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I've never heard of such a practice in all the years Ive gone to the keys. That's probably because if anybody actually does what you've stated, they don't tell anyone to save face. I've caught several big Hammerheads in my life, both offshore and from the surf. I can't remember ever having to use a piece of Tarpon, Blue Marlin or other to do it.

I'm going to be glad when Florida makes Tarpon catch and release only. There's a bill already in the works and I hope it goes through. I am not a treehugger, I kill all kinds of shit (for food), but the idea of killing something as valuable as a Tarpon just for bait is completely ridiculous. This is the kind of crap that keeps environmental extremists scrolling pages of public forums, local fishing mags, etc. because its these irresponsible practices that make the perfect ammo for them to use against us.
What makes them so "Valuable"?
 

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Squid technician
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Jim, look at the immense amount of money spent directly on Tarpon in Florida every year with tackle, guides, hotels, etc. There are hordes of anglers that come here just to fish for them and they spend big dollars to do it

There was a publication made several years ago (can't remember who conducted it) that broke down how much each tarpon was worth in Florida. Obviously, they do not have an exact count on them nor is the exact dollar amount known, but for even a rough estimate, it held some pretty high numbers
 

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Time and effort would be better spent catching a shitload of ladyfish for shark fishing IMO. But they sell tags for a reason also. I would love to hook ip on a tarpon but Im sure it would break off. I will keep my power pro thank you.
 

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Well, if anyone would like to give some advice to someone that just wants a big ass scale, please PM me! That's my main fishing goal this year.
 

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I can't imagine why you would spend that much money to catch one. There is video after video of people hand feeding them from a dock. You can go there and for the cost of walking out on the dock you can see hundreds of them. lol
 

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Squid technician
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I can't imagine why you would spend that much money to catch one. There is video after video of people hand feeding them from a dock. You can go there and for the cost of walking out on the dock you can see hundreds of them. lol
Those fish at the docks have learned over time. They're nothing like the spooky fish on the flats or those that migrate up the coast
 

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Chris V, you have a ton of great advice but I have to disagree with you here. If someone wants to legally take a fish let them. You obviously love Tarpon and that's great, but I see no difference in Tarpon, Marlin, Sailfish, and heck Snapper. They are all restricted but can be taken legally, and if so let someone.

I would bet the money that Red Snapper brings far outweighs Tarpon, so should we just catch and release them? I have run into guides that have preferred catch and release redfish. In some states you can still keep bull reds, but not in Florida.

I am all for lobbying for the causes you believe in, but not helping someone because they want to legally keep a fish? Bologne.
 

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Squid technician
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It was a joke....
I kinda figured

Baldona, I read my first couple responses and at one point even deleted them, but I couldn't fight it. I generally do not get involved in these types of things but sometimes you just have to speak your mind. I understand the legal aspect with Tarpon and definitely agree (although a different topic) that red snapper bring tons of money, but lets define a species value by why it is sought. I'm willing to bet that at least 95% of fishermen target a snapper, grouper or similar with the intentions of taking it home for dinner. Tarpon, Marlin, Sailfish and such earn their reputation and generate their dollars for their sporting qualities.

I may have come on strong and I apologize to the OP for being an A-hole and derailing his thread to a new dimension, but I will defend that what I do with my info on any type of fishing is at my discretion and I will not contribute to killing a Tarpon for bait. I have given a ridiculous amount of info on this forum over the last however many years and am certainly not loose lipped about helping another angler. Next time, I will just read, nod my head whichever direction seem fit and go to another page
 

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Roll Tider
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You do not have to have a Tarpon tag to catch one, or hold it for a picture. You DO have to have a tag to KEEP one. Basically if you are wanting to spend the $50 for a Tarpon tag, you have the intentions of killing them. They have no food value as said before, and using one as shark bait is just bad, and paying $50 just to use one for shark bait is even worse. There are plenty of other baits that are more readily available and work as well, if not better. But hey, do whatever the hell u want right?

Cuda and King Mackerel also make excellent shark bait, you don't have to spend $50 to use them either.
 

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Im sorry but I cant stand reading anything you post anymore. It seems like some of the stuff you post on here is only to piss people off. Your giving yourself a bad reputation my friend.
 

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If he has a tag, he should be able to do what he pleases with the fish. The very small amount of people that have tags and actually keep their fish is certainly not significant in the depletion of the species. Huge roller nets for mackeral was depleting the tarpon populations in South Florida back in the 70's and this is no longer done. In the early 1900's, it was prestigious to see how many tarpon you could boat and literally thousands were killed for show. I would say that more than 99% of tarpon fishermen practice catch and release today. Ive tarpon fished since 1972 and there are plenty of tarpon to catch. The schools are not as big as they were back then but I believe this due to them being broke up by the vast numbers of anglers, jet skis, etc...
To answer the question that the first poster asked: The tarpon in our area generally migrate from east to west starting in late June and all throughout July. There are however, schools of tarpon already showing up now. They will generally run within 100 - 500 yds off the beach. In august they will hold up in most of our bay systems and can be easily caught if you know where to fish for them. The fenders at the bay bridge, bayou chico at daylight, the bluffs at Ft. pickens are all good places to name a few. When fishing for them in the Gulf, they are much more spooky than when they get in the bays. I use smaller baits such as lys, cigs, baby hardtails so that I don't spook the schools.
 

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The Tourist
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Discussion Starter #34
Im sorry but I cant stand reading anything you post anymore. It seems like some of the stuff you post on here is only to piss people off. Your giving yourself a bad reputation my friend.

i just asked how to catch one. you guys fueled the fire. too easy.

I just want to catch one. :D if you've only seen half the "trophy" fish I've caught and released. Besides, small sharks and rays make much better big shark bait. If i were to commit to catching bait off the yak I'd go target kings and Cobia all day or make the run further out and get some tuna. when i fish out of the yak its for the sport and fun of it.

and the comment about why someone would spend $50 for bait? people spend far more on bait when going marlin fishing. People travel thousands of miles and invest thousands to land what they would consider a trophy. 50 bucks to do it on your own is nothing.
 
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