Tarpon Gambol

Mobile Bay has become a place where tarpon play (or gambol); targeting them is less a gamble than before. Capt. Tim Simos / bluewaterimages.net
Photo by Jason Stemple
Mist shrouds the lower Mobile Delta into which waters of the Tensaw River flow, and where a group of anglers sets up. Photo by John Hague
Nearly a century ago, W.G. Oliver of Birmingham landed this 215-pounder near Coden, Alabama. It’s a fair bet that fish of this size may again be cruising these waters. Photo Courtesy of The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Jigs rigged with circle hooks like the Coon Pop are proven tarpon-takers in Mobile Bay waters. Photo by Walter Kirkland
Photo by Walter Kirkland
Fly-rodders are a minority among local tarpon enthusiasts, but they have their moments. Right: Calm conditions help spot fish rolling off beaches. Photo by Pat Ford
When bait get thick, as is the case with these mullet, tarpon join other ­predators in the chase. Photo by Pat Ford
Locally, the humble bumper (a type of jack) is a favorite bait among savvy tarpon ­fishermen. Shedd Aquarium / Patrice Ceisel / SeaPics.com
Though scientists have yet to understand why they do it, tarpon inexorably migrate each year east to west along northern Gulf beaches. Photo by Walter Kirkland