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Florida Makes Tarpon, Bonefish Catch and Release Only

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland, approved a proposal to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries and moved forward with a proposal to modify the types of gear used to target tarpon in Boca Grande Pass.

This catch-and-release proposal was adopted in recognition of the fact that the economic and fishing value of bonefish and tarpon greatly exceed their value as food fishes.

The following changes will go into effect Sept. 1 in state and federal waters off Florida:

All harvest of tarpon will be eliminated, with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an IGFA record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.

Tarpon tags will be limited to one per person, per year (except for charter boat captains).

Transport or shipment of tarpon becomes limited to one fish per person.

One fish per vessel limit is created for tarpon.

Gear used for tarpon will be limited to hook-and-line only.

People will be allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water.

Tarpon regulations will extend into federal waters.

The bonefish tournament exemption permit is eliminated. This exemption allows tournament anglers with the proper permit to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.

The Commission also approved modifying the tarpon tag program by eliminating the current reporting requirements and shifting the start and end date for when the tarpon tag is valid from July through June to a calendar year, January through December. These rules will be changed in FWC code and will go into effect Sept. 1.

The Commission also moved forward with a two-part proposal that would include adding language to the current statewide snagging definition and modifying what types of gear could be used to target tarpon in Boca Grande Pass. The proposal would add language that prohibits catching or attempting to catch tarpon that have not been attracted or enticed by the angler’s gear to the snagging definition that applies statewide. This change would apply to tarpon fishing statewide. The second part of the proposal would prohibit fishing with gear that has a weight attached to the bottom of a hook. This change would apply to fishing for all species year-round within Boca Grande Pass.

This proposal will be brought back for a final public hearing at the Sept. 4-6 meeting in Pensacola.

To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings” and “Agenda.”
– See more at: http://www.thefishingwire.com/story/290792#sthash.m3jQC5Z8.dpuf

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Tarpon Tagging back for 2013

TarponThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Guides Association (FGA) have teamed up again to bring The FGA/FWC Spirit of Tarpon DNA Sampling Challenge back for a second year. The goal is to encourage anglers to support the Tarpon Genetic Recapture Study (TGRS) by collecting DNA samples from the tarpon they catch. Scientists use the DNA samples as genetic “fingerprints” to track and study tarpon.

The FGA/FWC challenge is issued to all interested recreational anglers for the months of January through December 2013. The rules are simple, most samples win.

Thanks, at least in part to the challenge, more anglers than ever participated in the Tarpon Genetic Recapture Study in 2012. It is a win-win situation with the study getting more DNA samples and anglers getting recognition and a chance to win great prizes.

Anglers who would like to assist the study and participate in the challenge can obtain a free, easy-to-use tarpon DNA sampling kit by emailing TarponGenetics@MyFWC.com or by calling 800-367-4461.

For more information on theTarpon Genetic Recapture Study visit:
http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/tarpon/genetics

For more information on The FGA/FWC Spirit of Tarpon DNA Sampling Challenge visit http://www.florida-guides.com/florida-guides-association/events/264-fgafwc-spirit-of-tarpon-dna-sampling-challenge.html

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Rough Weather Tennis Ball Release Ruler Tip

Based on early user feedback and our own field testing, we have found a great solution for keeping the Release Ruler steady in rough windy weather.  A tennis ball attached to the end of the Release Ruler via a snap swivel works amazingly well. Using a larger size snap swivel with a small section of mono and a bead inserted into the tennis ball is very effective. Carefully cut a 1/2 section of the tennis ball and insert a bead crimped to your mono (we used #300 and a small bead so the mono will not pull back thru the cut) and attach a snap swivel to the mono as pictured. Your final step is to squeeze the tennis ball closing the cut and apply super glue.

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New Sailfish Release Ruler makes its Debut

Prior to the Los Suenos Signature Billfish Series in Costa Rica we had a chance to measure a couple Pacific Sailfish to obtain the length and weight for The Billfish Foundation Tag card. Notice how the ruler streams alongside the majestic sailfish. Check out the sailfish ruler section to learn more and get yours today click here

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Photo and Video Shoot

From March 9 – 17 we will be down in Costa Rica prefishing and then tournament fishing the 2nd leg of the Los Suenos Signature Series aboard the 65′ Robin Smith “Gotcha.” While prefishing we are planning on demonstrating the Release Rulers. We will have a few how to tips and we hope the fishing picks up. Stay tune for the latest updates.

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New Release Ruler Website

This is our first attempt to create a new website for the patent pending Release Rulers. We will continue to update and expand the site as we get more products, input and news from the fishing public. We are also working on a mission statement for 8 Knots LLC and the Release Ruler brand. The feedback has been positive for the product and we have just completed our latest ruler design for Sailfish. Our network is in the process of designing a Bluefin Tuna Release Ruler which will debut this summer. Stay tuned for the sportfishing release revolution.

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