Sunday, May 27, 2018

Outdoors news: New tarpons rules go into effect

Making news

Tarpon Rules changes go into effect today

Several changes to the state's tarpon laws go into effect today. New language regarding the "snagging" of fish will prohibit "catching or attempting to catch tarpon that have not been attracted or enticed to strike an angler's gear."

Another change to the rule addresses the ongoing controversy in Boca Grande Pass. This new law prohibits fishing with gear that has a weight attached to a hook, artificial fly or lure "in such a way that the weight hangs lower than the hook when the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod."

The law was developed specifically to address jig fishing tactics in the iconic Southwest Florida tarpon hot spot. Visit for more details on these regulations.

Legal moves over net ban continue

A circuit judge in Leon County has told the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to stop enforcing the state's "net ban" amendment until recently raised legal arguments can be settled, the Tallahassee Democrat reported this week.

A lawsuit brought by the Wakulla Commercial Fisherman's Association, a Panacea bait-and-tackle shop owner and two Panhandle mullet fishermen raised questions about the legality of the 1994 constitutional amendment passed by more than 70 percent of the state's voters.

According to the Democrat, the FWC plans to file an emergency appeal to the 1st District Court of Appeals. The ruling is just another move in an ongoing legal skirmish that has waged for nearly 20 years regarding net fishing in coastal waters.

Send news to Terry Tomalin at [email protected] or call (727) 893-8808.

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