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Former Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden takes on a tarpon

by Ed Godfrey Modified: January 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm •  Published: January 19, 2014

Former Oklahoma State and Edmond Santa Fe standout Brandon Weeden calls himself just a casual angler.

“I wouldn't even call myself an outdoorsman,” the Cleveland Browns' quarterback said.

But more adventures like his tarpon fishing trip to Mexico's Isla Holbox last summer has whetted Weeden's appetite for the outdoors.

Weeden caught and released a 130-pound tarpon during a fishing trip that was filmed for “Gridiron Outdoors.” The show aired Friday and Saturday on the Outdoor Channel and will reair this spring.

“Gridiron Outdoors” features either a football player or a coach as a celebrity guest. The producer and host of the show, Mike Pawlawski, is a former quarterback in the NFL, XFL and Arena League.

In the off-season, Pawlawski worked as a hunting and fishing guide.

“I knew the Arena League was not going to make me rich for life, so I had to figure out something else,” said the former University of California quarterback.

This is the third season for “Gridiron Outdoors” and the second time Weeden has appeared as a guest. Last season, Weeden and Pawlawski filmed a bass fishing show from Oklahoma's Grand Lake.

Weeden was persuaded to try tarpon fishing for the first time with the cameras rolling because Pawlawski is an avid tarpon angler. He even has a tarpon tattoo on his triceps.

“Whenever we were together, he always brought up tarpon, how much fun it was and how it was his favorite fish,” Weeden said. “I didn't know what tarpon was until I met Mike.”

Mexico's Holbox Island is near Cancun on the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and surrounded by trophy tarpon waters.

“I have real tarpon issues, and this is my favorite place in the world to go do it,” Pawlawski said.

Their strength, stamina and fighting ability make tarpon a premier game fish for anglers to pursue.

“Tarpon fishing is an absolute battle,” Pawlawski said. “If you can win 20 percent of the fish you hook, you are doing very well.”

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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