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December 08, 2008

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Anybody Want Some Grilled Permit?


I'm trusting most of you are shaking your heads no right now.

Bonefish Tarpon & Trust which apparently has changed it name from Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited (http://www.tarbone.org/) wants to keep our gamefish populations healthy.  They have proposed to the state of Florida that permit are made "no commercial sale", which is basically Florida's version of protected gamefish.

I received an email in my inbox the other day urging me to add my name to a letter that will be forwarded to the Florida Fish and Wildlife commission.  I urge everyone who reads this today to do the same thing.  Click here to add your thoughts and name.

I'm sure permit might very well be delicious, but come on! Aren't there enough other fish out there that don't support a multi-billion dollar tourism and fishing industry? 

Go eat a trout or something... Just a couple though, okay.



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fine by me if they are banned from commercial harvest, but i don't think permit support a multi-billion dollar industry. most people aren't even good enough to catch a permit, they just pay money for the chance/thought of wishing they could catch one.

permit i hear are good to eat, and they are a cool fish to catch, but they also happen to be over-hyped as fly rod quarry. i'm lucky to have caught several, but basically it's a jack crevalle that doesn't fight as hard. their worth seems to be more based on relative scarcity in fly-fishing depth water, a reluctance to eat flies that don't look real enough (they eat a live crab every time, though), and the fact that they DO TASTE GOOD. think about it, that's why trout are elevated to legendary status for their selective feeding while carp are relegated to trash fish class. one reason is because trout are good to eat, the original reason they were fished to in the first place, before we decided we had to release most of them.

honestly, i think bluefin tuna are much more in need of protecting, for more reasons than a sport fishing industry.


by the way, those look like greenback cut-throat bones...

tim romano


You're way wrong my friend. In fact Florida's sport fishing industry contributes $4,412,241,741 to the state. Look it up here (www.asafishing.org).

Sport Fishing in Florida is BIG business and yes permit are a part of that.

Over Hyped my ass! Sorry that you're so jaded that permit don't even excite you, but come on man... They're cool as hell, very hard to catch and yeah - there aren't a lot of them. More reason to have them protected.

You lose this one, sorry.


Hey Joey, how many of those permit did ya catch with corn? Sorry folks, but someone had to ask the question...

Alex Pernice the 13 year old fly rod winner

Does anyone else think joey cries too much about fly fishing???


tim, sorry, i didn't mean to say that florida wasn't a billion $$ industry. i meant that permit are an insignificant part of it.

i'm not jaded about permit, i just think they are over hyped, a product of commercialized fly fishing. once you've caught several of them, you will realize they are not any more of a big deal than a whole host of other species. you're wrong, tim, if you don't realize that fish (like bands and movies) are hyped for commercial purposes, some are more 'worthy' than others.

what particular characteristic of a permit makes it any different than a carp? i mean, permit don't jump. they don't fight anywhere near as hard as a jack crevalle. give me something concrete, besides the limitations of catching them on fly. personally, i find tarpon much more challenging, but that's just me.


i could care less about catching another jack crevalle, but they do fight harder than just about anything else found in shallow water...


Geez, What a shitty angler. I couldn't even get Joey to rise to the corn bait...

Anyway, as entertaining as conversations with Joey always are, we're all getting way off topic here.

As Tim suggests, go make your voice heard on making permit a "no commercial sale" species in FL.

That way, we can help ensure that there will always be permit around for Joey to turn his nose up at.


haha, i don't turn my nose up at permit, i like to fish for them. i just think 'permit fever' is all psychological, something generated from the pages of magazines. they are a great sport fish, but far from god's greatest gift. there are only a handful of people who target permit anywhere in the overall scheme of saltwater fishing, they are frequently encountered while pursuing other fish such as tarpon or bonefish, and in only certain parts of south florida that i don't think they contribute much to the overall numbers, that's all i was saying.

tim romano

never said they were god's greatest gift. I merely said they should be protected.


I have no dog in this hunt (I've never saltwater fished, much less fly fished for permit) so I am going to ask the question: Why is this an issue? Are permit numbers declining? Are key nesting areas being destroyed? I am sometimes suspect of "causes". I am a firm believer in eating things. As such, permit may very well be one of those things should I so desire. Now, I am also a firm believer in keep only what you will eat, thus 95%+ of the fish I catch go back in the water. But some do not, and that is just the way of the world. Anyway, I would be a little leary of a movement that basically says, "I want to be able to enjoy fish my way (fly fishing for them) so YOU can't enjoy them your way (in a restaraunt, broiled with a side of asparagus and some white wine).

Also, as Joey was trying to point out, out of the billions of $$ spent chasing sportfish in Florida, how much is spent on chasing Permit?

I guess my point would be WHY do permit need this designation. If the facts present the case, then by all means do it. If not, then it could be a case of someone trying to keep a resource to themselves. My humble 2 pennies.

Wow WAGS well said and great questions! Finally.....

Fishman NC

I definitely agree with WAGS. You should look below the surface of every one of these petitions to get this or that protected or only allow one user group to use it. Especially considering the very general reasoning in the 3 paragraphs on the "tarbone" website explaining why we should sign this petition. Many of these type petitions are based in money and not science. I know its easy to villianize comercial fisherman but remember they make money too and it may play a larger role in the economy that fishing dollars for that particular species.
Also I just have a serious problem with groups in general that are out to ban all consumptive uses of natural resources. Finally I do fly fish, mostly red drum, and if I catch my 2 per day in the slot the cooler will be full and the grill will be hot.

Tim Romano


I completely agree that you need to do some research with every petition you sign, but are we not all sport fisherman here?

Yes, I'm biased. I make a living producing a magazine that is supported by the sport fishing industry, creating this blog, and freelance photography based on fishing. So sue me if I want to stand up for a fish that's not very plentiful to begin with. I'd much rather have it protected and sustainable rather than some fat ass Floridian tourist eating it to death.

I have nothing against REGULATED commercial fishing as a whole industry. I like to eat fish too. Take the red drum (aka Redfish) that Fishman NC is referring to in the last post. If there were not protections for this fish you probably would not be taking a couple here and there given enough time. They would be over (commercially) fished and their numbers would decline.

Fishman NC

Not to be argumentative but a large portion of fat ass Floridian tourist are fisherman. haha.(myself included so don't anyone take offense)


What? I didn't know that till now, i supposed that in Florida State (the land where flyfishing in saltwater has its origin) tarpon, bonefish and permit were 100% protected by very restrictive law.


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