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Tarpon Leader - Gary's FP

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Paul Arden
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#11

Post by Paul Arden » Thu May 24, 2018 7:25 am

I agree with you on the long run, Bernd, and is why a 4line is better than a 6line for trout on flats in Tassie with lighter leaders. I think I wrote about that just after the trip.

Here it’s not a problem however and if the fish takes out out this sort of line you are completely fucked.

Cheers Paul
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Bernd Ziesche
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#12

Post by Bernd Ziesche » Thu May 24, 2018 7:29 am

Paul Arden wrote:the longest fight is 3 minutes.
You are landing them within less than 3 minutes and believe they are among the strongest fish one can fish for?
Interesting. :cool:

I have fished for Carp a lot during the past years.
When I use an 0,40mm nylon leader I land a 15 Kg carp within 5 minutes easily. If I have to use something like 0,20mm nylon (in case they have learnt their lesson by fishing pressure) it can easily take 30 minutes or more for the same fish. And many would break me off in a tree or similuar on the thinner leader.
Do I feel bad (or stop fishing) in case I have to use the thinner leader? No, not at all. Yes, it takes longer, but still they are fine after the release.

In Tarpon fishing I obviously have a huge lack of experience to say the least. But I don't believe, that all Tarpon Billy and all fine Tarpon experts, who still fight them for an hour or more, are killing the fish. What matters most in my experience with many other species of fish is the handling of the fish after the landing.
I don't see why a tarpon would die after one and a half hour of fight, if Billy fought them for 8,5 hours without them to ever give up or dying?
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Bernd
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#13

Post by Paul Arden » Thu May 24, 2018 7:46 am

Yes weight for weight, tropical fish are certainly far harder fighters than other freshwater equivalents. If you stop a fish from running, and I men stop it dead in its tracks, then after a few attempts they quit. All you need then do is steer them into the net. Will the fish be more tired if I play him for 20 minutes? Yes of course. Will it necessarily die? No but why would I play a fish for twenty minutes when I can nail him in three? Sometimes it's possible to keep a fish so imbalanced at the start of the fight that it can be landed in a few seconds. This for me is the absolute ultimate achievement in fish fighting.

You really need to get yourself over here, Bernd! I'll even name my next boat after you if you get here before Christmas :p

Cheers, Paul
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#14

Post by Bernd Ziesche » Fri May 25, 2018 8:06 am

Haha. Well, just sharing our fishing is well worth coming over for sure. About fighting the fish.... great, if I can keep the fight short. Still I very much enjoy every minute of it! Even if it's going to be a long one. ;) For sure I will never put out a dead line for others how short they have to keep whatever fight. That is ridiculous to me. About Tarpon.... It's no holy fish eather. All fish are great creatures to me. Having my favorites doesn't make any of em holy. :)
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#15

Post by Paul Arden » Fri May 25, 2018 8:31 am

With trout there is no question that long fights kill them and it’s true this must apply to all creatures. I’ve seen it and I’ve been responsible too, not intentionally of course, but large foul hooked fish can be a problem - probably better to break off sometimes.

I’m a very strong believer in using the strongest tippet that you can get away with - the exact opposite to IGFA. Trout should not be taken out the water to remove the hooks and they should be out the water maximum 1-2 seconds. We all know the studies of fish that are out the water for 20 seconds and 40 seconds and the high mortality rates as a consequence.

So I don’t agree with you and would argue that as fly fishing instructors it is our responsibility to teach both good (fast) fighting techniques and proper handling techniques. After all we are teaching people how to fish and handlling the fish which includes proper fighting technique is

I personally don’t enjoy long fights and always feel thatbthe clock is ticking. I enjoy knocking them over and successfully netting them when they are still full of beans - best is to have the fish swim into the net! This I believe gives the fish more respect and is better for them and our future fishing. :)

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#16

Post by WJC » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:10 pm

Paul wrote:If you stop a fish from running, and I men stop it dead in its tracks, then after a few attempts they quit.
Absolutely! And tarpon are no different from other fish except for that fact that they will gulp air and get a supercharge about 40 seconds after they do it.

That is one of the reasons I like a foregrip and a stiff rod. They do not gulp air unless they are moving forward. If you can submerge the rod and apply intense pressure along their body, it distracts them from trying to gulp air. Backing them up when they are trying to run from the boat breaks their spirit. The boat freaks them out and backing them up three times is usually what it takes on the big mommas to subdue them except for the head shaking when you grab them. By then, according to local custom, they have been declared "caught" fish - because they are boatside and close enough to have been gaffed if we were going to kill them.

The moan is the most sickening sound in tarpon fishing except for the thrashing of a hammerhead after one. The moan means you have very little time to get water running through its gills and a long time nursing the fish back to where it can swim again - assuming you even can. The moan is all the air they let out of their "lungs" or modified air bladder when they are basically nearly completely suffocated. It is too late to cut them off. You have to revive them - and who knows how effective that is ?

The way to avoid that is intense pressure on the fish and getting them close to the boat to apply it, and that can include backing away from them at the end of the fight in order to apply enough pressure. Even 3/4's dead, they can still haul a skiff around if you diddle around in neutral.

I don't consider anything "holy" but I'm not about to let a fish older than me die because someone on my boat is not strong enough to handle a fish. If they aren't, they should be fishing for snapper or other smaller fish that they can handle. Since I'm not a guide, I'm under no "obligation" to the anglers. If they want pictures, they got to work for them.

As for time limits, there is no magic time limit. Each fish is different - especially during the migration. Some may be weakened from having just returned from spawning this time of year. What count's is their behavior and that of the fisherman and the helmsman.

So I'm with Paul on this. Big tarpon will fight to the death, but only if you let them.

