To the Editor:
I was a traditional tarpon fishing guide in Boca Grande Pass for 26 years. In my prime I boated somewhere around 500 tarpon a year and on good years well over 600. In all those years I rarely caught a tarpon anywhere but in the mouth from the inside out with my Mustad 7690 5/0 J hooks. By rarely I mean once or twice a year. It was my belief and the belief of the master who taught me that those one or two fish had thrown the hook when they jumped and the hook landed somewhere else on the tarpon.
So let’s take the worst case scenario. 500 hundred fish boated, 2 hooked somewhere else but the mouth. “I only hooked .04% of the tarpon I caught somewhere else but the mouth.” I believe this to be accurate for all of the traditional live bait fishermen in Boca Grande Pass.
I challenge any jig fisherman to make the statement that “99.96% of the fish I catch are hooked in the mouth from the inside out.”
This Sunday, June 17, we will be holding a silent, nonviolent protest of the PTTS at the pass in Gasparilla Island State Park from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Everyone should gather at the first parking lot on the right as you enter the park. Bring yourself, your friends, your cameras, your banners and your signs. Please add the website www.savethetarpon.com to your materials.
Also, make sure to bring money to pay the entry fee to the park. If you don’t pay the fee, you can be kicked out of the park.
There may not be any parking left in the State Park lot, so plan accordingly. Carpool, bike, take a golf cart, however you can get there.
If you have any questions, please go to www.savethetarpon.com and click on the “Contact Us” link, or visit the Facebook page, “Let’s Save the Tarpon (Boca Grande) and send a message.This is to be a silent and peaceful protest. It is very important that everyone stay calm and controlled to uphold the integrity of our cause.Nat ItalianoOne-time Boca Grande tarpon fishing guideBoca Grande
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