing, it will not work anywhere else in the immediate area other than the pass. That is a fact. There are many guides and rec anglers alike that live and die by the jig, they will jig fish all day even with very little fish in the pass. This leads me to belive that these guys can't catch tarpon any other way. I'm not saying they can't or wont learn how to become successful without the jig but live bait fishing for tarpon in the pass takes some time to learn. On the other hand anytime you can eliminate 30 40 or 50 outboards literally chasing tarpon around and out of the pass then the fishery will benefit. These guys will learn fast that you can not chase down tarpon schools with live bait and do well. So assuming every single boat that fishes the pass with jigs this year comes back next year and fishes live bait like it is supposed to be fished from a skiff i.e. trolling motors, waiting for the fish to come to you, then, Yes, we will all benefit including the fishery the most.

    All we can do is give this fishery a chance, I do not think BGP is overfished, I feel it is fished as of now in the worst possible way. take the snagging debate out of this, if these guys that jig fish could show some respect to the fishery and other fisherman then I see no problem with the jig. But when 99.9% of the jig fleet thinks it is a good idea to jig fish east of the hill in 20 feet of water and on the shoals in 12 feet of water, and hard reverse on every single school of tarpon in the pass while jig fishing then the jig will be outlawed in my opinion. There is something wrong with BGP when nearly all the tarpon dump out of the pass when the jig fleet shows up. In my opinion they brought this onto their selves.

    Again, if these jig fisherman want to stay successful at tarpon fishing they will have to adapt to methods already in place around the world when it comes to tarpon fishing. Use stealth, don't run over the tarpon with your outboard, and make good cast. If they continue to fish with live bait they way the do with jigs they will go out of business if they are a guide, and the rec guys will try to fish somewhere else. You can't stay in the guide business if you can't catch fish, period.

    I would rather fish around the live baiters all day, there really is not that many of them fishing daily anymore anyways. In order for them to catch fish they need to drift their boats through the tarpon, not stop on top of every single pod the see pop up.

    So, yes, in my opinion this is a fantastic move for BGP. I would like to hear from the "old" time jiggers and hear their opinions. I would bet that they are for it as well because at the rate we are going something has to change. When this jig issue last came up I was 100% for the jig, I thought no way does the jig snag fish. But after doing it for the next 7 years on a daily basis I can honestly say 90% of the tarpon I caught on jigs were snagged. We hooked a lot more back then because you could actually jig fish all the way up into the first 2 hours of the hill tide because the tarpon never left the pass by the thousands. Now from what I see most jiggers can jig fish after 8am consistently.
  • whitebaconwhitebacon Posts: 354 Officer
    I didn't hope. I didn't pray. I promised I would get this done through legislation. I'm not done. I'm not playing. Who influenced the board? Me. Go look up the old threads.

    Welcome to hell PTTS.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,273 AG
    I hope you're right, Chuck, I really truly do.

    I just don't see McCue, Huddleston, Price, Withers, Sapp, Goodwin, or any of those guys leaving. They have built a business in that pass, they are down there all season, they know how to live bait fish, and I think they will continue to do so every morning, jig or not.

    I do see a few of the guys who come down only for the PTTS not coming down any more -- and perhaps that's who you are referring to -- but they were weekend warriors anyway, and their spots will be taken once the the BGFGA guys (not to mention local recreationals) have access again.

    Beyond that, the same idiots that think a jig works in 12 feet of water way inside the hill is going to be the same idiot using the same poor boatsmanship with crabs or whitebait -- they aren't suddenly going to wise up if they haven't already.

    I see just as many boats and just as much fishing pressure -- just a bit more orderly, a bit more room between boats, and a few less foul hooked fish. And that's a good thing, from where I sit, but not enough (IMO) to stem the tide of fishing pressure and outboard engines.

    But maybe you're right, and things will get better. I truly hope they do, because, like you, I believe that "at the rate we are going something has to change". And if we don't, the tarpon will, as we've already stated to see.

