My new theory on permit

I saw that Joe Gonzalez (Joe did an interview here a while back) recently caught a permit in Biscayne Bay that had been caught two times already.

Third time for this fish... that we know of.

Third time for this fish… that we know of.

On yesterday’s outing, to our surprise ,we caught the same previously tagged permit we had caught 6 days earlier about a mile away. Bonefish Tarpon Trust Costa Del Mar Project Permit reward tag # 07019. So we know this guy has been caught 3 times already. Looks like program is on its way acquiring relevant knowledge. Please continue to support BTT on their efforts to protect & enhance our fisheries.

From this data* I have come to an earth shattering conclusion about permit.

Here it is. The small number permit caught each year are actually the SAME permit over and over again.

Permit are picky way beyond a fault. The damn things are nearly impossible to catch and they have driven plenty of anglers out of their minds as they empty their bank accounts and shun work and family obligations in search of the permit pull. Permit are notorious for their fickle moods and ability to ruin your day and/or life.

Still, every once in a while someone actually catches one. That gives us all hope it can be done and so we go out and look for the damn things buoyed by the knowledge that someone else has done it, therefore it must be do-able.

However, what you don’t know is there are only a small number of permit dumb enough to be fooled and only those specific permit eat flies. There is just a small sliver of the overall permit population who are so gullible they eat flies no other self-respecting permit would even follow.

In my estimation** there are only about 20 permit in the world eating flies and they fall victim time and time again.

So, the next time you cast a fly at a permit and it doesn’t eat… no worries, that must not have been one of the permit that actually eats flies. See… it isn’t your fault at all.

This little guy is one of the dumb ones. It surely has been caught dozens more times in Belize since 2010.

This little guy is one of the dumb ones. It surely has been caught dozens more times in Belize since 2010.


* – OK, my “data” is just the fact that Joe posted the picture of a tagged fish that had been caught twice before. I don’t have any other solid “numbers” or “proof” or “anything” to back that up. Sometimes you have to go with your gut.

** – I should tell you that in college I only had to take one math class and it was “Studies in Modern Mathematics.”  We read books and kept journals and talked about math, but we didn’t have to DO any math. It was awesome and I got an A.

*** – I wish I didn’t have to say this, but I do. No… I’m not serious about the theory.

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  1. Maybe 20 in the entire Caribbean, and 5 more up around the Keys.

  2. Only three in the Keys: an 18-pounder that covers from the west side of the Marquesas to Seven Mile Bridge, a 14-pounder that hangs from Lower Matecumbe to Marathon, and a 45-pounder that eats everything on Money Key.

  3. What Marshall said was really funny.

  4. Agreed.

  5. I’ll take your word for it. I only know about one small one that eats in Belize, a few in Cuba that don’t eat flies and one I saw a few weeks ago in Grand Bahama that was highly offended at the mere suggestion.

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