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Topic: Tarpoon Sleigh Ride !!!, or "Who caught who?"< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Chrystal Murray Offline
Mullet




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Joined: Dec. 2004
Posted: Aug. 17 2005,13:02

Good afternoon everyone!

First, thanks Capt. Jimbo for bringing the thread to my attention. I don't get to visit here very often...am jealous of you guys over there who fish for bonefish, permit and barracuda, not to mention tarpon on your flats.

I guess I have been lucky that none of my tarpon from a kayak, canoe or powerboat have ever knowingly been hit by a shark, though I did witness a friends fish, caught from a boat in Boca Grande Pass get eaten by a giant hammerhead.

When I started tarpon fishing, years ago, I would do everything I could to bring a tarpon to and into the boat for pictures. As I became a little more educated and through close friends who are charter guides as well as observation of big game fishing I have adopted a different practice with regards to releasing a tarpon.

When you take the leader of a tarpon at boatside, then either land the fish by the lower jaw with a gloved hand or lip gaff, that fish is going to expend the last of it's energy to get away. Remember that animal is fighting for it's life. It's not angry, it's not any of those human qualities and emotions which we try to give it.

I have always noticed in real life as well as in film that big gamefish which get away right at the boat swim off just fine.

Most of the professional guides in my area prefer a leader release with large tarpon: grabbing the leader and breaking the fish off without ever touching it. Reeling the line to leader knot through the guides or touching the leader in any fashion constitutes a caught fish by most tournament and IGFA standards.

I go one step further, if a large tarpon is on longer than 20 minutes, that fish is going to be broken off. In a kayak it works as I can paddle right up to the angler's hooked fish, grab the leader with a gloved hand and yank hard. Not the safest, but I am the guide and willing to put myself in that position.

In my humble opinion this is better for the fish and angler both. In that 20 minutes the angler has gotten the best of that tarpon...the "thump" when it takes the lure, setting steel, the spectacular leaps and more than enough of the slugfest.

Yes, as mentioned in a previous response, it's all about the angles you put on the fish; rod low to the water, always pullling the opposite direction from where the fish wants to swim.

Not to mention the risk from sharks, it's very difficult to revive a tarpon from a paddle boat. I have read accounts where fish have sank to the bottom after a yaker thought he had the fish revived. Many of those folks lip gaff the fish, put the gaff loop around their toe and paddle. To each their own, it's their tarpon. What these paddle anglers might not realize is when a fish is gaffed that is considered possession and by law they must purchase and carry the FWC and state's $50 tarpon kill tag. EVEN IF THE TARPON IS INTENDED FOR RELEASE!

From what I have read from our own FWC, the two leading scenarios that most contribute to post mortality release is water temperature, ie. fighting a fish too long in warm/hot water and gut hooking, ie pulling on that part of the fishes body during a prolonged fight.

Something else to consider and from my soapbox, with all the angler education that's out there, it's unconscionable these days not to use circle hooks with live or dead bait. Even the anglers in Boca Grande Pass must use circle hooks with their artificial baits during the tournaments.

Hope this helps clear some of the release issues when targeting tarpon and other big game fish from paddle boats.

Lastly, the fish on my homepage was properly hooked and fought for less than 20 minutes. I leaned over the canoe to tape her out, my husband lifted only that much of her out of the water for a picture then she was revived and released. My husband and I were in his tandem canoe. I back paddled for no more than five minutes when she ripped herself from his hands and took off. That tarpon taped out at 165lbs. and we were very proud of her.

Please everyone, feel free to e-mail me with questions or comments. I don't always get to read the boards...I know, my bad.

Thanks again,

Chrystal Murray
E-mail Chrystal@Onshoreoffshore.com

Paddle Fishing Website

Fishing Reports

(Capn's Note: Thanks to Chrystal (one of our early forum members) for responding to my email and sharing her experiences here.  Thanks C.)


