Captain Tom McLaughlin

Capt Tom MclaughlinCaptain Tom McLaughlin specializes in Pass, Beach & Harbor Fishing for Boca Grande Tarpon.

Captain Tom McLaughlin is the founder and Chairman of Save the Tarpon.  He has extensive experience finding and landing big game sport fish and thrives on the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“I believe a good Captain must wear many hats” he says. “That of the patient teacher, weekend warrior, amicable tour guide, the friend on the water, and sometimes even a shoulder to lean on. It’s important to know when, and how much, to interject yourself into your clients’ experience, and when to just be a quiet observer. That’s something many in my line of work forget…this is not just a job about catching fish. It’s about providing a service that allows people to create memories they will take with them no matter where they go in life.”

During the Fall through Spring season he also operates Kind Ocean Seafood, the only fisherman direct, environmentally friendly, and sustainable seafood company in the eastern Gulf.

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Charter Details

Business Name
Another Keeper Charters

Pick-up Location(s) and/or Boat Dock Location
Boca Grande Guide Docks (Pink Elephant)
Cape Haze Marina, Cape Haze FL

Maximum Passengers/Anglers
6

Trip Lengths
6 Hours
8 Hours
10 Hours
12 Hours

Trip Time Offerings
Day
Night
Hill Tide

Other Fishing Charters
Near to Shore Fishing
Deep Sea Fishing
Shark Fishing
Goliath Grouper Fishing
Dolphin Tours & Sightseeing[/ba-column][ba-column size=”one-half” last=”1″]

Contact the Captain

Please contact the Captain directly for more information or to schedule your tarpon fishing charter.

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Phone Number
(941) 830-8500

Email
contact@anotherkeeper.com

About the Boat

Boat Name
Redemption Song

Boat Type & Size
32′ Custom Sabalo Sportfish

Redemption Song[/ba-column]

If you have enjoyed fishing with this Captain, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Or, send your photos and/or comments to contact@savethetarpon.com.  We would love to hear from you!

Captain Willie Mills

Captain Willie MillsCaptain Willie Mills specializes in pass and beach fishing for Boca Grande tarpon.

Fourth generation commercial fisherman in the Florida waters. Captain Willie Mills fishes the backwater for snook, redfish, and trout; the Boca Grande Pass for tarpon; and on the beaches for mackerel and cobia. This past year Capt. Willie won the Worlds Richest Tarpon Tournament. Capt. Willie is also an appointed Director of the Boca Grande Guides Association.

 

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Charter Details

Pick-up Location(s) and/or Boat Dock Location
Whiddens Marina

Maximum Passengers/Anglers
6 Passengers

Trip Lengths
4 Hours
6 Hours
8 Hours

Trip Time Offerings
Day
Night
Hill Tide

Other Fishing Charters
Inshore Fishing
Backcountry Fishing
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Contact the Captain

Please contact the Captain directly for more information or to schedule your tarpon fishing charter.

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Phone Number
(941) 270-0353

Email
willie@millscharterfishing.com

About the Boat

Boat Name
Tracy Lynn

Boat Type & Size
24 ft Morgan
24 ft Proline[/ba-column]

Capt Willie Mills Boat Tracy Lynn

If you have enjoyed fishing with this Captain, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Or, send your photos and/or comments to contact@savethetarpon.com.  We would love to hear from you!

Captain Lew Morgan

Lew MorganCaptain Lew Morgan specializes in fly, beach and harbor fishing for Boca Grande tarpon.

Captain Lew Morgan is a native Floridian who has fished and lived in the Boca Grande area for 20 years.  He fishes live bait and artificials for Snook, Trout, Redfish and other species when not in Tarpon season. When the Tarpon arrive he can be found on the beach or backcountry.

 

 

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Charter Details

Business Name
Captain Morgan Fishing

Pick-up Location(s) and/or Boat Dock Location
Boca Grande Guide Docks (Pink Elephant)

Maximum Passengers/Anglers
3 Bait
2 Fly

Trip Lengths
4 Hours
8 Hours

Trip Time Offerings
Day

Other Fishing Charters
Inshore Fishing
Backcountry Fishing[/ba-column][ba-column size=”one-half” last=”1″]

Contact the Captain

Please contact the Captain directly for more information or to schedule your tarpon fishing charter.

