Chasing Tarpon! SLR/IRL

Chase with a tarpon he recently caught and released, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon region. Photos courtesy of  Chase’s iPhone, 5-24-17.

Happy 17th Birthday to Chase! If you don’t already know him, Chase is one of Stuart’s leading sports fishermen, in any age category. This photo is of a recent catch of my favorite fish, the beautiful and unforgettable, “Silver King Tarpon.”

Since Chase was thirteen years old, when we ran into each other, he would share photos of his fishing expeditions. I always stood there, mouth wide open…”Are you kidding me?” I would ask. He would just smile with his wide, blue eyes saying it all:” THIS IS NO FISH STORY…

In 2015, Chase and I,  together with many others tried to save a pigmy whale that had beached at Stuart. Chase loves the outdoors and has respect for all of the water’s creatures.

Yesterday,  in Jensen, I ran into Chase celebrating his 17th birthday with family and friends.

Perhaps it is his mother’s wonderful name, “Cobia,”  that inspires her son! 🙂

If you are a reader of my blog you know, the ancient, acrobatic, and historic tarpon is my favorite fish as it was the original sports fish of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, until its numbers were destroyed by canals, C-44, C-23, C-25 and C-25. Had these canals not been allowed to decimate our river, Tarpon would still be King, not the famous off-shore Sailfish….

Thank you Chase for sharing and inspiring us all! We know you have a great future ahead of you!!!! I can’t wait ’til you have your own show!!!!!!

Chase w/Tarpon . What a beautiful fish!
Chase w/Tarpon!
Tarpon Fishing in the St Lucie River/S. Indian River Lagoon ~ by famed artist or the time, Kent Hagerman, 1893-1978. Image courtesy, Sandra Henderson Thurlow archives.

Former Blog post explaining the story of  Stuart’s focus from “Tarpon to Sailfish: “He Shall Be King Again! The Silver King of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch:

Tarpon Links:

Fishing Stuart,Tarpon:

FWC, Tarpon:

Tarpon Facts:Tarpon:

Florida Museum, Tarpon:

Bonefish/Tarpon Trust:


Canals in Martin and St Lucie Co.: C-23, C-24, C-25 constructed in the 50s and 60s. C-44 connected to Lake Okeechobee, the worst,  constructed in the 1920s. These canals, assisting agriculture and development, destroyed the “fishing grounds of presidents” from the early 1900s, the famed St Lucie River. In the 30s and 40s the offshore Sailfish was marketed and Stuart became known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” as so many of the tarpon and other fish of the river had declined. The tarpon was forgotten as the original main game fish of the St Lucie River. May he rise again! JTL

9 thoughts on “Chasing Tarpon! SLR/IRL

  1. OH MY GOD!!! This makes me cry happy tears!! I love what you do! You care sooo much. Bless you! Will be at the city of Stuart’s special meeting in the morning regarding TC… Talk to you later Have a great Memorial Weekend. Best Becky


  2. Great article and nice tribute to Chase for his birthday. Those pictures of Chase with the tarpon are unbelievable!

  3. There is a regular source of calcium where the boy is standing with fish. In the first picture of the boy with the fish notice the mangrove tree directly above the fish’s head. Notice how it branchs out. Now in the second picture directly above the fish’s head , notice how this mangrove branchs out close to the water. Mangrove trees have break away roots. Barnicals and oysters love to attach themselves to them when they are a single root going into the ground. For them this is a trap When water level is low in the winter they die and root breaks off and falls to the bottom.Many NEW roots then shoot down to absorb nutriants. When the leaves fall from the mangrove they become muck that only releases its nutriants when calcium nutrilizes the acid. This is how the mangrove feeds.

  4. Tarpon and snook all start their lives in fresh water runoffs. About 5 years ago I put buckets of shells where all our big canals dump into the lagoon and many of the smaller streams too. Baby tarpon now seen to gather where canals dump into lagoon. How can you exspect any baby creatures to live where there is NO calcium for them to grow their bones

  5. Facebook Comments:132 Christopher Lynch, Barbara Grace Schopp and 130 others
    Rhonda Biglin Rosselle
    Rhonda Biglin Rosselle Wow! Nice catch!
    Like · Reply · 20 hrs
    Frank Fender
    Frank Fender wow.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 20 hrs
    Rufus Wakeman
    Rufus Wakeman Chase is a good kid. I enjoy having him on the boat and he did a great job catching that big Tarpon ….. He whooped it in like 20 minutes.
    Like · Reply · 7 · 20 hrs
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch 😄👍
    Like · Reply · 18 hrs
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

    Write a reply…

    Paul Sullivan
    Paul Sullivan Beautiful catch!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 20 hrs
    Wall BJ
    Wall BJ Thank you Chase
    Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs
    Mark Hill
    Mark Hill Cobia Perkins Franco Proud of your son!!!! Huuge fish!!!!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs
    Steven Marsh
    Steven Marsh Wow
    Like · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs
    Laura Randall
    Laura Randall Wow!! Where did he catch this??!
    · Reply · 18 hrs

    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch replied · 3 Replies
    Leah Krumme
    Leah Krumme 😳 wow!!!!
    Like · Reply · 13 hrs
    Lisa Novarro
    Lisa Novarro That fish is bigger than him!!!!!!!!!!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs
    Mike Glynn
    Mike Glynn Great catch, great fish, great story! Thanks for sharing it.

  6. It’s interesting, but I always catch and release. Fishing is just a sport for me. I love going on my Cobia boat. Thanks, Chase, for sharing this. It cheered me up!

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