Florida Tarpon Bite in Tampa Bay: Silvery-Looking Fish Leap Fifteen Feet in Air in Its Battle for Freedom, Daily Racing Form, 1919-03-10


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FLORIDA TARPON BITE IN TAMPA BAY Silvery-Lookinff Fish leap Fifteen Feet in Air in Its Battle for Freedom. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 9. First tarpon are biting in the waters here. This city is situated on the southernmost point of the Pinellas peninsula, 270 miles south of Jacksonville, twenty-two miles from Tampa, with Tampa Bay to the east and south and the Gulf of Mexico on the west. In the waters are found many game fish, including the tarpon, kingfish, channel bass, Spanish mackerel and sea trout. Rod and reef fishing ns a science has been greatly promoted by the St. Petersburg Tarpon Club, an organization eleven years old, which includes in its membership not only resident fishermen but enthusiastic devotees of the rod the country over. The club has introduced sportsmanlike methods-light tackle fishing and a maximum of sport with a minimum of slaughter. To be president of the club means that you have caught the heaviest tarpon during the tournament season; and the vice-presidents are also chosen by by a similar "merit" system first, second and third according to the weight of their respective catches. The secretary and board of directors are selected from residents of St. Petersburg. Membership, however, is open to any person approved by the directors of the club. Competition is keen for the club prizes, which are offered for tarpon, kingfish, mackerel, redfish and fresh water bass. TARPON IN PASSES. Starting from the northernmost fishing loundaries of the club, at the Anclote light, near Tarpon Springs, we go down the coast on the Gulf of Mexico till we come to Sand Key. now known as Haven Bench. Tarpon, channel bass, mackerel and trout lire caught in Indian Pass and the bays adjacent teem with, these same fish. Mitchells Beach, at whose nd Is Johns Pass, is one of the best passes for tarpon fishing at night, and also Where the large channel bass are caught, usually at the turn of the tide and for two hours after. Then going south we come to Blind Pass, well named, since it Is difficult to find unless yon know its locution, where abound in season trout, mackerel and channel bass. Still to the south we come to Pass a Grille Key, noted for its fishing. Going farther south in the gulf we come to Egmont Key, where are located both North and Southwest channels, both teeming With sport fish an to be fished at different times of day and night. North Channel is over a mile wide and in places eightv feet deep, with a swift running tide caused bv the waters of Tampa Bay flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. This is the original fishing ground of the club and in .the months of May to November one of the best spots in the world for tarpon. TARPON LEAPS TO SHAKE OUT HOOK. The mode of fishing here is somewhat different froni that in other places under the clubs jurisdiction. Fishing from a motor boat, using a heavy lead and a twenty-four thread line, we drift over the feeding grounds of tip tarpon. When this has been done the engine is started up and we go back to the first starting point and repeat this same process until a fish is hooked. The fish hooked usually makes for the gulf, and then comes the fight of your life to land it, either beaching it or bringing it to gaff. The sight of numbers of t?ese silvery fish with their scales glistening in the sunlight, leaping sometimes fifteen feet- in the air, trying to shake the hook out of tlieir mouths, gives one a sensation never to be forgotten.. Southwest Channel, on the other side of Egmont Key, is equally, .good, but must be fished at different hours and tides, according to the judgment of the guide. Still going south we come to Passage Key Inlet, which is. also a great spot for large channel bass, directly off the end of Anna Maria Key. Cruising along the shores of Anna Maria to Ilexhurst we find the great lurking place of the tarpon in the early, morning. These, fish seem to go at night through Long Boat Inlet, following their natural feed, and in the early morning work up through Sarasota Bay, by Hunters Point, through Passage Key Iulet, back to Ilexhurst. ALL YEAR AROUND FISHING. We next reach Long Boat Inlet, noted as one of the best tarpon and channel" bass grounds under the jurisdiction of the club. The grpat advantage of Long- Boat lies in its quick accessibility- -to the shore, a thing to be desired in the summer season when squalls are prevalent and good anchorage is hard to find. Then the interior waters of Sarasota Bay contain tarpon, and at Hunters Point are usually caught the first tarpon of the season. Still going down we come, to. New Pass, Little Sarasota Pass and. "Siesta Key. Tarpon, kingfish and other game fish are ubiinduht. Here we get the earliest kingfish working their way north. We continue till we reach Caseys Pass, and there we find the end of our fishing grounds. The wateniof the club over which it is permissible to fish cover :i vast area, and In its limits are the best- fishing waters to be found any where in this country.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1919031001/drf1919031001_2_5
Local Identifier: drf1919031001_2_5
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800