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An Unforgettable Florida Adventure Is Key West Tarpon Fishing

By Cathy Mercer

Mankind has been gaining sustenance from the sea for as long a they have walked the earth. With some form of creature in nearly every body of water, hunter gatherers also included the waters in their incessant search for sustenance. Now rarely a key to sustenance, angling is still popular and Key West tarpon fishing is a very popular vacation event.

The Silver King, one of the most common monikers for Megalops atlanticus is a large fish by any standard. It can each over 8 feet in length and weigh as much as 350 pounds. This makes it a worthy challenge for any fisherman, experienced or novice. In addition, these fish are known as superb fighters.

This species, scientifically named Megalops atlanticus is considered vulnerable as its numbers have seen a 30 percent drop in the past five decades. Over fishing of adults and habitat loss account for the damage, so it is now a regulated animal in the US. Fortunately, the fish is too bony for the American pallet, and the catch and release policy is working.

This giant predator eats day or night, and to the delight of sportsman, it largely swallows bait fish whole. With relatively small teeth, gulping down its prey is efficient, and makes it easier for the angler to hook them. In keeping with protection, however, anglers should only use barb-less hooks safer for fish, tougher for fisherman.

It is not the most glamorous sea creature and is rarely sensationalized in Hollywood films, the way Marlin or sharks are depicted. This is undoubtedly good for the strength of its numbers. For the avid angler however, it should be known that this is a species that can provide the same level of physical challenge and thrill as the more famous open ocean counterparts.

Despite its voracious appetite and 24 hour feeding cycle, it is not easy to hook, nor is it a casual effort to bring to the boat. The fish will hit lures, flies or bait, if it is presented in front of them at the appropriate time. One common mistake is to cast the bait directly as the cruising pack, which they will likely ignore, as food fish normally swims away from predators, not toward them.

Casting in front of a school of creatures six to eight feet in length moving rapidly toward you is not as easy as it sounds. Once lucky enough to get a strike, the typical reaction is one long hard yank to set the hook, but a number of smaller yanks is more effective. When the fish leaps out of the water, stop pulling and pint the pole at the spectacular jumping fish.

If one does not have a boat, then places where there are many bait fish, preferably in a shady place like under a bridge is a good spot to try. After landing a fish, enjoying the victory is natural, but the hook should be removed and the fish released quickly. Key West tarpon fishing can be one of the highlights of any vacation.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "An Unforgettable Florida Adventure Is Key West Tarpon Fishing." An Unforgettable Florida Adventure Is Key West Tarpon Fishing. 17 Apr. 2014. 19 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Mercer, C (2014, April 17). An Unforgettable Florida Adventure Is Key West Tarpon Fishing. Retrieved July 19, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "An Unforgettable Florida Adventure Is Key West Tarpon Fishing"

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