A ‘statistically insignificant’ tarpon


No reason to be disturbed by this photo. It is, after all, “statistically insignificant.”

Researchers say the methods used by Professional Tarpon Tournament Series anglers more than double the time required to land and release a tarpon. The same methods, according to the same study, more than double the risk of foul-hooking a fish. Foul-hooking, of course, leads to substantially increased fight times. Which means a spent tarpon is less able to defend itself against predators. Like bull sharks.

But not to worry. The researchers who conducted the study concluded those doubled fight times and those doubled rates of foul hooking were “statistically insignificant.”

The photo is courtesy of WaterLine. It was taken during Sunday’s eight hour marathon “Sea Hunt Mega Money Tarpon Cup” PTTS tournament. The photo was shot moments after an exhausted tarpon was released into a pack of bull sharks following yet another prolonged PTTS-style fight.

And, in case you were wondering, this is what “statistically insignificant” looks like.


  1. Peter Karceski says

    Is it the same “researcher” offering rewards for dead spawning female specimens in LA? Sad what passes for science these days…

  2. Josh Olive says

    Predators follow their prey. One of the main reasons the hammerhead and big bull sharks are here in late spring and early summer is to eat tarpon. A tarpon that is weakened because it has struggled against an angler is a vulnerable target. Predators like easy meals. But if everyone stopped fishing for tarpon, the sharks wouldn’t go away, nor would they eat fewer tarpon. They’d just have to work harder at catching dinner.

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