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply and take care...Mike
  • AlwaysAbuAlwaysAbu Posts: 472 Officer
    whitebacon wrote: »
    I didn't hope. I didn't pray. I promised I would get this done through legislation. I'm not done. I'm not playing. Who influenced the board? Me. Go look up the old threads.

    Welcome to hell PTTS.

    I'm sorry... what legislation did you get done? :huh
  • whitebaconwhitebacon Posts: 354 Officer
    Thanks Mike. You are gentleman and a scholar.

    Again, I promised Colecchio and Mercurio, and Ingman. I was very clear and direct. The promise I made was I would affect legislation. Done. Delivered. Tell Capt Gary C to please get out his grammar machine and mess with me again.

    And we're not done yet.
  • whitebaconwhitebacon Posts: 354 Officer
    Abu, you have proven to be hanger-on. Keep snagging, keep jigging. Keep dreaming.

    You *****, I deliver.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,273 AG
    whitebacon wrote: »
    Thanks Mike. You are gentleman and a scholar.

    Again, I promised Colecchio and Mercurio, and Ingman. I was very clear and direct. The promise I made was I would affect legislation. Done. Delivered. Tell Capt Gary C to please get out his grammar machine and mess with me again.

    And we're not done yet.

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I don't recall your promises to affect legislation. I do recall a few threats you made. Perhaps you could point us at those posts.

    Thanks in advance...Mike

    p.s. Abu is a good guy. He may not agree with you or your tact, but you are out of line, IMO, in talking to him like that. He has done nothing to deserve it, no longer fishes in the PTTS or snags fish, and has done less damage to the fishery than any number of posters in this and other threads.
  • whitebaconwhitebacon Posts: 354 Officer
    Fine. I'm out of line. I recognize all the intelligent posters, ABU, tarponator etc. I PROMISED Gary C, and the ilk associated with this I would get it done. I stacked the board. I got it done. I'm not finished.

    I apologize. I worked hard on this. Tell Joe and Gary, and the other Gary I am not finished by a long shot.

    I respect all of you
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,273 AG
    Thanks for your consideration re:Abu.

    I've reviewed all your posts, and I can find no such promises. I found threats of boats being buzzed, I found threats of litigation, I found bets. I found no promises, but perhaps I missed something. Which posts were you referring to?
  • whitebaconwhitebacon Posts: 354 Officer
    I promised I would get this done through legislation. I will have to find the exact post. I realized early on that, that was the only way. I have promised violence with my Maverick, bets on Tarpon caught. I admit to them all. FYI, I still never had a credible response from a jigger.....to my long standing bet.

    In the June meeting, my promise will be kept.
  • whitebaconwhitebacon Posts: 354 Officer
    "I just don't see McCue, Huddleston, Price, Withers, Sapp, Goodwin, or any of those guys leaving. They have built a business in that pass, they are down there all season, they know how to live bait fish, and I think they will continue to do so every morning, jig or not."

    Live bait fishermen? Seriously? Throwing a crab on a full moon does not constitute a "live bait fisherman".
    If one does not possess a keel boat that can drift well, then that wanna be cannot present his/her bait naturally. This is not subject to debate. It's just a fact.
  • Joey ButtonsJoey Buttons Posts: 11,849 Officer
    LMAO!!!!!!


    Nice work FWC and Whitebacon!


    The PTTS and the jig fisherman will soon be gone from BGP and hopefully out of the area.
    FSU is the best football team of all time!
  • doubledupdoubledup Posts: 235 Officer
    Tarponator wrote: »
    I hope you're right, Chuck, I really truly do.

    I just don't see McCue, Huddleston, Price, Withers, Sapp, Goodwin, or any of those guys leaving. They have built a business in that pass, they are down there all season, they know how to live bait fish, and I think they will continue to do so every morning, jig or not.

    I do see a few of the guys who come down only for the PTTS not coming down any more -- and perhaps that's who you are referring to -- but they were weekend warriors anyway, and their spots will be taken once the the BGFGA guys (not to mention local recreationals) have access again.