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Phone Number
(941) 809-7806

Email
captainmorganfishing@comcast.net

About the Boat

Boat Type & Size
20′ Lake & Bay Boca Grande[/ba-column]

If you have enjoyed fishing with this Captain, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Or, send your photos and/or comments to contact@savethetarpon.com.  We would love to hear from you!

Captain Rhett Morris

Capt Rhett Morris

Capt. Rhett Morris was raised on the waters of Charlotte Harbor and the surrounding areas. He has over 20 years of experience stalking fish around this pristine estuary. Rhett got his charter license at a very young age and has made a full time living as a fishing guide for the past 15 years.

He is known far and wide for his undying enthusiasm on the water. Rhett will do whatever it takes to make sure all who fish with him have a great time!  When asked what he likes best about his job Capt. Rhett simply replies, “I love getting the chance to help people create memories of a lifetime out on the water”.

He also prides himself on the fact that if he can not fish with you he will get you booked with one of his top shelf guides. This guarantees that you will have a high quality outdoor experience when dealing with Beyond Borders Outfitters!

 

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Charter Details

Pick-up Location(s) and/or Boat Dock Location
Burnt Store Marina
Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island
Docks by the Pink Elephant on Boca Grande

Maximum Passengers/Anglers
4 Anglers

Trip Lengths
4 Hours
6 Hours
8 Hours
10 Hours
12 Hours

Trip Time Offerings
Day
Night
Hill Tide

Other Fishing Charters
Inshore Fishing
Backcountry Fishing
Near to Shore Fishing
Shark Fishing[/ba-column][ba-column size=”one-half” last=”1″]

Contact the Captain

Please contact the Captain directly for more information or to schedule your tarpon fishing charter.

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Phone Number
941-505-8481

Email
beyondbordersoutfitters@yahoo.com

About the Boat

Boat Name
Arkadillion II & The Skinny Ark

Boat Type & Size
23 ft Mako & 23ft Shoalwater
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If you have enjoyed fishing with this Captain, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Or, send your photos and/or comments to contact@savethetarpon.com.  We would love to hear from you!

Captain Mike Reark

Capt Mike RearkCaptain Mike Reark specializes in Pass Fishing for Boca Grande Tarpon.

Salty Cracker Charters is a partnership of licensed Captains Mike Reark and Gary Peeples. Both are Native Floridians with an outstanding history and experience of guiding successful hunting and fishing trips across Florida. Captain Mike Reark takes a limited number of alligator and turkey hunts each year. The majority of their fishing trips are for Tarpon in Boca Grande Pass, or for various species in the 10,000 Islands of Chokoloskee in Everglades National Park. Take a trip aboard the Salty Cracker with Captain Mike Reark, to drift live bait for the mighty Silver King in Boca Grande Pass this tarpon season.

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Charter Details

Pick-up Location(s) and/or Boat Dock Location
Boat lives at 7th Street Boathouse in Boca Grande. Pickup at 7th Street Boathouse or Pink Docks.

Maximum Passengers/Anglers
6 Pass / 2 Anglers

Trip Lengths
4 Hours
6 Hours
8 Hours

Trip Time Offerings
Day
Night
Hill Tide

Other Fishing Charters
Inshore Fishing
Backcountry Fishing
Near to Shore Fishing
Deep Sea Fishing[/ba-column][ba-column size=”one-half” last=”1″]

Contact the Captain

Please contact the Captain directly for more information or to schedule your tarpon fishing charter.

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Phone Number
863-443-1000

Email
mfreark@embarqmail.com

About the Boat

Boat Name
Salty Cracker

Boat Type & Size
Customer 26′ Shamrock[/ba-column]

If you have enjoyed fishing with this Captain, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Or, send your photos and/or comments to contact@savethetarpon.com.  We would love to hear from you!

Captain Mike Slattery

Capt Slattery

Capt. Mike Slattery is a Florida native and grew up fishing Charlotte Harbor and it’s surrounding areas. Captain Mike operates Palm Island Outfitters, a guide booking service dedicated to providing clients with the highest quality experience available on the water. Captain Mike fishes the areas beaches and harbor during tarpon season, sight fishing for silver kings from his 22′ Pathfinder.

