Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fishing for Tarpon in 1908

I received this missive from a good friend today... I thought it was pretty cool:
...I'm reading a book titled "Florida Enchantments" by A. W. Dimock.  The original version was published in 1908 and a revised version in 1915.  In the chapter about tarpon fishing, he is describing the tackle.  I love this paragraph:

"The tarpon hook is attached to the line by a three-foot snood of braided flax or other soft and strong material and is baited with half a mullet.  Now cast your baited hook fifty or one-hundred feet out in the channel, place your rod across the skiff with its point toward the bait and its reel free to run.  Reel off a dozen yards of line, coil it loosely on the seat before you, light your pipe and muse on the infinite, or cut the leaves of the latest magazine, while your boatman "chums" from time to time by casting bread upon the waters in the form of fragments of fish.  In a few minutes, or it may be hours, or even days, the line begins to run out, you lay aside your magazine and pick up the rod while your boatman takes in the anchor and sits down to the oars.You must feed out the line as called for, resisting all temptation to strike, until perhaps fifty yards of line have gone and the fish been allowed ample time to swallow the bait.  Then pressing your thumb firmly on the brake, "Strike for your altars and your fires!"  Two hundred feet away a gleaming form of burnished silver leaps, gyrating in the air.  The whirling handle of the reel raps your incautious knuckles and the friction of the line burns your thumb through the thick brake of sole leather. You cry out to your boatman as you watch the diminishing line on your reel and he struggles mightily with the oars."

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