Originally Posted by TrueblueTexican
And in the next few weeks you'll see some of the facts behind why I have personally reached this conclusion over the past 45 days. More to come........
but I am always willing to admit I'm wrong if folks step up to the plate and show me otherwise...
Scott , I see you are getting older and wiser
I view part of the problem over there is that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence floating around [no pun intended] but not a lot of proof. I'd be happy to have the tagging prove the majority of the fish survive that get weighed. I really would.
But when somebody ignores a request like this, it makes my radar go up and wonder why? Where is the transparency? I figure if you're not doing anything wrong, what have you got to hide... maybe that's just the scenic in me???
On the jig vs. no jig debate - I've seen the evidence and pictures both ways. Snagging or not snagging? I don't think we've got a good answer yet. I know people can say, "Well, I've done it and know its not snagging." That again is anecdotal and not proof of anything. Not anymore than folks showing pictures of tarpon with jigs in places they shouldn't be. The research that was done was not a large enough sample to show anything (IMHO) and there are allegations about bias in the study itself. When you have that, you have to throw it out and start over. Find a better way to do it and be more objective. Have people from both sides involved in formulating the processes in the study and agreeing on format, definitions, etc.
I know for a fact a tarpon will eat a jig like a coon pop. They will. Are they in Boca Grande Pass? Some probably are - are some snagged? Maybe... but nobody will know for sure until there is some DATA to answer it.
I also see an over-riding issue in the debate over a "use of the resource" and "access to the resource" issue that taints a lot of the debate over there. Scientific study of the issue can remove that resource use debate out of the equation if it is set up correctly.
I think that no matter what, a fair approach to this issue will be good for tarpon. That's where my loyalty is. I don't condone either side for some of their actions. There are extremists on each side. I have personal feelings about jigging and the PTTS style of fishing but I'll freely admit to them and I will also say they have no place in trying to answer the questions here. Jig - no jig and weigh - don't weigh issues can be answered without personal feelings getting involved and if your style of fishing is still good sportsmanship and not knowingly hurting the resource, then it is not my place or anybody's place to say you can't do it. Just my 2 cents.
Some will say that I fish mostly in Texas and I should shut up and go away - none of my business. I disagree. Our studies show tarpon on the west coast of Florida going to Louisiana and Louisiana tarpon coming to Texas... your fish are my fish to some extent and that has been shown. So it is everybody's business if they fish tarpon on this side of the Atlantic.
Some will also say, well, you're not going after Louisiana tournaments and they kill tarpon. True, they do kill tarpon and have kill tournaments. I don't like them and won't kill a fish during one. I fished Grande Isle last year and my team agreed not to kill a tarpon, even if it meant giving up thousands of dollars in prize money. My feeling is the only way to change some things is from within. I had hoped we would get over there and make a statement. Unfortunately, we didn't get that chance but we tried. I am also active in trying to do things to get a uniform set of tarpon regulations in the US in place. That would force Louisiana's hand. I don't think we can go to Mexico and ask them to better regulate tarpon killed there until we better regulate them in this country. I have a lot of friends in Louisiana who probably wouldn't like this position, but it is what it is and we have shown clearly that Texas tarpon go to Louisiana and vice versa - so I definitely have a dog in that hunt... on a regular basis. Protecting tarpon in Texas and allowing Louisiana to not even protect them as a game fish, makes no sense to me. I don't like the feds getting involved in things but sometimes, there is little choice. Tarpon are an interstate resource. (probably more so than snapper)