tarpon tales lets anglers go back in time
Southwest Florida's place on the world angling map was established in spring 1885, when a New Yorker named W.H. Wood became the first to catch a tarpon with a rod and reel. Word spread quickly, and fishermen from all over came in search of the silver king of game fish.
A lot has changed, but anglers can step back in time and share the experience by visiting Tampa's Plant Museum, where an exhibit called Tarpon Tales opens April 24. The exhibit, running through Dec. 27, chronicles Gulf Coast fishing from the late 1800s to the 1930s. It includes a Hemingway-era fighting chair, vintage photographs, mounted fish, rods, Edward vom Hofe reels, lures, tackle, gear, nets and souvenir tarpon scales.
To kick off the exhibit, the museum will host a sportsman's panel that includes Bill Miller, host of the television show Hooked on Fishing. It will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 24 in the Grand Salon of Plant Hall, adjacent to the museum. No reservations are needed, but only 175 will be seated. For details, call Gianna Russo at (813) 258-7304 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Marine Quest gives children an eyeful
Looking for something to do with the kids next weekend? Head over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg for the 15th annual Marine Quest.
The open house features more than 30 exhibits that allow kids to become marine biologists for a day. They can handle live animals in touch tanks, ask questions of scientists and create fish prints with the ancient Japanese art form of Gyotaku. For details, go to research.myfwc.com/marinequest.
Terry Tomalin, Times Outdoors Editor