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Tarpon time

Well its that time of year again when we all experience the pain and pleasure of good old Megalops Atlanticus or the silver king if you prefer. Actually I am back in the UK for a few days before the start of our tarpon season one of the reasons is at the moment I have no boat. After 8 years and 3000 hrs of faithful service she is getting new engines.Yamaha have done a few changes to the 115 hp that I use and with the Miami boat shows deals and the offer of a full 5 years of warranty I took the re power deal. Back to tarpon in a quiet moment I have done a bit of research into my quarry and a few facts have even surprised me. These majestic and annoying fish have been around unchanged for 125 million years. They evolved to what they needed to be and have remained very successful at what they do as well as the engineers say if it is not broke don’t fix it. During our fishing holidays in the Florida Keys we have been very successful with tarpon having our first 200 lb fish last year. We now use the very accurate tables of length and girth to get weights to just a couple of pounds and this beauty came out to be 209 lbs.

The middle picture is from the webcam at Bahia Honda, use the link on my home page, and is courtesy of  Don DeMaria the others are happy and tired anglers on our fishing holidays. Back to tarpon facts they can grow to just under 300 lbs but grow very slowly a fish this size is probably well over 30 years old. They only reach maturity at 6 to 7 years old and a magic 100 lb fish is about 13 to 16 years old. The oldest fish know was on in captivity and was 63 years old when it died, many fish live well over 50 years in the wild. Spawning figures are also amazing with females having 12 to 15 millions eggs and they don’t spawn in one spot migrating and spawning at the same time. Tarpons best trick is their ability to take air in gulps and have developed the swim bladder as a type of lung, you will often see this during the later stages of the fight. Not long now to the madness of the tarpon fight, huge jumping fish, unstoppably runs, concrete bridge piles, chaos in the dark and last but not least 1000 lb shark biting your fish in half bring it ON.