I fantasize about catching a Tarpon someday and when I heard the news this week about the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approving a regulation to make tarpon and bonefish a catch and release fisheries and moved forward with a proposal to modify the types of gear used to target tarpon in Boca Grande Pass. I was thrilled! I hope this can lead to a model for other fisheries.
This catch-and-release proposal was adopted in recognition of the fact that the economic and fishing value of bonefish and tarpon greatly exceed their value as food fishes.
The following changes will go into effect Sept. 1 in state and federal waters off Florida:
- All harvest of tarpon will be eliminated, 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.
- Tarpon tags will be limited to one per person, per year (except for charter boat captains).
- Transport or shipment of tarpon becomes limited to one fish per person.
- One fish per vessel limit is created for tarpon.
- Gear used for tarpon will be limited to hook-and-line only.
- People will be allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water.
- Tarpon regulations will extend into federal waters.
- The bonefish tournament exemption permit is eliminated. This exemption allows tournament anglers with the proper permit to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.
On another tarpon front the 2013 Women's Spring Fly Tarpon Tournament ended and the results are: Congratulations !1) Heidi Nute/Rob Fordyce - 6 releases today, 7 total for 7,000 pts
2) Diana Rudolph/Robert Klein - 2 releases today, 5 total for 5,000 pts (2nd place on time)
3) Jodie Reece/Jared Raskob - 2 releases today, 5 total for 5,000 pts
|photo courtesy of Women's Fly Series|
Grand Champion Heidi Nute fighting one of her 6 releases from Day 2 of the 2013 Spring Fly Tarpon Classic