New Tarpon Regulations

new tarpon regulationsIn case you haven’t heard, the fishing world is all abuzz about the new Tarpon regulations passed by the Florida Fish and Wild Conservation Commission. So what exactly are the new rules?  And more importantly, what does it mean to YOU?  And how will it affect your fishing when it’s Tarpon season again?  Well, we’ve got the answers to all of these important questions so you will be well informed and well-prepared for your next fishing trip down to Boca Grande.

The new rules go into effect on November 1, 2013, so here’s what you need to know so you will be Tarpon fishing like a pro:

No Snagging

Under the new ruling, language has been added to the definition of “snagging” so now, Tarpon must be enticed to take the hook rather than snagged. This rule is for Tarpon fishing in all of Florida.

No Weights Hanging Lower than Hook

Fishing for any and all species specifically within Boca Grande Pass, year-round have new gear requirements. According to the FWC proposal, it is now prohibited to fish “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.” For more specifics on the new Tarpon rules, see the notes from the FWC meeting. The following aren’t new rules, but other good things to keep in mind so we can help maintain a healthy population of this spectacular gamefish.

Don’t Boat the Tarpon

We know you need to take a photo, but to do so, you’ve gotta take a picture of the Tarpon in the water.

Don’t Exhaust the Fish

If you tire the fish out, it could kill it.  For Tarpon, make sure to use medium/heavy to heavy tackle, tighten your drag, and minimize fight time.

Help the Fish Recover

If your fish is tired, you  can help them recover by towing them slowly forward with the boat. This helps resuscitate the fish by letting the water flow through the mouth and gills. For all Tarpon fishing regulations and conservation tips, see the WFC Tarpon brochure.  Now that you know the new rules and regulations, and have had a refresher on a few standard practices, you’re all set for the next season of Tarpon fishing. So, until then, get strong (you’re gonna need a lot of muscle for Tarpon fishing) and fish on!