 

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Charter Details

Business Name
Palm Island Outfitters

Pick-up Location(s) and/or Boat Dock Location
Pickup location varies based on client location.

Maximum Passengers/Anglers
4

Trip Lengths
4 Hours
6 Hours
8 Hours

Trip Time Offerings
Day

Other Fishing Charters
Inshore Fishing
Backcountry Fishing
Near to Shore Fishing
Deep Sea Fishing
Shark Fishing
Dolphin Tours & Sightseeing[/ba-column][ba-column size=”one-half” last=”1″]

Contact the Captain

Please contact the Captain directly for more information or to schedule your tarpon fishing charter.

[ba-button link=”http://www.palmislandoutfitters.com” color=”silver” target=”self”]Visit the Captain’s Website[/ba-button]

Phone Number
941-626-6946

Email
mike@palmislandoutfitters.com

About the Boat

Boat Type & Size
22′ Pathfinder Bay Boat

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Please note: The above information was provided by the Captain.

If you have enjoyed fishing with this Captain, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Or, send your photos and/or comments to contact@savethetarpon.com.  We would love to hear from you!

Captain Jesse Smith

Capt SmithCaptain Jesse Smith specializes in Pass, Beach & Harbor Fishing for Boca Grande Tarpon.

Captain Jesse Smith is a third generation charter captain out of Boca Grande, Florida. He had two excellent teachers–Bo Smith, and Tim Smith. The names don’t say it all but when you learn from the best, it helps. Captain Jesse has been fishing with his father since he was tall enough to play in the bait well. Traditional pass fishing is Captain Jesse’s way.

Captain Jesse has extensive experience fishing for tarpon, grouper, trout, redfish, snook, kingfish, mackerel, permit, pompano, shark, goliath grouper, barracuda, snapper, flounder, sheepshead, bonita, jack crevalle, lady fish, blue fish, and many more. He also does sunset and sightseeing tours, along with Cabbage Key lunch and dinner trips. He is always happy to bring visitors to Cayo Costa Beach for very nice shelling and scenery. A trip with Dylan Marie Charters is a great experience for everyone.[ba-column size=”one-half” last=”0″]

Charter Details

Business Name
Dylan Marie Charters

Pick-up Location(s) and/or Boat Dock Location
Pink Elephant Docks, Boca Grande, Florida
Whiddens Marina, Boca Grande, Florida
Inlet Marina, Boca Grande, Florida
Boca Grande Marina (Miller’s Marina), Boca Grande, Florida

Maximum Passengers/Anglers
6

Trip Lengths
4 Hours
6 Hours
8 Hours
10 Hours
12 Hours

Trip Time Offerings
Day
Night
Hill Tide

Other Fishing Charters
Inshore Fishing
Backcountry Fishing
Near to Shore Fishing
Deep Sea Fishing
Shark Fishing
Dolphin Tours & Sightseeing[/ba-column][ba-column size=”one-half” last=”1″]

Contact the Captain

Please contact the Captain directly for more information or to schedule your tarpon fishing charter.

Phone Number
(941) 270-7617

Email
yagus1515@gmail.com

About the Boat

Boat Name
Dylan Marie

Boat Type & Size
31′ Pacemaker, Inboard

Dylan Marie
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If you have enjoyed fishing with this Captain, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Or, send your photos and/or comments to contact@savethetarpon.com.  We would love to hear from you!

Sign the Petition

The first Tarpon ever recorded caught on hook and line was caught in 1885, just miles from Boca Grande Pass. That achievement marked the beginning of what has become a world-renown fishery that seasonally stretches all over Florida and from Virginia through Texas and the Caribbean.

Biologists believe that Tarpon use Boca Grande Pass as a meeting place before and after offshore spawning migrations. The Pass also provides an abundance of food giving the tarpon a better chance of healthy survival after the rigors of spawning. The fish come to the area from throughout the region. Since we know Tarpon can migrate long distances, we also know that what happens to tarpon in one location is important to tarpon in other locations. What happens in Boca Grande has implications for the regional Tarpon fishery from the Keys to the Panhandle.

