Tarpon GALLERYMegalops atlanticus
The Tarpon is one of the largest fish you will see in the shallow bay
waters, growing up to eight feet in length, but most
are in the two to four feet range. Look for them where you see pelican's feeding
on schools of Blue Fry, Herring or other bait fish. I think the Tarpon's feeding style is much different than the snappers' or Barracuda's.
It seems the Tarpons mouth is designed for plucking weak or damaged fish as they flail below the schools.
The snappers and Barracuda strike hard and fast, and the school explodes, no doubt momentarily dazing some of the baitfish. The Tarpons are there to simply scoop them up.
They expend very little energy just cruising through the baitfish school. They will cruise up one side of the baitfish school and down the other.
They will swim past you fairly close, seemingly unconcerned. I've observed them in a school of up to thirty.
Large scales of tarpon are used as ornamentation on home decorations and are also used in the manufacturing of artificial pearls. (Hill, 2002; Luna, et al., 2005; Morey, 2000)