Tarpon status to change to release-only
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted Wednesday to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries. Starting Sept. 1, the harvest of tarpon will be eliminated except if the angler is pursuing a world record. To kill a tarpon, the angler must first purchase a tarpon tag, which will be limited to one per person, per year. Anglers will be able to possess a tarpon for the purpose of photos or to measure the length and girth, but fish longer than 40 inches must remain in the water.
Boca Grande jig ban progresses
The FWC moved forward with a proposal to ban a popular type of artificial lure favored by tarpon tournament anglers in Boca Grande Pass. The new rules would include adding language to the current statewide definition for "snagging." At the heart of the matter is a jig that utilizes a weight attached to the bottom of the hook. Proponents of the ban contend the jigs snag tarpon in the body instead of hooking them in the mouth, leading to increase mortality. The proposal must be approved at the Sept. 4-6 FWC meeting before it can become a law.
Long gulf snook closure to end
The FWC voted this week to reopen snook fishing in gulf waters Sept. 1. The season has been closed since early 2010, when cold fronts decimated the population. The regulations will remain the same: one-fish bag limit, 28- to 33-inch slot limit and two annual closures (Dec. 1-Feb. 28 and May 1-Aug. 31).
Terry Tomalin, Times Outdoors/Fitness Editor
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