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.
As an elementary school teacher for more than 28 years, I have always told my students to follow their hearts in doing what is right for a cause. The awareness that my tarpon slaughter movie has created for the tarpon of Boca Grande is one of my proudest moments and a testimony for all those who have walked through my classroom door. The photos taken that day tell the real truth, because the camera doesn’t lie.
A big ‘thank you’ to Robert L. Lewis, one of the last original Highwaymen painters for his amazing and inspirational demonstration at The Antique Boutique.
What a blessing it was to have him grace us with his amazing artistic talent during Tarpon Festival Weekend, May 19 and 20.
I would like to thank the Boca Grande Woman’s Club for believing in me and allowing me to do something that I’ve always dreamed of ... obtain a college degree.
The generous scholorship they have awarded me will help me obtain my degree in Health Information Management at Southwest Florida College. For their help with my tuition I am sincerely grateful.
Lori MyersPort Charlotte
It was wonderful to see Randy Wayne White’s letter published in the Beacon. Most of the local people are “in the know” about snagging and have already sounded off about it.
RWW’s comments are, however, a good reminder that to the broader boating and fishing public, snagging is something they do not know nor appreciate until they are given a heads up. Way to go, Randy.
Now let’s move on to exhausted fish (from weigh-in), disturbed pre-spawning schools and general deterioration of our fishery. Yeah, we know science and data is just now beginning to reveal how bad the PTTS really is. We need more science, but so far it all points to bad.
Again, way to go Cappy, RWW and the Boca Beacon!
Richard Hirsch New York
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