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The Tarpon

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It was a hot summer day in the peaceful and world renown fishing destination called Port Saint Joe, Florida. My father and I had traversed the Port Saint Joe Bay in his 17 foot Maverick flats boat. We were on the prowl for a record size Tarpon worth bragging about. The wind was softly blowing from the north, putting the odds in our favor for the better Tarpon migration pattern. The water was as calm as it gets, and the sky was as blue as the sea. The fly-rod was our choice of weapon against the power of this legendary fish. I wanted nothing more than to cast a fly within reach of this massive Predator, and land it, thereby accomplishing my goal. I knew for a fact that I was in for an interesting day.

We started the day searching up and down the beach waters for a string of stray Tarpon making their way down the long beach. We were completely prepared for the big moment. While we were taking a break to eat some sandwiches my mom made for us, a massive sea turtle swam by. This turtle looked very old, and rugged. That was the first sea turtle I had ever seen and what a sight it was. Not only did I see a sea turtle, but I saw hundreds of jelly fish going with the flow of the tides. In the midst of all of the sea life, a long black shadow in the water appeared.

At the sight of the Tarpon my heart began to pound like a bass drum. This was the moment of truth. My dad looked as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. I could tell the same exhilarating thoughts were going through both of our heads. He slowly told me what to do. First I was told to pick my line up in the air and place the fly about 10 feet in front of the fishes’ head. I casted it in what seemed like the perfect spot. My Dad then told me to let the fly sink, and to let the Tarpon swim to it. The Tarpon looked as if it was purposely swimming in a B-line to my fly. In the blink of an eye the Tarpon sucked my fly in its mouth with a powerful force. It changed from a tranquil, moping fish to a rowdy, panicking monster with the power of 10 men.

The fight was on. My dad pulled the anchor up so fast he looked like Hercules. We turned the boat on and chased the Tarpon up and down the beach. The monster size fish was flipping, jumping, and doing barrel rolls with outrageous fury. Eventually, I could tell the fish was losing its energy. If it swam one way, I would pull the other. When it jumped out of the water I bowed to it so that it wouldn’t be able to use my force to pull the fly out of its mouth. After an hour, it got within reach of the boat. My Dad grabbed it by the mouth and pulled it in to the boat. We took enough pictures to fill up a fishing magazine, pulled the fly out of its mouth, and released the beast of a Fish free to be caught another day. This day will be remembered by my Dad and I for the rest of our lives. After all, nothing is better than being able to say you caught a 120 pound Tarpon on a fly rod.





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