The recent and alarming inception of the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series (PTTS), a high-impact, season-long for-profit tournament in Boca Grande Pass, is causing significant negative impacts to the Tarpon fishery. Tarpon have changed their movement, feeding, and spawning behaviors. The change in these patterns has altered the quality of the fishery.

Additionally, by the glorification and promotion of unsafe boat operations by the PTTS contestants on television, the safety of all anglers and boaters in Boca Grande Pass and the surrounding waterways is now threatened.

The actions of the PTTS, its sponsors, and participants show total disregard for the historically and culturally important tarpon fishery in Boca Grande Pass. The PTTS has purposely adopted unethical fishing practices to help facilitate higher TV ratings and profits–fishing practices that have long been known to the angling community as outdated and unsportsmanlike.

I, the undersigned, support the Save the Tarpon movement and call for the immediate termination of the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series (PTTS). This must be done to preserve the fishery for anglers of today and for the future health of the fishery.

2015 Boca Grande Pass Tarpon Fishing Regulations

Tarpon

Florida Regulations:

Tarpon is a catch-and-release only fishery.One tarpon tag per person per year may be purchased when in pursuit of an International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record. Vessel, transport and shipment limited to one fish.

Fishing with gear that has a weight attached to a hook, artificial fly or lure in such a way that the weight hangs lower than the hook when the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod is prohibited. This change will apply to fishing for all species year-round within Boca Grande Pass. If this gear is on board a fishing vessel while inside the boundaries of the Pass, it cannot be attached to any rod, line or leader and must be stowed. Natural bait is not considered to be a weight. If the jig fishes in an illegal manner it is prohibited. Any jig that allows the attached weight to slip down the shank so that it hangs lower than the hook while the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod is prohibited, and must be stowed so it is not readily accessible.

Boca Grande Pass Regulations:

  • During the months of April, May and June, no more than three fishing lines may be deployed from a vessel at any one time.
  • During the months of April, May and June, no person shall use, fish with, or place in the water any breakaway gear.

FWC law enforcement is patrolling the waters in Boca Grande Pass, assessing what types of gear are being used and educating anglers about the recent changes. Without properly inspecting it, it is impossible to know with 100 percent certainty if the gear in question is legal or not.

Unsure if the gear is prohibited? Call the FWC regional office at 863-648-3200.

Map of Boca Grande Pass

Boca Grande Pass Map

 

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line only.
  • Snagging, snatch hooking, spearing and the use of a multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait is prohibited

Which rigs are prohibited?

When fishing for tarpon, gear is limited to hook and line only and you cannot use multiple hooks in conjunction with live or dead natural bait. When fishing in Boca Grande Pass (for any species, year-round), gear that has a weight attached to a hook, artificial fly or lure in such a way that the weight hangs lower than the hook when the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod is prohibited. For the purposes of this rule, live or dead natural bait is not considered to be a weight. If this gear is on board a fishing vessel while inside the boundaries of the Pass, it cannot be attached to any rod, line or leader and must be stowed.

This is an example of prohibited gear:

bottom weighted jig

What rigs are legal?

Here are some examples of gear that are considered legal.

Jig tied to weightJig with bead

These jigs would be allowed so long as the weight cannot slip down the shank to the bottom of the hook while being fished.

But if the weight can slip down the shank to the bottom of the hook, as demonstrated in this video, it is prohibited.

 

Examples of other gear that are allowed:

Jigs

Jigs, such as the ones pictured, are still an allowed gear.

Hi-Lo Rig

Hi-Lo or Chicken Rig used with live or dead bait to target bottom fish and reef species.

Bottom-rig

Bottom rig used to target a variety of fish species with live or dead bait.

Jigs_and_spoons_2013.jpg

Butterfly jigs and spoons used to target a wide variety of fish species.

These regulations were pulled directly from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee website on 5-4-15. Here is a link: http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/tarpon/.
Please check for updates.

Help Fund the Fight to Protect the Pass

GoFundMe DashboardDon’t allow your voice to be silenced!

