Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson Says "Leave Tarpon in the Water"

January 9, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

Some of our readers might know that U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is a devoted fly fisher. But even I was surprised to hear him — while engaged in a fish-photo contest with fellow “obsessed” fly fisher and CNBC commentator Steve Leisman Tuesday morning — bring up the importance of releasing tarpon in the water. Let me tell you folks, when the Treasury Secretary says that he doesn’t take photos of his fly-caught tarpon because he doesn’t want them lifted out of the water, it is time to pay attention.
Paulson said “I’ve caught many, many tarpon over one hundred pounds on fly.” “But you don’t have any pictures,” Leisman said. “But I don’t take them into the boat; I don’t want to hurt them,” said Paulson. “I didn’t want to hurt that tuna either, Mr. Secretary, I just wanted to eat it,” Leisman responded. “Truth be known, I’m envious” Paulson replied. “I would love to catch a bluefin tuna on a fly rod. I’ve never done it, and I’ve tried.”
According to our sources Secretary Paulson is spending even more time fly fishing for bonefish than he was when he was head of Goldman Sachs. We admit to being a little surprised by his comment that he had caught “a number of bonefish bigger than 15 pounds,” but hey, he does deal with inflationary pressures all day long.