Chico Fernandez' First Tarpon

Chico recounts his first tarpon catch as both eventful and bittersweet.

Chico Fernandez talks about his first tarpon catch in a recent blog post at Hell's Bay Boatworks. In 1956, he hung around a group of spin fishermen, where he was the only one who took fly fishing seriously. What's surprising is that Chico's first tarpon catch was actually "sad and a waste," according to him. It's worth a read, viewing the memories from one of fly fishing's greats. -Ed.

**Below, excerpts from the post: **

"One of [my] favorite places to fish, especially for tarpon, was the old small village of Surgidero de Batabano, a port on the South side of the island [Cuba] less than an hour’s ride from Havana. [We went] through a winding, bumpy road that still brings back good memories."

"Visible from our row boat, even at a good distance, was a dark half circle against the side of the vessel. Maybe 30 to 60 feet in length was pure tarpon. And in that mass there were fish ranging from about ten pounds to over one hundred."

"One day, after thinking about it for a long time, I decided to hook one on my fly rod. My friends knew this was coming."

"After a few jumps, the fish left the area for deeper water, and we followed. I probably did not have the best knots those days, so I suspect that my 8-pound-test tippet was probably closer to six pounds, at best."