Fighting a Tarpon
The bait is trolled over forty or fifty feet of water. When the bait is taken the angler should set the hook instantly. In still fishing he should let the fish run thirty or forty feet before striking. The fish must be played in the same way as a smaller fish and it is usually a desperate struggle before the fish can be brought alongside and gaffed. He makes great leaps, sometimes actually leaping into the boat, and it is not only exciting but even dangerous sometimes. He also sounds deep, and makes long rushes which must be checked by the reel brake, and it will be necessary to "pump" him sometimes.
The boatman must be an expert in handling a boat and must keep the stern turned towards the fish at all times. He must know all about the habits of the fish, and how to catch them, and when you bring the fish in he must know how to gaff him, and must do the gaffing.
Tarpon are no good as food and are only caught for the sport and to mount as trophies. The small ones are always released. To do so they are gaffed carefully under the jaw and held until the hook is extracted.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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