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REMEMBERING THE TAMPA TARPON TOURNAMENT
As a Tampa native I will never forget the excitement of fishing the Tampa Tarpon Tournament. In the sixties this was big, really BIG!*This was the #1 weigh-in station located on Bayshore Blvd.Note the cars of the day & the Tampa population. The 2020 population of Tampa is 392,890.During my Jesuit High School years my favorite Tarpon Stomping Grounds was the Howard Frankland Bridge:The original span of the Howard Frankland Bridge carried two lanes in each direction, no emergency lanes, and had a short concrete strip separating east and westbound traffic.The bridge promptly proved to be a dangerous drive. *10 people died in car accidents in just two years. *Head-on collisions were a common culprit, due to the tapered concrete median’s inability to actually keep cars from veering over.Those high lights were a Tarpon fisherman's best friend.At night the light-line under the bridge was a haven for hungry Tarpon. Often the fish were so close to the surface that we could see their dorsal fin sticking out of the water. We would secure our boat under the bridge and fish the light-line. Watching a huge Tarpon take our pinfish five feet under our feet was something never to be forgotten.Often we would invite the local media to fish with us.*Mr. Archie Blount, Sports editor of the Tampa Times.Here my brother, and one of our Jesuit friends, weigh-in a nice Tarponat the old Tampa Bay Marina.Anyone remember Mr. Jimmy Sass, Marina dock master?Today we still have Tarpon tournaments, but the fish are released alive.*
We can all be thankful for that.
*As a Tampa native I will never forget the excitement of fishing the Tampa Tarpon Tournament. In the sixties this was big, really BIG!
 

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I missed the tarpon. Joined the Navy Aug 17 1960. Said goodby to Bradenton Beach, 129 5th st south. A garage upstairs apartment no AC just a constant sea breeze.
 

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Haven't Tarpon fished in many years. Miss it!
Herb Allen:
February 17, 2011:
Herb Allen, longtime outdoors editor at the Tampa Tribune before Frank Sargeant, died Wednesday night after an extended bout of pneumonia.
Perhaps no outdoors writer could match the wit and humor of Herb Allen, who loved everything about the outdoors and the creatures in it.
Herb was a member of the FOWA for 44 years, a life member.

If I remember correctly Herb followed Bobby Hicks. Bobby died from a heart attack 1961
 

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“Hook, Lyin’ and Sinker″

Born in Lakeland in 1954, left in 85' Read his column every Friday -he was the best. Brings a smile remembering him.

Thanks, Bob
 

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Part of the problem was "harvesting" the Tarpon for weight and a picture.

Now back in the day you couldn't use a picture and a tape measure.

It really hurt the population. Likewise, the recently defunct Tarpon tournaments out of Boca Grande, where the would use a fake jig and gig the Tarpon.

They'd tow the fish to the beach, weigh the fish, then tow it out. If you followed that boat out you'd be chased off before that fish was "released" or sunk...

Has anybody ever eaten a Tarpon?

I'm good with targeting, catching, and a quick release. I'm good with not hauling that big boy out of the water. A big fish can get AFU if you lift that big fish out of the water, especially if you don't support it and lift horizontally.

Jim
 
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