The Giant Fish of Florida

Cover of book The Giant Fish of Florida
Categories: Fiction » Action & Adventure

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on HOW TO CATCH TARPON Have I sufficiently introduced the tarpon itself ? I hope so. The fish shown in the frontispiece was caught in March, and was therefore in poor condition. They improve rapidly towards the end of April, and are heavy with spawn late in May. Strips of mullet?four cut from the white belly of each?are the orthodox bait for tarpon, yet an autopsy will reveal only an occasional fish, small crabs being by far the more usual food. When a tarpon is seen rising slowly, head and tail like a salmon, it may be regarded as on its way to the bottom to feed, its movements when routing among the rocks and weeds being notified by the string of bubbles that rise to the surface, much like the otter's chain. In Boca Grand the tarpon is fished for close to the bottom, but elsewhere it is sometimes caught near thesurface. When actually rolling and playing on the waters the fish are rarely caught, and where they congregate in a strong tide and in shallows they are most difficult to hook?not more than one fish being on the average caught out of four or more strikes. When a hooked tarpon does not break water, a comparatively rare occurrence, he may be regarded as a heavy fish. Once the life is out of the tarpon, he is of little use, unless it be to furnish a trophy for exhibition to admiring friends at home, who may like to see what America can raise in the herring line. Yet probably this universal neglect is due to the abundance of other more excellent food-fish in those waters rather than to inherent unfitness, for its flesh is dark, firm, and meaty. Not the least important factor in success is a good guide. These men are quite characters in their way, and never speak of their master as having caught or lost a fish : with them it is always " I did this ...

The Giant Fish of Florida
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