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or Silver King Tarpon

fish, feels and air

TARPON, or SILVER KING, a great and powerful fish (Tarpon atlanticus, or Mega lops thrissoides), known from Virginia to Brazil, and regarded by anglers as the finest of American game fishes. It is related to the herrings and resembles them in general out line, but is sometimes six feet long. Its special marks are the long filamentous appendage of the posterior margin of the dorsal fin and the huge, round, shining scales, which encase the body in an armor of glittering silver, and make the name *silver king° peculiarly appropriate for this noble fish. Among the French and Spanish fishermen about the Gulf of Mexico and West Indies it is called grande ecailli, sabalo, savalle, etc.; while tarpium, jewfish and big-eyed herring are also heard. Its scales, as large as or larger than a silver dollar, are ex tensively used in fabricating ornaments, and the flesh is good to eat; but the fish is principally of interest for the sport it affords to the angler with rod and line, who seeks it best by going in a boat, with an experienced man at the oars, among the islands or into the bays of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, within the Florida reefs or around the shores of Porto Rico, where it spawns. Then may be felt as well as seen the

astonishing force and strength which this fish daily puts forth as he chases the swift and agile fishes upon which he subsists. Having seized the angler's baited hook, a struggle begins which taxes tackle and skill to the utmost. The mo ment the tarpon feels the steel point in his mouth and finds his progress checked, he leaps high into the air, shaking himself violently in hope of casting off the hook —and he often succeeds. Failing, he leaps again and again; with all the frenzy of the wild horse when he first feels the lasso, he springs through the air and dashes through the water.° An hour or more of the most delicate manipulation, and at the same time of severe labor, is often re quired to subdue a large tarpon.