Waterline Magazine’s Josh Olive tosses out some questions

Many feel as though “paid advertising section” should be clearly labeled at the top of every article or commentary found among the pages of Waterline Magazine any time the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series (PTTS) is mentioned.  After all, Gary Ingman of Ingman Marine, who coincidentally is also a majority stakeholder in the PTTS, is one of their largest advertising accounts.

As we prepare our answers to Josh Olive’s questions (found on the second page of this editorial), we felt it was fair for us to ask a few in return.  We invite our readers and supporters to ask your own questions in the comment section found at the bottom of this page.  These may be questions for us, questions for the PTTS, questions for Josh Olive, or just questions to the public.  We will use your contributions, in addition to our own questions, in an upcoming response to Mr. Olive’s editorial.

We look forward to hearing from you.


  1. Logan Totten says

    In response too “instead of setting up a dialoge and talking about it like grown ups”, Well I am 20 years old and have grown up in that pass my entire life. There is not a time that i can remember when the supporters behind the STT cause have not been trying to just “talk about it like grown ups”. They have been pointing out that the boat handling and traffic is outrageous my entire life, when I was younger I was always told what was right and that the STT supporters were just jealous of other people in there fishing hole. BUT, on the contrary now that I am old enough too see what is going on and too have my own opinion I can agree 100% with the STT cause and see exactly where they are coming from. We have one of the most beautiful unique fisheries in SouthWest Florida which is being shamefully used by people who do not respect it. On fishing charters when clients ask why we are not running down the rolling fish you explain how those fish are not eating and just breathing air. BUT when it comes too tournament weekends and captains are having a hard time hooking fish you can see half the pack break away and run over a whole pod trying too push over a 14 ft deep sand bar “there natural migratory movement looking for food or breeding” and as soon as 25 outboards are running over a a 100 fish in that shallow of water you can distinctly see the pod turn off where they were going naturally and go back into the deep pass whole, too continue too get pounded by them dropping jigs. Also I cannot even begin to count how many times i have nicely asked the ptts participants too not run over my lines while i am casting crabs and they look the other way and run them right over or scream that the pass is not for crab fishing? Sorry but i find it very hard too have a reasonable conversation with somebody that does not want too here what you have too say? Perhaps because the KNOW what they are doing is wrong?

  2. Logan Totten says

    Another thing, referring to the protest boats driving dangerously close too the ptts participants.. Every weekend when I am fishing in the pass during these tournaments I numerously have too real in my line as quick as possible and move my rod before one of the ptts boats which is zigzagging through a group of 50-75 boats runs into my rod tip. Mind you, if you are not familiar with this style of fishing my rob tip would never be sticking out more than 6 inches from our gunnel “the side of the boat”.. I am sorry Josh Olive but if you do not call that dangerously close i don’t no what is. Please learn too lead by example especially if it is a so called “profesional” tarpon tournament series. Here is a definition of professional directly from dictionary.com {a person who is expert at his or her work: You can tell by her comments that this editor is a real professional. } sorry but by the way you guys handle your boats and the attitudes of your captains towards the other fisherman in the pass and the Boca Grande pass alone professional would be the last thing I would call this tournament!

  3. Logan Totten says

    In regards too this controversy going on for much longer than the ptts you are correct, there will always be a few people doing what is wrong out there but that is in life in general. The problem with the ptts is it is glorifying these actions on tv and promoting it as a right way too fish which could not be farthest from the truth. Also you have some very good cpts. doing what they know is wrong because they simply just want the prize money and there name on tv as a first place winner for promotion for there charters. They also do not allow braid line in the tournaments forcing some captains too chase down rolling fish and drop jigs on there head when normally they would stop jigging and cast crabs when the fish are in the right conditions. There will always be some weekend people making mistakes but that is mostly from ignorance and not knowing better, but once again this is supposed to be “proffesional”? If there is a group of boats setting up in front of a pod of fish patiently waiting for the fish too come too them so that they can cast crabs, threadfins, ect. what gives you the right too run over there lines? Just because we are out there fishing for fun and you are trying too win a tournament or just not loose money in your entry fees? No, everybody has a right too fish how they want where they want without having too be pushed around and worry about loosing countless dollars worth of tackle and liter the pass with the by product. You should know better than too impede with other anglers fishing, and if I am not mistaken and [if i am i apologize] but there is a law against impeding with an angler. I am sure that if you had a fish on or were dropping your jigs down you would be very upset too if 25 boats started circling you and cutting off all of your lines if you have been sitting and waiting for 25 mins while you let them do what they want. You need too either be patient and wait for the fish too go back in the whole where the jig is most effective or idle around the set up boats and drop in front of them and wait for the fish too come too you, NOT heard them like cattle pushing them where you want and pushing other style fisherman out of your way.

