From chapter 21, Leap Of Faith / Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat
(discussing the freedom to do whatever I choose)
Maybe I’ll stalk the world’s most sought after game fish, the mighty tarpon. I feel the quiver in my knees as the school approaches, black backs and silvery sides slicing the surface of the azure Gulf. I try to make the perfect cast, presenting my lure expertly, hoping they are willing to play today. My arms are jolted by the lightning strike as the silver king rises, exploding out of the tropical waters in a writhing mass of acrobatic fury. It is primitive raw power combined with grace and beauty. Time slows and I am spellbound as his twisting arc continues incredibly high. Small rainbows form in the shaken off sea water. At the peak of this majestic leap, one more wrenching flip and my lure is dislodged and and spit back in my direction. The King crashes down with an ear cracking splash. I glimpse one mirror-like eye as he departs. I imagine him saying, “Not today my friend, not today.”
My heart is beating so fast I can barely retrieve my line. I bow to the King, tip my rod in salute, and say “May we meet again, some other day.” It’s a once in a lifetime experience for many, but I am free to attempt to recreate it anytime I wish.
If you’ve never fought a tarpon you can’t fully understand what it’s like. There is no other fish that can combine the power, speed and acrobatic ability of the tarpon. I just happen to spend most of my time in the world’s best tarpon fishery. There is nothing like it.
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