We want to thank everyone for their generous and continuing support of Save The Tarpon’s ongoing “Fight Back Fund.” In less than two weeks you helped us meet and exceed our initial $20,000 goal – money we’re already putting to work, money we’re using RIGHT NOW to go toe-to-toe with Gary Ingman and his stable of PTTS lawyers.

We also have some game changing news to share. David M. Snyder , a nationally known media law expert whose clients have included CBS Broadcasting and the New York Times, has joined Save The Tarpon’s “Fight Back” legal team. And make no mistake, the game has now changed.

As you likely know, your efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. You got their attention in the only way Ingman and his flotilla of lawyers understand. Within days of our online campaign’s launch, and after you helped us raise more than $5,000 in a short 24 hour span, the PTTS panicked. You scared them with your outpouring of support. True to form, they’re now threatening to sue Save The Tarpon again. Why? They want to keep us from mustering the resources needed to continue to “Fight Back.”

It’s not happening.

In the face of this latest PTTS threat, and Ingman’s apparent willingness to spend whatever it takes to purchase our collective silence, we’ve taken a fresh look at what will be needed to put the unfiltered truth about the PTTS before a Charlotte County jury when Ingman’s day in court – and his day of reckoning – finally arrives. And with “snag, gaff and drag” a not-so-distant memory, we all understand what’s at stake and how easily it could all be lost.

With your help, we’ve turned the corner and we’re changing the game. Thanks for your continuing support of our efforts to protect and preserve the Boca Grande tarpon fishery.

The History…

In September of 2013, Florida’s fish and wildlife regulators heard you. They listened. They heard and they listened to your more than 27,000 voices as you demanded an end to the exploitation of one the planet’s most storied fisheries.

Your voices prompted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to stand up to the lawyers, the lobbyists, the legislative hired guns, the phony “Florida Tarpon Angler” front groups and the Tallahassee power players.

The seven FWC commissioners listened to your voices – to the voices of Save The Tarpon, its members and supporters – and cast a unanimous and historic vote to ban the notorious snatch and snag hook known as the “PTTS Jig” from the waters of Boca Grande Pass.

As anticipated, the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series and its owners retaliated less than a month later. The PTTS payback came in the form of a corruption of the court system known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation , a perverse legal tactic typically used by deep pocket plaintiffs to spend advocacy groups like Save The Tarpon into submission.

The PTTS quickly deployed an armada of big-time, big-city, SLAPP-happy lawyers armed with truckloads of cash, bottomless billable hours and frivolous legal fictions, all designed to put money over merit by dragging Save The Tarpon from one courtroom to another – with the goal of keeping us in court until we ran out of money and the means to fight back. Two counties and three judges later, that’s where Save The Tarpon now finds itself.

In response, Save The Tarpon has established a legal defense campaign fund with a goal of raising a minimum of $20,000. Money we’ll use to fight back at Gary Ingman, Joe Mercurio, the PTTS and their SLAPP suit lawyers. Money we’ll use to aggressively defend your right to be heard as we work together to protect and preserve our historic fishery. And the PTTS is paying attention. They’re already taking steps to stop us by threatening additional legal action designed to cripple our strategic fundraising efforts. It won’t work.

The Gary Ingmans, the Joe Mercurios and the big money interests who brought us televised gaff and drag, the PTTS snag hook, the Wrap Boat Rodeo, the Spandex Ballet, the play-by-play shark attacks, the gutted tarpon and the tournament’s signature “controlled chaos” have now brought us perilously close to where our ability to carry the fight forward is in very real jeopardy.

“We’ll stop when someone makes us stop.”

With those words, Save The Tarpon was born. With those words, PTTS owner Gary Ingman dared Save The Tarpon into existence. “We’ll stop when someone makes us stop.”

Looking back, Ingman’s refusal to compromise, his refusal to even consider  the most modest of reforms proposed by early critics of  his high-flying TV tarpon tournament was, perhaps, understandable. Why should he?

In the spring of 2012, Ingman and his basic cable fishing  show had figuratively taken title to Boca Grande Pass, a claim underwritten by some of the biggest and most powerful names in the business. Names like MillerCoors, Yamaha, Tires Plus and Costa del Mar. Ingman was holding all the cards. He was on top. For the moment.

