Tarpon Fishing and Catching The Elusive Silver King - Megalops AtlanticusWritten by Greg Smith
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This exceptionally fine creature is a prehistoric animal and only fish with an air bladder. This allows it to absorb oxygen and live in waters with very low oxygen content. You can see them gulp air at water surface. Tarpon are also called poons, tarpum, sabalo real, cuffum, silverfish or silver king and belong to bony fish family Elopidae. The Latin designation is Megalops atlanticus.
While only microscopic at birth, tarpon have been documented at lengths of more than eight feet and weighing 280 pounds. Catches weighing more than 200 pounds, while uncommon, do occur. Many fish caught are well over 100 pounds. Their growth rate is slow, taking 8 to 10 years to reach maturity, and generally those over 100 pounds are female. Tarpon can live 55 to 60 years. They are greenish or bluish on top, and silver on sides. The large mouth is turned upwards and lower jaw contains an elongated bony plate. The last ray of dorsal fin is much longer than others, reaching nearly to tail.
They are found primarily in shallow coastal waters and estuaries, but they are also found in open marine waters, around coral reefs, and in some freshwater lakes and rivers. Their normal migratory pattern ranges from Virginia to central Brazil in western Atlantic, along coast of Africa in eastern Atlantic, and all through Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Florida is widely regarded as having many of best tarpon fishing locations in world, especially world-renowned Boca Grande Pass in Southwest Florida.
Fishing for tarpon can at times be an excercise of patience and discipline. You may be surrounded by large schools of rolling tarpon containing hundreds of fish and they will not hit anything you throw at them. Other times, it is a feeding frenzy. So, go fishing for tarpon every chance you get, that next world record catch may be waiting just for you.
Greg Smith is a life-long fisherman and publisher of fishing information websites. For more information, tips, tricks, techniques and charter guide resources for the most popular tarpon fishing locations in Florida and beyond visit http://www.tarpon-fishing-i.com/
Lightweight Backpacking: An ExampleWritten by Steve Gillman
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There were no roads, but next day I found Silverton-Durango line, and flagged down train to Silverton. I bought food and headed out for three more days of rainy hiking. Lightning chased me at 13,000 feet, I slept in an old ghost town building, climbed three more "fourteeners," and I'd do it all again in a second. Backpacking in Colorado is spectacular, and going lightweight made it even more so.
I carried my backpack easily up mountains, with better balance. One day I hiked 22 miles and bagged three fourteeners. I went 110 miles in seven days, without one blister. That's what running shoes and a 12 to 16 pound packweight does for you.
Staying dry was as much technique as it was good equipment. It rained every day, and I was under a tarp, in a one-pound sleeping bag, but I stayed dry and warm. I found lightweight backpacking to be safer than hiking with a heavy load, contrary to what many say.
This first lightweight backpacking trip was years ago. When I remember running up those mountains, I know I'll never go back to a heavy load.
Steve Gillman is a long-time backpacker, and advocate of lightweight backpacking. His advice and stories can be found at http://www.TheUltralightBackpackingSite.com