FWC and Mote Marine Clarify position on PTTS, Ingman’s and Mercurio’s lies exposed

Updated: Monday, June 25, 2012 with statement from Mote Marine.
Mote Marine & FWC

Over the last several years those following the PTTS, and the controversy around it, have often heard the statement that the “PTTS is backed by FWC and Mote.”  As a matter of fact, this exact statement is a quote attributed to none other than Mr. Gary Ingman himself, as published in the Englewood Sun on Monday June 18, 2012.  Apparently the writer of the article, Drew Winchester, did not take it upon himself to contact FWC or Mote Marine to verify this outlandish statement.  We did, and here is what we found.

We contacted FWC and were put in contact with Amanda Nalley, a spokesperson for FWC. We were quickly and clearly informed that the FWC does not sanction, endorse, support, or back the PTTS. They attend the events in a law enforcement position, and have one biologist on site to collect samples. FWC also does not condemn the event, but “certainly does not back or support it in any way.”  Ms. Nalley also went on to say “What the PTTS does is legal, but our position is that if you are going to release a fish that you do so immediately and that you do not gaff, drag, tow, remove from the water, or otherwise excessively handle the fish. Especially with large fish such as Tarpon.”  This sentiment is reflected very clearly on the FWC website and in several publications relating to proper fish handling.

What did Mote Marine Laboratory &  Aquarium of Sarasota, Florida have to say about “backing” the PTTS?  “Mote does NOT help organize, endorse or receive funding from any tournament.” says Hayley Rutger, public relations coordinator for Mote.  She also went on to say that their official position is  “More research is needed to understand how two common fishing techniques — jig fishing and live bait — affect tarpon or the tarpon fishery.”  We at SaveTheTarpon.com couldn’t agree more!

Mr. Ingman and Mr. Mercurio have been quoted, and published in their own words, that both FWC and Mote Marine Lab support, endorse, back, or “oversee” their events.  As a matter of fact it has been one of the most compelling arguments echoed throughout the PTTS community.  We think its time that the PTTS start explaining to its participants, followers, and critics just what they meant by those statements.



  1. Misty says

    Although I still question FWC action’s or lack there of when it comes to the PTTS fisherman’s excessive handling of tarpon, I appreciate that they have finally clarified their position on these tournaments. The public has been misled by Gary Ingman and Joe Mercurio regarding FWC and Mote’s endoresement of this kill tournament series and it is about time they let everyone know the truth.

  2. says

    If Bill Mote was still alive/God rest his Soul ! He would have put the Hammer on this PTTS thing Long ago.Bill fished the Boca Grande area for many,many years with one of the best Snook/Tarpon guides in Florida.This Guide Schooled Bill on all things to do with live baiting Tarpon on the Beach and the Hill !Bill understood the natural flow of Boca Grande Pass and it’s Tarpon more than you might think. Hopefully his knowledge has carried on within his Great establishment at New Pass.

  3. Logan Totten says

    I would be ashamed as a so called “professional” fishing guide to be a part of any tournament that has to have multiple law enforcement present wacthing everything your group does. You dont see 5 law enforcement boats going from boat to boat as they weigh in Redfish.

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