    Beyond that, the same idiots that think a jig works in 12 feet of water way inside the hill is going to be the same idiot using the same poor boatsmanship with crabs or whitebait -- they aren't suddenly going to wise up if they haven't already.

    I see just as many boats and just as much fishing pressure -- just a bit more orderly, a bit more room between boats, and a few less foul hooked fish. And that's a good thing, from where I sit, but not enough (IMO) to stem the tide of fishing pressure and outboard engines.

    But maybe you're right, and things will get better. I truly hope they do, because, like you, I believe that "at the rate we are going something has to change". And if we don't, the tarpon will, as we've already stated to see.

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply and take care...Mike

    Mike,
    I do not see all of those guys leaving either, in fact 2 of those guys your mentioned have been tarpon fishing next to me in the harbor for the last week. MOST of those guys were not a problem when they jigged fish, in my opinion the PTTS tarnished the public opinion on jig fishing beyond repair. THE bgfga always had a issue with the jig but now everyone I talk to that tarpon fishes this area has a issue with jig fisherman.

    I think there will be about 40 PTTS jig fisherman that will not come back to the pass in the mornings if they can't jig. These are the guys that are here just for the PTTS party and don't need or want to fish the pass any other way. The ones that have to come back, like the few you mentioned will have to figure out how to catch tarpon without jigs, they will hae to figure out how to catch bait in the dark every morning, they will have to build a relationship with a good crab guy that can get them crabs. If they don't they will not catch fish and they will slowly fade away. Most of those guys have built their reputation/career around one single type of fishing. Trust me, they know they can be successful using live bait in the morning, there are already plenty of guides doing it.
  • Joey ButtonsJoey Buttons Posts: 11,849 Officer
    doubledup wrote: »
    I think there will be about 40 PTTS jig fisherman that will not come back to the pass in the mornings if they can't jig.


    This will make all the efforts worth it.
    FSU is the best football team of all time!
  • A voice of ReasonA voice of Reason Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    I guess the next item on the agenda will be the banning off all outboard motors in the pass. Or, maybe you will only be able to fish with keeled/inboard boats. This is a "User conflict" plain and simple.....................btw.....Whitebacon, My daughter isn't using her "speak and spell" grammar addition anymore. You are more than welcome to use it.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    Wright directed staff to declare the "Boca Grande Jig" a snagging device, despite a staff report and recommendation against.

    The commission in failing to follow Wright's lead of his initiative to declare sportfish and gamefish, a sham to provide unnecessary protections for the fish, has resulted in this more direct approach, to establish his 'legacy'.

    As was his previous effort, this one has no basis scientifically or by observation. but the personal opinion of the few.

    We'll see how this plays out.
    "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
  • mastercastermastercaster Posts: 1,259 Officer
    Wright directed staff to declare the "Boca Grande Jig" a snagging device, despite a staff report and recommendation against.

    The commission in failing to follow Wright's lead of his initiative to declare sportfish and gamefish, a sham to provide unnecessary protections for the fish, has resulted in this more direct approach, to establish his 'legacy'.

    As was his previous effort, this one has no basis scientifically or by observation. but the personal opinion of the few.

    We'll see how this plays out.

    This seems like such a simple study for the FWC to conduct.

    Take 10 boats, 5 with conventional jigs, 5 with "Boca" jigs, fish them in pairs in the same spots and see hookup ratio, hook location etc.

    On another note, I read on spearboard that there is a study that claims a 20% mortality rate on caught tarpon in Boca, with an estimated number of 100,000 fish caught a year. That's 20,000 dead tarpon a year in Boca, anyone have a link to this?
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    They did that with the mortality study. I have the staff report if you want it.
    "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
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,273 AG
    whitebacon wrote: »
    "I just don't see McCue, Huddleston, Price, Withers, Sapp, Goodwin, or any of those guys leaving. They have built a business in that pass, they are down there all season, they know how to live bait fish, and I think they will continue to do so every morning, jig or not."

    Live bait fishermen? Seriously? Throwing a crab on a full moon does not constitute a "live bait fisherman".
    If one does not possess a keel boat that can drift well, then that wanna be cannot present his/her bait naturally. This is not subject to debate. It's just a fact.

