Tarpon Gambol

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Mobile Bay has become a place where tarpon play (or gambol); targeting them is less a gamble than before. Capt. Tim Simos / bluewaterimages.net
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Photo by Jason Stemple
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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
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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
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Jigs rigged with circle hooks like the Coon Pop are proven tarpon-takers in Mobile Bay waters. Photo by Walter Kirkland
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Photo by Walter Kirkland
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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
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When bait get thick, as is the case with these mullet, tarpon join other ­predators in the chase. Photo by Pat Ford
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Locally, the humble bumper (a type of jack) is a favorite bait among savvy tarpon ­fishermen. Shedd Aquarium / Patrice Ceisel / SeaPics.com
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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