TARPON, Megalops atlanticus
|The Silver King. Ten pounds or two hundred,
he is all fight. This ancient warrior ranges from fresh water canals to the
ocean surf and all points in between.
In the right circumstances almost any tackle will give you a chance to test your skills and the tarpon will test those skills to their limits. Startling leaps with flashing scales and rattling gill plates have thrown many lures, and not a few came back in the angler's direction. Long runs and a strong steady pull that can last for hours test the fisherman's endurance as well as his skill. The ratio of fish hooked to fish landed is so low that the special category of "jumped" tarpon has been invented to protect the fisherman's ego and reputation.
This fish is strictly for sport and should be released in the best possible condition. Only a hammerhead would even consider eating one and Florida requires a $50 stamp before you can kill a tarpon. With today's fiberglass mounts, only a possible record would justify keeping anything more than a picture. (IMOHO)
If I could fish for only one fish the rest of my life, I would probably choose the tarpon. Even then, I doubt there would be time enough to exhaust all the possibilities offered by this prehistoric survivor.
The only draw back to tarpon fishing is that they bite best at night. However, there are enough fish around at sunrise, sunset and even during the day to keep me interested and hopeful.
Check out out Expert Tips for Tarpon!
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Last modified on 05/01/98.