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Updated: 03/13/2014 02:59:36PM

Take a kid


this year

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Youth fishing is just one of the many activities that Sarasota and Charlotte counties' parks and recreation departments will be sponsoring this summer.

By Capt. Van Hubbard

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As we welcome in the new year, many of us will reflect on last year and consider improvements for 2014. Personally, I’m happy with most of the progress made last year — I’ve also got plenty to improve on. I feel I have a better understanding of reality as I’m getting older, and I’m trying to apply more objectivity.

It was great to finally get the Boca Grande Pass jig banned by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Now we’ll see how effectively they enforce it? I hope our local officers protect tarpon as diligently as mullet, but time will tell. I think we’re going to see just how innovative the tarpon anglers that used to use the jig really are. We’ve had major local issues with statements made by and about the tarpon snagging and professional tournaments. Now, the devise is clearly outlawed. Let’s see how these anglers respect the FWC’s decision, and our tarpon fishery. I sincerely hope, even though I understand it’s a long shot, everyone now understands that we all catch more and add joy to the experience if we allow fish to behave as normally as possible. It’s really that simple! Our Boca Grande tarpon fishery is world famous, and we need to promote the wonderful experience — not prolong bad press that has been created. If we all fish for bites, we all win and Boca Grande can reclaim its fame. If you can’t catch tarpon except with a weighted hook, you were never a sport or professional fisherman anyway. At least that’s my opinion. I’m optimistic for a great new year of awesome tarpon fishing for everyone. If you want to catch more fish, become a better fisherman!

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