  4. Captain Mark Futch says

    If Josh Olive wants to see evidence of dead tarpon all he has to do is look at each and every photo of the teams holding up the fish. Does he actually think a live tarpon would allow this. Has he ever seen a tarpon jump in a boat? Obviously not! As for not attending the roundtable meeting, no one wants to pretend there will be meaningfull dialogue when you have to sit across a table from a complete idiot such as Colecchio who after reading his rants and diatribes should be checked into the nearest psyche ward. At the very least he should offer himself up as study material for the psychology department at Harvard Medical School. I know Professor Marcus who runs the place. She would be thrilled to have the opportunity.

  5. Nancy Patti says

    Human beings are notably selfish, arrogant and ignorant regarding other species on the planet. Humans tend to more concerned with self-gratification than conservation.
    Let’s look at some examples:
    In the 1850s, large sections of Vermont were deforested for the lumber. There was so little left that the logging companies had to look to Canada. It wasn’t until the 1920s that there was an attempt to replant and replenish the forests. http://www.bccdvt.org/benningtonashistory/Thivierge-Diaz/engsite-history.htm

    In New England, wild Atlantic salmon were a staple and plentiful. Humans decided to harvest rivers for energy (mills) and transportation. Pollution and dams reduced the number of wild salmon returning to spawn from several hundred thousand to under one thousand. (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10892&page=1)

    Wild buffalo were driven to extinction east of the Mississippi by early 1800s. Later that century Great Plains buffalo were over hunted for food and also it is possible deliberately killed to drive the Native Indians further west. (http://www.fws.gov/species/species_accounts/bio_buff.html)

    Our national bird was driven to near extinction (http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/eagle11.html) as have hundreds of other species due to human activities. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_birds) There are many restrictions on trade collection or hunting endangered species. Can we talk about whales, black bears, Florida panthers? Further to that: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_International_Trade_in_Endangered_Species)

    Here is my first question for Mr. Oliver: at what point should humans recognize the danger to other species and try and solve the problem? In the beginning of bad practices? In the middle when decline is documented? At the end when severe restrictions on harvesting must be put in place? When it is too late to correct what we have done?

    Here is my second question for Mr. Oliver: Please justify the abuse, over-use, depletion or extinction of any species for the monetary benefit of a handful of businessmen. We all SHARE this planet. Are those of us concerned with preservation to be shoved aside for the sake of MONEY; should local residents be banned from their local activities and waters for the sake of businesses and MONEY?

    Here is my third question for Mr. Oliver: The early development of southwest Florida can be attributed in large part to the Silver King (tarpon fishing). (Do your research.) Can you justify methods of fishing and capture that traumatize, harm, harass, murder ANY species, let alone the fish that made this section of Florida famous?

  6. Save the TarponSave the Tarpon says

    Here is a copy of the email sent from Josh Olive to Captain Tom McLaughlin in regards to the round table discussion. You will note the PTTS is not a topic of discussion. The PTTS owner and manager were both on the list of invitees, yet, no other tournament director was invited. There are numerous other points here to mention, however, we will save those for our response coming.

    Subject: Re: tarpon roundtable
    Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2012 20:14:30 -0400
    From: WaterLine Weekly Magazine
    To: contact@anotherkeeper.com

    At 5 p.m. July 18, the Charlotte Sun and the Boca Beacon will co-host a roundtable discussion at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda. The purpose of the meeting is to determine what challenges Southwest Florida’s tarpon are facing and how best to ensure tarpon remain a viable fishery in this area. The meeting will be covered in newspaper articles in both the Beacon and the Sun and will also be recorded on video, to be made available online in its entirety. The meeting will be moderated by Tom Kasprzak, past president of the Charlotte County chapter of the CCA, along with Beacon and Sun staff.

