Sunday, September 18, 2011

2nd BTT Lowcountry Tarpon research tourney

Jake Ellington (left) was the winning angler
BTT's board members Andrew McClain and Jerry Ault

Bootsie from Hell's Bay shows off his tarpon flies
Dr. Ault was in town from Miami to share BTT's info

Dr. Paul Sasser and friends enjoy the Barbecue supper
The second annual Lowcountry Tarpon event sponsored by the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust (BTT) was fished in Georgetown and Charleston county waters on September 16-17. The event successfully tagged a tarpon during its inaugural year in 2010, and the data shows that the tagged tarpon stayed in the Bull's Bay area for 30 days after being tagged on Sept. 16 before traveling to St. Augustine, Florida which is when the tag quit transmitting on November 7. No tarpon were tagged during the 2011 event, but one silver king was released giving angler Jake Ellington and his team of Capt. Michael Bruner and Scott Davis (Lowcountry Fly Shop) the honor of taking home the victory release flag - Congrats! A North wind and a cold front made fishing conditions tough but Ellington reports that they were fishing in Bull's Bay on a 17-foot Backcountry flats boat in about 8-feet of water when the 'big sardine' ate a large dead menhaden about 4 p.m. The crew had used up its live bait and were now down to 'insurance bait' and the conditions of the seas made for a tough fish fight, complete with their chum bag getting fouled in the prop, whitewater conditions on a nearby sandbar that they had to navigate via trolling motor, and lots of foam and spray. The awards supper in McClellanville featured band members from Lost Highway, and speaker Dr. Jerry Ault who indicated that BTT's key management concern for tarpon is sustainability with threats coming from overfishing, habitat degradation, pollution and climate changes. BTT is using state-of-the-art tags that communicate data automatically via satellite, revealing that tarpon can travel large distances in a short time - giving them an international management component. Ault also provided photographic evidence that countries like Mexico are still harvesting mature tarpon for 'Hang Em High' photos with the tarpon carcass relegated to become pig slop - No Joke! BTT's President, Matt Connolly, is a friend to the tarpon that visit the coastal waters of our Lowcountry outdoors and I support his call for future tarpon reasearch by tagging, measuring and releasing more tarpon in S.C. waters! Secondary sponsors included Hells' Bay Boatworks and and DOA lures.

For a past blog entry about my 2010 tarpon release in Bull's Bay click here.


  1. Can I see the photgraphic evidence of the tarpon kills in Mexico?
    And congrats to the organizers, participants and the fish in your wonderful event!Better weather next year for sure.
    Rick Hirsch

  2. Rick, Thanks so much for your positive feedback.
    We are looking forward to next year's event already. -Jeff


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.