Ingman’s “controlled chaos,” as PTTS front man Joe Mercurio would later stand before the FWC and smugly boast, was being piped into “more than 47 million” cable converter boxes throughout North America via ESPN, Fox Sports and the Sunshine Network. Meanwhile, Save The Tarpon was little more than a dinky Facebook page with a handful of followers.  That was about to change.

“We’ll stop when someone makes us stop?” 

Save The Tarpon accepted Ingman’s dare and went to work. Ingman had picked his fight. But we were determined to finish it. Within 18 short months, the improbable happened. Gaff and drag – Gone. The PTTS snag hook – Gone. Also gone were the big names and the big money promotional deals.

Save The Tarpon’s online educational efforts had served to alert the TV fishing tournament’s sponsors to the ugly reality of the abuses they were unwittingly underwriting. Individual economic pressure was also brought to bear. Sponsors slowly began drifting away. Gary Ingman’s dare had been accepted. And Gary Ingman had been made to stop.

In a bid designed to stem the bleeding, Ingman tossed open the checkbook. The high-priced Tampa SLAPP suit lawyers were summoned. And we saw the battleground move away from the court of public opinion and into a court of law where Ingman and the PTTS were determined to buy back all that had been lost.

(Incredibly, the PTTS initially filed suit in Sarasota County Circuit Court. Where, coincidentally, Mercurio’s father Fred happens to be a judge! Nice try, but it didn’t work. The PTTS lawyers later claimed filing in what was clearly the wrong jurisdiction – the one where Joe’s daddy was a judge – was a paperwork error, nothing more than an innocent mistake. What do you think?)

Ingman and his SLAPP suit lawyers are attacking Save The Tarpon’s constitutionally protected right to speak up and speak out in defense of the fishery.  But they haven’t stopped there.

Our ability to work in concert to achieve a common good, a “fundamental freedom” etched into law by the Supreme Court, has also come under attack. As a result, Save The Tarpon now finds itself in danger of being summarily and arbitrarily gagged. And the danger is real. We’ve sadly come to learn that when money talks, the Constitution walks.

The intent of a SLAPP suit is to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the expense of fighting costly and frivilous legal maneuvers until they have no choice but to abandon their criticism and opposition. And, absent your help, it’s about to happen to us. Our voices will be effectively and perhaps permanently silenced.

Tragically, there’s just one effective way to slap back at a SLAPP suit wielded by a SLAPP-happy, deep-pocketed Southwest Florida boat dealer out to buy back everything we’ve all worked so hard to accomplish.

Money.

Yes, money. Money for courtrooms. Money for lawyers. Money for motions, pleadings and appearances. Money we’ll need as we prepare to carry the unfiltered truth about Ingman, Mercurio and the PTTS into a Punta Gorda courtroom and place it before a jury of six Charlotte County citizens.

Money that sends a clear signal to the Ingmans, the Mercurios and the entire PTTS posse that we won’t be silenced, that we won’t be SLAPPed around, that we’re here to finish the fight they started and that no matter what, we won’t be bullied and we won’t back down.

Enough is enough.

We’re fighting for more than a fishery. And we won’t back down. We’re fighting for more than our shared right to speak freely and unafraid. And we won’t back down. We are, at the end of the day, fighting for our kids. For our kids and their kids. For future generations. That’s what this is about. What it’s always been about. It’s why it matters. And it’s why we can’t back down, why we won’t back down.

It’s why we’re asking you to take up our fight and once again make it your fight. To help us see it to the end, and to carry it forward in the months, years and decades to come.

Will you stand with us?

We once again need you at our side, to once again stand with us as we wage this latest battle to make our collective voices heard. To preserve all that has been won, with a keen understanding of how easily it could all be lost absent the resources needed to see this fight to the finish. We won’t be silenced. We won’t be bullied. We won’t allow a return to the days of snag, gaff, drag and dump. Together, we can send them a message..

We won’t be silenced.
We won’t be intimidated. 

We won’t be bullied. 
We won’t be spent into submission.
We won’t quit. 

With your help, we’re fighting back.
And we won’t back  down.