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All the News Fit to Print
Lots of great stuff to report over
the past few weeks as the peak of the giant tarpon season is in full
swing. The weather has stabilized and though present in low
concentrations somewhere in the neighborhood, red tide has all but
disappeared. The last few days the winds have been up out of the west
keeping the beach action at bay, but the big pass is stuffed with fish
and plenty of opportunities to catch them by using an assortment of
United States Record Shattered Again?
If a tying record fish of 243 lbs taken on my boat last year was not enough, all shadows of a doubt were dismissed earlier this week when we had Don and Angela Hinton on board. The press release to follow:
The Tampa Tribune Wednesday May 28 2003, by Frank
Robert McCue and mate Brian Timmons, guiding Don and Angela Hinton of
Gaffney, S.C., brought a monster tarpon to their boat at Boca Grande
to McCue, the fish taped 87 inches to the fork of the tail, and had a
48-inch girth. Using the standard formula, the fish should have
weighed close to 250 pounds, which might have made it a U.S. and
Florida record. The measuring was witnessed by Tampa captain Don
McCue said that his mate hooked the fish before handing it over to
Hinton, so the catch would have been disqualified under IGFA rules.
Only one angler can touch the rod during a fight. After a quick photo,
the fish swam away unharmed, McCue said.
Tarpon Championship Series
consecutive weeks my team has held their own, taking most release in
each event. In week one we scored 2 releases and took a stab at second
place in overtime. The fish fell short and we settled for most
releases prize money and awards. A tournament contender I guessed at
about 160lbs was lost at the boat after an hour and 15 minute fight
when the hook pulled from the beast. Keeping pace in last week’s
ladies day my wife Cyndie McCue, Dawn Stone and Karen Longnecker
opened up a can of whoop and took most releases. The ladies suffered
an unfortunate event when a large and potential contender was hooked
up in an awesome spectacle of fury. Within seconds the fish had jumped
twice and as we pulled forward to gain control, Murphy’s Law came
into play when a boat not paying attention while returning up tide cut
it off. Again we settled for most release prize money and awards.
Today, it was business as usual for myself, Brian Timmons and Willie
Longnecker. While we leadered two fish in the three-hour event, we
released a fish in the low 130s thinking it would not hold, based on
the fish that came to my boat on my charters this week. A 142 won, and
a 129 took second. Right decision to release or not, the team obliged
to winning most release prize money and awards.
It’s rare for
any team to win most releases in 3 consecutive tournaments. The team
is focused, but waiting on some luck from the fish gods above. People
asked me today if we are frustrated with our luck. I compare it to
Pete Rose who in his day would stand at the plate on a full count and
foul off a dozen and a half strikes waiting for a base hit ball. When
it is our turn, we will be ready.
As for prizes, the team is well in the black this year and virtually fishing the high stakes event for free each week based on our winnings thus far. It’s one thing to be good, but we are ready to be lucky anytime now.
phenomenon known as the “hill tide” went strong for a couple of
afternoons this week. During the big spring tides of the new and full
moon, tens of thousands of Calico crabs ride the strong outgoing tide
to spawn. Their route is helpless as they pass thru Boca Grande Pass
with 10,000 giant tarpon waiting on them. No matter how good it is
today compared to yesteryear. No matter how many times I have
experienced it, there is no sight comparable to the frenzy of giant
tarpon cracking crabs off the surface. The event is the grand finale
on the Forth of July as the horizon lights up with boats double and
triple hooked up, tarpon popping the surface and flashing just inches
below your feet.
Crouch Makes a $5000 Donation to the Boca Grande Enhancement Fund
Bounty Hunter 200 lb Giant Tarpon Club----New Members
In addtion to
Donny Hintons 250 lb. Fish, Ross Hebert took a fish calculated at
220lbs 2 weeks ago. Ross has been coming for several years with pal
Greg Crouch. Just 20 minutes prior to hooking the "big mamoo”,
he had just was catching his breath after landing a fish that went
180. Way to go Ross!
it’s business as usual. While the numbers are off from the past,
hands down this is the Giant Tarpon Capitol of the World, even in an
and Tired Arms!
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Last Update 31MAY03
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