    Yes, seriously.

    I wouldn't underestimate any of those I mentioned. All can catch tarpon very well without a jig.

    And the way that the smaller boats make up for a lack of keel is by using their outboard. It works very well, unless it's really windy. Not as well as the big Morgans, but it doesn't take a big keel to effectively fish live bait in and around BGP. Dispute it it you want, but I've both seen it done and do it myself.
  • Joey ButtonsJoey Buttons Posts: 11,849 Officer
    Will be funny to watch all those PTTS guys and jiggers leaving town.
    FSU is the best football team of all time!
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,273 AG
    On another note, I read on spearboard that there is a study that claims a 20% mortality rate on caught tarpon in Boca, with an estimated number of 100,000 fish caught a year. That's 20,000 dead tarpon a year in Boca, anyone have a link to this?

    It was 9.8%, not 20%. But even that number is disturbingly high. To quote the study: "In Boca Grande Pass, tagged tarpon suffered 9.8% mortality based on confirmed shark attacks."

    And if the fishermen involved in this fight were really, truly, concerned about the tarpon, that's the place they would be focused, IMO.

    The two, five, or twenty fish that die because of being dragged to the scales by the PTTS are but a drop in the bucket of the shark attacks that go on out there -- and everyone knows it.

    On a related note, here's the study that Gary and you alluded to: http://www.myfwc.com/research/saltwater/tarpon/catch-release/boca-grande-pass-study/

    Here's the conclusion:
    • Fundamental differences in the two fishing methods make it difficult to compare them, and results must be interpreted in that light.
    • No significant differences were observed in catch-and-release mortality rates of tarpon caught by anglers using artificial jigs and live bait in Boca Grande Pass.
    • Sharks were responsible for all of the confirmed mortalities, and shark attacks occurred on the line while using both methods of fishing.
    • While more tarpon were foul-hooked using artificial bait than live bait, percentages were not unusually high and did not contribute negatively to the survival of tarpon.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,273 AG
    doubledup wrote: »
    Mike,
    I do not see all of those guys leaving either, in fact 2 of those guys your mentioned have been tarpon fishing next to me in the harbor for the last week. MOST of those guys were not a problem when they jigged fish, in my opinion the PTTS tarnished the public opinion on jig fishing beyond repair. THE bgfga always had a issue with the jig but now everyone I talk to that tarpon fishes this area has a issue with jig fisherman.

    Those guys will do just fine. It may be fashionable to demean them, but the facts are they are all good tarpon fishermen, even if you take the jig out of their tackle box. Like you, I've fished next to many of them for years, down there and up here.

    FWIW, everyone I talked to down there has been against the jig since the late 90s. Anyone who didn't do it, didn't like it -- because of the exclusionary boating techniques and/or where they lived. I'm not sure much has changed, except many of the guides who used to do it (like you), don't any more and have joined the chorus of ant-jigging.
    doubledup wrote: »
    I think there will be about 40 PTTS jig fisherman that will not come back to the pass in the mornings if they can't jig. These are the guys that are here just for the PTTS party and don't need or want to fish the pass any other way. The ones that have to come back, like the few you mentioned will have to figure out how to catch tarpon without jigs, they will hae to figure out how to catch bait in the dark every morning, they will have to build a relationship with a good crab guy that can get them crabs. If they don't they will not catch fish and they will slowly fade away. Most of those guys have built their reputation/career around one single type of fishing. Trust me, they know they can be successful using live bait in the morning, there are already plenty of guides doing it.

    We are saying the same thing, I think, except those guys I mentioned (and a few more I did not) already know how to catch bait, buy crabs, and catch tarpon without jigs. Maybe not Withers, who I don't know that well, but all the others are superb fishermen with or without a jig. It may not be an easy way to make a living, but it is hardly rocket science, and they are smart enough and experienced enough to survive and adapt.

    Now the other guys who have been one trick ponies may, as you suggest, struggle, and you probably know better than I how many of those there are.

    Take care...Mike
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