    Invitations will be issued to the following persons:

    Capt. Tom McLaughlin, spokesman for savethetarpon.com

    Dr. Aaron Adams, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

    Gary Ingman, owner of Ingman Marine and part owner of the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series

    Joe Mercurio, Professional Tarpon Tournament Series host

    Capt. Mark Futch, Boca Grande traditional fishing guide

    Capt. Frank Davis, Boca Grande traditional fishing guide

    Capt. Andy Boyette, local fishing guide

    Capt. Justin Cauffman, local fishing guide

    Gary Colecchio, SW Fla representative of the Florida Fishing Guides Association

    Capt. Sandy Melvin, owner of Gasparilla Outfitters

    Frank Hommema, owner of Fishin’ Frank’s tackle shop owner

    Andy Eggebrecht, president of Andros Boatworks

    Randy Wayne White, author and part owner of Doc Ford’s restaurant

    Jennifer Huber, Charlotte County Visitor’s Bureau tourism PR manager

    Mary Smith, Englewood Chamber of Commerce

    Lew Hastings, Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce

    FWC (representative or representatives unknown at this time)

    Roy Crabtree

    Capt. Tommy Locke

    Aaron Diaz

    Topics to be discussed:

    The economic value of the local tarpon fishery

    Why this area is a unique tarpon gathering place

    Tarpon habitat requirements throughout their life cycle

    The impact of tournaments on tarpon

    Whether tarpon fishing methods used in Boca Grande Pass are causing damage to the fishery

    How to increase tourism dollars based on tarpon fishing

    Questions will be presented by Beacon and Sun staff on an alternating basis. Questions may be posed to individual participants or to the group at large.

    Because of the strong passions this subject is known to generate, establishing basic ground rules is necessary. No individual may speak unless recognized by the moderator. When an individual has the floor, interruptions will not be tolerated (except by the moderator). Participants who interrupt while another is speaking will be given a warning. If they interrupt again, they will be asked to leave the discussion. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. To ensure that everyone has a chance to speak, no one will be allowed to have the floor for more than 5 minutes at a time and discussion of a single question will be limited to 20 minutes.

    Although this meeting will not be open to the public, a small number of observer seats will also be made available. Observers may or may not be allowed to ask questions or speak (at the discretion of the moderator) and are expected to remain quiet unless recognized by the moderator.

    Josh Olive
    Publisher, WaterLine Weekly Magazine

  7. Tarpon Lady says

    “This meeting will not be open to the public.” For this reason alone, Save The Tarpon was more than justified in declining. The future of Boca Grande Pass is a matter of vital public interest. That’s where and how this issue must be resolved. In full view and in the public eye. Save The Tarpon was right to walk away and distance itself from this transparent attempt by the PTTS to play back room politics.

    What were these newspapers thinking when they signed off on this thing, then expected a membership driven organization like Save the Tarpon to exclude the very same people who are working tirelessly to bring about constructive solutions to this most public of problems?

    Further, 20 people isn’t a forum. Twenty people is just a few clarinets shy of an orchestra. Why not add two more and call it an NFL game? No more than six, or use the number of fish fair hooked at the last PTTS tournament – whichever is greater. Or maybe go with the number that actually survived. Except that would make it a monologue.

    If Ingman wants to talk, and it’s quite clear he’s desperate to talk at this point, he’s free to seek an opportunity to publicly go before the Save The Tarpon membership, make his case for gaff and drag, and answer a few questions. As it stands, he no longer has that much left to lose by trying.

  8. Josh Olive says

    Regarding the roundtable, please note that some invitees would not have attended, and that the invitee list was still in the process of development at that time. You yourself, Tom, had made a few suggestions on additional invitees that we were going to include.

  9. Captain Mark Futch says

    After a month in the editing process since the PTTS protest, Silver Dollar Investor is pleased to announce the sequel to “PTTS Tarpon Slaughter-The Movie” titled “You Make the Call.” We will be posting this week on Savethetarpon.com & Youtube. Stay tuned. Will advise actual date of posting. It was filmed entirely at the protest on shore and in the Pass. Music by COLDPLAY.

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