Edited by Capn Jimbo on Aug. 17 2005,13:35

--------------
Thank you,


Chrystal Murray
www.ospreybay.com/chrystalweb
www.onshoreoffshore.com
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Neptune4 Offline
Wahoo




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Posts: 102
Joined: April 2005
Posted: Aug. 17 2005,15:00

Chrystal,
IMHO, your tarpon post should be the "bible" for yak anglers. I have fished the Boca Grande Pass for 'poon during the prime season from my Pathfinder. Never again. I couldn't agree more on your recommendations for handling and release. I hope I am fortunate enough to bring one to "leader" from my Skua in the future. Thank you for sharing your expertise. :)
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PALADIN Offline
Marlin




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Posted: Aug. 17 2005,16:10

I guess a picture was worth a thousand words... :D

--------------
Tight Lines and Tail Winds
               Mike
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critterdog Offline
Marlin




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Posted: Aug. 18 2005,14:28

It is better to have two yaks so you can pull the tarpon and revive it before releasing.Most of the time I am by myself so I might pull it close to the yak and cut the leader close to the fish after paddling for a few yards.I really have not had a problem because they come back quickly.
I always have a knife sometimes 2 so I can cut the line in a rush.I have not seen any sharks here ,but I have near the tortugas.WE figured it was a 14ft hammer in about 5 ft. of water following a school of very large tarpon, so it can happen be ready.
  It seems that the fight dosen't last long because it only takes about 30 yards before I get up to speed and it is easy to gain line back.Most of them,only jump once when they are hooked because I am pulling hard to catch up and then they pull stright down if you are in deep water.
 I don't think I have fought a fish for more than 20 min.This is on a good day,you will loose more than you catch but what a rush.
  They have had the better of me a few times,pulled under mangrove and into a concrete wall.It is hard to brake with rod in hand one or two and you are moving fast.
   That seems to be the only fish I catch lately.Well you can always depend on a cuda.Port everglades jetty at the end have had alot of poons but you have to wait somtime for an hour and when they show up it is quick,must have live or dead bait bigger the better
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Rollcast Offline
Snook




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Joined: Sep. 2005
Posted: Sep. 09 2005,10:57

There's a guide in Homossassa that has a standing boat rule that after 15 minutes with a tarpon, the line gets cut. Bring it in by that time or slash.

I think we can do it in yak because tarpon has to fight boat and rod. Just do it quickly, IMO.

My biggest problem while flyfishing for tarpon down your way a few years back was setting the hook. Boat would slide 2 feet towards the fish when i strip struck and the tarpon would not get nabbed. Of course, I was fishing out of a 9 foot Otter at that time and I can tell you that the adrenaline was coursing something fierce.
yup, definitely a fond memory. We set the hook on 20 fish with no takers. I got to see my buddy strip his fly and see 5 hits on the retrieve and watch his boat move towards on each sweep. Fish would swim unconcerned not having felt a thing.
Talk about frustration.

Rollcast
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reeln_skinny Offline
Snook




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Posted: Sep. 09 2005,12:50

Quote (Rollcast @ Sep. 09 2005,10:57)
We set the hook on 20 fish with no takers. I got to see my buddy strip his fly and see 5 hits on the retrieve and watch his boat move towards on each sweep. Fish would swim unconcerned not having felt a thing.
Talk about frustration.

Rollcast

Try using owner hooks, the absolute easiest penetrating hooks on the market.....If you are not tying your own,try additional sharpening with fine diamond stick hone with groove for hooks. Soft mouth species don't need it, but tarpon?? you bet!! :D

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Filet & release~~~>>))))(:> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/>~~~/>~/>~~~
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Rollcast Offline
Snook




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Posts: 47
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Posted: Sep. 09 2005,13:39

Thanks.

Actually, I do sharpen the hooks as I tie. I use a triangular pattern- two sides then the bottom.The problem was that the yaks were way too light and they would move a good foot to two feet when we set the hook. i seriously doubt we would have that problem with a heavier SOT. Setting the rudder down might not be bad for the hookset either. I prefer not to use a rudder most of the time because a foulup there would be a real problem to get rid of when fishing solo which tends to be what I do most often.

rollcast
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