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#17

Post by bobtheflounder » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:14 am

I think most tarpon that were caught in the old days died shortly after being released. Tarpon are generally not known for their endurance and fighting them for an hour plus would be torturous both to the fish and the angler. Even today, with better equipment, many people still don't know how to fight a fish properly or don't want to. I have never landed a large tarpon myself (hopefully next year), but when I was fishing with a guide a couple months ago on the first tarpon I hooked the guide said something along the lines of, "You can play him a bit longer and let him on the reel" To be clear, the context wasn't in that he encouraged overplaying the fish, it was just that he was used to people overplaying the fish for more enjoyment. He said before that he wasn't after records and used 40lb. So I think Paul is partially correct in that it is somewhat due to tradition, like many things in fly fishing.
Later when we saw a pod of larger tarpon, I asked him how long his clients usually fought them for and he said even for beginners it generally shouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes.
Another example can be seen in PEI/Nova Scotia tuna. Most boats (i am not sure if it is a regulation) make you break off the fish if the fight goes over an hour. These are 600lb+ fish but they still can die if you fight them for too long. And tuna are known for their endurance.
But then again you have to know when to let the pressure off. I have hooked a few large tarpon from the kayak and all of them broke off because I was applying too much pressure when they jumped.
Going back to the tippet size, I think its largely based on the terrain. For the Florida vs Nicaragua tarpon example, from what I have heard, you do not have much room to let the fish run in Nicaragua whereas in Florida you generally have a lot more space.

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#18

Post by WJC » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:39 pm

Bernd wrote:What are the advantages you get with such strong leaders?
In addition to protection from abrasion vs an 11 ½” bite tippet, the guy leadering the fish has a huge advantage with 60# over a guy using 20#.
Bernd wrote:I don't see why a tarpon would die after one and a half hour of fight, if Billy fought them for 8,5 hours without them to ever give up or dying?
Bernd
Did you see the fish on the deck under wet towels at the end of the 3M movie when Billy was taking it to the scales? It was dead, not alive. He was fishing for a world record, not just for fun. His objective was to tire out the fish and kill it, not risk losing it because he was using a light tippet. I doubt he played them like that when fishing for fun.
Mangrove Cuckoo wrote:As to why use a 20# class tippet for tarpon I would suggest it is because anything heavier is unnecessary. It may well have stemmed from folks attempting to set records and then realizing just how hard it is to break 16# with a flyrod.
Mangrove Cuckoo
Those two sentences seem contradictory to me, but I agree that breaking 16# is hard with a fly rod.
But I believe that breaking a big tarpon’s spirit can be done much quicker with 60# than 20#. You don’t break a tarpon’s spirit in shallow water when it’s 60 feet or more from the boat, but when it’s within 20 feet. And you don’t do it with the rod. It is straight on force direct off a palmed reel.

To Paul’s point about hooks – here is a picture of a 5/0 Gami Octopus fished on straight 60#, snapped off a tarpon about 5 years ago.
Image

Here is one snapped off 4 days ago – which I’m pretty sure is a Gami 3/0 SC15.
Image


Both were accomplished while leadering a fish with the boat in a dicey situation. The leader had been through the tip top at least once on both fish and therefore both were “caught” fish since either could easily have been gaffed. The one 4 days ago was a friend from Colorado who caught his first tarpon 37 years ago about 500 yds from where I’m sitting.

Last year was his second tarpon trip after 36 years and he had a heart attack in my boat during his first (and last) fish fight of the trip, and wisely handed the rod off to his son, who snapped the knob off my reel spool and lost his thumbnail. On the fish this year, he had recuperated from his bypass surgery last year, but he left both his camera and cell phone at the house and was very tired at the end of the fight. So he was not in the least upset to be relieved of that fish and back into the channel out of foot-and-a-half deep water in the middle of the night – not that he didn’t trust me, of course. :D

My point is that heavy leaders are very nice for the leader man even if the angler makes no use of them. It gives him the ability to hand line them more effectively close to the boat when not quite done yet. With loop knots, 60# is not so hard to break in close even when not abraided; with crimps it takes more effort but can still be done if the hook doesn’t snap first.

The other aspect not yet mentioned is that of angler confidence in being able to pressure a fish, and the shortened fight due to that confidence.

If there are two anglers in a boat rather than just one, the angler without a fish on will have a much better chance of hooking up after the fish is released if it happens soon. This is particularly true night fishing where the fish are actively feeding and the conditions - including current speed, bait type and concentration, weed type and concentration, moonlight conditions, water turbidity, phosphorescence, wind conditions and others (and consequently fish location) are inexorably changing as the clock ticks.

As Mangrove said, most locals do not care about bringing big fish boatside. It is the bite, the jumps and the music of the run that are the fun. The rest is too much work. But you will never convince a first-timer of that. Everyone needs at least one good picture, and those are the people I am usually fishing with.

Anyhow, just another opinion from another old opinionate.
Cheers,
Jim

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Bernd Ziesche
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#19

Post by Bernd Ziesche » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:32 pm

Paul Arden wrote: So I don’t agree with you and would argue that as fly fishing instructors it is our responsibility to teach both good (fast) fighting techniques and proper handling techniques. After all we are teaching people how to fish and handlling the fish which includes proper fighting technique is
Hi Paul,
of course I do teach proper figthing and handling techniques... nothing to disagree about.

Besides that, this:
Bernd Ziesche wrote:For sure I will never put out a dead line for others how short they have to keep whatever fight.
goes too far for me. :cool:

Hi Jim,
thanks for your fine input (good points) here! ;)
Regards
Bernd
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#20

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:02 am

Bernd, we are fly fishing instructors. Neither of us only teaches casting and so it is for us to teach proper fighting and handling techniques. 40lbs and a 100lb fish and 40lbs and a 10lb fish are again very different techniques.

Cheers Paul
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